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Is the New Nest Thermostat Worth the Upgrade?

It’s pretty. It always has been. The team at Nest has really done a great job with changing the way a thermostat should look and behave. What was once a boring and forgettable part of the house has now become a handsome conversation starter, a very stylish piece of technology that anyone is proud to show off.

Earlier this week, Nest announced the release of the 3rd generation of its popular thermostat, and as expected, it satisfies our need to look at something pretty. It also comes with some interesting new technical features worth examining. This new thermostat is priced $249 and the 2nd generation has been price reduced to $199.

As someone who invested in multiple 2nd generation Nest thermostats throughout his house, and as much as I like new technology, I wondered if it would be worth the price to buy a new set of thermostats to replace the ones I installed two years ago. Is the 3rd generation Nest thermostat worth the upgrade?

It’s pretty. Yep, I said that already. It’s thinner than before, and the display is even brighter and sharper. True, the 2nd generation thermostat looks killer on my wall as well, but newer is always better, right?

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The 3rd Generation Nest Thermostat [source]

Nest has introduced a new feature called Farsight. The thermostat will light up and display what it’s doing when you walk into the room, instead of only when you walk directly (3 feet or so) infront of it. Combined with a new 40% larger graphic display and better resolution (229 PPI to be exact), you can now see what is happening from anywhere in the room. It also lets you set the display to either an analog or digital clock. You can rest assured that the house is set to 70 degrees at 12:35pm without getting up from the couch.

The new thermostat also has more sensors than before, so the temperature will be more accurate. It can better sense how drafty the room is and learn to adjust accordingly. Now if only we could load up our significant others with these sensors, maybe it would be easier to tell what they are thinking.

Finally, Nest has added a feature called Furnace Heads-Up that monitors the activity of your furnace and notifies you if something strange is happening.

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Furnace Heads-Up Notification [source]

This could help catch early mechanical or electrical issues within the furnace, which would help save money and headache later on. This sort of feature makes smart home enthusiasts like me happy, since it is exactly the sort of feature that gives you more insight into your home by coordinating with other components to help you make better decisions. And although it only applies to just one very specific part of the house, it is a good sign of things to come.

Bottom Line: While the new features are very promising, I am not compelled enough to rip out my previous 2nd generation installation and invest in the new one.

If you already own the 2nd generation Nest thermostat, it may be better to sit this one out. If you are new to Nest, and do not previously own a smart thermostat, definitely go with the new 3rd generation product. Nest has positioned itself to be a leader in the smart thermostat space, and the new features show that it intends to continue to grow into that role.

And did I mention that it’s pretty? Who doesn’t like pretty things?

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This post was written by Nader who heads Business Development at Previously, Nader was managing partner at GenYrator and before that he was Vice President / Supervising Execution Trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Nader has an MBA from USC and a BS in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin. He likes to play volleyball, travel, and rock out to pop music. is an artificial intelligence agent for your home. If you’re interested in getting early access to the beta, enter your email at

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