Nest just announced its first brand new thermostat since 2011

Nest has launched a low-cost version of its famous smart thermostat aimed at the mid-market and priced at $169. The Nest Thermostat E comes with all the features of the traditional Nest along with a new design. And the Google-owned company did it with a Learning Thermostat that costs three times as much as comparable digital home climate control devices.

The original Nest Thermostat was built to stand out; it was meant to sit on the wall and flex its shine and be something of a conversation piece - or, at least, as much of a conversation piece as a thermostat could be.

The Nest Thermostat E is available in the USA now for $169, with worldwide pricing and availability yet to be confirmed. One with the same energy-saving features people have come to expect from a Nest Thermostat. To that end, it also drops some of its nice extras: it won't be moonlighting as a clock in its downtime, for starters, and while it still works with 85% of United States households, a pruning of the wiring means that's a 10% decline from the third generation Nest.

In short, the original line of Nest Thermostats were money-saving gadgets for people who didn't really need to save money.

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As rumored, they've shaved off a good chunk of the price tag; whereas the original Nest Learning Thermostat will continue to sell for $250, the Thermostat E will go for $169. Rather than a detailed interface, you'll see big, bubbly numbers and notches shine through when you spin the thermostat's ring around to set the temperature. The effect makes the screen look grey when the display is off. It is also said to be easier to read as the frosted display won't let light in, meaning that you won't have to worry about glare from your other lights.

The Thermostat E is also a little less flexible than its metallic counterpart.

For its price, users will still get presence detection and integration with third-party services via Works with Nest.

Also, Nest notes that over half of US households may be eligible for a rebate from one its energy partners, helping Nest E pay for itself even more quickly. And you can adjust it from anywhere, even when you're not home. Nest was co-founded by two Apple veterans, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers; Fadell left the company a year ago. Nest's power-saving aspirations are valuable and important, and the company's uniquely able to do things like automatically manage the power surges and dips caused by a solar eclipse.

  • Toni Ryan