Ecobee vs Nest Thermostat Comparison – Which One Is Right For You

By Louis Cook

Finally, you want to buy a smart thermostat for your smart home.

But, you are confused to choose which one should I buy.

Which is better nest or ecobee? Right?

In this comparison post, I am going to compare their features, price, design, which one will be perfect for you.

So if you are planning to have one in your home, you might just find yourself in the dilemma which brands to select from.

Ecobee vs Nest Thermostat comparison:

Product NamePriceLaunched Date
ecobee 3 lite$169October 17th, 2016
Nest Thermostat E$169August 31st, 2017
ecobee 4$249May 3rd, 2017
Nest Learning Thermostat$249September 1st, 2015

Nest and Ecobee manufacture the most popular smart thermostats. The nest is first to smart bring smart thermostat in the market and still holds a strong ground. Ecobee has gained its popularity in recent times in the world of smart thermostats with new models and innovative features.

There are mainly 4 products of these two brands available in the market. They are Nest 3rd Gen released on September 1st, 2015, Nest E thermostat released on August 31st, 2017, Ecobee3 lite released on October 17th, 2016 and Ecobee4 released on May 3rd, 2017.


With every passing day, technology is evolving and making your living easier. One of the most important things that make your life better is a smart thermostat.

A smart thermostat is a device that automatically controls the heating and air conditioning or in short HVAC system of your home according to the required necessity. Some of you may already have a programmable thermostat installed in your household, or some of you may don’t have one.


In this post below I will be comparing, discussing and reviewing products from the brands, Nest 3rd gen, Nest E thermostat, Ecobee 3 lite, Ecobee 4, which will guide you to pick a suitable product according to your requirement.

Ecobee vs Nest Comparison Chart (Ecobee 3 lite vs Nest Thermostat E vs Ecobee 4 vs Nest Learning Thermostat)

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Here We will discuss following features:

  • Mobile app control
  • Home and away and follow me operating modes
  • Installation
  • Power options
  • Sunblock temperature adjust facility
  • Voice control mode
  • LCD display

The differences between Nest and Ecobee

There are many differences in between Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 lite and Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen which can be listed on the basis of features and operations between NEST and ECOBEE.

The first one is that Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 lite contains wireless remote sensors for smart detection, whereas Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen thermostat doesn’t possess this feature.

Nest 3rd gen and Nest E thermostat can be powered by C wire or by rechargeable Lithium ion batteries on the other hand Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite can be powered by only C wire, Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 lite doesn’t have the feature of powered by batteries.

Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 lite has touch screen feature to control the thermostat but Nest has a turn dialing feature to control the same.

Nest 3rd Gen is learning thermostat which means it automatically learns your using pattern whereas Nest E thermostat, Ecobee 3 lite, Ecobee 4 has to work on your input settings and lacks the automatic learning feature.

Ecobee 4 thermostat has inbuilt Amazon Alexa but in case of Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E thermostat one have to buy Amazon Alexa separately.

Ecobee4 and Ecobee 3 lite has an additional feature i.e. Follow me mode but both Nest product lacks it.

Nest 3rd  Gen has the feature of Sunblock Temperature adjust in its hood but Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite doesn’t have this feature.

Another most important feature that Ecobee 4 provides is that it can control other HVAC devices but Nest cannot control other HVAC devices.

Another difference between Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E thermostat is their body material, Nest 3rd gen gives you a full metal polished body but Nest E provides polycarbonate body with ceramic feel finish. Nest 3rd Gen provides high resolution color display and Nest E gives Frosted display for blending into walls.

Now as the differences between the Ecobee 4, Ecobee 3 lite, Nest E thermostat and Nest 3rd Gen are discussed above let us now focus on the features that they provide. After all the differences doesn’t help you to choose but features do.


Mobile app control:

Mobile control is one of the most desired features everybody wants in today’s world because everyone wants to be in control of their house all the time. So both Nest and Ecobee have mobile app control feature to control your thermostat.

Ecobee 3 lite:

This thermostat can be easily controlled by Android, iOS, devices with the mobile app and through apple watch too. You can turn the temperature of your thermostat up or down through mobile app. It gives you energy saving reports. It also gives you alerts and reminders.

Bottom line is all products are easily operated and controlled by the mobile app.

