What do you get when the former Apple (AAPL) SVP responsible for the iPod and the former lead engineer for the iPod and Apple’s smash hit iPhone join together for a new startup? The answer is Nest Labs, the innovative company with hardware and software so thoughtfully designed, it looks like something Apple dreamed up.
An endless parade of Nest reviews had nothing but good things to say about the company’s original Nest Learning Thermostat, released in 2011. No other company had managed to bring the combination of stylish design, smarts and connectivity to the lowly thermostat. The hype quickly made Nest a tech industry darling, and made the Nest Learnings Thermostat a popular offering on Apple Store shelves before being released in wider channels including Home Depot (HD) and Best Buy (BBY).
The company followed up with improved Nest Learning Thermostat in 2012 and a combo smoke detector and CO monitor in 2013. Now, Nest thermostat reviews are becoming must-reads once again on news that Google (GOOG) just paid $3.2 billion for the company.
Here’s a look at 2.0 version of the Nest Learning Thermostat, the potential gateway to the connected home — now owned by Google.
Nest Learning Thermostat: Thinking Differently About Heating and Cooling
When you read any of the hundreds of Nest reviews, the first thing that immediately makes the Nest Learning Thermostat stand out is its design. We’ve grown accustomed to thermostats as beige boxes with a temperature readout and not much else. The Nest Learning Thermostat bears almost no physical resemblance to these devices.
Nest’s version is a stainless steel ring with an LED display in the center– the 2.0 version of the Nest Learning Thermostat is 20% thinner than the first.
And while the appearance is what first draws attention, as pointed out in Nest reviews, it’s the “learning” part of the Nest Learning Thermostat that hooks users and scores the most points. The device connects to your Wi-Fi network and is equipped with sensors and the smarts to figure out your patterns of heating and cooling use — which it then automates.
Any Nest thermostat review also points out that the device learns specifics about your home, such as how long it takes to reach a certain temperature. Motion detection not only brings the backlit display to life, but Nest uses it to adjust the temperature based on whether it decides someone is home or not.
You can also manually adjust the Nest like any other thermostat, or adjust it remotely using a smartphone app. But there’s no programming required, upping the appeal for those who are less than tech savvy.
Nest Learning Thermostat: Nest Reviews Almost Always Glowing
It seems as though everyone loves the Nest Learning Thermostat. Apple Store Nest reviews run at 4 Stars (out of 5) and it also scores 4/5 Stars among the 1,811 Amazon (AMZN) customers who have rated it. Nest claims it will cut up to 20% off the average homeowner’s heating and cooling bill, which certainly doesn’t hurt.
Among the points that buyers applaud in their Nest thermostat reviews are the ease of installation, (typically 30 minutes or less), ease of use and the high-tech appearance.
Among published Nest reviews, the energy history reports and software score big marks and the Nest Energy Partners program is considered a big plus. Not only will a number of U.S. energy companies reward Nest customers who allow their smart thermostat to be automatically tweaked to conserve power during peak use periods, but some are offering rebates on the $249 Nest Learning Thermostat price or even a free Nest for participation.
Nest Learning Thermostat: Specs
- 1.26 inches thick
- 3.2 inches diameter
- 1.75 inch diameter LCD display at 320 x 320 pixels resolution
- Solid stainless steel housing ring
- Nest app 4.0 available for iOS, Android and Amazon devices
- 150 degree, wide-angle view motion sensors
- Humidity Sensor
- Three temperature sensors
- Weather aware (via Wi-Fi connection)
- Filter reminders based on hours of furnace or AC use
- Automatic software updates via Wi-Fi
- HTTPS, SSL and 128-bit encryption data security
- Compatible with 95% of U.S. low-voltage heating and cooling systems
* Original Nest reviews will show the Nest Learning Thermostat is slightly thicker than new version; the more recent model is also compatible with more heating and cooling systems than the original.
Nest Learning Thermostat: Conclusion
Google was obviously impressed with the Nest Learning Thermostat, but should you be?
If you want an easy way to jump on board the connected home bandwagon, the Nest Learning Thermostat offers that entry without having to spend a lot of money, learn a programming interface or otherwise get your hands dirty. It’s a simple, elegant solution. Nest reviews prove that letting the thermostat do its thing does actually result in savings and, depending on where you live, you might just be able to pick one up for free.
Being able to see at a glance what your heating or cooling system is doing (the Nest display is blue when cooling and orange when heating) or see when you’re saving energy (a green leaf is displayed) is a great way to remind you that the beige box that used to be on the wall probably accounted for half your yearly energy bills. If the visual cues don’t cut it, the energy reports Nest generates help put your energy use — and savings — in perspective.
And as AppleInsider and others point out in their Nest thermostat reviews, if nothing else, it’s nice to be able to grab your smartphone or tablet and change the temperature in the house without having to get out of bed. For some people, that feature alone will be worth the $249.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.