Update – January 2022
[We have added a new smart thermostat at #4 under the ‘Latest Updates’ section to make this list more exhaustive and current for our readers.]
[If you need a quick, one-line answer, we recommend you to go with the Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat. This is the smart thermostat to go for in 2022. Make sure you read the whole article for more details!]
Smart thermostats integrate sensor technology that lets you remotely control your home temperature using a smartphone, tablet or a desktop. They are the latest trend in home heating wherein, you can use the internet to ensure that your home is ready with the perfect heating.
This is especially beneficial for those who lead a hectic schedule and would come back to a home that has already prepared itself for the owner’s comfort.
If you are running late for a meeting someday, there’s no use for the heater to turn on and warm an empty home. Using your internet enabled smart device (smartphone), you can time the heating with your arrival. This also applies when you have forgotten to turn off the heating and there is no one in the house to push up the switch.
While smart thermostats don’t directly save you money on room heating, they do make the process more efficient. It is important that they aren’t confused with smart meters that will send you meter readings to the energy provider.
The smart thermostat is merely a connection between the home heating and your pocket device, connected to the internet. However, new age smart thermostats do provide a report on your energy usage and you can change your preferences accordingly to save on energy bills.
Why Smart Thermostat?
It is necessary to understand that heating and cooling contributes to about 50% of your home’s energy costs. Smart thermostats are designed to provide users greater, and more importantly, convenient control over home heating. This goes on to save a bundle on your bills.
However, there’s more to just a convenient control in your hands.
Smart thermostats begin to learn your schedule and will work independently – raising and dropping temperature when you come or go. Since you can adjust temperatures from anywhere; it’s also a great way to monitor your home.
Consequently, this is a device to invest in if you have a hectic work schedule. While the smart thermostat ensures that energy is saved when it’s not needed, it also makes the room feel comfortable when you are in.
Ecobee3 vs Nest 3 vs Honeywell WiFi Thermostat
Before going into the critic part, it is necessary to understand what common grounds these thermostats offer.
Common Features – Ecobee3, Nest 3 and Honeywell WiFi
While each device comes with major differences and uniqueness, yet they comply with the basic features required of a smart thermostat. These include:
- Android and iOS support
- Remotely control thermostat using smartphone
- Scheduling times for heater/air conditioner
- Motion detection and geo-fencing such that the thermostat knows when you are home
- Family sharing, such that all members of the household can equally reap the benefits
- Amazon Echo Support – voice control support for temperature adjustment
- Weather forecast data – to understand the climate in your neighborhood and be prepared
Consequently, each of the three thermostats here does the work of temperature monitoring and control pretty well. However, it is the added features and the pricing that will help you make a choice.
The thermostat market changed with the introduction of NEST back in 2011. Since then, several new manufacturers and product lines have entered the market. They not only win with functionality but also focus heavily on user-friendliness and looks.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the unique individual specifications that each of three products brings.
- Smart adjustments based on your home’s heating/cooling device, the unique energy profile of the household, the outside weather and other environmental data
- Room sensors to know which particular rooms are occupied and which ones are vacant
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa (to be bought separately) for voice control
- Home kit enabled
- Programmable for efficient energy management
- Compatible with a range of HVAC devices – conventional 2H/2C, heat pumps, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, ERVs, HRVs, etc
- Connectivity via WiFi, ZigBee
- Sensors – temperature, motion, humidity, proximity
- Hundreds of smart home automation integration including Wink, Vera, SmartThings and more
NEST 3 Specifications
- Auto scheduling – AI that learns your preferred schedules and temperature in just a week
- Home/Away Assist – Turns off automatically when nobody’s home
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa (to be bought separately) for voice control
- Farsight – Lights up when it detects your presence to showcase the temperature, time and weather
- Remote controlled such that you can control your home heating from your smartphone, even when not in home
- Energy history report shows you feedback on how much energy consumption you are doing over a period of time
- Nest Leaf – An energy saving mode even when the heating is on. A green leaf sign shows the most eco-friendly temperature setting.
- Auto alerts / smart responses – keeping your home running efficiently with or without you
- Energy saving modes – saves your cooling and heating costs
- Locking Touchscreen and password protection for smarter security and fuller convenience
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa (to be bought separately) for voice control
- Customizable screen color to match the décor of your room
- Remote access to Honeywell app on smartphone, tablet or desktop
- Smart and flexible scheduling – learns how much time it takes to reach perfect temperature and acts accordingly
- Indoor humidity sensor and fan control for fuller circulation throughout the home
- Compatible with a long range of HVAC devices
Unique Features – Ecobee3, Nest 3 and Honeywell WiFi
The EcoBee3, available at $250, is the only smart thermostat in the market that brings in a touchscreen. Consequently, if you are the owner of a smartphone, it will also be easy to operate the thermostat.
The two things that make EcoBee3 a big hit are its huge screen and the remote sensors.
