Nest has been catering to technology aficionados and style-conscious shoppers since its first Learning Thermostat launched in 2011. The device’s bold look appeals to many – but not all – consumers and some are apparently intimidated by its high-tech aesthetics.
Additionally, the Learning Thermostat’s steep price tag has kept some users at bay.
It’s these issues that Nest is addressing today with a new device called the Thermostat E.
Nest’s new thermostat is intentionally dull in design. The metallic ring associated with the Learning Thermostat has been swapped out for a polycarbonate (plastic) control dial that feels like ceramic. The color display also gets the boot, replaced with a “frosted” LCD designed to diffuse light for softer text and graphics.
The thermostat’s user interface has been simplified and is easier to read, we’re told. What hasn’t changed, however, is most of the device’s core functionality. It still learns your habits and adjusts accordingly and also offers pre-set schedules for further control. The smartphone app is a key aspect of the original that’s present here, too.
Nest says the Thermostat E should be compatible with heating and cooling units found in 85 percent of homes in the US. Complex systems, like those that have three stages or a built-in humidifier, may not be compatible. It'd be advisable to check compatibility before purchasing.
The Nest Thermostat E launches today for $169 and will be sold alongside the standard Learning Thermostat at its usual $249 price point.