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Review: Nest Thermostat is My Favorite Android Accessory

Nest Android Thermostat

On one of my last trips back from New York, possibly from the Galaxy S4 event, I found myself thumbing through in-flight magazines in attempt to kill off some of the 6-hour flight time I would have to endure. As I typically do on flights because I find the items hilarious, I grabbed for Skymall. For the most part, I’m looking to see how insanely expensive fake Harry Potter wands have become or if the giant stone Bigfoot has come down in price, so that I could potentially convince my better half that we need it for our yard. But on this last trip, I turned to a full-page ad that included Nest, the “Learning Thermostat.” As I had heard of the product previously and found it interesting, I snapped a picture of it, so that I would remember to look up additional info whenever I made it home. This turned out to be a brilliant move on my part because the Nest is now my favorite Android accessory, possibly of all time. 

What is Nest?

For those not familiar, Nest is a thermostat that you can install by yourself, in your home, in place of your current thermostat. It claims to save you all sorts of money by performing more efficiently than your current thermostat because it learns your patterns and adjusts temperatures based upon them, automatically. It has apps on both Android and iOS along with a web interface, so for the most part, you can control Nest from anywhere. It sports a beautifully modern design, is incredibly easy to setup and adjust, and can be used in conjunction with multiple Nest thermostats throughout your house.

So why do I love it? For so many reasons.

First of all, it looks amazing. It’s a simple metal cylinder with a multi-color display that rotates and can be pressed to navigate. Even if this didn’t save you any money, you should buy it because it will instantly give your house some eye-candy. But outside of looks, I love the Nest mostly because I can control it from anywhere. While I work at home, I still run in and out of my house quite frequently. Rather than having to remember to adjust my thermostat every time I leave or return, I can take advantage of Nest’s Auto Away feature which senses that I haven’t been around for a while, so it automatically shuts itself down to a preset temperature in order to save energy. As I return and walk by the Nest, it comes back to life. And even if Nest hasn’t turned to Auto Away, I can fire up the app on my phone and manually turn the system to away with a couple of taps.

In all honesty, it’s pretty cool to think that lying in bed on a cold Saturday morning and deciding you want the heat on earlier than normal is no longer met with a groan. You simply reach for your phone, set the temperature, snuggle back in, and enjoy your day off in warmth.

Nest Android

Nest has a pretty robust settings menu as well, so that you can completely customize the way it functions for your house. Nest will take the first few days with you to try and learn your schedule, but I lacked patience and went ahead and manually set one up myself. If you don’t feel like spending the time to do that, then let Nest do what it does best – learn. It’ll also let you lock the thermostat down, tell it to start heating before your preset times, set a bottom line temperature, and manage multiple thermostats.

Beyond the technical stuff, Nest is simply fun to use. As you approach the unit on your wall, Nest senses that you are near and powers on to give you a chance to check the temperature and then adjust as needed. The device itself spins either direction in a circle for adjusting. It also presses in as if it were one giant button. A single press brings up the menu for Nest, at which point you can spin it to highlight features or then press again to select them. It’s as fluid as can be and feels as high-end as you would hope from a product like this.

If your Nest is in the act of saving you money, you’ll see a green leaf on the screen and in your app. If Nest feels as if you had a productive and energy efficient day, it’ll reward you with a green leaf next to the entire day as you look at your Engery tab (see below). Assuming you manage to have energy efficient days on the regular, Nest should be saving you quite a bit of money. In fact, the Nest team claims that their thermostat can save you up to 20% off your heating and cooling bills because it performs that much more efficiently than your typical thermostat. I’m still in my early stages of life with Nest, so I’ll have to report back on savings later.

Nest Android

Installation is about as simple as can be. By no means do I consider myself to be handy around the house, but even I was able to install Nest in a matter of minutes. The support site for Nest has both a compatibility checker (that’s mostly foolproof) and installation videos to help you along the way.

The Nest isn’t necessarily the cheapest home accessory you’ll find, but for the reasons I listed above, it has been completely worth it thus far. And this isn’t your typical “accessory” if you will – this is a product that becomes a part of your home and should almost be considered an investment. Now, I’m just waiting to see what my heating bill looks like, so that I can justify the purchase even further. Yes, I bought this bad boy. This is not a review unit. How long before it pays for itself?

