Smart thermostats are valuable gadgets that have been making big inroads in the smart home-device market. With the growing demand for these innovative products, there are many manufacturers who try to make quality smart thermostats — but only a few who manage to do so successfully.
Two of those successful companies are Nest and Ecobee. Nest is owned by Google and has been the best smart thermostat manufacturer for a long time.
But things did change a bit since a newcomer called Ecobee introduced their latest gadget, Ecobee3. It instantly gained popularity and, today, keenly competes with Nest’s thermostat.
That’s exactly what our article is about. Nest vs Ecobee3: which of them takes the #1 spot? What makes the difference? What’s so unique about them and what, if anything, do they lack?
We’ll discuss every aspect of these smart thermostats, and evaluate and compare them. After we’ve done so, we’ll come up with a verdict and choose either Nest Thermostat or Ecobee3 as the best smart thermostat on the market.
Nest vs Ecobee3: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Table of Contets
- 1 Nest vs Ecobee3: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 2 1. Installation Process
- 2.1 2. Design and Interface
- 2.2 3. Integrations
- 2.3 4. Sensing and Operating Patterns
- 2.4 5. Energy Saving
- 2.5 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 2.6 7. Comparison Chart: Nest vs Ecobee3
- 3 The Bottom Line
Before we start actually comparing Nest and Ecobee3, I’d like to say a few words about what we’ll discuss in this comparison article.
There are lots of innovative things that a smart thermostat can do. Some of these features are really important and it’s essential to know if Nest Thermostat and Ecobee3 have them. So let’s start the comparisons.
1. Installation Process
What we need to talk about first and foremost is the installation process of these smart thermostats. A prospective purchaser might have the impression that it’ll be hard to install a smart device such as Nest Learning Thermostat or Ecobee3.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Well, such worries can be cast aside because Nest Learning Thermostat has the easiest installation process you could wish for.
I found a great video uploaded by Nest that perfectly shows how Nest Learning Thermostat should be installed. It’s a really easy process, and, if instructions are followed, you’ll have a fully functional Nest Learning Thermostat in 5 minutes.
The package of Nest Learning Thermostat includes everything you need for the installation.
If you encounter any problems while installing Nest (although it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need help), you can reach out to the support team at Nest’s website and you’ll get a quick response with professional tips.
Unlike Nest, Ecobee3 is quite hard to install (well, for some people). And perhaps it would be more accurate to describe it as ‘complicated’ rather than ‘hard’.
Installing and setting up your Ecobee3 might take some time, and the process can be a bit fiddly because you have to complete a few steps.
Luckily, Ecobee has uploaded a nice video that perfectly explains how to install and set up your Ecobee3.
If you want to know more about the installation steps, try watching other videos uploaded by Ecobee.
Like Nest, Ecobee has a 24/7 support, and you can get all the help you need. I actually own an Ecobee3 Thermostat myself, and, when I got my hands on it, the Ecobee3 instruction guide was pretty hard to follow.
I had no idea what to do with it. When I reached out and talked to the support team, I got some really nice tips and the person I talked to happily answered all of my newbie questions.
Popular Read: Nest vs Honeywell Lyric: Pros & Cons and Verdict
So it’s certainly not an insuperable issue. You’ll just need some extra 30 minutes to finish installing and setting up Ecobee3. Plus, you can look through the Ecobee3 user manual.
Anyway, Nest still wins here. It’s a lot easier to install and buyers always talk about how uncomplicated the installation process was.
As for Ecobee3, some people got lost while installing it and had to ask for help or hire a professional to do the job instead.
Points: Nest Learning Thermostat – 1, Ecobee3 – 0.
2. Design and Interface
Having a good design is a major factor. These smart thermostats aren’t cheap and we need to make sure that, along with good features, our thermostats will look gorgeous.
Who wants to buy an ugly product that’ll be staring at you and your visitors every day? People will want to purchase a beautifully made thermostat that’ll give their homes a new, fresh look.
Fortunately, Nest Learning Thermostat and Ecobee3 look extremely beautiful. I’ve rarely seen products that are this attractive.
Let’s talk a little more about this and rate the designs of both thermostats. Plus, we’ll take a look at the interfaces.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest has a really simple, quality-made and attractive design. As soon as you get your hands on it, you’ll fall in love with this smart thermostat.
Nest Thermostat was made to fit any type of home. Seriously, Nest fits everywhere.
In their reviews, owners of this product comment on how extraordinary this device looks and how well it fits the house – as well as the fact that it draws so much positive attention from visitors, too. I do agree with those reviewers because Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the best-looking products on the market.
The interface of Nest Learning Thermostat is flawless. It’s clean, user-friendly and most importantly, it learns your habits (we’ll save this topic for later in the article when we’ll talk about it more widely).
Using Nest Thermostat is really easy and it only takes several turns to change the temperature. You can also control/adjust the temperature using your smartphone’s mobile application.
In short, Nest is beautiful and sleek; the main goal of this thermostat ‘s design is simplicity. To date, Nest Learning Thermostat is surely the most user-friendly and easy-to-use thermostat.
