Nest launches more affordable smart thermostat

Nest's New Thermostat Is Just Like the Original, Only Cheaper

Nest has officially announced its latest smart home device, the Nest Thermostat E. The new Nest Thermostat E is created to appeal to a wider audience thanks to two key changes. The white-and-gray E blends into the background and comes with a preset schedule. If you're willing to pop your existing thermostat off the wall for a minute, there's a compatibility checker here. One with the same energy-saving features people have come to expect from a Nest Thermostat. It's called the Nest Thermostat E, and it can do almost everything the regular Nest Thermostat can do, except it's cheaper and housed in a brand new design - one that's intentionally much, much plainer.

The simplified interface is really nice, although the display itself looks a bit fuzzy.

At $80 cheaper than the original thermostat, the company is hoping to entice millions of new customers who want a better thermostat but find the original price tag too high. Users can manually set the temperature or control it via the Nest mobile app, and it learns their routine and habits over time.

According to Nest, the E model is compatible with 85 percent of HVAC systems, excluding those with whole-house humidifiers or more than three stages of heating or cooling. It is also said to be easier to read as the frosted display won't let light in, meaning that you won't have to worry about glare from your other lights. First, the new device is much cheaper priced at only $169 versus the original's $249 price putting it within reach of more buyers.

Otherwise, all of the traditional Nest Thermostat features are here, including presence detection and integration with third-party services through Works with Nest.

The two models, Thermostat and Thermostat E, work virtually identically. Meanwhile, they've dropped a few wiring connections inside that Nest says will limit compatibility to around 85% of U.S. houses rather than 95% - so if you've already checked if the original model will work with your place, you might want to check again here. That includes support for Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, though users of Apple's HomeKit platform are still out of luck. The lack of advanced on-device controls doesn't seem like a major feature to give up, especially since the Nest app is so intuitive and ubiquitious across a wide range of devices.

The changes, while minor, are a notable departure from the Alphabet-owned Nest Labs.

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