Nest reviewed: The connected home experience done right

Phil Nickinson has done a Nest review. Yes, post Google ergo propter Google. After tearing out his already "perfectly good programmable" gear, and installing his new Nest, what does he think about it?

We're in the early days of the connected home still. But this much is clear, after even just two short weeks with Nest — this is a product done right. And if you can cough up the dough, well worth the price.

I have baseboards, so the Nest is a non-starter for me, but I like that it exists and I'm curious to see what Google does with it. It's not the Tony Stark house, not by a long shot yet, but Phil's review gives me a lot of hope. I'll spoil it no more; go read the whole the review then come back and tell me — if you already have a Nest, how do you like it? And if you don't, are you considering it?

Nest reviewed: The connected home done right

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Nest reviewed: The connected home experience done right


I don't know what the "macnn thing" is, but we're doing nothing different now than we've been doing for the last 6 years. Phil's the first one of us to get a Nest, it works with iOS, so I'm linking to his review.

If I wanted more hits, I'd have just stuck a cat-on-piano video in that spot instead :)

Doesn't do 240VAC switching so useless to most UK Combi or Gravity fed heating installations without major modifcations.
This fact alone prevented me buying the heating control but more importantly ALSO the Smoke Alarms. They lost two sales for one omission.

Looks good tho.

I believe that the title is a little misleading, since Nest is just a small part of the "connected home" paradigm.

Still, it's a very hot topic right now. The consensus seemed to be that it was a very nice product and the beginning of a great company, even apple-like.

Now... Oh well. I believe that the acquisition was bad for the product itself, but great for the industry. The war for connected homes, cars, and tvs is getting closer and closer. Everyone is waiting for Apple to fire the shots, and rally together behind Google, as usual.

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I guess "example of the connected home done right" is better? Communication is tough, since it's as much writer as reader, and it could take a paragraph to avoid any confusion, which is the antithesis of what you want in a short, punchy headline :)

Nest is a wonderful product with lots of potential. I enjoyed having one until this past summer when it began turning on the AC and a couple minutes later turning on the heat while the AC was running. This put so much stress on the AC the that outdoor unit burned out, costing me $2000 to replace. A visit to Nest user forums showed this is a known problem and has happened to quite a few users. I will not have another Nest, thank you. My first one cost me enough.

Nest is totally useless to me. We have very little pattern in the changes we make to our indoor temperature. Everything is totally random. Not seeing how Nest can possibly learn our habits, I got the Honeywell RT8580. What little pattern we have we programmed in. Everything else we operate on the touchscreen or via wifi on our iPhone from anywhere in the world. A breeze to install, too.

Claim nest is totally useless, then proceed to love its features but in a different product. Now that's how you review.

You didn't read my post properly then. I said I do not see how Nest can learn or see a pattern in my household because our ways are very random. Try a dictionary next time?

So what little pattern you have you programmed in, and couldn't do that with a nest?

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Yes, I could. Again, the point is the hype about Nest's ability to learn my habits is meaningless to me. Why pay for a feature that I will not use? I've even read Nest users say some of Nest's inferences have been completely off.

Have had mine since X-Mas, love it. Use the Nest app with my 5S & Note 3. Nice to be able to see & control settings when I'm away from my house in extreme cold weather.

Just got one Sunday. Had it up and running in 20 minutes (most of that was waiting for it to download updates.)

So far, so good. Our schedule should be pretty regular most days, so I went ahead and set up a manual schedule. With school closings and delays, we have had some exceptions, but it's so easy to change it, that I just take a moment each morning tweaking the schedule to match our needs for the day.

My old thermostat had a setting where you could set it to Auto Heat/Cool, but if you had it set to 72 during the day and then 68 at night, it would actually turn the heat on (even during the summer) to get to the new set temp. I just stopped using the hybrid mode and set it to either heat or cool as needed. I'm planning to do the same thing with Nest. (The HVAC tech won't even inspect our AC if the temp is below 50 because he says it could damage the compressor to run it when it is that cold. I don't want to risk the Nest trying to turn the AC on when it is -5 out because the temp setting went from 74 while we are getting ready in the morning to 68 when we go off to school and work.)

I have thermostats in ever room, so each would require a separate Nest, which would not only make it prohibitively expensive, but pretty much annihilate any benefit for it as a system. (Unless I'm misunderstanding something huge)

yes absolutely it's "done right" not only does it do everything that any other programmable thermostat already does just as good or better it also spies on you and sends your data to google who then sends it to the NSA. no thanks. i was planning on buying their smoke/fire detectors but once i heard google bought them there is no way in hades i'll ever buy one. i'm hoping someone can and does come up with a comparable alternative provided gurgle hasn't already patented everything including detecting smoke and or heat.

I was dying for one...till Google bought it. Now I will never buy one, no matter how cool or well done it is. I don't need any more of my data mined and linked.

Do you really believe that Apple and half the apps on your iOS device aren't doing this too? If you have a smart phone, your data is being mined regardless of the manufacturer.

I'm using the Iris SmartHome system by Lowe's instead of Nest. It's a much more comprehensive solution for the money, in my opinion. I originally was looking at getting a Nest, but the $300 price tag (and the negative reviews of the gen 1 product) gave me pause. That's when I discovered the Iris system. For $300, you get both the security (main hub, motion sensor, door/window sensors, keypad) and the comfort (smart thermostat, smart plug) packages. I only opted for the security kit for $180 and added other stuff a-la-carte later. I've had the system for a little over 18 months and I love it. I would encourage anyone interested in home connectivity/intelligence to give it a look first.

Have one for a year now, it is so cool because it learned our schedule, about 98% accurate. I had to use the app to make a few minor tweeks in the schedule, super easy to adjust the program. I always come home to the right temperature regardless of the polar vortex/extreme heat. Plus if my schedule changes I can always make adjustments on my iPhone app.

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