While Nest Thermostat aims for simplicity, Ecobee3 targets usability. Ecobee3 has a touchscreen and you can use it like a smartphone.
Ecobee3 is an advanced smart thermostat that has more features. Ecobee3 has a really good interface, the sensors work well and the mobile application is flexible.
I’m confident that Ecobee3 has the most advanced touchscreen and the best mobile application with the least bugs and glitches.
Ecobee3 is also a beautifully made smart thermostat. It has slightly unusual dimensions (unlike Nest, Ecobee3 is more of a square), but attractively so.
Ecobee3 is almost 4-inches in height and 4-inches in width, which makes it quite eye-catching, but its size comes at a price in terms of flexibility. You’ll need to have more space available to mount your Ecobee3 (it won’t fit into really small niches in the way that Nest can). So before buying, be sure to measure the space you have in mind for your thermostat.
Clearly, the winner is Ecobee3 because it has a slightly better design and a more flexible interface with diverse features.
Points: Nest Learning Thermostat – 1, Ecobee3 – 1.
It’s a big plus if smart thermostats can be integrated with other smart gadgets. So it’s important to know if Ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat can be integrated with third-party products.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest Thermostat is a really friendly product that can be integrated with lots of other smart gadgets. Some notable products are Amazon Alexa, Ring Pro, Skybell HD, Google Now, August Home, Philips Hue, Rheem, IFTTT, etc.
In order to find out what products work with Nest, check out this pdf file called Works With Nest. The biggest drawback of Nest Learning Thermostat is that it doesn’t support HomeKit. If you think about it, it is quite logical.
Suggested Read: Nest 2nd vs 3rd Generation
You already know, Nest is owned by Google. Google is a fierce competitor of Apple. So Nest doesn’t support Apple HomeKit.
If you’re an iOS user and you’d like to use HomeKit with smart home gadgets, Nest Learning Thermostat won’t be a good fit for you.
On top of this, Nest doesn’t support SmartThings, officially. That’s another drawback of Nest Learning Thermostat.
Ecobee3 is a third-party-integration friendlier product than Nest. It literally works with everything. Starting from Amazon Alexa to HomeKit and SmartThings.
Ecobee3 also supports Wink, IFTTT, Haiku, Harmony, Control4. In order to make this short, I’ll tell you that Ecobee3 has an open API (Nest doesn’t), and it can seamlessly integrate with your other smart home devices.
So, to sum this up, Ecobee3 is an integration-friendlier product than Nest Thermostat, and, due to its open API, Ecobee3 can be integrated with almost every home automation device.
Points: Nest Learning Thermostat – 1, Ecobee3 – 2.
4. Sensing and Operating Patterns
Fundamentally, Ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat do the same things but both of them have been built differently.
They focus on different things and have different features. But there are two things both Ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat try to continually improve.
- Energy Savings
- Learning & Sensors
If you find a smart thermostat that claims to be a top-notch product, it’s important to check if they have a strong learning system and if they actually save energy.
Let’s find out what Nest Learning Thermostat and Ecobee3 can offer us.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat is a thermostat that pays close attention to what temperature you tend to set and when you tend to do it.
For example, if you occasionally go to sleep at 1 am, Nest will remember that and it’ll automatically turn off the heating. If you’re not home from 3 to 8 pm, Nest will remember that and it won’t turn on the heating.
Here’s the coolest part. Nest always checks your phone’s location and if it detects that you’re about to get home, it’ll automatically turn on the heating to make your home cosier. Pretty cool, right?
Nest Learning Thermostat uses a sensor to detect whether you’re home or not. If you’re not, Nest will turn off or lower the temperature to save you some energy.
Unfortunately, Nest’s sensors need some improvement and it requires you to walk by the thermostat every now and then. Otherwise, it’ll think that you’re not home. Luckily, Nest is working on this and it won’t be long until they fix it.
So Nest Learning Thermostat starts with learning your schedule. It’ll learn which part(s) of the day you’re home and which part(s) you aren’t. However, if Nest detects any unplanned activity, it’ll immediately override your schedule and act accordingly.
In short, Nest Learning Thermostat works really well and has excellent sensing abilities. It’s a no-brainer that Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the smartest products out there.
Ecobee3 has a better solution for saving your energy. Ecobee3 uses remote sensors that are placed around your house and they serve two purposes.
- Determine the temperature of your house
- Determine if someone is home
Unlike Nest Learning Thermostat, Ecobee3 has a 99% probability of knowing if you’re home or not.
I’ve read numerous reviews and talked with lots of people who have Ecobee3 and all of them have repeatedly mentioned that their thermostat never makes mistakes in this respect.
Besides this, Ecobee3 has a feature that forecasts the weather, which means Ecobee3 can adjust to the optimal temperature and avoid wasting extra energy.
Moreover, if your HVAC supports it, you can use your Ecobee3 to heat or cool certain rooms. As for the scenario when nobody is home, Ecobee3 will automatically go into a power-saving mode.
But don’t think of Ecobee3 as a perfect smart thermostat. As with Nest, Ecobee3’s sensors have some problems too. It has a range of 45 feet and sometimes they disconnect from the system. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often, and, when it does, Ecobee3 will send a notification to your phone.
