With all the brands and models available, finding the right smart thermostat can be a tricky process. Still, you can start by narrowing things down to two of the most well-known and highly regarded smart thermostats; the Nest thermostat E and the Ecobee3 Lite. Which of these two smart thermostats is better though? 

The Nest Thermostat E is widely regarded as being better than the Ecobee3 Lite. This is due in large part to its smart learning capabilities and the lack of sensors for the Ecobee3 Lite. 

If you’re still trying to decide between the Nest Thermostat E and the Ecobee3 Lite, we’ve got you covered. In the following sections, we’ll break down the differences between the two and what might make one preferable over the other. Additionally, we’ll provide you with a comparative table so you can save some time and quickly make your comparisons. 

Pros of Nest Thermostat E

Each of these aspects of the nest thermostat E make it well worth your while, and one of the best budget options out there: 

  • Smart learning: Unlike the Ecobee3 Lite, the Nest E thermostat can slowly pick up on what temperature you like at what time. It will then automatically adjust the temperature for you. Talk about convenience!
  • Compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant: Though Nest is owned by Google, you can still use their thermostats with Alexa as well. If you’re trying to integrate all of your smart technology, compatibility is key. 
  • HVAC monitoring: Unlike the Ecobee3, the Nest thermostat has HVAC monitoring capabilities included. 
  • LCD Screen: The LCD screen on the Nest is 24 bit and 182 pixels per inch. This is a better screen than you’d expect for Nest’s budget option.   

For such a small device, the Nest E thermostat really packs a punch in all the features it offers. It’s for these reason’s it is a great choice. 

Cons of Nest Thermostat E

While the Nest Thermostat E is still a fantastic option, it is lacking in the following ways:

  • Has fewer stages of heating and cooling: Unfortunately, the Nest thermostat E doesn’t have as many stages of heating and cooling as the Ecobee3 Lite. It can have 3 at a time (two of either heating and cooling and one of the other). The Ecobee3 on the other hand can have two of each simultaneously. 
  • Not compatible with Home Kit: While the Nest thermostat E is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, the same can’t be said of apple’s Home Kit. 

While the Nest Thermostat may lack some compatibility or stages of heating and cooling, the features it does have are so good it’s not that big of a deal. Unless of course, you have a very specific need in mind.

Pros and Cons of Ecobee3 Lite

Now let’s shift our attention over to the Ecobee3 Lite. What exactly are its upsides and downsides?

In the sections below, you’ll find a breakdown of the major pros and cons of the Ecobee3 Lite: 

Pros of Ecobee3 Lite

The following features of the Ecobee3 Lite make it a heavy contender when it comes to budget smart thermostats: 

  • Good user interface: The Ecobee3 Lite is quite intuitive to use. With this one you won’t be scratching your head, just trying to figure out how to turn it on–if you know what I mean.
  • Extra stage of heating or cooling: As we alluded to in the section on the Nest, the Ecobee3 Lite has extra heating or cooling stages in comparison.
  • Broad compatibility: The Ecobee3 Lite is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Home Kit.  

With its compatibility, easy user interface, and extra stages of heating and cooling, the Ecobee3 Lite  earns its place as one of the best smart thermostats on a budget. 

Cons of Ecobee3 Lite

While the Ecobee3 Lite is undoubtedly an excellent choice for a smart thermostat, it does come with its downsides. 

Below we’ve broken down the three biggest cons of the Ecobee3 Lite so you can decide if it’s right for you:

  • Alexa microphones aren’t as strong as they could be: While the idea of having your smart thermostat hooked up to your Alexa account sounds good, it’s not perfect in practice. One of the most common complaints about the Ecobee3 Lite is that the microphones for Alexa are not really as perceptive as they should be. 
  • Doesn’t come with room temperature sensors: Unfortunately, the lite version of the Ecobee3 doesn’t come with the room temperature sensors the larger model does. On the plus side, you can add them later if you really need them. Still, it does make for a bit of a hassle. 
  • No smart learning: This is the biggest reason the Ecobee3 falls just a little short of the Nest. It doesn’t have incredible smart learning capabilities. 

Make no mistake, while the Ecobee3 Lite has its limitations, it’s still one of the best budget options on the market. 

Nest Thermostat E vs Ecobee3 Lite: Quick Comparison

Below we’ve put together a table that lays out the major functions of each Thermostat so you can know which one meets your needs:

Thermostat Feature Comparison
Nest Thermostat EEcobee3 Lite
Preprogramablexx
Smart Learningx
2 Stages of both Heating and Cooling Supportx
HVAC Monitoringx
Home Kit Compatibilityx
Google Assistant Compatibilityxx
Alexa Compatibilityxx

So Really, Which is Better, Nest Thermostat E or Ecobee3 Lite?

At the end of the day, both the Ecobee3 Lite and the Nest Thermostat E are pretty solid smart thermostats on a budget. Both carry over most of the main features of their larger counterparts and have a good range of compatibility. Still, one has to be better than the other. Which is it?

Our pick will have to go to the Nest Thermostat E. While the Ecobee3 Lite has a lot of things going for it, the smart learning and HVAC monitoring just barely tip the scale in favor of the  Thermostat E. Still if something like the extra stages of heating and cooling or the compatibility with Home Kit is more important to you, the Ecobee3 Lite is still an excellent choice.