Sense everything

ecobee4

Comfortable learning

Nest Thermostat

With Amazon's Alexa assistant and support for HomeKit built-in, along with satellite sensors that detect not only the temperatures of different rooms but the people in them, the ecobee4 is a great all-around smart thermostat. We just wish it was smarter, and used batteries for backup power.

$250 at Amazon

Pros

  • HomeKit-enabled
  • Works with Siri
  • Amazon Alexa support through built-in microphones
  • Works with Google Assistant
  • Remote sensors detect both temperature and room occupancy

Cons

  • Does not learn from your behavior
  • Wired power only

What lets the Nest Thermostat stand out is its ability to learn your temperature preferences and set an automatic schedule accordingly. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for making manual changes using only your voice. The Nest is held back by its lack of HomeKit support, as well as sensors that aren't as functional.

$250 at Amazon

Pros

  • Learns your behavior, creating an automatic heating and cooling schedule
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • Works with Google Assistant
  • Both wired and battery-powered

Cons

  • No HomeKit support
  • Remote sensors only detect temperature

The ecobee4 is the better all-around thermostat option for most people, with built-in Alexa support, HomeKit support, and better external room sensors. The HomeKit support helps fill in some of the automation gaps between the ecobee4 and the Nest, and also gives you more options when setting up your smart home.

Still, if you want a smart thermostat that learns your behaviors, the Nest is still great. As it learns, the Nest creates an automatic schedule, and you can still make temperature adjustments either on the thermostat itself or with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Key differences

There are a great number of similarities between the ecobee4 and Nest thermostats, and both are great picks. But there are also key differences of which it's important to be aware. Such as the fact that the Nest is a learning thermostat. This means that it learns how you like your house to feel over time. Additionally, it can automatically set itself into Eco Temperature mode when you're away from your home (with location data provided by the Nest app on your phone) to save energy.

The Nest will also offer suggestions for energy-saving settings that could help you save money on your heating and cooling bill.

The ecobee4's biggest advantages come in the form of its available options. Like the Nest, the ecoobee4 thermostat works with both Google Assistant and Alexa. Alexa is actually built right into the ecobee4, which features multiple microphones so it can hear your commands. Beyond those two assistants, the ecobee4 also works with Siri thanks to its support for HomeKit. HomeKit support lets you integrate the ecobee4 with your other HomeKit accessories and scenes, something you can't do with the Nest.

The ecobee4 also has better external room sensors than the Nest. These sensors detect, not only the temperature of each individual room in which they're placed, but also whether or not anyone is in those rooms, letting you deliver heating or cooling to those rooms as needed.

ecobee4 Nest Thermostat
Power Wired Wired or Battery
Wi-Fi Yes Yes
Warranty (years) 3 2
iOS App Yes Yes
Android App Yes Yes
Web Access Yes Yes
Humidity sensor Yes Yes
Accessory control Yes Yes
Annual fees No No
Remote sensors Yes (Sense temperature and room occupancy) Yes (Sense temperature)
Learns habits over time No Yes
Works with Amazon Alexa Yes Yes
Google Assistant support Yes Yes
HomeKit-enabled Yes No
Amazon Alexa built-in Yes No
Price $249 $249

The truth is that no matter which of these thermostats you pick, you're going to be getting a quality product. And while the two are quite similar in a lot of ways, their differences will appeal to different people. Want a thermostat you don't really have to think about? Get the Nest. Want something with a virtual assistant built in? Get the ecobee4.

Still, I'd recommend the ecobee4 for most people. It's got Alexa built-in which is great for direct control, while also working directly with HomeKit, letting you add it to your scenes with other HomeKit accessories or control the ecobee4 with Siri. It's external sensors, placed in each room, also tell you if people are in that room, letting your heating or cooling systems deliver what's needed more efficiently.

Our pick

ecobee4

A great thermostat with a lot of options.

With Amazon Alexa built-in and support for Apple's HomeKit, the ecobee4 offers a lot of options for control and automation, along with room sensors that handily beat the competition.

Learning comfort

Nest Thermostat

An intelligent thermostat that learns what you like.

Learning your temperature adjustment needs over time, the Nest Thermostat's automatic schedules make it a "set it and forget it" sort of appliance that takes some of the worries out of heating and cooling your home.

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