Nest Thermostat E review

We take the cheapest Nest smart learning thermostat to task

Nest Thermostat E
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Back in 2017, Nest introduced the Thermostat E – a more affordable version of its existing smart thermostat with an all-new design, but with pretty much all the features of its bigger, more polished brother. Just one problem: it was only available in the US.

Fast forward a year or so and the UK version of the product is now available, and even comes with some extra nifty features that make it a better fit for Brits.

We've been living with the new Nest Thermostat for a while now – here's our verdict…

Nest Thermostat E review

Nest Thermostat E: Design

The E is the complete opposite of the metallic, shiny, high-end Nest Thermostat. Its white plastic look helps it blend into background more, especially since it has a polarised glass display, which gives it a frosted finish. If you're in the UK you don't have to hang the E on your wall as it is boxed up with a little stand that you can use to place it on table or a shelf (plugged in using regular Micro USB).

Complete guide: Getting started with Nest

The stand, which helps to make the E more portable as it doesn't need to be stuck on a wall, also means that you can get a more accurate measurement of the heat in a particular room at any given time. We've praised this approach in the past on smart thermostats like the Honeywell Lyric T6.

While not as striking as the display on its bigger, more expensive, brother, the E is still a nice looking device – albeit one that feels a bit plasticky. That frosty display is, however, a clever way of hiding the fact that it comes with a lower resolution panel than the original.

Nest Thermostat E review

Nest Thermostat E: Installation

One of the unique new features of the UK version of the E is the Heat Link E, a fabric disk that replaces your existing thermostat using the same wiring and wirelessly connects to the Thermostat E itself. That means you can stick the Link E wherever your old, dumb, thermostat used to be and not have to worry about leaving an ugly hole on the wall, or having to re-wire.

In our test area for this review (my friend's house) he actually had his boiler and thermostat hidden in the attic, so we didn't really make the best use of this feature, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it's a great idea and a good-looking solution to boot.

Key differences explained: Nest Learning Thermostat v Nest Thermostat E

Installation is also really easy, with Nest walking you through – in the manual and using the app – how to replace your old thermostat with the Link E. It really is very straightforward, with the app asking you questions about your existing wires in order to get things going.

The only issue you may experience in installation – as with all Nest devices – is you may have to move the device around a bit in order to make use of Nest's feature that allows a new bit of connected kit to grab the Wi-Fi details off one that's already been set up.

There's also a temperature sensor on both the Thermostat itself and the Heat Link E, so you can choose a more accurate target temperature for your house. However, the temperature provided by the Link is for reference only – the target temperature the system will strive for is based on what the display part is measuring.

Nest Thermostat E: Features and the app

Apart from the Link E and the table stand, the Thermostat E for Europe is mostly the same device it is Stateside. You can still control it from the Nest app or via Google Assistant – but there's no Alexa support just yet.

The E, like the Learning, will detect when you're home or away and set the temperature accordingly. The E also has the ability to set schedules so that it knows what it needs to do at all times.

Ambient verdict: Honeywell Evohome review

One big omission is Farsight, which basically turns a Nest Thermostat into a magical wall clock. When you walk by an original Nest, it can sense your motion and you'll be greeted by the temperature, weather or time.

It's not a massive feature by any stretch, but it is a handy one if you're in the area and you're wondering about the weather and time and it's a shame it's not on the E – but costs had to be cut somewhere, I guess.

There's also no option to control the hot water on the Thermostat E. Not a feature that will matter at all for a lot of users but a killer omission if you do want to control your water this way.

Nest Thermostat E
Nest Thermostat E

The E uses the standard Nest app – it's in there that you'll be able to manually adjust the target temperature, fiddle around with the settings, schedules and so on. Talking of schedules and another unique feature for the updated E is that it comes loaded with a pre-loaded schedule that's based on the data of millions of Nest users.

You may notice a slight delay in changing the desired temperature from the app to what's displayed on the app. That's because the Link E works in a low-power state, only checking for a wireless ping every 30 seconds, to save its battery.

Nest Thermostat E
The Thermostat E – the cut-price smart thermostat from the Google-owned smart home brand – is a decent looking device that actually beats its more famous sibling it terms of versatility and temperature sensing. It lacks some of the smarts of the original but still does a great job of ticking off the basics of a smart thermostat.
  • Easy install
  • Portable form factor
  • Great price
  • No Alexa support yet
  • No Farsight feature
  • Plasticky design

TAGGED    thermostats    nest

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