While Nest’s $249 (£185/AU$330 converted) third-generation Learning Thermostat ($159 at Back Market) doesn’t deviate wildly from previous iterations, this model includes a larger screen and a slimmer profile, in addition to a handful of new features. Specifically, it includes a new sensor that’s better at picking right up your occurrence from a distance to show enough time, indoor temperature or current weather forecast. It supports voice integrations with Google Assistant and Alexa, too.

It also works together with Nest’s temperature sensor, released in 2018, roughly 3 years following this thermostat first hit stores. The temperature sensor is available bundled with the thermostat for $19 ($268 total), and sold separately for $39 each. Stick one in your kid’s bedroom, the basement — or any other spots that may run particularly hot or cold — in order to utilize them as the default temperature readings for your house (instead of your thermostat’s built-in temperature sensor).

Just like the original 2011 Nest Learning Thermostat, that one depends on built-in sensors to track your whereabouts along with algorithmic smarts to make a custom, auto-adjusting temperature schedule predicated on whether you’re in the home or away. You can still make manual tweaks to your settings on the thermostat itself — or on the Nest software anywhere you have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

But those once-revolutionary features are actually par for the smart-home course, with brands like Ecobee and Honeywell offering smart thermostats of their own made to compete alongside Nest in the DIY market.

The Nest Learning Thermostat continues to be worth strong consideration, however the Ecobee4 works together with Google Assistant, Alexa and Apple HomeKit — and it includes a temperature sensor — all for $249.

Design
You understand how your smartphone doesn’t look dated until you catch a glimpse of the next-gen model? That’s accurately how I felt after seeing Nest’s latest Learning Thermostat. No, it is not an enormous departure from past iterations. You’ll still get that same rounded design and familiar display style. But, here are a few key changes.

Read more: Google is replacing Works together with Nest with Works together with Google Assistant and it might make your smart home worse.

You can now decide on among four different dial finishes, all for the same price — stainless, black, white or copper. Nest’s third-generation thermostat also offers a 40 percent larger screen and a better resolution for better all-around visibility. (Specifically, the display has 229 pixels per inch; that’s twenty five percent a lot more than its predecessor, that ought to lead to a sharper on-screen image.) And, Nest slimmed down the thermostat’s profile so that it won’t stand out from the wall as much.

While I noticed the updated display size and resolution instantly, the “thinner” depth was significantly less obvious. A side-by-side spec comparison implies that the second-gen Nest measured 3.2 inches in diameter (8.1cm) and 1.26 inches comprehensive (3.2cm). The brand new thermostat is an impression bigger at 3.3 inches in diameter (8.4cm), but slimmer with a depth of just one 1.21 inches (3.1cm).

That tiny 0.05-inch difference comprehensive really doesn’t make a lot of a notable difference visually, but Nest is evidently attempting to streamline its thermostat with each next-gen product launch.

Features
The third-gen Nest Learning Thermostat offers a small number of fresh features. Where previous Nest thermostats relied on near-field sensors alone (that have a roughly 3-foot range) to get on motion activity, this version tacks on a far-field sensor for a fresh function it calls Farsight. Farsight accumulates your occurrence from farther away than earlier models, then it enables you to see your thermostat’s target temperature or the existing amount of time in either “analog” or digital modes from up to 20 feet away. This means that you can spot enough time and temperature far away, and never have to be together with the Nest. And, because of the brand new and improved resolution and larger display, you’ll actually have the ability to read them.

The Learning Thermostat, along with the Nest Thermostat E, now use Nest temperature sensors. Unlike Ecobee temperature sensors, that have proximity detectors to greatly help determine if you are home or away, Nest’s version only tracks ambient temperature. In addition they don’t currently support voice commands, such as for example, “Hey, Google, what temperature could it be in your kitchen?”

You can set up to six Nest sensors at home and each is powered by an individual CR123 battery that’s likely to last for just two years. Installation requires a short while — just grab the battery tab, enter the code on the sensor, await it to hook up and assign it to a specific room like “Kitchen,” or “MASTER SUITE.”

From then on, you can assign among the sensors to do something as the default temperature reading from the app. You can even create custom schedules for the morning, midday, evening and night from the “Manage sensors” section in the software settings menu.

For example, in the event that you regularly cook at night, stick a temperature sensor in your kitchen. Since that room/area likely gets warmer throughout that time, you can set the “Kitchen” sensor to be the default temperature reading between 4 and 9 p.m. every evening. That way, your cooling and heating will adapt around the temperature in your kitchen, instead of the low temperature where your thermostat is situated.

Nest’s Learning Thermostat offers Family Accounts and Home/Away Assist, two new features that assist in improving performance. Family Accounts lets users in the same household setup their own Nest accounts (rather than the shared family accounts that the business offered previously). Once Family Accounts are manufactured, Home/Away Assist jumps into action by tracking each person’s phone location. It is not precisely exactly like geofencing, as there is no geofenced range, nonetheless it does make it even easier for Nest to monitor your whereabouts.

This model also adds a function it calls Furnace Heads-Up, for all those with a forced-air furnace system. Essentially, this feature monitors the changing times your forced-air furnace automatically turns off to avoid overheating. And, if it senses that there surely is a potential issue, it’ll alert you in the Nest app, on the thermostat screen and in your monthly energy use email.

Customize your temperature sensors in the Nest app.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET
Performance
While there are a few clear design and show dissimilarities between this Nest and previous iterations, version 3.0’s installation, Wi-Fi and iphone app configuration, performance and overall usability remain roughly the same.

Of course, installation will change widely according to your cooling and heating system, however the third-gen Nest Learning Thermostat is by far easy and simple model I’ve ever installed. It includes the same tiny, but functional screwdriver and built-in level in addition to a basic rectangular baseplate for covering up any unsightly holes or patchy paintwork from previous installs and a steel plate for mounting your thermostat to a power box.

It took me about ten minutes to set up my model from commence to finish; here is a quick overview of the procedure:

Turn off the energy running to your cooling and heating system.
Remove your existing thermostat.
Attach the brand new base plate (optional) and thermostat base. Screw them down with the included hardware (Luckily, I already had holes that prearranged with the brand new thermostat, which saved me time.).
Connect the wires with their respective ports. In my own case, that included Y, G, W, Rh and C wires (Please be aware: Many older systems count on a four-wire configuration — typically simply a Y, G, W, and Rh or Rc — because older thermostats didn’t have to power fancy LED displays. Confusingly, some four-wire configurations will in actuality use this thermostat. Consult with a professional in case you have any questions or concerns. Nest has experienced some friction since its four-wire setup uses process HVAC professionals make reference to as “power stealing.” This technique may damage your HVAC system if not done correctly. I had a second-gen Nest create using just these four wires for a long time without the problems whatsoever.)
Pop on the facial skin plate.
Turn the energy back on. (Didn’t work? Here’s Nest’s more in-depth installation tutorial.)
Now you’re prepared to configure your Nest. Your unit stength on and walk you through the procedure, which include: setting your language; connecting to your neighborhood Wi-Fi network; updating any out-of-date software; setting where you are; answering some basic questions about your HVAC system; inputing your recommended temperature ranges for cooling and heating; and performing an instant (optional) system test.

This sounds like a whole lot, nevertheless, you can breeze through almost all of it pretty quickly; if you aren’t sure what type of HVAC system you have, you can select “I have no idea” and go back to it down the road. And, unless you curently have a Nest account, now you can download the application on your own Android or iOS device of preference and dive into custom preferences, such as for example Farsight, vacation modes and integrating with other Nest products and third-party smart devices.