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(Pocket-lint) - Honeywell offers a couple of smart heating systems within its portfolio including the multi-zone Evohome and the Single Zone Thermostat. It also has another number up its sleeve though - known as Lyric - and while this smart thermostat is only available in the US and Canada at the moment, it's a direct competitor to the popular Nest Learning Thermostat.

The purpose of the Nest Learning Thermostat is that it adapts your heating to your lifestyle, learning your routines and adjusting itself accordingly. Honeywell's Lyric on the other hand, claims to have no learning curve, no rigid scheduling, just "comfort and control".

We have put the two round smart thermostats up against each other so you can see what the differences are, what features each offers and which is the right choice for you and your smart heating needs.

Honeywell Lyric and Nest Learning Thermostat: Quick summary

Honeywell first introduced a round thermostat in 1953 but Lyric is in an entirely different realm to what was created back then. In a nutshell, Lyric moves control to your smartphone and it's designed to work with a dynamic lifestyle. It doesn't follow a set schedule or learn your routine, instead it just knows when you are home and when you are away, adjusting the house temperature accordingly.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is a thermostat and programmer in one and it learns the temperatures you like and your routine in order to programme itself. You can control it remotely as you would expect, and the Nest Learning Thermostat will automatically turn itself off when no one is at home.

Honeywell Lyric and Nest Learning Thermostat: Features

The Honeywell Lyric Thermostat has several features on board including geofencing to automatically regulate the temperature in your home when you are away and what the company calls Fine Tune, which will consider temperature and humidity to deliver the ultimate comfort level.

There are Smart Cues to keep you informed about what is happening with your heating, shortcuts to create custom settings for recurring events, and the thermostat itself has a motion-sensing display that lights up on approach. Lyric also has remote control from smart devices but not from a laptop.

In terms of the Nest Learning Thermostat, there is an auto-schedule feature that learns the temperatures you like and your routine over a week and programmes itself. The auto-away feature aims to save you energy while no one is home by automatically switching the heating off and of course, you can control it remotely, this time from a phone, tablet or laptop.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is also part of the Works with Nest scheme, as you would expect. This scheme makes it possible for Nest devices to interact with other devices that you use every day, both inside and outside the home. There are many compatible devices including Dropcam, certain Mercedes vehicles and particular Whirlpool appliances. 

Honeywell Lyric and Nest Learning Thermostat: Design

Both Honeywell's Lyric and Google's Nest are round in design. The Lyric thermostat is 3-inches in diameter, while the Nest Learning Thermostat is 3.2-inches.

Lyric is also slightly slimmer with a 1-inch depth compared to Nest's 1.3-inch depth, but both have a stainless steel case. 

Honeywell Lyric and Nest Learning Thermostat: Installation

First and foremost you have to be in the USA or Canada to be able to install the Lyric thermostat as it is currently not available in the UK or Europe. Installation can then be done yourself using the Lyric app. The app will give you step-by-step instructions and walk you through the installation process.

It's also possible to watch an installation video on the Honeywell Lyric site, or download PDF instructions if you want to opt for the traditional way. Plus, if you don't fancy doing it yourself, you can get a pro in to do it.

In terms of compatibility, the Lyric app can be downloaded for Android and iOS devices and the thermostat itself will work with most heating and cooling systems, over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. If your current thermostat has thick wires connected with wire nuts or your system is 110 volts or higher, Lyric won't be compatible.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is available in the UK, as well as the US. It will work with most boilers including combi and condensing boilers, system and heat-only boilers, hydronic underfloor systems, air source and ground source heat pumps and low voltage systems. It is also compatible with switched live systems and zoned systems, although you will need one Nest thermostat and a Heat Link per zone.  

Nest recommends that a professional installer puts the learning thermostat in for you and it claims installation takes around an hour.

Honeywell Lyric and Nest Learning Thermostat: Cost implications

The Honeywell Lyric and Nest Learning Thermostat are both available in the US for $249. For those in the UK, Nest will cost £249.


Lyric and Nest are relatively similar when it comes to design so if you're looking for a round smart thermostat, these two are your most viable options. Both are clever and they both have similar features, despite taking different approaches.

Honeywell's Lyric doesn't learn your schedule like Google's Nest, but instead it adapts to your routine as it happens rather than predict where you are going to be and when.

Both have remote control from a smartphone and tablet, but only Nest can be controlled from a laptop or computer. They also both cost the same, but Honeywell's Lyric can theoretically be installed by the homeowner, while Nest requires a specialist.

They both look smart and act smart, so your decision will ultimately come down to design preference, your location or system compatibility.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.