Google Nest Thermostat review: Affordable excellence

It’s been practically 10 years for the reason that first Nest Learning Thermostat was launched. If you ask me, a refresh to the lineup was lengthy overdue. Not that the 2020 Nest Thermostat is revolutionary by any means, however the machine’s new design and low-cost worth level make this an general extra approachable smart home machine — notably for individuals who are new to sensible thermostats.

Read our full Google Nest Thermostat assessment to see if it’s best for you.

About this Google Nest Thermostat assessment: I used the Google Nest Thermostat for one week in my house in Rockford, Illinois, operating software program model 1.0-16.

Google Nest Thermostat: What’s new?

The primary variations between the brand new and outdated fashions are in design and in Google’s cost-cutting measures. To be clear, the Nest Thermostat isn’t changing the Learning Thermostat. Instead, it’s the go-to inexpensive choice now that Google is transitioning the Thermostat E to professional-only installs.

Design and show

google nest thermostat review display temperature on wall 3

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Despite being manufactured from historically “cheaper” supplies, I desire the look of the brand new Nest Thermostat. The housing is manufactured from plastic and it has a pleasant mirror-like end on the entrance. Through that “mirror glass lens,” you’ll discover a 2.4-inch shade LCD show with a decision of 240 x 320. You can see the sq. cutout of the show at sure angles, however it head-on you’ll solely see the mirror end. I like the best way it appears.

What I don’t love is the truth that it now solely reveals your house’s temperature and never the time. I suppose that is extra in-line with different conventional thermostats on the market, however it will’ve been good to have entry to a clock in that fairly show.

This is probably going the prettiest sensible thermostat you should buy.

Previous Nest fashions had you rotate the housing to regulate temperature and scroll via menus, whereas a push in would act as your choose button. The new Nest Thermostat solely has a touch-sensitive panel on the appropriate facet to regulate temperature. Tapping wherever on the appropriate facet will act because the choose button.

I by no means bumped into points with navigating across the thermostat or altering temperature. Though, I additionally by no means owned the unique Nest Learning Thermostat, which looks like it will be extra intuitive to manage.

google nest thermostat review touch panel

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

You can not create or edit temperature schedules immediately on the Nest Thermostat like you possibly can on the Learning Thermostat. I doubt many individuals use their Learning Thermostats to create full schedules anyway. Just know that you simply’ll have to edit all of your schedules within the app, and that your thermostat must be related to Wi-Fi to obtain these schedule modifications.

You’ll discover my Nest Thermostat has a pleasant trim plate behind the unit. Unlike different Nest Thermostats, the 2020 mannequin doesn’t include one within the field. I wanted to buy this individually for $15 from the Google Store, however they’re additionally accessible from different retailers like Best Buy. This is an apparent cost-cutting measure on Google’s half.

Presence sensing

google nest thermostat review google home app presence sensing

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Remember that Soli radar tech Google used within the Pixel 4 for gesture and presence sensing? It will not be within the Pixel 5, however the firm included it within the new Nest Thermostat. It makes use of its low-power radar tech to sense once you’re close to it. It’ll present the show once you’re close to and switch off the show once you’re not. This is just like older Nest Thermostats’ Farsight characteristic that might mild up the show when it sensed you walked into the room.

In follow, it is a good means for the thermostat to indicate you particulars once you want them and save energy once you don’t.

Close proximity sensing isn’t the one means Soli is used right here. Combined with its onboard sensors and your telephone’s geofencing knowledge, the Nest Thermostat will be capable to detect if you’re or aren’t house. If it doesn’t sense anybody in your house, the thermostat will drop its settings right down to Eco mode in hopes to save lots of you some power. Older Nest Thermostats additionally do that, however the brand new mannequin is the one one to make use of Soli radar tech alongside your telephone’s location parameters.

Google Home app and sensible monitoring options

google nest thermostat review google home app temperature dial 1

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

One of the larger modifications with this 12 months’s thermostat is its companion app. It now hooks as much as the Google Home app as an alternative of the Nest app. We sort of knew this alteration was coming. You management Google’s smart home products with the Home app anyway, so it is sensible to have your thermostat controls there too. No have to hook up your Nest account via the Google Home app.

As far as I can inform, there’s no means to make use of the Nest app as an alternative of the Google Home app. If your house makes use of different Nest merchandise which are solely suitable with the Nest app, you’ll now want to make use of each apps concurrently to manage your varied Nest gadgets.