One more thing I’d like to note about Ecobee3 is that it uses smart schedules. In other words, Ecobee3 won’t start learning your schedule. Ecobee3 uses so-called “general rules”. For example, most people are asleep between midnight and 8 am; but if your life doesn’t follow the standard routine, you can create your own unique schedule.
Frankly, Ecobee3 is superior in terms of sensing capabilities and operating patterns. It’s more advanced and can definitely outsmart any other thermostat on the market in these respects.
Points: Nest Learning Thermostat – 1, Ecobee3 – 3.
5. Energy Saving
We mentioned the energy-saving issue above. Let’s talk about it more and find out which of these two thermostats is more efficient.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest is a fast-learning thermostat that’ll quickly understand your schedule.
That’s not all.
Nest Learning Thermostat can ‘read’ situations quite well. For example, if the sun is affecting the indoor temperature, Nest will notice and it’ll automatically adjust its working process.
At the end of the month, Nest will offer you a report that’ll show how effectively your thermostat has worked and whether it actually saved you some energy.
Nest will help you configure your thermostat to save maximum energy. Nest Learning Thermostat has a built-in guide that’ll take you through the process and it’ll make sure that you’re not making a mistake that could lead to less than optimum use; this way it ensures that energy that can be saved will be saved – leading to money savings as well.
Ecobee3 is also a really good learner. Ecobee3 quickly understands the cooling and the heating time of your home. In order to make this easier to understand, let’s put it this way:
Some homes get less sunlight, some freeze faster and some seem to be warmer. There are lots of factors affecting the temperature of your home.
Ecobee3 does a great job figuring this out. If it’s freezing outside and your home takes longer to heat up, Ecobee3 will use more heating power or it’ll start warming up your home a bit earlier.
Since I personally own Ecobee3, I can speak from experience that this smart thermostat truly saves money on bills. Ecobee3 seems to be the smartest thermostat on the market (I’ve previously owned Nest 2nd Generation).
While both these smart thermostats are great ‘learners’ and will save you energy, Ecobee edges into the lead.
Points: Nest Learning Thermostat – 2, Ecobee3 – 4.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
We’ve already compared some of the most important aspects of these two thermostats. Now, it’s time to talk about their strong and weak parts to fully understand what they have and what they lack.
This way, we can know for sure which of them, Nest or Ecobee3, is superior and who takes #1 spot on the market.
Nest Learning Thermostat
|Powerful Energy Saving System||Small Problems With Sensors|
|Beautiful Design||Doesn’t Support HomeKit|
|Powerful Integrations||Sometimes Malfunctions|
|Good Sensing Abilities|
|iOS & Android Support|
|Supports Google Now|
|Smart Schedules||Complicated Installation Process|
|iOS & Android Support|
That’s pretty much everything we can say about the advantages and disadvantages of Ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat.
Both of them have their strong sides and unique specifications but there aren’t any features I could call crucial or something that could make either of them a must-choose.
7. Comparison Chart: Nest vs Ecobee3
We’ve already compared some of the most important aspects of Nest and Ecoobe3, we talked about the installation processes and created some charts about their features and pros & cons. Before concluding our comparison article, we’ve created another chart that includes everything you need to know about these two thermostats.
This chart directly compares Nest and Ecobee3 and it’ll make it easier for you to see which of them is superior. Lastly, it’ll help you make your final decision.
That’s all I can write about these thermostats. What I know for sure is that both of them are the highest quality products and both companies try their best to offer customers the best gadgets possible!
Nest and Ecobee are continually working on improving and perfecting their smart thermostats. They regularly issue updates and offer professional help for confused customers.
But we still need to choose a winner. If you want professional advice, I’d go for Ecobee3. It’s a fresh product, has better capabilities, it’s highly praised and has thousands of satisfied customers.
Also, according to our point-scoring system, we’ll see that Ecobee3 is leading the race.
So Nest is good but doesn’t score as highly as Ecobee3. But don’t think that buying Nest Learning Thermostat is a mistake. It’s a wonderful product that has the highest ratings on Amazon and is a best-selling smart thermostat.
I’m quite sure that the Nest Learning Thermostat 3G wouldn’t disappoint you. It’s a great thermostat with great features. In fact, it was a solid market leader until Ecobee3 showed up.
The Bottom Line
I myself own the Ecobee3 and I must say that I’m really happy that I decided to buy it. It works perfectly and I haven’t had any issues with it.
It just took me about 30-40 minutes to set it up and, since then, Ecobee3 has become a valued companion. It saves energy, cools or heats the house for me and flawlessly integrates with my other smart home products.
So, to sum up, if I had to choose between Nest or Ecobee3, I’d go for Ecobee3 without a second thought.
With all the awesome features Ecobee3 offers, it can easily meet the requirements and high expectations people have of it. Ecobee3 is a leading smart thermostat with thousands of owners and satisfied customers. It’s a best-selling product with the most unique and diverse features on the market.
|Smart Thermostat Name||Nest Learning Thermostat||Ecobee3 Thermostat|