Nest Announces Cheaper, More Subtly Designed Thermostat E

CNBC Tech Nest E 2

Last year, Ecobee unveiled a lower-priced thermostat for $169, the same price as the new E.

The E features a new design, marking the first time the company has redesigned its signature thermostat since it introduced the gadget back in 2011. Along with the new look, the device also features a frosted display - which is created to blend into the home by letting light out but not letting it in - and more simple scheduling.

The new Nest Thermostat E is available for $170. Alternatively, Nest has a simpler option for it, allowing you to just set it to a basic schedule, where it cribs its homework from the previous generation of devices and picks a schedule that most people seem to like. To cut costs, Nest used plastic rather than metal for the edges that surround the circular thermostat and swapped the full color screen for a frosted display with fewer colors. The thermostat uses your phone's location to determine if you're home or away, adjusting the temperature accordingly.

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At $80 cheaper than the original thermostat, the company is hoping to entice millions of new customers who want a better thermostat but find the original price tag too high. It's known as the Nest Thermostat E, and it can do nearly everything the standard Nest Thermostat is capable of, aside from it's less expensive and housed in a fresh out of the box new outline one that is deliberately a whole lot plainer. Users can manually set the temperature or control it via the Nest mobile app, and it learns their routine and habits over time. The display itself has a resolution of 320 x 320, and there's a layer of polarized glass to diffuse incoming light from the screen. And you can adjust it from anywhere, even when you're not home. It is also said to be easier to read as the frosted display won't let light in, meaning that you won't have to worry about glare from your other lights.

The company also sees its thermostat as an ideal entry point into people's homes, getting them used to the idea of smart home devices and acting as a future hub for other devices, either produced by Nest or other companies' products that work with Nest.

The Thermostat E rolls out on September 1. This can be easily managed directly from the Nest app. Founder and longtime CEO Tony Fadell departed a little over a year ago, and questions about the company's performance have dogged Nest since then.

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