This additionally means you get extra seamless integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It’s not new, however having the ability to ask your sensible speaker to set a sure temperature is tremendous handy.

During the setup course of, the Google Home app walks you thru a characteristic referred to as Quick Schedule. This helps you to set customized temperatures at completely different instances on every day of the week. You set your most well-liked heating and cooling temperatures for Comfort, Eco, and Sleep profiles, and the app creates a schedule for you based mostly on what it thinks you would possibly like. You can change these instances and profiles round as you would like.

google nest thermostat review google home app schedules

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

This differs a bit from the Nest Learning Thermostat. That mannequin learns out of your utilization and adjusts your temperature based mostly in your habits over time. The Nest Thermostat doesn’t. You create schedules within the app and alter them all through the day if want be, nevertheless it doesn’t do a lot studying based mostly in your habits. It will, nevertheless, nonetheless recommend little tweaks in your schedule the place it thinks it can save you some power. Nothing actually occurs mechanically, although. Those new to the smart thermostat market (howdy!) will most likely be high quality with this, however these coming from older, “smarter” thermostats would possibly take problem.

On the topic of temperature management, the brand new thermostat doesn’t help exterior temperature sensors. That means it solely data temperature from the unit itself. If you’ve a giant home or your second ground doesn’t get heat sufficient within the winter, this can be a problem. This is the place the Learning Thermostat and Thermostat E actually have a leg up on the brand new mannequin.

Google’s temperature sensors are solely accessible in choose areas, so this will not be a giant draw back when you reside outdoors North America.

google nest thermostat review google home app hvac reminders filter changes

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Google launched a set of HVAC monitoring options with the brand new Nest Thermostat. Since HVAC points may be fairly costly for householders, these would possibly actually come in useful. Your Nest will provide you with a warning if it senses one thing’s off together with your system, like if it’s taking longer than regular to chill your house or in case your furnace shuts off when it shouldn’t. It’ll additionally let you know when to exchange your air filter. From there, you possibly can both name an HVAC technician of your selecting or undergo Google’s companion Handy to arrange an appointment.

HVAC monitoring rolled out in late October to the Nest Thermostat, Learning Thermostat, and Thermostat E. It’s solely accessible within the US and components of Canada for now and requires a pressured air system.


google nest thermostat review batteries QR code

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The set up course of actually couldn’t be any simpler. Google says it takes about 30 minutes to put in by yourself, however there are alternatives to get knowledgeable to put in it for $99.99. I went the previous route to avoid wasting money. Overall, the method took about 30-45 minutes minus the time it took me to fill some holes left by my outdated thermostat.

The best option to arrange your thermostat is thru the Google Home app. Hit the + button, choose “set up device,” then choose the “thermostat” choice. After scanning a QR code on the again of your thermostat, you’re prepared to put in. The Google Home app does a stunning job of strolling you thru the method step-by-step. If you want extra help, Google has assist pages and video walkthroughs as nicely.

I received’t stroll you thru the complete setup course of, however right here are some things I realized from going via the method myself.

google nest thermostat review wires connectivity setup Y W G R common wire

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

First and foremost, remember to examine Nest’s compatibility website earlier than you go shopping for a thermostat for your self. My colleague C. Scott Brown discovered the arduous means that his system doesn’t have a typical wire (or “C wire”), so he couldn’t use the brand new Nest Thermostat. My system had a C wire accessible nevertheless it wasn’t attached. Yet, the Google Home app gave me zero problem through the setup course of. Hooking up the C wire could be a safer guess, based on Google’s web site, however apparently it’s not one thing I would like.

Can you inform I’m not an electrician?

The new Nest Thermostat helps as much as six wires whereas the Nest Learning Thermostat helps as much as 10. That’s possible the place the 85-95% compatibility discrepancy takes place. If your system has greater than six wires, chances are you’ll have to look into the Learning Thermostat as an alternative of the brand new hotness.

Once your own home is suitable with a Nest machine you will get began. Turn off the facility on the breaker field, take away your outdated thermostat, and ensure to take pictures of the wiring so you possibly can refer again to it later. This is tremendous essential. My wires weren’t labeled earlier than I arrange the Nest and referring again to a photograph of the outdated setup was extraordinarily useful.

The solely different a part of the method I remotely struggled with was mounting the bottom plate to my wall. The earlier homeowners of the home didn’t suppose it was crucial to put in the outdated thermostat in a neat means, so I had some holes to patch earlier than I continued. No large deal. I truly ordered the trim plate after I discovered the wall was a large number. I’d advocate ordering one simply in case and returning it when you don’t want it.


