Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Pick the right HVAC upgrade

Amazon Smart Thermostat Review setup
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

The name Nest is nearly synonymous with smart thermostats at this point, and it's no wonder: The company has been making some of the best solutions for years, with an iconic design and great integration. In the years since, more companies have tried to get into this market, with one of the biggest being Amazon. 

The Amazon Smart Thermostat is one of the cheapest smart thermostats you’ll find new or used, with good integration with Alexa and a nice design. While it lacks some of the Nest’s features, it more than makes up for it with its low price.

Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: What features do you need?

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Nest Thermostat

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If you’ve stuck with a traditional thermostat until now and are thinking about upgrading, it can be hard to know exactly what features you’ll want to use. For many people, being able to control the temperature from anywhere with an internet connection is the primary draw. For others, potential energy savings from using more efficient, optimized settings when you're away from home automatically will make it worth it. 

Many energy companies offer discounts for setting up a smart thermostat, which can greatly offset the cost of the device itself. Your power company may even offer a smart thermostat for free. This will ultimately differ depending on your energy provider and its current promotions, but luckily both Amazon and Nest offer search tools to find out what’s available in your area.

Either of these smart thermostats will help achieve most of the same goals. The Amazon Smart Thermostat’s price will also make it the default for someone with no ecosystem commitment or preference. Those already using Amazon Alexa devices will be more accustomed to that ecosystem. The Nest thermostat is still a great deal and if you’ve already got Nest smart home devices or Google Assistant smart speakers, it may be the easier fit.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Amazon Smart ThermostatNest Thermostat
Control3x Touch buttonsTouch slider
ColorsWhiteSnow, Sand, Fog, Charcoal
AppAlexaGoogle Home
C-WireRequiredRequired in some homes
Wi-Fi2.4GHz onle2.4GHz and 5GHz

Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Design and controls

Nest Thermostat

(Image credit: Android Central)

Amazon has kept the design of its Smart Thermostat simple and clean, with a white plastic housing and glossy plastic on the front. The display is clear and easy to read from a distance with large numbers and color-coded heating and cooling icons. These controls let you see your settings at a glance and even change basic temperature and mode settings. You must cycle through modes using a single button so you’ll want to use the Alexa app for controlling your temperature most of the time.

Nest Thermostat has a bit more control, with a touch-sensitive band on one side of the thermostat. You can swipe through settings and select them with a tap. These controls are simpler than older and more expensive Nest Thermostats but still offer more control on the wall than Amazon’s solution. The Nest Thermostat also has a nice appearance with a simple and attractive round display area and the choice of four different colors.

The display is also a bit more complex than Amazon’s with the ability to adjust more settings on the thermostat itself rather than needing to use an app for nearly everything as Amazon’s solution does. Still, being that it’s a smart thermostat, you shouldn’t need to manually adjust it too often, and using the app is quick and easy for both devices. No doubt Nest’s controls and display is better but for many people, it’s not worth the extra cost.

Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Installation and compatibility

Amazon Smart Thermostat Review Screws

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

For both of these devices, installation is very similar. Each comes with a labeled plate which should match the wiring in most homes. A guided installation is also available to help you identify each wire. If you’re good with this sort of tech, you may be able to get either thermostat installed and running in under an hour. Some people will still prefer to have it installed professionally, especially if things aren’t quite as expected.

Both thermostats work with a C-wire but only Amazon specifically requires it. While Google claims that the Nest Thermostat will work in a home without a C-wire, in our Nest Thermostat review, we found that this is not always the case.  Additionally, your home may be wired with a different kind of power source. If there are wires you don’t recognize or thicker power lines behind your thermostat, it’s probably time to call a professional. For the majority of customers, however, DIY installation should be possible.

You can check your compatibility on Amazon’s or Google’s thermostat product page.

Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Software and ecosystem

Predictably, Nest Thermostat uses Google Home software and the Amazon Smart Thermostat uses Alexa. To adjust and set up your thermostat, you will need to use the appropriate app. The app is freely available on Android so you can control it either with a phone or tablet. And yes, you will need a registered account with one of these companies to use the product.

If you want to use voice controls or want better integration with other smart home devices, you’ll want to stick with your current ecosystem. That is to say, if you have Alexa speakers in your home, it makes sense to go with the Amazon Smart Thermostat. Similarly, if you want to access your control your Nest Thermostat without reaching for your phone, you’ll need a Nest-compatible smart speaker.

For most people, it makes sense to stick within the ecosystem you’re already using, but if you really want to, you can use your phone for everything and skip the smart speaker integration.

Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Which should you buy

Amazon Smart Thermostat Review Temp App

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Google’s Nest Thermostat is a strong choice if you're looking to make your home’s climate control smarter. The easy-to-use Google Home app makes setup and management a breeze. It also works well with Google Assistant, so you can control your home’s climate from anywhere and save money while you’re away from home. It’s also nice that Nest Thermostat is available in four colors, which makes it easy to match your home decor or paint color.

When it comes down to value for money, however, there’s just no beating Amazon Smart Thermostat. With a typical price under $60 and frequent sales making it even more affordable, the Amazon Smart Thermostat is a fantastic value despite its shortcomings. It works well with the Alexa app and can be controlled with your voice from Alexa speakers. Its simple design and compact size means it won’t stand out too much and probably looks a lot nicer than the thermostat your house came with.

Samuel Contreras

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.