Nest has introduced new, cut down version of its smart thermostat that parent company Google hopes will appeal to a wider audience. Part of that entails making the new Nest E cheaper than the regular Nest thermostat, which it is. However, even though Nest E is not quite as feature-rich as the regular Nest, there is not much separating the two thermostats in the way of functionality.
The new Nest E can do almost everything the regular Nest can do, save for a feature called "farsight" that allows the thermostat to detect when you're across the room, and then turn on the display to indicate the time or temperature. Beyond that, Nest E owners are not missing much, other than the heftier price tag the regular Nest carries—$249, versus a more palatable $169 for the Nest E.
"When we started Nest, we wanted to help the world save energy with the Nest Learning Thermostat. Since then, Nest customers have saved more than 14 billion kilowatt-hours of energy— enough to power San Francisco for more than two years. But what if we could make these energy savings available to more homes and more people? So we set out to create a simpler, more affordable thermostat. One with the same energy-saving features people have come to expect from a Nest Thermostat. But with a friendlier, streamlined design that fits into any home," Nest explains.
Hence the Nest E, where the E stands for Everyone. It is also "Easy on the eyes" and "Energy efficient," Nest says. Playful naming scheme aside, the Nest E is a smart thermostat that learns your habits and turns itself down when you're not home. And as an Internet-connected gadget, you can control Nest E using the company's mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS.
Other than making Nest E cheaper and easier to use while retaining almost all of the original Nest's features, the Nest team also wanted to redesign the thermostat so that it would blend in and not call attention to itself. It consists of a frosted display that is far less bold than the regular Nest, and it diffuses light from the screen so you see softly glowing text and graphics. When turned off, the frosted display takes on a glacier-gray color and fades into the background.
Nest E will be available to purchase tomorrow.