Nest Thermostat ESource: Android Central

Best Smart Thermostat Android Central 2020

Heating and cooling are the single biggest factors of your monthly energy bill, so it makes sense for most people to consider picking up one of the best smart thermostats that better manages the temperature of your home. The Nest Thermostat E is the best overall option, with a sleek circular design and automated schedule creation based on your habits.

Best Overall — Nest Thermostat E

Nest Thermostat ESource: Android Central

The Nest Thermostat E is easily one of the best smart home choices you can make. It's got all the same features as its big brother, the Nest Learning Thermostat (Gen 3), but without the extra price tag. Many power companies even offer the Nest Thermostat E for under $100 through special local programs, so be sure to call and ask!

Nest's famous brand of automatic scheduling based on local weather conditions, season, type of HVAC unit, and even local ordinances and programs make it one of the most effortless smart home devices on the market. It also works natively with many local utilities companies' rebate programs for energy efficiency.

The design is near-identical to that of the more expensive Nest Thermostat, albeit with a white plastic body instead of a black metal one. It's still got that fancy rotating dial for quick temperature and settings selections and handy click button right up front. Most notably, Nest thermostats only work with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and will not work with Apple HomeKit or Siri (officially, at least).

Since you'll be saving money by choosing the Nest Thermostat E over the 3rd-gen Nest Thermostat, you can pick up a few Nest temperature sensors to ensure that your house is staying heated and cooled as evenly as possible. The only real downside here is that the display is a lower resolution and it's not compatible with quite as many HVAC systems as the more expensive Nest Thermostat is. Other than that, there's little reason to overpay for what's, essentially, the same product.

Pros:

  • Includes all the smarts from the Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Cheaper than the Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Eligible for rebates from power companies
  • Compatible with Nest Temperature Sensors
  • Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT

Cons:

  • Supports fewer HVAC systems than Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Plastic build can seem cheap
  • No HomeKit compatibility

Best Overall

Nest Thermostat E

Automated temperature controls for tighter budgets.

If you aren't concerned with the Nest Thermostat's stainless steel design, the E variant offers almost the same features for less.

Upgrade Pick — Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning ThermostatSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Like most smart thermostats, Nest's offering can be controlled by your phone or through a voice assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa (though notably, the Learning Thermostat isn't compatible with Apple's HomeKit service). You can set the temperature remotely, or simply rotate the stainless steel dial around the frosted glass display. The Nest Learning Thermostat can also detect when you've left the house to automatically shut down heating and cooling, and resumes things when you return.

The Nest's defining feature, though, is its ability to learn your preferences by keeping track of when you change the temperature throughout the day, along with factors like the current temperature outside of your home, so it can automatically create its own schedule so that you never have to think about it.

It also optimizes energy with Eco Mode, where the Learning Thermostat turns on heating and cooling periodically to maintain optimal settings without wasting power. Nest even keeps track of your energy savings, and provides you with helpful analytics throughout the year.

Pros:

  • Sleek stainless steel design
  • Comes in many different finishes
  • Eligible for rebates through most energy companies
  • Learns from your behavior
  • Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT

Cons:

  • Room sensors not included
  • No HomeKit compatibility
  • More expensive

Upgrade Pick

Nest Learning Thermostat

The sleek thermostat that does most of the work for you.

With automatic schedule creation and Eco Mode, Nest's Learning Thermostat can shave a good amount off of your energy bill.

Value Pick — Honeywell Lyric T5

Honeywell Lyric T5 LifestyleSource: Honeywell

The Honeywell Lyric T5 has been around since 2016, but updates and software improvements, as well as a new low price, make it worth looking at again. The Lyric T5 offers smartphone control and Wi-Fi-enabled connectivity with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and even IFTTT (just to name a few). That's more than even some more expensive thermostats offer. It's not the snazziest-looking thermostat on the list, but it looks a lot better than the boring one that comes with many HVAC systems.

The Honeywell Lyric T5 supports 7-day scheduling with up to four scheduling options per day, as well as the ability to use your phone's location to automatically switch between home and away modes. It'll even take the outdoor weather into consideration for the most efficient heating and cooling of your home. It requires a C wire though, so it might not be compatible with some older HVAC systems.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Can use smartphone location for scheduling
  • Supported by every major smart home platform
  • Simple touchscreen interface

Cons:

  • Limited automatic scheduling
  • Not as sleek as other options
  • Usage statistics aren't very detailed
  • Requires C wire

Value Pick

Honeywell Lyric T5

Great thermostats don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

The Honeywell Lyric T5 is an easy choice for making your home feel smart, and your wallet feeling even smarter.

Best With a Room Sensor — Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

Ecobee4 Smart ThermostatSource: Ecobee

Ecobee is a hugely popular alternative to Nest that offers touch screens on its smart thermostats, with a flatter, more squared-off design. It's even got Alexa built directly into the unit, so you can call out temperature change commands to it without needing a dedicated smart speaker.

It can detect when you leave the house and turn off heating/cooling automatically, and the included room temperature sensor comes in handy for homes with multiple floors — an especially good add-on considering the Ecobee4 sits around the same price as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Those included room sensors also help better balance your home out of the box, so you won't need to worry about buying additional accessories.

Eco+ is a feature that was added to Ecobee thermostats in 2019 and is designed to help automate your thermostat for a more power-efficient schedule. While this feature works wonders in certain climates, some users in more humid climates have complained that it does the opposite, so your mileage may vary.

