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 a smart thermostat that better manages the temperature of your home. The Nest Learning Thermostat is the best overall option, offering a sleek and modern design that fits into any home and automated schedule creation based on your habits.
- Best Overall: Nest Learning Thermostat
- Best With a Room Sensor: Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
- Value Pick: Nest Thermostat E
- Even Cheaper: Ecobee3 Lite
Best Overall — Nest Learning Thermostat
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.
- Sleek stainless steel design
- Controllable via phone or voice assistant
- Eligible for rebates through most energy companies
- Learns from your behavior
- Room sensors not included
- No HomeKit compatibility
The sleek thermostat that does most of the work for you.
With automatic schedule creation and Eco Mode, Nest's third-gen Learning Thermostat can shave a significant amount off of your monthly energy bill.
Best With a Room Sensor — Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Ecobee is a hugely popular alternative to Nest that offers touch screens on its smart thermostats, with a flatter, more squared off design. You won't get Nest's automatic schedule creation with the Ecobee4, but most of the other features are here.
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. With Alexa built directly into the unit, you can even call out temperature change commands to it without needing a dedicated smart speaker.
- Room sensor included
- Amazon Alexa built directly in
- Touch screen display
- More affordable than Nest
- Less sleek design
- No automatic schedule creation
Best With a Room Sensor
A better value without the automated schedule creation.
The Ecobee4 is a popular alternative to Nest's Learning Thermostat. For roughly the same price, it includes a room sensor and has Amazon Alexa built in.
Value Pick — Nest Thermostat E
The Thermostat E is a great alternative to Nest's higher-end model for considerably cheaper. The display isn't as sharp and the Thermostat E doesn't work with quite as many HVAC systems, but from Auto Away to Eco Mode and automatic schedule creation, it's a nearly identical experience to the Learning Thermostat in a white plastic body.
Like its more expensive counterpart, the Thermostat E is eligible for rebates through most participating power companies, and the lower cost opens you up to buy Nest's Temperature Sensors for keeping track of the temperature throughout your house. It's simple to operate, using the same rotating bezel design, and the white hardware might blend in better with some homes.
- Still includes Auto Away and Eco Mode
- Cheaper than the Learning Thermostat
- Eligible for rebates from power companies
- Compatible with Nest Temperature Sensors
- Supports fewer HVAC systems
- Lower quality plastic design
- Lower resolution display
Automated temperature controls for tighter budgets.
If you aren't concerned with the Learning Thermostat's stainless steel design, the Thermostat E offers nearly all the same features for considerably less.
Even Cheaper — Ecobee3 Lite
Even the most affordable smart thermostat goes a long way over the ones included with your home. The Ecobee3 Lite doesn't have Alexa built in like the Ecobee4, nor does it include a room sensor, but you can still create schedules and control the thermostat from your phone or voice assistant. Unlike Nest's thermostats, the Ecobee3 Lite is compatible with Apple's HomeKit.
Visually, it's nearly indistinguishable from the more premium Ecobee4, with the same full-color touch screen interface. This is easily the best value smart thermostat around, making it easy to quickly make your money back on energy bill savings.
- Most affordable smart thermostat
- Allows for temperature scheduling
- Compatible with Apple HomeKit
- Detects when you leave the house
- No room sensor included
- No built-in Alexa assistant
Great thermostats don't have to cost an arm and a leg.
The Ecobee3 Lite is remarkably similar to the Ecobee4, though it doesn't have Amazon Alexa built in, and you won't find a room sensor in the box.
Even without an included room sensor, the Nest Learning Thermostat is hard to beat with its sleek aluminum design, Google Assistant integration, and automatic schedule creation based on your usage habits. The screen turns on as you walk up to the thermostat, and you can easily adjust the temperature manually by rotating the dial around the display. With remote control via your phone, 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
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and writer for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S., for Android Central. Keeping you up to date with mobile news and analysis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. He's on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.
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