Reviews Smart Home

Ecobee3 vs. Nest 3 vs. Ecobee4 vs. Nest E

Ecobee3 vs. Nest 3 vs. Ecobee4 vs. Nest E

Probably the most vital benefit of a sensible thermostat is that it sees when individuals are house. You don’t have to blast the warmth or AC when you’re away at work; that’s a waste of power and cash.

Why not simply flip down the temperature in your approach out the door? It’s not straightforward to recollect.

Sensible thermostats take away this friction.

Not solely are you able to pre-program sensible thermostats, however with the sensors and geofencing, they acknowledge whenever you’re house and routinely optimize the temperature. That is an easy solution to preserve power and reduce down in your heating and electrical invoice.

Over the course of a yr or so, you need to get again the cash you spent on the thermostat within the type of power financial savings.

Sensible thermostats aren’t notably helpful for me on a day-to-day foundation as a result of I do business from home.

However, earlier than I went on trip to San Francisco and Milwaukee, I made a decision to check them out as a result of I didn’t need the AC blasting whereas my roommates have been at work.

I attempted six totally different thermostats, every for no less than every week, to seek out the most effective sensible thermostat. (I wrote about Honeywell and Sensi, however it’s worthwhile to spend extra for higher smarts and design from Ecobee or Nest.)

We’ll think about six classes: smarts, software program, setup, design, compatibility, and examine 4 thermostats: Ecobee3 Lite vs. Nest 3 vs. Ecobee4 vs. Nest E!


Nest E (Grade: C)


  • Setup is superb & does not want c-wire.
  • Learns your patterns so you do not contact it.
  • No want for scheduling or customizing.


  • Does not play good with Apple merchandise.
  • Poor frosted show with no Farsight.


Greatest Worth ♦

Ecobee3 Lite (Grade: B+)


  • Works higher with iPhones than Nest.
  • You get extra customizability than Nest.
  • Flawless setup when you’ve got the c-wire.


  • Exhausting to arrange with no c-wire.
  • Room sensors are bought individually.



Nest Gen 3 (Grade: A-)


  • Setup is superb & does not want c-wire.
  • Learns your patterns so you do not contact it.
  • No want for scheduling or customizing.
  • Lovely design (glass and polished metallic).


  • Does not play good with Apple merchandise.


Cam’s Fave ♥

Ecobee4 (Grade: A)


  • Works higher with iPhones than Nest.
  • You get extra customizability than Nest.
  • Flawless setup when you’ve got the c-wire.
  • Higher for bigger homes.


  • Exhausting to arrange with no c-wire.


#2 – (Grade: A-)



Smarts (A):

  • Ideally, Nest will work out your family’s patterns after a pair weeks, and also you gained’t have to the touch it once more. Nest makes use of AI and machine studying to detect patterns and routinely optimizes through the use of a mixture of the monitoring sensor on the thermostat and geofencing for when your telephone’s not on location. Three examples of Nest’s smarts in motion:
    • It prompts “Eco Mode” when it thinks you’re away.
    • When you flip the warmth up a few occasions at eight AM, Nest will see that and begin to do it by itself routinely.
    • Should you come residence on the similar time daily, Nest will get the temperature set to your liking earlier than you arrive again house.
  • Nest Residence/Away Help is useful when you personal different Nest merchandise. Nest makes use of the sensors on Nest Cameras, Nest Alarms, and Nest Smoke Detectors to report again to the thermostat to determine should you’re residence.
  • The “learning” future is vibrant, however it’s not good in case you have a non-static schedule with a lot of relations or your thermostat is in an space with out a lot visitors.
  • You’ll have to depend on your telephone’s location (geofencing) extra closely should you don’t produce other Nest merchandise or your thermostat isn’t in a central location. This implies the Nest app must be on each family member’s telephone for geofencing to work correctly.
  • Airwave function retains your AC’s fan operating mechanically for 5-10 minutes after the AC compressor stops operating. This protects you cash as a result of the coils nonetheless generate cool air after the compressor is turned off. Why not use the free cool air that’s already been generated (You possibly can manually set these options with Ecobee, however Nest does it routinely.)
  • It lets you realize when to vary your HVAC system filters.

Setup (A+):

  • You need to use it with out the c-wire as a result of Nest has a built-in battery. You don’t have to fret about altering wires on the furnace aspect, making set up a easy DIY job for most individuals.
  • The setup is a breeze. Nest offers on-screen step-by-step directions. It’ll inform you which wires you’ve plugged in and if all the alerts are firing appropriately. It provides you a guidelines of issues to do, like testing the cooling system. If issues don’t work appropriately, it offers troubleshooting steps.

