When it first burst onto the scene back in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat was heralded as a groundbreaking glimpse into the future of home automation for the masses. Here was this revolutionary device that looked unlike conventional thermostats, promised to be more energy efficient, and was incredibly simple to use.

Much has changed over the near decade since its launch as it pertains to connected and smart homes. What was once on the bleeding edge of technology has become commonplace. Plenty of consumers have smart and automated devices and services in their homes; we’ve adapted to them rather quickly.

Now in its third generation, the Nest Learning Thermostat has seen its fair share of tweaks and adjustments. Features have been added along the way, internal tech has gotten smarter, and it has streamlined its overall design. In just a few short years it has gone from being a revolutionary breakthrough to an evolutionary product in an increasingly competitive space.

How does the Nest Learning Thermostat stand up in 2020? What is it like to install and use one? Read on for our review of the 3rd Generation device.

What is the Nest Learning Thermostat?

The Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd-Gen) is an electronic, programmable, and self-learning WiFi-connected thermostat. Once in place, it begins to learn how users make adjustments to temperatures in the home.

The device uses a combination of sensors and machine learning to figure out schedules and temperatures. It can even shift into an energy-saving mode to turn off when nobody is home.

What is it like to install the Nest Learning Thermostat?

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the Nest was to install. Included in the box are all of the requisite screws and mounts, some of them even being optional.

While I am not a handyman, I can still find my way around a toolbox. With that said, it took me about 15 minutes to remove the old thermostat and install the Nest.

Your mileage may vary, depending on how many wires you have or how elaborate of a heating and cooling system is in place. For me it was a case of inserting four wires (red, green, yellow, and white) into place.

Once mounted and snapped into place, the Nest walks you through the initial software and user experience part of the setup. Using a combination of spinning the dial and pressing it you’ll set up language, location, and other basics. From there it’s on to the app.

What is the app experience like for the Nest Learning Thermostat?

As expected, the Nest app was straightforward and intuitive. Further, there were far more options and settings available in the app. Considering the simplicity of the device itself, I found the app revealed just how smart the Nest Learning Thermostat can be.

While you can pretty much install it and leave default settings in place, it pays to look around and tinker. And that’s not just a turn of phrase, either. You’ll save yourself money over the life of the thermostat; it’s worth a few minutes in the app to add nickels and dimes to your bottom line.

What else?

I’ve only had the Nest Learning Thermostat in place for about a week or so, but I feel confident that it’s already working for me. Moreover, it’s a hell of a lot easier to manage than a traditional thermostat. Plus it looks really cool on the wall.

I appreciate that I can turn the dial up a notch or two, or switch from heating to cooling with a flick of the wrist. I also like that I can set things so that the Nest will turn off or kick in when the temperature reaches a certain number.

You know those nights where the temp drops lower than you expected? I sleep better knowing that the Nest will kick on and heat the house even if the unit was otherwise turned off.

Likewise, it’s nice knowing that those daily temperatures settings and schedules aren’t set in stone. What works on Mondays and Tuesdays may not be the same as the rest of the work week. Nest will figure this out before I ever would and make adjustments.

Would you recommend the Nest Learning Thermostat?

Without a doubt. If you are in the process of building out a smart home, you owe it to yourself to at least consider the Nest Learning Thermostat. The sooner you add it to your house, the sooner you’ll be saving money long term.

I’m a big fan of the Nest app and love the full range of options. I’m also really fond of the way it integrates with the Google Home app and Google Assistant experience. It doesn’t take long before you understand which voice commands prompt results or adjustments.

Given that it’s available in a variety of finishes, and that it comes with a variety of mounting options, I have zero doubts that you’ll find something that matches your environment or tastes.

Where can you buy the Nest Learning Thermostat?

The Nest Learning Thermostat is available at a wide range of retailers, both brick-and-mortar (Target, Best Buy) and online (Amazon). Learn more about it at Google’s store where it’s available for $249.

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