  Google Nest Thermostat (2020) Google Nest Learning Thermostat (third Gen.) Google Nest Thermostat E
Display 2.4-inch QVGA IPS LCD
240 x 320 decision
Digital brightness enhancement movie and mirrored glass lens
2.0-inch diameter, 24-bit shade LCD
480 x 480 decision
1.77-inch diameter, 24-bit shade LCD
320 x 320 decision
Materials Plastic housing Metal housing Plastic housing
Dimensions and weight 84 x 27.25mm
83 x 30.7mm
81 x 28.9mm
Battery 2 AAA 1.5V alkaline batteries Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Sensors Soli sensor for movement
Capacitive contact
Ambient mild
Ambient mild
Magnetic (for thermostat ring place)
Ambient mild
Magnetic (for thermostat ring place)
Wireless Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 802.11a/n 5GHz
Wireless interconnect
Bluetooth Low Energy
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
802.15.4 (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth Low Energy
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
802.15.4 (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth Low Energy
Nest Temperature Sensor compatibility No Yes, offered individually for $40 Yes, offered individually for $40
HVAC system monitoring and alerts Yes Yes Yes
Companion app Google Home app Nest app Nest app
Compatibility with 24V heating and cooling Works with 85% of techniques Works with 95% of techniques Works with 85% of techniques
Trim plate Not included
$15 from Google Store
Included Included
Colors Snow, Sand, Fog, Charcoal Stainless Steel, Mirror Black, Brass, Polished Steel, White, Black, Copper White
Price $130 $250 $170
Warranty 1 12 months 2 years 1 12 months

Price and competitors

The worth is without doubt one of the primary causes I bought a unit for myself. It’s accessible outright for $129.99 from the Google Store, Best Buy, Home Depot, and different retailers. However, since this thermostat (like all different Nests) is Energy Star licensed, your power firm will possible supply an immediate rebate together with your buy. My power supplier supplied a $75 rebate with new Nest Thermostat purchases, so I solely wanted to pay $55.

Google Nest Thermostat A less expensive, higher trying thermostat

Google’s new Nest Thermostat is inexpensive, enticing, and works with 85% of house HVAC techniques. It’s not the neatest thermostat you should buy, nevertheless it’s most likely the most suitable choice for these new to the sensible house ecosystem.

The new Nest Thermostat is supposed to reside alongside the third-gen Learning Thermostat, which remains to be sitting at $250. Now that the Thermostat E — Google’s beforehand least expensive choice — is out there for skilled installs solely, the brand new mannequin is the best option to get a Google-made sensible thermostat in your house.

But there are different rivals to bear in mind. The new Nest Thermostat barely undercuts the $170 Ecobee 3 Lite, which is rising a bit lengthy within the tooth at this level. Ecobee’s $250 flagship Smart Thermostat is smarter and comes with a distant sensor, nevertheless it’s probably not in the identical worth vary. Although, you do get onboard Amazon Alexa help with that choice.

It’s additionally extra inexpensive, smarter, and a hell of so much higher trying than the $150 Honeywell Home T5 Plus thermostat.

Google Nest Thermostat assessment: The verdict

google nest thermostat review display no power

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

It’s clear by the Nest Thermostat’s characteristic set and new aesthetics that Google needs this to be the sensible thermostat for everybody. It’s low-cost, fairly, and works with most techniques. Like most Google merchandise this 12 months (Pixel 5, Nest Audio, Chromecast with Google TV), the Nest Thermostat is approachable and received’t break the financial institution. It’s good for somebody who needs to get occurring their sensible house or for somebody who simply needs one thing rather less cheesy than different sensible thermostats.

The Nest Thermostat is ideal for these new to the sensible house.

There are downsides. The lack of help for exterior temperature sensors is the large one, and I’m shocked there aren’t extra “learning” options such as you get with older Nest fashions.

And though the $130 price ticket is good, sensible thermostats are supposed to prevent cash. They’re fully definitely worth the funding and can possible pay for themselves over a couple of years’ time. Thus, it’s tough to say whether or not or not it is best to spend your cash right here or on the Learning Thermostat. If you will get a good rebate and have the additional money to spend on the higher-end mannequin, it may be value it.

But if Google’s newest and best is what you need, you’ll be getting a nice-looking, completely succesful — albeit a bit fundamental — sensible thermostat on a budget.

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