Screen Advantage – Measuring 3.9”x 0.9”x3.9”, it’s the biggest screen for a smart thermostat you would get in the market. The Honeywell Wifi comes close but falls short by a few inches. A bigger screen consequently offers a host of controls, all within on-tap reach.
Using the intuitive touch screen, you can easily control settings for wireless room sensors, smart recovery, AC over cool to dehumidify, Free Cooling, smart home/away, follow me, optimal humidity, fan dissipation, alerts and reminders, home IQ, and other robust staging options. Using dozens of different data points, you can not only create a perfectly comfortable home environment but also save on energy costs.
Further, free energy reports right on the screen allow you to review your consumption and take necessary actions.
Remote Sensors – Remote sensors with EcoBee3 are designed to “deliver comfort to the rooms that matter the most”. While most sensors will read the temperature at a certain place in the house, EcoBee3 sensors can be placed all over and each of them individually takes care of the temperature.
These sensors also detect motion and presence and act accordingly, consequently helping you save money. Each of the sensors also learns the different temperature preferences of the average owner of the room and sets the settings accordingly. So, everyone is comfortable in their own space with EcoBee3!
This is especially true if you have a large multi-storied house but with a singular HVAC system. There can be big differences between temperatures in each room. While you can have up to 33 sensors attached to your EcoBee3 hub, each works independently!
NEST is the brand that had introduced the smart thermostat trend into the market. The NEST 3 is also one of its most popular products to date.
The device, priced at $250, presents a striking design, conceptualized by Tony Fadell, the same man behind the design of the first iPod. The popularity of NEST attaches some significance to this too!
The NEST 3 thermostat truly defines “smart regulation”. The best thing about this device is its intelligent software and the futuristic design.
Self Learning – Once you have installed NEST 3 smart thermostat in your house, it will take just about a week for it to work independently and without you needing to intervene. The software is made solid and does a great job of keeping you comfortable with little or no input. In case, you would like a change from the usual, you can always pick up your smartphone and put in the commands.
It maintains energy efficiency in your home by “learning” your habits and schedules. Every adjustment that you make to the dial goes into an algorithm database and aims at you having to make fewer adjustments in the future. NEST 3 will learn if you would like to sleep cooler, wake up a little warmer and subsequently set the temperature.
You will no longer have to worry to turn down the thermostat when you are really sleepy! Everything is automatically taken care of.
The Design – As already discussed, the design of the NEST 3 comes from the same man that designed the first generation of iPods. Conceptualized by Tony Fadell, it’s a very futuristic look. The thermostat gets a beautiful Touchscreen and a rotating bezel that helps you with the initial temperature changes.
The rotation is also a very pleasant experience and you will get back to the thermostat to check the weather or just admire the design. The look is highly satisfying and is another reason why this is the most popular smart thermostat in the market. The Touchscreen presents very intuitive and actionable feedback.
Out of these three, Honeywell Wifi is the product with the lowest rating. Apart from a big touch screen that you can adjust to the color scheme of your room, there are several features that the device lacks, such as the capability to learn routine and more. In simple terms, it’s not as smart.
The Touchscreen – The only good thing about Honeywell Wifi is the big and highly intuitive screen. With this thermostat, you need to do everything via the touchscreen. Consequently, there aren’t any fiddly buttons to understand or handle. If you have been using a smartphone for a while now, it won’t be a problem using this too.
Though the overall look isn’t as sleek as that of the NEST 3, it isn’t too bad either. Some might even say it to have a “space age” look!
Another unique thing about the screen is that it will change its color scheme according to the color of the room. So, if you are putting up the Honeywell Wifi in a blue-red themed room, the touch screen will also put up a red scheme. The default color of the panel is silver but it will blend in with just about anything.
The touch buttons are big and the sensor is fairly responsive – you cannot expect anything better – at least when it comes to the screen.
The Best Smart Thermostat
When it comes to choosing a thermostat, the reasoning is pretty simple; your choice will be completely dependent on your needs and lifestyle.
Budget is not a great factor here as all the three come in the same price range. Honeywell is a little cheaper but then, it doesn’t offer any unique set of advantages too.
You can comfortably narrow down your choices to the rest of the two products – EcoBee3 and NEST 3.
Next, comes your exact requirements.
Of course, you will not be alone in the house. If you have a big home with several rooms, EcoBee3 will be a great choice. With several sensors fitted in all parts of the room, the optimum temperature will be separately maintained for each of the rooms, according to the needs and preferences of the users.
Things like smart occupancy detection, motion sensing and more will also ensure that you save the maximum on energy bills by optimizing HVAC usage.
Latest Updates [Updated 2022]
The primary reason why you choose the smart home concept is flexibility. For this very reason, the brands keep developing their products and continuously strive to create better ones. Three such latest entrants in the smart thermostat market are Ecobee Smart Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E and Honeywell Home T9 WIFI Smart Thermostat.
