Nest announced a new, cheaper version of its learning thermostat at the end of August, designed to be more accessible thanks to its $169 price point.

The big question is how does Nest Thermostat E compared to the more expensive, $249 Nest Thermostat 3.0 however? Here are the two devices against each other explaining how they differ in design, feature and hardware specifications.

  • Thermostat 3.0 more premium in design and more colours available
  • Thermostat E is smaller
  • Thermostat 3.0 has larger and more resolute display

Both the Nest Thermostat E and the Nest Thermostat 3.0 feature a round design, but they differ in finish.

The Nest Thermostat E has a white plastic finish, measuring 81mm in diameter and 28.9mm in thickness. It weighs 139g and it has a 1.76-inch frosted glass display on the front with a resolution of 320 x 320 for a pixel density of 182ppi.

The Nest Thermostat 3.0 meanwhile, has a stainless steel finish that comes in four colour options, including copper, silver, black and white. It is ever so slightly larger than the E, measuring 83mm in diameter and 30.7mm in thickness.

The Thermostat 3.0 also has a larger, more resolute display than the Thermostat E, measuring 2.08-inches with a 480 x 480 resolution, which puts its pixel density at 229ppi, meaning it will offer crisper and sharper text than the cheaper device.

  • Same features
  • Both learn routine and are controllable through Nest app
  • Pre-set schedule on Thermostat E but can be changed

The Nest Thermostat E and the Thermostat 3.0 share the same learning capabilities and features, with the major difference between the two seen in the design.

The Thermostat E comes with a pre-set schedule, designed to start saving you money instantly, but you'll be able to change the schedule like the Thermostat 3.0, as well as control the device through the Nest app and smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

When the display is off, the Thermostat E's screen will be grey, while on it will show information with a soft glow, offering adaptive brightness based on the room conditions. The Nest 3.0 meanwhile has a feature called Farsight that lights up the display to show you the temperature, weather or time. You can also choose a digital or analogue clock face on the Nest 3.0.

Both devices learn your daily routines and adjust settings accordingly to ensure your home is only heated when required. Both will detect when nobody is home, switching off the heating system entirely, and they will both integrate with other connected products within the Works with Nest portfolio.

  • More sensors on the Thermostat 3.0
  • Both require Wi-Fi, Nest app and compatible heating system
  • Both have built-in rechargeable battery

The Nest Thermostat E has temperature, humidity, proximity and ambient light sensors on board. There is a built-in rechargeable lithium ion-battery and it is said to run on less than 1kWh per month power.

The Nest Thermostat 3.0 has temperature, humidity, near-field activity, far-field activity and ambient light sensors on board, so a couple more than the E. It too features a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and it too runs on less than 1kWh per month power.

Both thermostats require a Wi-Fi connection, the Nest app, which is available on both Android and iOS devices and a compatible heating system. Both Nest Thermostats work with the majority of 24V heating and cooling systems, including gas, electric, forced air, heat pump, radiant, oil, hot water, solar and geothermal.

The Nest Thermostat E and the Nest Thermostat 3.0 are very similar when it comes to hardware specifications. They both aim to save you money on your heating costs and they both learn your routine and schedule in order to do so.

The main difference in the two devices is the price, with a $150 discrepancy between the two, which can be seen in the design. The Thermostat 3.0 is a much more premium looking and it comes in several colour options with a larger and higher resolution display, while the Thermostat E has a much cheaper finish and is only available in white.

The choice between these two devices will ultimately come down to budget, as well as which finish you would prefer on your walls. If you want premium, the Thermostat 3.0 is the one for you, but if you're happy with a slightly more basic design, the Thermostat E is much friendlier to the wallet.