The Nest Thermostat E is a cheaper way to warm your smarthome

People love products that save them money, and the Nest line of thermostats certainly does that. The trouble is that devices that come with a £219 cost (plus £50+ installation fee) don’t feel like an option for penny-pinchers, no matter how good their long-term credentials.

In short, the original line of Nest Thermostats were money-saving gadgets for people who didn’t really need to save money. The Google-owned company is hoping to rectify that with the Nest Thermostat E – a cheaper, less showy model with almost exactly the same specifications.

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The Nest Thermostat E works in the same way – by learning to match the temperature to people’s schedules and preferences, the smart heating system can ensure that the home is toasty when people need it to be, and cool when they don’t, theoretically cutting heating bills considerably. The main difference between the $169 (~£130) Nest Thermostat E and the third generation Nest ($250 in the US, £220 over here) before it is the look. Gone is the glitzy metal frame, replaced by a white plastic which Nest says is supposed to feel ceramic, but blend in with the white emulsion of most people’s walls. To that end, the screen is also white – or rather, it’s covered by a diffuser to give the impression of a white screen.

It looks a lot less stylish, is the main point – but then it is a thermostat, not a candelabra. Nest is making the calculation that most people don’t care how their thermostat looks, and I think it’s probably a smart one. To that end, it also drops some of its nice extras: it won’t be moonlighting as a clock in its downtime, for starters, and while it still works with 85% of US households, a pruning of the wiring means that’s a 10% decline from the third generation Nest.

Everything else is still in place though: it’ll still learn schedules, can be set remotely and allows for you to chat to it through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant if that’s your bag. Alternatively, Nest has a simpler option for it, allowing you to just set it to a basic schedule, where it cribs its homework from the previous generation of devices and picks a schedule that most people seem to like.

The Nest Thermostat E will be available to order from early September. We’ll update with UK pricing and availability when we get it.

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