Design (A):

  • This factor is a bit of artwork. It’s the smallest by quantity however weighs double that of the others I examined. It appears superb on the wall. Even the screwdriver included is extremely well-made. You gained’t throw out the screwdriver whenever you’re finished hanging it.
  • It is available in 4 colours.
  • The decision can also be a lot sharper and higher wanting than Ecobee’s. It’s by far the most effective display available on the market.
  • You’ll be able to customise the display to your liking and the show wakes when it senses your presence with Farsight. With earlier iterations of the Nest, the display solely confirmed the specified temperature and never the present room temperature.
  • You spin the dial to navigate by means of the menus, then push the thermostat in to click on. There’s no touchscreen.

Compatibility (A+):

  • Nest works with 95% of HVAC methods (verify right here).
  • Nest helps the 5GHz wi-fi band. That is nice if your router can deal with it.


Software program (F):

  • Nest doesn’t help Apple’s HomeKit and gained’t ever as a result of Google owns Nest, and Google and Apple aren’t associates. What does this imply?
    • You’ll be able to’t management Nest with Siri.
    • You possibly can’t management Nest contained in the House app.
    • You’ll be able to’t arrange house automations together with your different sensible units within the House app.
    • For geofencing to work, everybody in your family wants the Nest app put in.
  • You shouldn’t want the Nest app for scheduling, however I discovered it extraordinarily troublesome. You’ll want to make use of the online app if you wish to change the schedule manually.
  • The interface on the thermostat and app are utterly totally different. Whereas Nest seems to be lovely, it’s not intuitive to make use of on the thermostat. Additionally, it’s not straightforward to navigate menus utilizing the dial. I’d a lot relatively use a touchscreen.
  • You don’t have management of the temperature swing.

Finances Choices (C):

  1. Nest E ($170) is a extra reasonably priced model of Nest 3 ($230).
    • You get a lot of the studying options as Nest 3.
    • It’s made solely out of plastic and feels low cost (the Nest 3 show is glass with a elegant metallic ring).
    • The frosted show is dim with a low decision. The display’s pixel density is 189 PPI in comparison with 229 PPI on Nest 3. I can’t learn it from throughout the room like I can with Nest 3.
    • There’s no Farsight Show the place it senses your presence from distant, then activates the clock show, outdoors temperature, or time.
    • Nest was thought-about the Apple of the thermostat world due to their sensible design. Nest E isn’t one thing Apple can be pleased with. Nest bought their soul.
    • It’s much less suitable than Nest 3 as a result of it solely has six wire inputs (verify right here).
    • Nest E isn’t out there on
  2. If you need Nest 3 for lower than $230, verify Amazon’s “used & new from” part on Nest’s product web page. I repeatedly see new ones for beneath $200 from third-party sellers.

#1 – (Grade: A)



Smarts (A):

  • Ecobee can’t work out your patterns like Nest, however Ecobee has a special answer. Through the preliminary setup, you set your most popular temperature and time of day once you’re sometimes house, away, and sleeping. Then, Ecobee dietary supplements that info through the use of its sensors and geofencing (your telephone’s location), identical to Nest, to optimize the temperature.
  • Ecobee is extra environment friendly than Nest at understanding for those who’re residence or away as a result of it has a movement sensor on the bottom and makes use of further room sensors to detect movement and temperature. One room sensor is included with Ecobee4 (none with Ecobee3 Lite), and you may add as much as 32 sensors to any Ecobee system. 5 examples of Ecobee’s room sensors in motion:
    • Sensible House/Away prompts “Away Mode” when all of the sensors haven’t detected movement for 2 hours.
    • The “Follow Me” function sees which room is getting used, and makes that the room the place the temperature is managed. If a number of rooms are used, it’ll use the typical temperature of every lively sensor.
    • My bed room will get hotter at night time with my door shut than my Ecobee’s location. I put a room sensor in my bed room and made that sensor in control of the temperature at night time.
    • When you’ve got an enormous home or rooms with various temperatures, you’ll be able to put sensors in a number of rooms to get extra management.
    • You won’t want to fret about geofencing should you purchase sufficient room sensors and unfold them round the home as a result of the sensors can override your geofence in the event that they see exercise in a room.
  • Within the Ecobee app, you possibly can customise the radius measurement of your geofence in order that Ecobee activates or off whenever you hit a sure distance away from your house. Everybody in your family wants the Ecobee app put in and logged in for geofencing to work correctly until you’re a part of an Apple family (see under).
  • In case you inform it what time you need it to be a sure temperature, it makes use of the info from earlier makes use of and the surface climate to find out when it ought to run to get to the specified temperature.
  • Alexa is built-into Ecobee. Alexa is a pleasant bonus, nevertheless it doesn’t make sense as a result of your thermostat isn’t all the time in a central location the place you possibly can speak to it. It’s principally a gimmick in an business the place it’s onerous to innovate.

