Just the fundamentals, but it works: 2020 Nest Thermostat Review

The Nest Thermostat range has been around for years and can do it all, whether you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption, set a schedule, or simply make it more simple to change the temperature in your home. The Nest Thermostat (2020) has now been released on the market with a new look, improved software, and the lowest price to date. You should be aware of the following.

NEW FORMULA | The new Nest Thermostat has a completely fresh look. It still has the same circular design, but the display now has a new mirror finish. It has a nice appearance, however some homes might find it inappropriate. Thankfully, there are more color options than the Nest Thermostat E, which was previously available only in white. To best complement my home, I chose the dark Charcoal hue, but you can also choose from Snow, Sand, or Fog.

The new Nest Thermostat’s physical hardware functions, but I wouldn’t say it’s very stunning. The device’s matte plastic construction feels good overall but is also noticeably lacking in quality. Given that you won’t often touch the physical gadget anyhow, it’s okay that sacrifices have to be made to reach $130.

What counts most are the aesthetics, and I believe Google got it right. The Nest Thermostat (2020)’s small size is comparable to that of the Nest Thermostat E, although it has slightly sharper edges. To repair the hole and damage your old thermostat left behind, you’ll probably need the trim plate. The $15 add-on that it is, however, means that it is not a part of the box. However, it does provide you the option to mix and match colors if you so choose.

The mirror finish on the display is undoubtedly the most significant aspect of the new design. The display is just a tinted mirror that seems sleek from a distance when nothing is being displayed on it. The whole software user interface is displayed on a 2.4-inch LCD behind the mirror when the screen does switch on. When viewed from a distance, it appears to be quite good, but as you get closer or if you stare at the gadget for a long period in a dark environment, the edges of the display become visible, dispelling the illusion. However, in general, I don’t have many issues. The display is sufficiently sharp for the task at hand. Unfortunately, because my thermostat is located in a hallway without any windows, I am unable to comment on how the brightness holds up to sunlight.

I also really enjoy the hardware’s two modifications. For starters, this device turns on the display when you approach the thermostat using a Soli sensor. Prior models attempted to do this using an ambient light sensor, but it didn’t really work all that well. However, the latest version detects persons almost instantly.

Another fairly little detail that I quite enjoyed was how much simpler it is to take off and replace the new Nest Thermostat face than it was with earlier models. It can be taken off with some force and is securely fastened with a click. Although you won’t frequently use this, it’s a great improvement that the 2020 Nest Thermostat now contains batteries inside (color-matching!).

CONTROLS, SOFTWARE, AND SETUP | The software, including how to set it up and utilize it, will see some rather significant changes in the Nest Thermostat’s 2020 iteration.

Starting with the fact that the Google Home app is now in charge of setup, the new model doesn’t even show up in the Nest app. Later, we’ll explore how it impacts the software, but for now, let’s focus on the setup process itself. Everything is still clearly defined and simple to understand. I also appreciate how Google really emphasizes the need to follow the right procedures, such as requiring you to take a photo of the wiring on your old thermostat before removing it.

Here is the summary, along with a few screenshots of the procedure. Google will explain the physical components you must complete first, where the wiring must go, and how to do the task as safely as possible. If you have any prior experience, you should have no trouble with this.

Let’s briefly discuss how to physically install the new Nest Thermostat as well. In this case, compared to earlier iterations of the product, not much has changed. In my situation, I was switching from a Nest Thermostat E, which was essentially this gadget’s predecessor. Shifting over therefore required little more than snapping a photo of the initial configuration, moving a few wires, and drilling a few new holes.

Notably, the mounting ring for the new version is a little smaller, so you can’t use all of the same holes if you’re switching from one model to another. The wires feel a little bit more crowded, but the wire connection points feel more user-friendly, so it’s a compromise. Naturally, if you’re installing from scratch, pay close attention to the instructions and, if you feel frightened, engage a professional. The last thing you need is a broken HVAC system that you can’t fix without calling a company in an emergency.

Notably, if your system already has a C wire set up, installation is substantially simpler. Although the majority of consumers don’t require this wire, quite a few early purchasers without it have had trouble getting the most recent model to function properly. Your outcomes could differ.

After the installation, there is the program that runs on the device. The user interface has recently received a facelift from Google that really complements the brand’s current design. The typography and numerous UI components are warm and comfortable, seeming at home rather than being out of place. Additionally, everything is simple to understand, which is sometimes not true of conventional thermostats.

