PEOPLE WHO OWN Nest thermostats tend to like them. They like the energy savings, they like the pretty thing on their wall. The round wall-mounted gadget has been a gateway to the smart home for millions and remains, by all accounts, the best smart thermostat you can buy. But if you ask Nest, not enough people own them. And Nest would like to help.
For the last couple of years, a team within Nest has been working on another thermostat. Not an upgrade to the current model, which they think works just fine. Instead, they hope to make something for people who didn’t want to spend $250 on a thermostat, didn’t buy the whole “it’s like art on your wall” thing, and didn’t want a thermostat that also told the time and shared the weather. They wanted a thermostat that did thermostat things, invisibly and well.
Those people will enjoy the $169 Nest Thermostat E, the latest member of the Nest line. It’s white, like your walls. The small, round screen—this time made from polycarbonate rather than aluminum—sits behind a polarized filter to avoid the bright light catching your eye. Maxime Veron, Nest’s director of product marketing, says everything about the Thermostat E’s design centered around users not noticing the device. That’s also why Nest isn’t calling this one a “Learning Thermostat” like the previous model, even though the two are functionally identical. Most people don’t care how their thermostat’s algorithms work; they just want the temperature to be right