Software program (A+):

  • Ecobee works with HomeKit.
    • You’ll have management of your thermostat with Siri, the Residence app, and by swiping up from the underside of your iPhone.
    • You’ll be able to create automations along side your different sensible units within the Residence app. For example, I’ve an automation referred to as “When The First Person Arrives Home” that units my kitchen lights to 30% and Ecobee to my “Home” temperature when my roommates or I get near house.
    • If in case you have a gateway (iPad, HomePod, Apple TV) and everybody in your family has an iPhone, geofencing is simpler as a result of the Ecobee app doesn’t have to be on anybody’s telephone for the thermostat to know the home is empty.
  • The Ecobee app is properly designed, and the setup on the thermostat is equivalent to the app. I really like the synergy between the 2. The scheduling is simpler to make use of and extra exact than Nest.
  • For those who log into the on-line portal, there’s a bunch of knowledge with HomeIQ. You possibly can see your patterns, financial savings, and the way your utilization compares to different customers.
  • Ecobee enables you to do as much as +/- three levels in temperature swing. Within the winter, I set my Ecobee to 66 levels with a 3 level swing, so my furnace doesn’t activate till the temperature hits 63 levels, then heats my home to about 67 earlier than turning off. This lets your furnace run in longer increments however not as regularly. In the event you don’t thoughts a steeper temperature fluctuation, this could prevent extra money.
  • You’ll be able to arrange system alerts for issues like excessive temperature warnings, upkeep reminders or filter change notices.
  • Trip Mode enables you to set the precise date and time of your departure and return, together with the temperature you need the home to be when you’re away.

Design (B-):

  • Ecobee has 3.5 inch touchscreen show that features precisely just like the telephone app. It’s simpler to navigate than it’s with Nest’s dial.
  • Ecobee seems to be implausible on the wall however feels low cost. It’s made from plastic and is nothing just like the sturdy feeling you get from the Nest.

Compatibility (B):

  • Ecobee is suitable with the identical variety of HVAC methods as Nest (verify right here).
  • There’s no battery in Ecobee, which means you’ll want the c-wire for fixed energy. In the event you don’t have the c-wire, you’ll have to make use of the included power-extender package.
  • It really works with all main sensible residence platforms.

Finances Choices (B+):

  1. Ecobee3 Lite ($170) is a extra reasonably priced model of Ecobee4 ($240).
    • Ecobee3 Lite doesn’t include a further room sensor, however you should purchase room sensors at a later time. (Room Sensor 2 Packs are $68 on Amazon.)
    • It appears nicer than Ecobee4 as a result of it doesn’t stand proud of the wall as far.
    • Ecobee3 Lite doesn’t have Alexa built-in, nevertheless it’s effective as a result of Alexa doesn’t decide up voice properly and isn’t built-in nicely with Ecobee4.
  2. Ecobee3 (not Lite) is identical as Ecobee3 Lite with a room sensor included.


Setup (D):

  • Ecobee’s setup course of is flawless in case you have a c-wire.
  • In case your system doesn’t have a c-wire, you’ll have to put in the included “power-extender kit.” It’s a sensible workaround, however extra superior since you’ll should open your HVAC system. I did it alone, and it’s not as onerous because it sounds. Ecobee has a strong tutorial, however right here’s a fantastic third-party tutorial too.

Which one is for you?

You’ll be able to’t go mistaken with any of the Ecobee or Nest fashions. They’re going to save lots of you a bunch of cash, and every one has its place, however there are key variations.

Get Nest If:

  • You don’t have the c-wire and are intimidated by Ecobee’s power-extender package.
  • You need to arrange it up and by no means fear about it once more.
  • You personal different Nest merchandise.
  • You’re an Android consumer.
  • You’re keen on superbly designed merchandise.

Get Ecobee If:

  • You’re a nerd who needs extra customizability.
  • You’re immersed in Apple’s ecosystem with iPhone (particularly for those who personal HomePod or Apple TV).
  • You’ve gotten the c-wire.
  • You don’t have the c-wire and aren’t intimidated by the power-extender package.
  • You will have a big or previous home with temperature variations from room-to-room.
  • Your thermostat isn’t in a central location.
  • You will have a extensively various schedule.

I’m the most important Apple nerd you’ll discover and wish HomeKit, so I’m sticking with Ecobee4.

Nevertheless, Nest is the best way to go if you need a simple setup and don’t need to tinker with wires or settings. You’ll have a smaller probability of getting your superb setup with Nest, however you’ll nonetheless get monetary savings and gained’t have to fret about something.

I like to recommend each of the highest line decisions (Ecobee4 and Nest 3), however in the event you’re on a price range, purchase Ecobee3 Lite, then add further room sensors later.

I don’t advocate Nest E, because of the lack of Farsight show, poor design, and different compatibility points.

If I obtained one thing mistaken in regard to setup or anything, hit me up on Twitter. Let’s speak!

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Monica Sharma

Monica Sharma

The most knowledgeable and experienced content maestro at VerifiedTasks. She is the backbone of our team, providing latest news through her magical words and engaging a huge audience. Her extraordinary writing skills have been an integral part of our success. She graduated as a media student and then went onto exploring the internet where she encountered the world of cryptocurrencies and made it her core subject.
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