Ecobee4 has taken the world of home improvement to another level with the Alexa integration. The feature has added much of brand recognition, and people are likely to turn to its technology with more products of this kind.
On the other hand, Honeywell has come up with an energy-efficient option and has the best of thermostat features to offer.
Let’s go ahead and explore both of them in detail!
The ecobee SmartThermostat offers you the technological luxury of a built-in Alexa and voice control. The additional state-of-the-art Smart Sensor makes controlling the temperature of every single corner an easy affair. Currently, it is available at just under 200 dollars for users worldwide.
- The powerful dual-band Wi-Fi, quad-core processor, and far-field voice make it currently one of the most advanced thermostats in the digital space.
- You save almost 23% on an annual basis by removing the energy wastage scenarios with its help.
- Its smart sensors keep the current temperature and occupancy level in mind to use energy efficiently.
- It is quite easy to use your phone, tablet, computer, Apple Watch or any other compatible smart device to control this thermostat via its App.
- The ecobee app will guide you through the installtion process via video or other helpful tutorials.
- You will not be able to use it properly if it is incompatible with your current setup.
- It is not able to properly control the variable fan speeds.
This latest ecobee update surely has a lot of small upgrades with a big impact. You can contribute a lot in the fight against climate change by making similar installations. It will help make your life and ecosystem better round the year by cooling and heating your place just right sustainably.
2. Google, T4000ES, Nest Thermostat E, Smart Thermostat, White
The latest Google Nest Thermostat E is moderately priced at approximately 170 dollars. It is made as a perfect launchpad for the budding smart home users that are still figuring their own and their home’s requirements. So, you get enough room for all that experimentation with this model.
- The amazing phone app is bound to minimize your thermostat management troubles.
- It is comparatively cheaper because of the plastic hardware without compromising its durability.
- The frosted display makes sure that is blends with every wall color and home decor theme.
- ‘Energy History’ feature makes it easy to keep track of your energy spendings and learn from the observed pattern.
- Home/Away Assist lets you turn down the energy consumption way down via just your phone or Tab with a single click from remote locations.
- Not all HVAC systems are compatible with this thermostat.
- The Frosted display might cause a hindrance for you in reading the details on it properly.
The thermostat is highly intelligent and catches all your usage patterns quite fast. And this enables it to make useful sugesstions whenever the opportunity arises. You get to enjoy the latest of the smart thermostat world at a very reasonable price with this update.
3. Honeywell Home T9 WIFI Smart Thermostat
It comes with the Thermostat, Mounting Hardware, and Sensor. At around 200 dollars, you get to enjoy the smart temperature control with the help of the sensor network which you can spread all over your place. The 200 feet coverage of the accompanying sensor is enough to keep your favorite location within the home ‘just right’.
- The installation process is guided well by the self – configuration feature that kicks in during the setup.
- The Monthly Energy Reports lets you know about your cooling and heating patterns to make necessary energy-saving changes accordingly.
- Use the Honeywell Home App to activate the preset scenes or monitor your place when at home or away.
- The user gets the air filter replacement and temperature alerts at regular intervals.
- You can get the thermostat to focus on multiple rooms simultaneously with the help of sensors.
- The readings on the thermostat might be incorrect sometimes.
- The Wi-Fi connection keeps on dropping throughout the day.
This latest version of the Honeywell thermostat comes with tons of advanced features. So, you need to be fine with a bit exploration every now and then with the new updates to actually enjoy this purchase. The remote monitoring, geo-fencing, scheduling, and occupancy sensoring are new now but they will be the norm in a couple of years. So buy it only if you want to live that futuristic lifestyle.
4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat (RTH6580WF), Requires C Wire, Works with Alexa
You can simply use the Honeywell Home app or the Total Connect Comfort app to access this thermostat from wherever you please.
- Currently, it lies well within the 70 dollars price range.
- The Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat delivers smart responses learning from your home cycles.
- It is compatible with steam, hot water, forced air and heat pumps.
- You get a generous well-lit display to operate this user-friendly sophisticated device.
- The thermostat is pretty easy to configure and install yourself if you wish to.
- Registration process is quite tricky.
- The accompanying software needs a lot of work before being decently helpful.
- It is not smooth in its functioning and syncing with other devices in the network.
The ultimate ease of programming is the key factor of Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat. You can manage and modify its settings from across the room or the city!
The Big Picture…
All of the four thermostat updates mentioned above are a remarkable addition to any smart home. But the one that takes the cake here is definitely the Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat. It provides you an intuitive and large display along with a smart app to make the most of it. You can keep track of the temperature and humidity levels with the home assistant too via voice controls.
Do you think we missed something in our review – Ecobee3 vs Nest 3 vs Honeywell WiFi Thermostat? Let us know what you think about these smart thermostats. We’re always keen to hear you out!