Nest E thermostat:

Like Nest 3rd Gen Nest E thermostat also have mobile app control. Nest app allows you to control the temperature of your thermostat from your home, office, outside etc. for this feature you need to connect or sync it to your WIFI. This app gives you a history of energy usage and energy saved by your thermostat. It also suggests how you can save more energy. This app sends you reports of malfunctions of your furnace, filters, and AC etc. Like Nest 3rd gen this thermostat can be controlled by your family members from their mobile nest app.

Ecobee 4: 

The mobile app of Ecobee 4 is available both in android & ios and as well as Apple watches. This app gives you the ability to control the temperature increase and decrease in your house without manual operation. It will send you alerts and reminders of your HVAC System. This app gives you the control over the speaker and microphone of Ecobee. This app doesn’t have a learning feature for automatic scheduling or fan control. You have to set it manually on the thermostat. The app is just as similar as the Ecobee so don’t have to face any problem linking it with the mobile app and use it.

Nest 3rd Gen: 

The thermostat once installed and connected to the WIFI of your house it can be controlled by using your phone from everywhere. You can always change the temperature of the thermostat without going near it. The Nest mobile app gives you the opportunity to create many login ids for your home so that not only you but also the members of your family can control the thermostat too. You don’t ever have to worry again to set schedule timer on your thermostat because it automatically learns your daily usage pattern. The Nest app provides you the option to exhaust the air of your house by scheduling the fan rotation for a time particular period on daily basis or for just once. You can also do it manually. Another advantage of the mobile app is that the Nest detects your absence by the location of your mobile and automatically goes to the Eco mode to conserve energy. This makes the Nest your smart energy efficient thermostat. This smart thermostat will also send you alerts of technical faults in your A.C or heater or exhaust furnace.

Home and away and follow me operating modes:

This feature is an important technological advancement which helps in conservation of energy. This feature generally detects if you are home or away and changes the room temperature accordingly.

Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite: Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite has the home and away feature. It detects your presence in your home through the room sensors and changes the temperature accordingly and in your absence it reduces the system to minimal working condition so as to save energy. It also detects when you are away from home through your mobile app location and turns your thermostat down. It has the extra feature known as ‘Follow me’. As mentioned earlier Ecobee comes with room sensors, this room sensor detects your presence in a room and its temperature and changes the temperature of other rooms. When you move from one room to other which maybe warm or cool the sensors will detect your presence in that room and will indicate the thermostat to change the temperature to the reading earlier detected. In short it helps to keep hot and cold spots in your home according to your house occupancy.

Nest 3rd Gen and Nest E- Both Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen are enabled with Home and away feature. It detects your presence in home and changes the room temperature according to your settings. While you are away it detects your absence and changes its settings to Eco mode symbolized by green leaf to avoid waste of energy and thus reduces your bill. But as it lacks room sensors it cannot follow you movement while you are home. So both this Nest products offer you Home and Away feature but not ‘Follow me’ feature.

Bottom line is Ecobee4 offers you a better option of saving energy than that of Nest.


Both the thermostats use simple DIY installation process, which makes the installation and set up easy for you.

Nest E and Nest 3rd gen installation requires less than 30 minutes and you can do it all by yourself but Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite is much fast and easy to install. If you have done it earlier and know how to connect the HVAC systems to your thermostat you can do it easily. But if you are new to this you can look for the detailed video of installation procedure in the official sites of both this thermostats. Nest 3rd gen gives you an upper hand regarding wrong connections; it shows you on the display if any wire is connected wrongly. For those who are in two minds whether to install it yourself or ask someone for help, be sure to take the help of a professional because you don’t want yourself or any amateur to damage you’re A.C, Heater, etc or in short HVAC system or the electrical circuit of your entire house.

Here I would like to add that Nest 3rd gen is compatible with 24V heating and cooling system than Nest E.

Power options:

Power options are all most equal in both the thermostats. Apart from the fact that Nest E and Nest 3rd gen gives you an extra option as it can also powered by Lithium ion rechargeable batteries as well as both of them are powered by C wire connections. If your house does not have C wire connection in that case Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite gives you Power extender kit (PEK). It allows you connect your thermostat to your HVAC system directly. Nest E and Nest 3rd gen does not provide you PEK facility. Although almost all the house are now powered by C wire. So the application of PEK feature is minimal and most importantly you need a professional to install the PEK in your HVAC system. This would cost you some extra dollars.