Important links

Nest websiteCompatibility Check and Installation | 2nd-gen Nest ($249) | 1st-gen Nest ($179)

App Screenshots

Gallery

  • RepV

    This is the Apple standard. crapDroid, sorry Android folks should just stick with Walmart $30 dollar thermostats. Nest was made for the Elite iPhone/iPad users only. Fadel, why did you make an app for the CrapDroid, trailer trash folks? They would not appreciate your awesome design. They are more into cheap devices. Just look at what they are using, Android. Yuck! You couldn’t pay me to use the S3 or S4 “Samesung”

  • Joey Miranda

    Love my nest came very handy when I was away this passed week.

  • Taglogical

    Nest wouldn’t work with either of our furnaces – tried several units, version 1 and 2 – great company though; they sent a rep out and everything. Would love for it to have worked – very slick kit for your home ^.^

  • Fitz

    if you really want a great thermostat that is much more advanced than the nest look into ecobee and yes it was around before the nest. They are not into the media, but the thermostat and geek factor are huge

  • nate

    I love my nest!! It is saving us on average $50 + per month.

    • ncsurob

      There is no way it is saving you $50 a month unless you have a 20,000sqft home. You need to compare to an equal month from last year rather than previous month. In my 3500sq ft home, I have found the savings to be 7~10$ a month.

  • LeDerp

    These are little nests for skynet. Its happening

  • whitey

    Google wifi problems with the nest, the list of incompatible routers is very long, in fact after calling tech support they couldn’t tell me what Routers are compatible. Was a day away from buying one till I talked to Nest tech support about my new router

  • duke69111

    I wonder if this thing can control my heat pump & outside temp gauge, heat strips, AC and Humidifier?

  • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

    Kellex, It’s not hard to fill in the hole left by the old thermostat with drywall filler (the stuff you’d get to patch holes) It gives it a much nicer look over having the backplate installed.

  • Eldorath

    We’ve had our Nest for roughly a year now… last year our Programmable thermostat started flaking out, and would ‘forget’ temperatures.. all of a sudden, it’d be 95F in the house in the middle of spring, and would drop to 50ish later in the day.

    Having ran it through the REALLY REALLY cruddy summer we had last year (hot as hell) I can say that I’ve seen a distinct savings, I’d actually bet on the fact that it’s paid for itself already this past year, but that may also be due to the fact our previous thermostat was a first gen ‘programmable’ that we had been too lazy to replace.

    One thing that some people may also not understand, is the fact that the Nest also brings the element that measures temperature away from a wall, so you don’t get the radiant heat/cooling from the wall itself. I suspect that’s helped our energy/money savings as well :)

  • Jason Spangler

    Got an Apple gift card last week…and since there were no Apple products I was interested in…I’m currently on a business trip in Chicago. Was shopping last night, walked into the Apple store to maybe get some headphones, and what did I stumble upon…this NEST. $250 on my Apply gift card! Bought an awesome Android compatible device at the Apple store!

    Oh and had $200 left on the gift card…they had the Philips Hue color changing led light bulbs…bought that as well…and guess what…Android compatible!

  • Justin

    Got my 2nd Gen Nest for Christmas. Absolutely love it! Highly recommended. The Auto-Away mode, Auto Learning, and Wifi control/programming are worth their weight in gold. Can’t wait for this Spring/Summer to run the AC with the Airwave feature. More energy savings!

    • Dan

      Does auto-away detect the dog walking by? If so would be a bad feature for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/malloyd20 Matthew David Lloyd

    In the process of building a house and I have been looking a lot at getting this Thermostat – Good to see a review on here for it.

  • hyperbolee

    THERE IS(was?) A MAJOR FLAW IN NEST, read the Amazon review about it he has detailed information about his calls and working with the engineers etc. Condensed version – if you have a power outage and live in a cold place it has problems reconnecting to wifi and tries over and over again and since the power is out so is your wifi so it will not establish a connection. Because of this it kills the Nest battery and then when the power comes back on the unit will not boot back up since it uses the battery to do this. No Nest, no heat, no heat= frozen pipes = ruined house if on vacation.

    Since i leave on vacation during winter usually, I got scared and didn’t get a Nest. Maybe they fixed this flaw, if so let me know.

    • yankeesusa

      Good point. You should contact nest and see if they resolved this issue. They have been quick to responding to my questions.

  • Bionic

    Works well with X phone.

  • KOBALT

    I forsee my wife and I constantly changing our temperature preference on the fly, without saying anything to eachother.