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Nest Thermostat vs Ecobee3 Lite: Which is Better?

Last Updated Nov 22, 2021
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Finding the right smart thermostat can be challenging in today’s world where there are so many options. Two of the best options are the Nest Thermostat and the Ecobee3 Lite. That said, which is better, Nest or Ecobee3? 

The smart thermostat that’s better really depends on which specific features are important to you. If you want smart scheduling, extra stages of heating and cooling, and HVAC monitoring, then Nest’s is better. If you want more compatibility and greater voice options, it’s Ecobee’s.

If you’re currently deliberating on whether to get the Nest Thermostat or the Ecobee3 Lite, you’ve come to the right place. In the following sections, we will break down the pros and cons of each and provide you with an easy chart of features to help you make up your mind.  

Pros of Nest Thermostat

Below we’ve outlined the biggest reasons why the Nest Thermostat might be right for you:

  • Smart schedule learning: Nest is famous for its product’s incredible smart learning capabilities. The Nest Thermostat can learn your schedule over time and automatically adjust the temperature to what you like. For example, if you turn down the temp at bedtime and up in the morning, it will begin to do that automatically. 
  • Compatibility with both Google Assistant and Alexa: Nest thermostats are compatible with Alexa even though Nest is owned by Google. This is great news for Amazon customers who want to integrate their smart technology.
  • Supports three stages of heating and two of cooling: This beats out the Ecobee3, which only has two of each.
  • HVAC monitoring: With the Nest Thermostat you even get HVAC monitoring. Something not true of the Ecobee3 Lite.   

The Nest Thermostat is one of the best budget smart thermostats on the market for a reason. All of these features help set it apart from the competition. 

Cons of Nest Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat isn’t without its downsides. Below we outline the biggest cons of the Nest Thermostat:

  • Isn’t compatible with Home Kit: Apple customers will despair. Unfortunately, while the Nest Thermostat is compatible with Alexa, it isn’t with Home Kit. 
  • Doesn’t have temperature sensors: Unfortunately, the Nest Thermostat doesn’t have temperature sensors at all. At least with the Ecobee3 Lite, you can add them. 

Even with these limitations, the smart learning and HVAC monitoring alone, still make the Nest Thermostat well worth having. 

Pros of Ecobee3 Lite

The Ecobee3 Lite has made a name for itself with how many features it was able to keep with a smaller verison. Below we’ve outlined some of the main features that make the Ecobee3 special: 

  • Preprogramable: You can preprogram the Ecobee3 Lite to change temperatures throughout the day, whenever you want. If you like it to be cool during the day and warm at night, you can set it up to do so. 
  • Compatibility: The Ecobee3 is compatible with Apple’s Home kit, Google Assistant, and Alexa. You can’t beat that with the Nest Thermostat. 
  • Comes with three voice assistant options: One of the biggest markers of Ecobee smart thermostats, is that they use a heavy amount of voice control. Before using Alexa, Home Kit, or Google Assistant you already have three voice control options. 

Apple users may have just made up their mind on which thermostat to use. Otherwise, you’ll need to weigh these against that of the Nest Thermostat and what’s important to you. 

Cons of Ecobee3 Lite

The Ecobee3 is not without its limitations. Below we’ve outlined the primary cons of the Ecobee3 Lite:

  • No smart learning: Unfortunately, the Ecobee3 Lite can’t learn your schedule the way the Nest thermostat can. Still, it is preprogramable, so you can manually put in the temperature you like at different times. 
  • Doesn’t come with sensors: The regular Ecobee3 comes with their signature temperature sensors. Unfortunately, the Lite version does not. That said, if you really want them you can add them to the Lite version. The only catch is you have to buy them separately. 
  • Alexa microphones leave something to be desired: While the Ecobee3 Lite is still compatible with Alexa, it still comes with its own challenges in a practical sense. The microphones on the smart thermostat are not quite as powerful as you might like. They’re functional, but not great. 

Though the Ecobee3 Lite isn’t perfect, make no mistake, it’s still one of the best budget smart thermostats on the market. 

Nest Thermostat vs Ecobee3 Lite

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, you might find that one or the other offers more features you need:

Thermostat Feature Comparison
Nest Thermostat Ecobee3 Lite
Smart Learningx
3 Stages of both Heating and Cooling Supportx
HVAC Monitoringx
Home Kit Compatibilityx
Extra Built-in Voice Assistantsx
Google Assistant Compatibilityxx
Alexa Compatibilityxx

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

When it comes to these two smart thermostats, it’s really hard to pick a winner. The Nest Thermostat is certainly the prettier of the two devices but their strengths and weaknesses lay in different areas. 

If the smart scheduling and HVAC monitoring sounded good to you, then you should probably go with Nest’s thermostat. If you feel like you’d get more out of Ecobee’s compatibility and better voice controls, then the Ecobee is better for you. Which will you choose? 

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