When comparing ecobee3 vs Nest Learning Thermostat, the Slant community recommends Nest Learning Thermostat for most people. In the question“What is the best smart thermostat?” Nest Learning Thermostat is ranked 1st while ecobee3 is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose Nest Learning Thermostat is:
The Nest thermostat looks like a piece of tech from the future. It's fully circular and certainly looks the part of a smart thermostat. The display takes up the majority of the unit, and makes good use of its LCD display when not in use. It can display an analog or digital clock instead of the temperature if you prefer.
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Pro Important information is displayed at a glance
The display shows the current temperature, as well as which mode you're in (off, auto, cooling or heating), as well as humidity and the current weather. There is also a temperature slider handy for quick adjustments.
Pro Satellite sensor provides extended sensing range
Instead of a single point of sensing which can be influenced based on its location, the ecobee3 also utilizes a satellite sensor. This satellite sensor provides another perspective on the house, and between the two will provide smarter heating and cooling.
For example, if the main thermostat is located near a heat source (kitchen, full living room, etc) or cold source (near a door in winter) it can be influenced by temporary temperature fluctuations. The satellite sensor can help detect these temporary changes, and won't over-heat (or over-cool) the house when it isn't actually required.
The range on this extra sensor is about 45 feet, which should be plenty for most houses.
Pro Full web support allows monitoring and adjusting from anywhere
In addition to the phone app, you can access the web portal for (almost) full control of the system. This is very handy if your phone's battery dies, as you can login from any internet connected device.
Pro Integrates with numerous other systems
In addition to HomeKit, the ecobee3 can hook up with IFTTT (IF This Then That - an automation tool based on custom recopies), Alexa (Amazon's voice activated personal assistant found in it's Echo line of products), Wink (a stand-alone ecosystem) as well as SmartThings (Samsung's smart home ecosystem). This allows integration with a wider variety of smart home products outside of the HomeKit ecosystem.
Pro Straightforward install for 5 wire systems
If you already have the common wire (ie your system uses 5 wires), the installation is very quick and easy.
Pro Amazing design
The Nest thermostat looks like a piece of tech from the future. It's fully circular and certainly looks the part of a smart thermostat.
The display takes up the majority of the unit, and makes good use of its LCD display when not in use. It can display an analog or digital clock instead of the temperature if you prefer.
Pro Learns your preferences and adjusts accordingly
Nest begins learning as soon as you install it. In a short time, it will automatically be adjusting your temperature based on time of day, or how active the house is. For the first few weeks you may need to adjust the Nest a few degrees when required, but eventually it will learn when you adjust it and will start adjusting itself automatically based on how you manually adjusted it before.
Pro Easy installation
The Nest Thermostat is the easiest smart thermostat to install. It comes with the required mini screwdriver, and there's a level built-in to make sure the Nest is installed properly. The included baseplate helps cover up any imperfections left from removing your previous thermostat.
Installation is straightforward, and only takes about 10 minutes.
Pro Motion activation available for alternative mode of controll
This version of the Nest includes motion sensors that can detect motion from across the room. Previous generations of Nest could only detect motion up to a meter away, but with this generation of Nest the utility is greatly increased.
Motion sensing is useful, because it will sense when you are at home or if you are away automatically, without needing to adjust the thermostat manually.
Pro Integrates with many other products: Nest, Alexa, and IFTTT
Nest also makes other products, such as it's Nest Cam, and smart smoke detector.
Alexa is the voice assistant in the Amazon Echo line of products, and the Nest thermostat can be fully controlled by Alexa. This is important because Alexa can control devices through 100% hands-free voice support.
IFTTT (IF This Then That) is an ecosystem to itself that allows users to create their own custom recipes based on triggers. For example, if it's expected to be humid, the Nest can automatically lower its setpoint to compensate for it. You can also configure other triggers such as location or time of day to determine when the Nest is on or off.
Pro Shows energy savings
The Nest app will actually show you how much your smart thermostat is saving you on electricity.
Pro Complete control from app
Even if you're not home, or you're in the kitchen cooking, and need to change the temperature, you can do it all from your app.
Con Installation can be tricky for 4 wire systems
If your system lacks the common (C) wire and is only a 4 wire system, you will need to use the included Power Extender Kit (5-wire systems don't require this). Then, additional steps are required depending if your HVAC system has a controller board or not.
Con Extra satellite sensors cost extra
One satellite sensor is included in the box, but if you want more you'll have to buy them. They come in packs of 2, and are sold at $79. It would also be convenient if you could buy just 1 additional sensor as well, but packs of 2 seem to be the only way they come.
Con The external sensor can lose connection
The satellite sensor is handy, but it adds another connection point which can disconnect (and based on user reviews, it can do so frequently even when installed within 5 meters of the main thermostat).
Con Doesn't provide room-by-room sensing
The Nest Thermostat doesn't have any other hardware that integrates into it. That means that it only senses temperature from a single point, which means that there can be cool/hot spots in other rooms where the temperature isn't being taken.
Con Hardware control is through a rotating ring
On the Nest itself, the homeowner rotates the ring on the edge of the Nest as the primary way to interact with it. Most controls will need to be done through the app.
Con Long wait times for support
If you run into issues, calling tech support can sometimes lead to long wait times.