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.

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The Good

  • 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.

Partner Companies

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)
  • Whirlpool
  • Kevo (smart lock)
  • Lifx (lighting)
  • Ooma (phone)
  • Rachio (sprinklers)
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Big Ass Fans
  • Automatic (car adapter)

The Bad

  • 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.

The Bottom Line

Most users are very happy with the look and performance of all of their Nest products with the most popular being the automated thermostat. While it may take time for the upgrade to actually start saving customers money, none of the products are so expensive to as be cost prohibitive. The standalone functionality of Nest products means that customers do not have to purchase a hub for the products to function; however, products which work with Nest are not necessarily as extensive as those offered by other home automation companies, the list of partner companies is very impressive. Many of the products which work with Nest do things that other home automation systems simply can't do.

We recommend Nest for those looking for a simple and forward-thinking home automation provider with some reservations, since the technology remains glitchy and not guaranteed to work.

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User Reviews

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6 Reviews

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Tanner Cook

December 15th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My wife and I recently put Nest thermostats in our home! We love being able to change the temperature right from our phone. The install wasn’t too hard either. Overall - very satisfied!

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Tiffany

December 13th, 2018 Tempe, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I love NEST it allows me to save a ton of money on energy and gives me daily reports.

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Angie L Hanzel

November 6th, 2018 Saratoga Springs, UT

When my husband ordered solar panels we received a free Nest. I Love it! My favorite thing to do is lay in bed and be able to control the temperature from my phone without having to go to the thermostat. I also love the feature where you can program the nest to run at different temperatures throughout the day. Amazing product!

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Joanna Hester

June 18th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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There was a Nest system installed in the most recent home we bought. I didn't think anything of it, but we have lived in the home for two years and use the system on a consistent basis. We love controlling the thermostat when we are on vacation!

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Joseph K

January 18th, 2018 Atchison, KS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Nest is an awesome product. It saved me once when my furnace went out in my condo. I do not understand why they have a low score here, but my score is as high as they come.

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Cassidy Gundersen

December 10th, 2017 Orem, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have a Nest thermostat, and it’s great! I love being able to adjust the temperature from my phone. When I was pregnant during the summer it was a lifesaver! I would get so hot at night but could adjust the temperature from bed. And then over time, it would just learn our schedule.

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