Nest unveils affordable connected thermostat

The new smart home device was leaked just last week, and will hit the market with a more industrial-style design, that makes use of a frosted display and a white, plastic exterior surrounding the display as opposed to the stainless steel used on all the previous versions of the Nest Learning Thermostat models.

The rumor mill has been buzzing for a while now about a new, more affordable Nest Thermostat - and sure enough: it's now official. Nest claims that the 10-connector Learning Thermostat covers 95 percent of most USA households, while the Thermostat E will be compatible with 85%. However, even though Nest E is not quite as feature-rich as the regular Nest, there is not much separating the two thermostats in the way of functionality. "It's everything our customers have come to know and love from Nest thermostats with a renewed focus on user simplicity and control". The main difference between the $169 (~£130) Nest Thermostat E and the third generation Nest ($250 in the U.S., £220 over here) before it is the look. Dubbed the Thermostat E, the new piece is similar to its predecessor, but it comes with a lower price tag. On Thursday, however, Nest is unveiling a brand new smart thermostat that doesn't aim to be the best.

The simplified interface is really nice, although the display itself looks a bit fuzzy. But there's still an option to have it learn your schedule if you prefer. Meanwhile the smart-home ecosystem continues to boom, and devices like the Google Home (owned by Nest's parent Alphabet) and Amazon Alexa have become the de facto hubs for people's connected lives.

The only feature that the Thermostat E won't have that Nest's higher-end thermostat has is a feature called "farsight", which lets the thermostat tell when you're across the room and then turn on its display to show you the time or temperature.

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Amazon's website also reflects the discounts on the devices, along with a discount for the Amazon Tap. For now, WalMart , Kroger and a handful of other supermarket companies still dominate the market.

Imagine what Nest could do with a cheaper thermostat like the new, $169 Thermostat E.

When I asked Veron why Nest's "cheaper" thermostat still costs $169, he said that's just what it costs to build a Nest-quality product.

The company is planning to save up to 100 billion KWh which would be sufficient for providing electricity to every house in the NY state for two years. 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.

  • Douglas Reid