The spinning design of previous Nest Thermostats has been replaced with a small touchpad on the right side of the appliance. Sincerely, I find it difficult to contest Google’s claim that it took these actions to save expenses. Older models had a pretty lovely revolving bezel, but this touchpad does the job. The pad feels a little bit too small, and that is the only issue I have. I frequently find myself swiping through a menu and running out of touchpad space before I reach the finish, which was never an issue on the E.

You may swipe on that touchpad to navigate menus and change the temperature, but you must hit the side to confirm any changes or to enter a menu. It takes some getting used to. If you’ve never used a Nest Thermostat before, this 2020 model ought to feel comfortable to everyone who has.

Google does a good job of keeping things organized while using the thermostat itself. The real temperature of the house is displayed below the current temperature setting on the main screen in large type. The major information is displayed to the right of the clock, day of the week, and weather information to the left with a tap on the side. The indoor temperature and humidity are also displayed on the info panel. You can alter the mode, keep the current settings, or turn on the fan as you scroll down. The whole settings menu includes choices to reboot and reset, as well as information on emergency heat, wiring/power information, battery status, wifi details, and software version and updates. The majority of the data you require can be found in the app, but some specifics are only available in this settings menu.

Doing everything through the Google Home app feels a little different in terms of the app experience. The Home app has every feature from the Nest app, but they are scattered around the app in different places. Even while I enjoy having all of my smart home equipment in one location, I did appreciate how straightforward having my full Nest ecosystem in its own app was, or at the very least, the capability to have the thermostat in both locations.

But in all honesty, there isn’t anything wrong with the software. With the help of the recognizable dial in the UI’s center, the Nest Thermostat can be instantly modified in the Home app. Options for changing modes, applying presets, making a temperature hold for a predetermined amount of time, and turning on the fan are all conveniently located underneath.

Unfortunately, I was unable to use the presence sensing feature. Although it’s a new feature for the Google Home app, this functionality is essentially the same as what was offered by the Nest app. When you are home and when you are not, the app can determine when to change the temperature. The Soli sensor on the thermostat can also be used to determine whether someone is home, but it won’t work if the thermostat isn’t in a frequently used section of the house and it won’t detect visitors.

There are primarily two reasons why I was unable to test this out. Initially, COVID. My wife and I rarely leave the house at the same time these days. Second, my present Nest system is based on a Nest Secure, which Google has decided to discontinue and which is not compatible with these new Home app features. Seriously, Google, don’t abandon that system just yet.

In order to complete the picture, the new Nest Thermostat can also display an Energy Dashboard in the app, which includes a history of the times your HVAC system has been on and off. Similar to all other Nest Thermostats, the new model allows you to schedule notifications regarding the status of your HVAC system and potential problems as well as reminders for changing your air filter. Support for the Nest Temperature Sensor has been lost with this new generation, so if that’s important to you, you might want to purchase a Nest Thermostat E before they run out.

CALENDARING | Let’s discuss the key element of the 2020 Nest Thermostat Scheduling now. Technically speaking, all previous versions have offered this capability, thus it is not a new one. However, it’s crucial with the new model because it doesn’t take any account of your schedule and gives it more weight than the E does.

Google Home will invite you to create a schedule while you go through the Nest Thermostat setup process. You will typically eat four different meals each day. One for when you get up in the morning (comfort), one for when no one is home during the day (eco), one for when everyone is home in the evening and wants to be comfortable (comfort), and one for when you go to sleep (Sleep). Depending on your needs, you might need to adjust the app’s preset hours or even the quantity of daily meals, and doing so is rather simple.



The Nest Thermostat’s scheduling takes effect year-round, so if you want different temperatures during the different seasons, you’ll need to manually adjust the schedule. The plan can accomplish your desired set high and low temperatures if you want them all year long because each mode works with heating and cooling.

There is no longer an Eco option that can override the schedule, which is a noteworthy difference with this schedule. That is just unfortunate. I enjoyed ignoring the schedule on my Nest Thermostat E during the chilly fall months and using Eco mode to keep the AC and heat generally off, only turning them on if the house was actually too cold or too warm. With the Nest Thermostat (2020), there is no in-between setting unless you manually adjust the temperature. The device is either completely off or operating according to your schedule.


Conclusion and where to buy | The 2020 Nest Thermostat is essentially a no-brainer, in my opinion. It has a sleek design that functions effectively and reduces costs where they are needed. With the money you’ll save on heating and cooling, its excellent value of $129 can rapidly pay for itself. I see no reason to advise you to choose Google’s $249 option unless you truly require the learning features. Having said that, I believe it’s crucial to point out that there is really no reason to upgrade if you already own a Nest Thermostat, whether it be an E or Learning Thermostat, unless the older device is malfunctioning.

The Nest Thermostat costs $129 at most significant retailers, including:
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