Our full review of the Nest Learning Thermostat after living with the connected device for two years, in two different locations.
Nest Labs made headlines in 2011 when it introduced its “Learning Thermostat” to the world. It had some revolutionary features at launch, the combination of which had never been seen before, such as a round LCD screen, a Wi-Fi connection and control via smartphone app, motion sensor, humidity sensor, Airwave technology, automatic charging via existing 24-volt wiring, a simplified install process, and the killer feature: you program it by just changing the temperature and it learns your schedule, favorite temperatures and when you’re at home or away.
Nest Labs was co-founded by Tony Faddell, who was the “Father of the iPod” during his time at Apple. Not surprisingly, their first thermostat was rich on design, and brought a modern-retro look reminiscent of an old round Honeywell thermostat. On the nest you turn and push the outer ring to change temperature and settings, much like on thermostats of yesteryear.
Nest’s new thermostat promised energy savings of over 10%, but with a hefty purchase price of $250. Since the thermostat’s software could be updated remotely, you could conceivably own it for many years and gain more features and improvements, with no monthly fees.
For many users, it has certainly saved them money on their energy bills and simplified their interaction with their thermostat. But for others, including this reviewer, existing thermostat locations cause the Nest’s motion sensor to not work properly or trigger “Away Mode” when you’re at home, watching a movie or in another room for a long time.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is a great “disruptor” to antiquated and boring thermostat / HVAC technology, but it’s trying to be so many things from one single location that it sometimes fails to achieve even a few of them. The true connected home will have multiple sensors throughout, to better measure temperature, humidity, occupant movements and more
If you’re looking to jump on the Nest bandwagon, you may want to wait just a bit longer. Summer 2015 is going to HUGE for home automation devices, and we believe that Nest is going to introduce game-changing technology and software very soon. Whether it’s an upgrade or replacement to some Nest devices, or a whole new “hub” we’re not quite sure but something big is coming shortly from Google.
Google, which bought Nest in early 2014, is rumored to be working on an OS named Brillo for it’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform. It’s rumored to be released under the Android brand at Google’s upcoming 2015 I/O conference.
The Nest Learning Thermostat retails for $249, similarly priced to its major competitors Lyric (Honeywell) and Ecobee’s smart thermostat.
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