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Now in its 3rd generation, Nest Learning smart thermostat was first introduced into the market in 2010 and continues to be one of the most popular products for the brand. Nest thermostat, on the other hand, was released in 2020 and offers some incredible features, despite costing almost half the price of the Nest Learning model.
Both thermostat models have a round shape and offer convenient ways to control your home’s HVAC system to increase its efficiency and lower your energy bills. However, despite these similarities, why do they have different price tags? More importantly, which one should you buy? Read on to find out as I take you through a detailed comparison between Nest thermostat vs Nest Learning thermostat!
The Nest Thermostat is the standard smart thermostat model from Nest Labs. It retails at around $100 at various online stores and provides a lot of energy-saving features. Thanks to its ability to allow you to program various temperature parameters throughout the day. Even better, it provides suggestions on how you could adjust the settings to save even more on your heating/ cooling bills.
On the same note, the Nest thermostat uses a combination of GPS and sensors to know when you leave the house so that it can get into energy-saving mode. And if you wish to change the temperature when you’re not home, you can easily do that via the Google Home app. Plus, this device is compatible with various voice control apps, allowing you to adjust the temperature with your voice.
In terms of appearance, the Nest thermostat has a rounded shape, just like the Nest Learning model. However, this unit doesn’t have a turn dial that you can use to increase or reduce the temperature setting. Instead, it has a touch control strip on its right side that you can use to change various settings including the temperature. Moreover, this unit is made of plastic, has a mirrored finish, and is available in various color options. This includes; white (snow), dark gray (charcoal), light green (fog), and rose gold (sand).
On the downside, this unit doesn’t have a high resolution display and ‘Farsight’ feature found on the Learning thermostat. Plus, it isn’t compatible with the Nest Temperature sensor accessory and Nest app. Instead, you can only control and set it up in the Google Home app. More notably, the Nest thermostat doesn’t ‘learn’ your temperature schedule over time. However, it allows you to set a schedule and will automatically change between away and home modes depending on its inbuilt proximity sensor.
To learn more about this smart thermostat model, check out this detailed Nest thermostat review!
Nest thermostat Specifications
- Weight: 4.9 oz
- Display: 3.3” LCD mirrored display
- Voice controls: Amazon Alexa & Google Voice Assistant
- Finish: Plastic casing available in 4 colors (charcoal, fog, sand & snow)
- Power source: 2 AAA Alkaline batteries
- Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy & 5GHz Wi-Fi
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat is the brand’s premium thermostat model and costs about $200 – $250. Unlike the Nest thermostat, the Learning thermostat has a high-resolution display. While its classic turn dial design allows you to navigate various settings. Alternatively, you can set up this device using the Nest app and control it with the Google Home app.
Getting back to the design, the unit has a diameter of 3.3”, surrounded by a polished metal ring that is available in 7 colors. This gives you a lot of color options to choose from, allowing you to match it with your home’s decor. The available color finishes are; copper, black, white, stainless steel, brass, mirror black and polished steel.
Another unique feature of the Nest Learning Thermostat is that it can ‘learn’ your habits to create a customized energy-saving schedule. In addition, it allows you to remote control and monitor your home temperature through your smartphone and integrate it with Amazon Alexa and other Nest devices.
Better still, the 3rd Gen Nest Learning thermostat has a high-resolution display with Farsight technology. This allows it to light up when you enter the room and display the time, weather, or temperature. Moreover, it’s compatible with 95% of 24V HVAC systems, which is more than any other smart thermostat from Nest!
Moving on, unlike the Nest thermostat, the Learning thermostat works with Nest temperature sensors. In essence, temperature sensors allow you to control and monitor the temperature in specific parts of your home. Best of all, the thermostat will determine which room should be at a specific temperature at a certain time of the day and adjust it accordingly.
Nest Learning Thermostat Specifications
- Weight: 8.6 oz
- Display: 3.3” full-color high-resolution display with Farsight
- Voice controls: Google Voice Assistant
- Finish: metal ring available in 7 finishes
- Power source: Lithium-ion batteries
- Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy & 5GHz Wi-Fi
Major Differences between Nest Thermostat Vs Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest thermostat model comes with a simple, round design with a diameter of 3.3”. It’s available in 4 different colors (snow, charcoal, fog & sand), and features a plastic edge and a mirrored face. Also, unlike the past Nest models, this smart thermostat comes with a touch-sensitive strip on the right side that you can use to navigate the interface. Simply swipe this strip up and down or tap it to increase or reduce the temperature.
On the contrary, the Nest Learning thermostat has a more traditional LCD screen, although it also has a diameter of 3.3”. In addition, it features a metal ring and is available in 7 different colors. In terms of control, the Learning smart thermostat still uses a traditional turn dial, just like the previous models.
HVAC System Compatibility
Google estimates that the Nest Learning thermostat can work with 95% of 24V heating and cooling systems. On the other hand, the Nest thermostat is compatible with 85% of HVAC systems. However, before you decide to settle on any model, it’s important to check its compatibility through this online checker.
Both Nest thermostat and Nest Learning thermostat don’t require a thermostat to operate since they’re battery-powered. However, you may experience common problems like thumping noises or strange clicking if you install them without a Common wire (C-wire).
That aside, the Nest thermostat uses disposable AAA Alkaline batteries, while the Nest Learning thermostat uses rechargeable batteries. Either way, provided you’ve connected the device to a C-wire, you don’t have to replace or recharge the batteries too often since they act as a backup in case of a power outage.
Price & Warranty
As mentioned earlier, the 3rd Gen Nest Learning thermostat is more expensive than the Nest thermostat. Specifically, the Nest thermostat costs about $129, while the Learning models retail for around $249.
On the bright side, the Nest Learning Thermostat has more advanced features than its Nest counterpart. For instance, the Nest Learning Thermostat can learn your temperature preferences, works with Nest temperature sensors, and comes with Farsight technology. Moreover, the Learning model comes with a 2-year warranty, while the standard Nest models come with a 1-year limited warranty.
Which one should you buy: Nest Thermostat or Nest Learning Thermostat?
If you’re torn between the Nest Thermostat Vs Nest Learning thermostat, your decision will mainly be influenced by your budget. The Nest thermostat is considerably less costly than the Learning model. So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Nest Smart thermostat is an excellent option for you.
However, if you’re looking for a more tech-advanced smart thermostat with a premium design, buy the Nest Learning thermostat. It will learn your temperature preferences and schedule in about a week and automatically adapt your home’s heating and cooling settings. Moreover, it’s compatible with the Nest temperature sensor and features the Farsight technology, while the standard Nest thermostat does not!
All in all, both thermostat models are great options and will help you see significant cost savings in your energy bill in the long run.