The Nest Thermostat offers more control with less effort in a device that is not only programmable but capable of learning. Both generations of the Nest are able to learn your routine, utilizing both initial programming and sensors to keep you comfortable and save you money on your energy bill.
If you are someone who finds yourself constantly fiddling with the thermostat, trying to save energy by reducing temperature changes when you are away, or if you are someone who likes to sleep at a very different temperature than you like to spend your day, a smart thermostat that can learn your routine and adjust itself accordingly may save you a lot of hassle and irritation throughout your day, as well as keeping you comfortable and saving you money on your energy bill.
Both of these smart thermostats are compatible with most other smart devices and platforms that you may use in your home, and both pair with an intuitive and easy-to-use app that will allow you to learn about your energy usage over time as well as see and control temperature.
Consider the many slight differences as well as several significant changes between these two generations of Nest thermostat, to decide which smart thermostat is right for you and this Nest Thermostat review.
The Nest 3rd generation improves on the Nest 2nd generation in almost every way, but none of these changes are very significant. Most people who are happy with their Nest 2 are unlikely to consider the cost of the new Nest 3 to be worth the investment for the change in features. For some Nest enthusiasts, however, the general improvements in most features of the Nest 3 will make the additional expenditure worthwhile.
If you are shopping for a new smart thermostat, you are more likely to choose the Nest 3rd Gen over the second generation for the many slight improvements on almost every aspect of this thermostat, as well as some improvements and design and technology that make the price increase worthwhile.
Nest still sells both its 2nd and 3rd generation thermostats and supports both with service and updates to the app and thermostat. There is generally about a $50 price difference between them. Before you assume that the 3rd generation Nest is worth the price difference, carefully consider the differences between them and decide whether it is worth paying more for the latest generation.
Nest 3rd Generation Thermostat Review
Since its introduction, Nest has focused on easy installation as one of its key features. The Nest 3rd generation comes with everything you need to install it; including screwdrivers and all other mounting tools. It even has a mounting base with an embedded level so that you will mount your thermostat straight on the wall.
To program the Nest, you simply answer a series of questions about your home and heating. The Nest will perform differently if you have a single-family home or a business, and depending on whether you utilize propane, electric, Etc.
Then, all you have to do is connect to a wireless network and you are ready to go. The Nest can work with most 24 volt heating and cooling systems, and can even work without a C wire by charging its battery using the heating and cooling wires.
The screen on the 3rd generation Nest is larger and the resolution is higher. The field sensor can recognize motion further and trigger a variety of variables as a result. The Nest 3rd Gen is even better at learning your heating and cooling preferences than its predecessor.
After only about a week of teaching your thermostat, you can elect to utilize auto scheduling which will tell the thermostat to use the cooling and heating commands you’ve given it, along with sensors and algorithms it utilizes on its own, to work towards a schedule that will save you energy and keep you comfortable. You can keep refining this system until it is perfect and you never notice the temperature control.
The Nest 3rd Generation innovates on the typical geo tracking system used by the Nest 2nd Gen and other smart thermostats. Geo tracking works by tracking your phone, so mistakes can be made if wireless signal is unreliable. The Nest 3 utilizes a system of sensors to determine your location outside of Geo tracking. If you have other Nest products, this thermostat will utilize them as well to help determine your location and predict your schedule.
The latest Nest works with most other home platforms, but does not work with Samsung SmartThings or Apple’s Homekit. Be careful to check that your home platform is supported by the Nest by checking their list of supported devices. The ability of the Nest to integrate so tightly with other systems enables you to do things like search with Alexa through your thermostat or have your lighting dim when the thermostat goes into away mode.
The Nest 3 has made some improvements on security, so you can feel slightly less paranoid about using a smart home system equipped with cameras and other sensors. A two-factor authentication means that it is unlikely that a hacker will be able to access your system, even if they try.
One thing that the Nest has not improved on is the ability to connect remote sensors to monitor and control temperature in individual rooms. While most people in most homes may not miss this feature, if you have an old and particularly drafty home or if you have many levels and rooms that are separated from one another by courtyards or other unusual features that make for temperature discrepancies, you may regret not choosing a home system that has multiple sensors.
The Nest 3rd Generation does have sensors for not only temperature but humidity, activity near and far, and ambient light, so while it does not have multiple sensors for multiple rooms, it can tell a lot about the room in which it is located.
For a price of just under $250, this thermostat isn’t cheap, but when you consider the things that it can do for you to save money and keep you comfortable, and especially the convenience of pairing it to other Smart Home systems, this may seem like a worthwhile investment for you.
The compact design of the Nest 3rd generation will look good on your wall, and it comes in white, black, copper, or stainless steel, so it will look perfect with your decor no matter the style of your home.
- Improvements in most areas over the Nest 2
- More sensitive sensors
- Improved geo-tracking with sensor technology for better location discernment
- Larger and clear screen
- More expensive than the Nest 2
- Still does not include multiple sensors
- Does not pair with every home system or device
Nest 2nd Generation Thermostat Review
The Nest 2nd generation offers lots of the same great features of the third generation, and while it may not be quite as good at everything it is still very efficient at doing its job and will cost you less than the 3rd generation.
Nest still supports its second generation thermostat with all of its apps and service. The most noticeable and important change between the second and third generation is the larger and clear display on a 3rd generation, which enables you to easily read the thermostat even from across the room.
The Nest 2nd Generation will light up when you walk by so that you can conveniently see the temperature and also utilize this thermostat as a subtle night light. If the thermostat is working to cool, the thermostat’s backlight will be blue, but if it is warming it is orange.
If the thermostat is not active, this will be indicated by white text on a black background. This intuitive control enables you to quickly know what the thermostat is doing at a glance.
The Nest 2nd Generation is no less able to learn your routine than its next generation counterpart. It only takes about a week of careful programming for this thermostat to learn your preferences and routine. If you want to make a change, you can certainly do so, and if the same change is made repeatedly the thermostat will learn to predict that change and adjust its schedule accordingly.
This thermostat allows you to monitor your energy history on the app and will show you on the thermostat with a green leaf icon when it is saving energy. The Generation 2 features an auto away feature like the Generation 3 that switches to a more energy-efficient temperature when it senses that you have not walked past the thermostat for more than 2 hours.
If you typically leave during that time frame, the thermostat will learn this and anticipate. This thermostat is more likely than its next-generation counterpart to fail to recognize your motion and go into away mode when you have simply been inactive.
- Less expensive than the Nest 3 with many of the same features
- Generally does not perform as well as the latest generation
- Screen is noticeably smaller and has lower resolution
- Away mode is more likely to misfire than in latest generation