Pros:

  • Room sensor included
  • Amazon Alexa built directly in
  • Touch screen display
  • Integrates with Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homekit and more

Cons:

  • Eco+ scheduling has mixed results

Best With a Room Sensor

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

A great value with included room sensors.

The Ecobee4 is a popular alternative to Nest. For roughly the same price, it includes a room sensor and has Amazon Alexa built-in.

Best for Baseboard Heaters — Mysa Smart Thermostat

Mysa Smart Thermostat LifestyleSource: Mysa

Mysa isn't a name that you would think of when looking for a smart thermostat, but this company is leading the way homeowners who have baseboard heaters. This thermostat is capable of tying into your existing system, while providing a sleek and minimal design that won't stick out on the wall.

Other than adjusting the temperature, the mobile app will provide the remaining of the controls including integrating with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and others. The mobile app itself will provide energy usage reports, along with making it possible to set up scheduled heating sessions, and setting up a vacation mode.

While having a sleek and minimal design is great, some will miss out on having more controls on thermostat directly. But with the Mysa, you will be "limited" to just using the mobile app on your Android device. Additionally, you won't be able to integrate the Mysa Thermostat with any boilers or furnaces that may be in the home.

Pros:

  • Sleek and minimal design
  • No additional hardware required
  • Integrates with Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homekit and more
  • Sends regular energy usage reports

Cons:

  • All extra features available only in mobile app
  • No touch screen interface
  • Not compatible with furnaces or boilers

Best for Baseboard Heaters

Mysa Smart Thermostat

This is perfect for those who want smart controls for baseboard heaters

The Mysa Smart Thermostat is a great pick for those who still have baseboard heaters but want more control and smarter features.

Best for Multiple Rooms — Honeywell Home T9

Honeywell Home T9 LifestyleSource: Honeywell

Unlike other smart thermostat options, Honeywell is a name that many have come to know and trust over the years. As expected, the company moved into the smart thermostat market with the Home T9 coming as the latest product.

This smart thermostat works best if you pick up a few of the Smart Room Sensors to give you better control over temperatures across the home. These sensors are quite impressive, with a range of up to 200 feet from the thermostat "hub". The thermostat itself is easy to install, so you don't need to hire anyone else to do it for you. Plus, there are additional features such as smart home integration, Auto Home and Away, and Monthly Energy Reports.

The biggest downside here is that you will have to purchase multiple sensors if you really want to control the entire home. Plus, these sensors can only be added directly through the T9, instead of through the mobile app.

Pros:

  • Smart Room Sensor provides range up to 200 feet
  • Easy, DIY installation
  • Intelligently learns heating and cooling patterns
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Sensors detect when people are in room

Cons:

  • Need multiple sensors for multiple rooms
  • Must add sensors to system through thermostat

Best for Multiple Rooms

Honeywell Home T9

Great for whole-home temperature control, provided that you get enough sensors

Honeywell's Home T9 smart thermostat offers complete control by itself, but even more if you pick up more Smart Room Sensors.

Best for HVAC Compatibility — Emerson Sensi Touch

Emerson Sensi Touch LifestyleSource: Emerson

Emerson's Sensi Touch has been on the market for a few years but still provides a solid and generally good experience. You won't find a lot of extra frills here, other than integration with smart home systems, automatic schedules, and even geofencing capabilities.

The biggest benefit of the Sensi Touch comes with the fact that it is compatible with most HVAC systems. This is thanks to the "c-wire" which is found in most systems that have already been installed. Just take down the old thermostat, match the wires to the Sensi Touch, and start saving on your energy costs.

Unlike other options on the market, the Emerson Sensi Touch does not have any add-ons. This means that you can't just buy a sensor to place in your various rooms to control specific room temperatures. And while the mobile app works, it's a bit simple and outdated when compared to the competition.

Pros:

  • Intelligently works to help save on energy costs
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and others
  • Geofencing capabilities will automatically change mode based on your location
  • Can create Automatic Schedules
  • Compatible with most HVAC systems

Cons:

  • No additional sensors can be used to provide more per-room controls
  • Mobile app is basic and a bit out-dated

Best for HVAC Compatibility

Emerson Sensi Touch

This is the pick of many HVAC professionals with its no-nonsense approach.

With the Emerson Sensi Touch, you will get the bare necessities with a few extra goodies for a great overall experience.

Bottom line

It's hard to argue with the Nest Thermostat E, especially for the price. You'll save money instead of buying the Nest Learning Thermostat, but you'll still getting Nest's amazing automatic schedule creation based on your usage habits and the great interface that Nest products are known for. The screen turns on as you walk by the thermostat and you can easily adjust the temperature manually by rotating the dial around the display. With remote control via your phone or favorite virtual assistant, you'll never have to come home to an icebox in the winter — or a sauna in the summer — again.

As we previously mentioned, the highlight feature is still its learning abilities, which allows it to track your habits and create a schedule for you. This not only makes your life easier, but can save you money by helping you to conserve energy.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Nick Sutrich Nick is a news writer and contributor to Android Central. He's been writing about tech since 2011 and loves robot vacuums, home automation, virtual reality, and any kind of gadget that's connected to the Internet. Find him on Twitter at @Gwanatu.

Andrew Myrick is a writer for Android Central out of the mid-Atlantic area, based in the DMV. Writing is a passion but he'll be ready to get into a heated debate about how the Ravens are Super Bowl bound in the next few years. You can find him on Twitter at @andymyrick.

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