Nest is launching a new and cheaper smart thermostat this week


To make the Nest Thermostat E more forgettable, Nest has hidden its display behind a frosted glass that blocks some light from coming through. Other than making Nest E cheaper and easier to use while retaining nearly 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.

Rather than a glossy metal ring with a big, bright screen in the middle of it, this version of the Nest Thermostat looks a lot more like other, duller thermostats.

On the software side, users will find a pre-set schedule, which will turn the thermostat on and off based on the average user's habits.

Nest unveiled its first smart thermostat in 2011, and rolled out two updated variants with added compatibility for heating and cooling systems and a larger screen.

Besides looking less fancier and less prettier than its predecessor, the new Thermostat E pretty much packs in all the capabilities you'd come to expect on a smart thermostat.

The new Thermostat E brings a new look and new features at a lower price point.

More news: At Long Last, Sean Spicer Gets to Meet Pope Francis

The Nest Thermostat E sells for $169, $80 less than the original Nest Learning Thermostat.

The thermostat market now comprises three tiers: cheap, low-end and ugly-looking beige boxes; mid-market thermostats with color screens and sometimes their own apps; and the high-end market dominated by Nest and Ecobee that offer a wide range of features and high-quality design and build quality. Where the original shows the time and weather, the new product simply focuses on the internal temperature, but it still has all the machine learning that the company prides itself on. When turned off, the frosted display takes on a glacier-gray color and fades into the background.

"The frosted display was specifically created to deliver the best of both worlds", says Nest spokesman Matt Flegal.

Lower cost. While the original costs $249, the E will cost $169.

For its price, users will still get presence detection and integration with third-party services via Works with Nest. The Nest Thermostat will be connected to the internet and it can be controlled via the companion app and is also integrated with Google Home. It supports Google Assistant, of course - Google owns Nest - and Amazon Alexa. Former Nest CEO Tony Fadell left the company previous year and Ars Technica detailed other troubles at the time in the company. This can be easily managed directly from the Nest app.