While the Nest Learning Thermostat does have a few advantages over the cheaper Thermostat E, for most people, the Thermostat E is likely the right choice. As with anything you're going to wire directly into your home, you'll want to check the compatibility of both thermostats to make sure they'll work with your heating and cooling system.
Break it down now...
In many ways, some would say the most important ways, the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E are the same thermostat. All things being equal (they both work with your HVAC system, you like the style of either), the most significant difference between the two is the price. The Nest Thermostat E is around $50 less than the base price of the Learning Thermostat while delivering most of the same features, and with various sales throughout the year, that gap is often much wider.
Honestly, the single most significant advantage that the Nest Learning Thermostat has over the Thermostat E is HVAC system compatibility. Spending less money on the Thermostat E won't do you any good if it doesn't work with your system, so you should check compatibility beforehand. But there's a good chance that both thermostats will be compatible. Unless you need Farsight, which lights up the Nest Learning Thermostat's display to show you information when the thermostat detects that you're nearby, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend the Learning Thermostat over the Thermostat E.
|Nest Learning Thermostat||Nest Thermostat E|
|Power||Wired or Battery||Wired or Battery|
|Screen Size||5.3 cm||4.5 cm|
|Remote sensors||Yes (Sense temperature)||Yes (Sense temperature)|
|Learns habits over time||Yes||Yes|
|Works with Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes|
|Google Assistant support||Yes||Yes|
|Amazon Alexa built-in||No||No|
Given the similarities, unless you absolutely need Farsight or a thermostat with a metal casing, and assuming that it's compatible with your HVAC system, get the Thermostat E. It's less expensive while providing most of the same features as the Learning Thermostat. And honestly, it'll likely blend into the rest of your home better, assuming that's something you want.
If you really like the styling and color options available for the Learning Thermostat, or the Thermostat E doesn't work with your system, then, by all means, get the Learning Thermostat. But unless you need to take advantage of one of the capabilities that it possesses and the Thermostat E doesn't pick up the Thermostat E.
A great smart thermostat held back by its price.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is a great thermostat that will learn about your heating and cooling needs as you use it. But it's also pricing compared to the similarly-capable Thermostat E.
Learning for less
Almost as good for a lot less.
The Nest Thermostat E doesn't have every bell or whistle of the Learning Thermostat, but it has most of them, and at a much lower price. It would be nice if it had the same compatibility as the Learning Thermostat and more color options, but it is still the best for most.
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