Nest was founded in 2010 and has become of the more respected names in home automation. The company was acquired by Google in January 2014, allowing Nest more resources to continue its growth. One of Nest's mottos is that it "(takes) the unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things." The "unloved" home products that Nest focuses on are thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and home security cameras. Using a smartphone, Nest allows users to control the temperature of their home, monitor the air quality, and view/record real-time video.
The Nest products have received mixed reviews and customers seem to overwhelmingly like their Nest Learning Thermostats, Nest Cams and Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These products work together without the need for a hub, which is unique to the industry. There are several products which also will work with Nest to make one's home more connected. An investment in Nest can be more expensive than one with another product line, and some customers have reported significant wait times or problems with customer service.
- Many places to buy
- The Nest Learning Thermostat
- Nest Protect Smoke Alarm
- Full HD Nest Cams
- Partner companies
Many Places to Buy
Built to make your home safer and more energy efficient, Nest's products are made for the current buyers who lean toward simple design with impressive specs. Their products can be purchased online at retailers such as Amazon, directly from Nest or from other retailers. Pricing for products is consistent across retailers, so customers need not worry that they will miss a better deal elsewhere.
Nest creates products that are designed to save consumers money over time by protecting their home and allowing them to control everything remotely. All of their products can be installed easily with the help of video tutorials. Customers may also select professional installation from one of the hundreds of certified Nest Pro professional installers.
The Nest Learning Thermostat
While most thermostats today are programmable, the process is usually complicated, meaning that most users do not fully use the capabilities of their programmable thermostats to save energy and money. The Nest Learning Thermostat is simple to program and the interface is intuitive. Additionally, the thermostat can be controlled from one's smartphone or online through a Google account.
The Nest Learning Thermostat remembers preferences and programs itself automatically after the user adjusts their thermostat for a few days. After a few days of turning the thermostat up or down based on their preferences, it will begin to set those temperatures on its own. The device can even differentiate between weekdays and weekends and make proper adjustments.
Another helpful tool is the "Auto-Away" feature which notices when residents leave, and switches to energy-efficient mode. The ability to control the temperature from a smartphone also allows users to protect themselves against sudden temperature changes that could cause burst pipes or overheat a pet.
Nest Protect Smoke Alarm
With the smart smoke and carbon monoxide monitor, Nest creates an added piece of mind. Alerts are sent directly to smartphones identifying the location of the issue and distinguish between fast or slow-burning fires. In the event of a false alarm, the device can be silenced the alarm with the connected smartphone. This product works (less a few features) even if it's not connected to WiFi. While not as fully interactive, it will still keep the home and family safe.
Full HD Nest Cams
Nest offers a 1080p HD camera that streams securely to a phone, tablet, or laptop. The Nest Cam is able to show a 130-degree, wide-angle view of the room. With such high resolution, users can zoom and enhance images easily. Even more so than with the other products, the camera is simple to self-install and its portability allows users to set them up in any room in the house.
In addition to the products which are sold by Nest, Nest works with other manufacturers which allows similar automation with a variety of products. Nest maintains a listing of all of current partnerships on the website:
- Hue (colored light alerts)
- August (smart lock)
- Kevo (smart lock)
- Lifx (lighting)
- Ooma (phone)
- Rachio (sprinklers)
- Big Ass Fans
- Automatic (car adapter)
- Slow return in investment
- Reports of equipment failure
- Display interface issues
- Installation and charging issues
- Long wait times for customer service
- Privacy concerns with Android app
Slow Return in Investment
While Nest's products are designed to save money in the long term, the upfront cost is rather expensive, especially considering that users probably already have a fully functional thermostat and a smoke detector. Adding to the cost is that many houses will need more than one of each product-larger homes may need a thermostat upstairs and downstairs, smoke alarm on each floor, and camera for multiple rooms, etc.
Reports of Equipment Failure
And while many people feel that Nest improved their home and way of life, there are a number of negative reviews where the Nest technology failed completely. Reports of this are less frequent than the positive ones, but there are enough negative customer experiences of this sort that they bear mentioning.
Display Interface Issues
Many customers are ultimately unhappy with the interface of the Nest Learning Thermostat, saying that this device will only display the target temperature, rather than the current one. Nest has responded with explanations that the current temperature is displayed on the device, simply smaller and that if the device is functioning properly, there should not be a difference between the two readings.
Installation and Charging Issues
Customers also report some issues with charging the Nest Learning Thermostat. While there are some installations which require two wires only, others are finding that three are required to properly charge the device. The company has responded to these claims, often reiterating that two wire installation is sufficient.
Long Wait Times for Customer Service
Customers have reported long hold times for live customer support-sometimes in excess of ninety minutes.
Privacy Concerns with Android App
In order to use the Nest App for Android, the app requires several several permissions which customers find concerning. Among these are: access to photos, media, files, camera and contact list of the Android device.