Nest Heats Up with 3rd-gen Learning Thermostat

As the temperature starts cooling down, Nest is heating up smart homes with the third generation of its Learning Thermostat. Available today for $249, this connected thermostat features a larger display, improved graphics, and a few other improvements over earlier generations.

The display on the 3rd-gen Nest has a display that's 40 percent larger than the previous version--not that it was hard to read. There's less of a bezel around the circular 480 x 480 color LCD. A new feature called Farsight makes it easier to see on-screen information, such as the temperature or weather, from across the room. Furnace Heads-Up, also new to this version of the Nest, will look for odd shutoff patterns with your furnace, and alert you if there are any issues (this feature will also be rolled out to first- and second-gen Nests later this year).

MORE: Best Smart Thermostat 2015 - Heating and Air Conditioning

As with previous generation Nest, this model integrates with other smart home devices, both from Nest and third parties. For example, if you have a Nest Cam (formerly DropCam), you can have it automatically turn on or off when the thermostat goes into Away or Home mode. Or, if you have it integrated with the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home remote, it will automatically change the temperature when you start watching a movie. Of course, one of the smart home systems it can't connect to is Apple's HomeKit.

We found the Nest to be one of the better smart thermostats, and with the improvements to the newest generation, should be as enticing as ever for those looking to bring their heating and cooling into the 21st century. At $249, though, the third-gen Nest is about the same price as our favorite smart thermostat, the Ecobee3. Nest is also dropping the price of its second-generation thermostat to $199, if you want to save a little more green.

Editor's Note: This post initially stated the price of the Nest 3rd gen as $299, and was updated to reflect the actual price of $249.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.