The Nest Thermostat E is a more affordable smart thermostat from Nest. It's easy to use and has a simple design, but hasn't got the price tag of the premium Nest Learning Thermostat (opens in new tab).
To read about all of the other models we've reviewed or to see how the prices compare, head to our full round up of the best smart thermostats (opens in new tab).
Nest Thermostat E: Features
The Nest Thermostat E's design and display are aesthetically pleasing. On the outside, the biggest change compared to the Nest Learning Thermostat is the Nest Thermostat E's frosted white display. This display doesn't have the crisp graphics of the Learning Thermostat in favor of something more akin to a watercolor painting. The subtle graphics are easy to read but take some getting used to.
Another change to the visual design is that you can only buy this unit in white, while the Learning Thermostat has four colors to choose from. Lastly, the Thermostat E only lights up when someone moves near it, unlike the Learning Thermostat's Farsight feature, which can display the temperature, weather, or a clock when idle. You can turn the wheel around the outside of the unit to adjust the temperature and other settings.
The software in the Nest Thermostat E has all of the same functionality as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Aside from not having the Farsight function, everything else is the same: scheduling, geofencing, Auto-Away, Airwave, Monthly Nest Home Reports, and Nest Leaf. It learns your habits over time and encourages you to save energy. We found no significant difference in the mobile app. The Nest Thermostat E has all of the same sensors as well: humidity, motion, light, and temperature.
If you want to add this thermostat to your smart home, it works with all of Nest's devices as well as third-party smart home platforms such as Amazon Alexa (opens in new tab), Google home (opens in new tab), IFTTT, and others. Nest works with more smart home platforms than any other thermostat maker.
Nest only offers a one-year warranty on the Nest Thermostat E, which is the shortest among the smart thermostats we tested. Its closest rival, the ecobee3 lite (opens in new tab), has a three-year warranty.
Nest Thermostat E: Installation
As with the Nest Learning Thermostat, this unit only took 17 minutes to install and setup. You only need to scan a QR code on the back of the unit with the Nest app and follow the helpful tutorials. The Nest Thermostat E doesn't come with any tools, so you need to provide your own screwdrivers, and the unit doesn't require a C wire in your HVAC system.
A few things changed on the inside of the Nest Thermostat E as well because it supports fewer types of HVAC equipment than the original, or any other thermostat we tested. It's the only thermostat we've tested that supports a single stage for both heating and cooling, and you can also add a second stage of either, but not both. This is a big difference from other smart thermostats we tested, which support a minimum of two stages for both heating and cooling.
The simplified wiring hookups are easy to use and make the Nest Thermostat E an excellent choice for simple HVAC systems that are common in most homes. This thermostat won't work with whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers like the Learning Thermostat.
Should you buy the Nest Thermostat E?
The Nest Thermostat E provides all the great features of its more expensive sister model, the Nest Learning Thermostat, but without the high price. This thermostat does only have a one-year warranty, however, so if you need the security of a longer warranty, consider a different model.