The rumor mill has been buzzing for a while now about a new, more affordable Nest Thermostat - and sure enough: it's now official.
"We believe the Nest Learning Thermostat is awesome for the top of customer food chain, versus the more mass-market customer who wants something more approachable that doesn't stand out on the wall as a piece of design - something that just blends in and does its job".
Rather than a glossy metal ring with a big, bright screen in the middle of it, this version of the Nest Thermostat looks a lot more like other, duller thermostats. It comes with a preset schedule to help you get started out of the box, but it's capable of learning your comings and goings and adjusting the temperature accordingly, just like the Learning Thermostat.
Aside from the Nest Cam, which was a primarily rebranded version of a device that Nest/Alphabet acquired with a company called DropCam, the payoff for Alphabet's investment in Nest has been pretty slim. Because of this, Nest claims that only 85 percent of USA homes will work with the new model.
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The new Thermostat E brings a new look and new features at a lower price point. When it's on, it displays soft text and images that are created to be easy to see and read with a slight glow. Like the Learning Thermostat, the lower-priced device can keep tabs of your habits to learn your schedule through your activities, whether you're home, and if you adjust the temperature manually. The frosted display uses a special technology that lets light out but doesn't let it in, so when it's off, it just appears gray.
Nest is launching a new thermostat nearly six years after introducing the first one. The company has since been acquired by Google for $3.2 billion, and two iterative updates have been released in addition to a connected smoke detector and three different home security cameras. The effect makes the screen look grey when the display is off.
The Thermostat E is also a little less flexible than its metallic counterpart. And in addition to app control on your phone, laptop, or smartwatch, the thermostat supports voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
That note about the Thermostat E blending into any environment is an interesting one, and it speaks to the market Nest is addressing with this new product. Nest's power-saving aspirations are valuable and important, and the company's uniquely able to do things like automatically manage the power surges and dips caused by a solar eclipse.
The new model begins shipping tomorrow and sells for $169, while the traditional Nest Thermostat will remain on sale for $249 as a separate product line.
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