You can get all type of help from the experts on 24×7 helpline numbers of NEST and ECOBEE.

Sunblock temperature adjust facility:

Nest 3rd gen provides a unique feature that no other brands offer, it is the ‘Sunblock‘temperature adjusting facility. As we all know that during daytime sunlight falls on your thermostat machine and the sensor would mistake it as raised heat of the room and work accordingly with the changed reading. To reduce this error Nest 3rd gen has came up with this Sunblock feature, which knows that when the sunlight falls on the thermostat the temperature reading will me more than actual room temperature, so it acts with the correct reading.

Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite have relied on the room sensors in this case as it has not yet included the Sunblock temperature adjust facility to its body. Nest E also don’t have ‘Sunblock’ feature.

Voice control mode:

Voice control is another important and interesting feature the all the thermostat provides you.

In case of Nest E and Nest 3rd gen, both use the Google home to fulfill this feature. It means if you have Google home device in your home you just have to sync the thermostat with the network and with the Google home device that’s all, now you can use the Google commands to serve your purpose.

Ecobee4 already has built-in Amazon Alexa feature. You neither have to sync it or link it. Just install and ask Alexa. Ecobee4 has ios operating application too, so if you have an Apple device, you can control it by using Apple Homekit.

Ecobee3 lite has Apple home kit which means you can control your thermostat through iPhone, iPads and Apple watches using Siri. It also works with Amazon Echo, Samsung smart things, IFTTT, Wink, etc.

The drawback of Nest E and Nest 3rd Gen is that there is no in-build Amazon Alexa. If you want to have one, you must spend some more money to serve your purpose.

All of them are also compatible with other voice activation devices by third party available in the market.

LCD Display:

LCD display is common for both Nest and Ecobee the thermostats. All of them have an almost equal resolution in their display; Nest 3rd Gen has slight high resolution than Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite although Nest E has a frosted display which blends into walls of your house.

Nest 3rd gen has a large dial control to its operations. It doesn’t offer you touch screen feature. Apart from that, it gives you the option to choose the display that will pop up when you go near it or pass by it. It has a remote sensor attached to it to detect movement in front of it which is called ‘Farsight’. That means when you pass by it go in front, it will automatically detect your presence and glow up and show the temperature display to you. It means you don’t even have to touch it. It also shows you the date, weather, time and temperature of course.

Nest E also has a large dial to control its operations, but it does not have ‘Farsight’ feature like Nest 3rd gen. is also doesn’t show you date, weather, time but it shows you the temperature reading.

Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 lite come with the touch screen feature; it has only a single display with no buttons or dials. You can only control its operations by touching the display. It will not detect you like Nest 3rd gen with ‘Farsight’ feature, and you have to turn it up by touching its display.

Although touch screens are more attractive than dials Nest 3rd gen is clearly ahead in the Displaying features. Nest E’s frosted display can be a good choice for those who like their thermostat to blend in with the color of their walls without any attraction or even most hiding its presence.

Thermostat Pros and Cons:

Ecobee3 lite Pros & Cons:

  • The mobile app allows you to control your thermostat with android or ios device.
  • Extra remote wireless sensors for movement detection.
  • Has vacation mode, when you are away for long it turns your heating and cooling systems down.
  • Sends you alert of system malfunctions.
  • You can use Amazon Echo or Apple Siri to control your thermostat with your voice.
  • Has ‘Follow me’ feature.
  • Lacks Sunblock feature.
  • Lacks in build Amazon Alexa.
  • Not powered by Lithium-ion battery only powered by C wire.

Nest Thermostat E Pros & Cons:

  • Nest E can be powered by C wire and Lithium-ion rechargeable battery.
  • It has a Frosted display to blend into walls.
  • Gives you mobile app control and family accounts for your family members to control your thermostat.
  • Price far less than Nest 3rd gen and Ecobee4.
  • Works with other Nest products.
  • Saves approximately 23% energy around the year.
  • Lacks ‘Sunblock’ feature.
  • Lacks ‘Farsight’ feature.
  • Less compatible with 24v heating and cooling system than Nest 3rd
  • No ‘Follow me’ mode.
  • No ‘Alexa’ in-build for voice control.

Ecobee4 Pros & Cons:

  • Ecobee4 provides you wireless remote sensors.
  • It provides the FOLLOW ME feature.
  • Provides 3-year warranty.
  • Ecobee4 has mobile app feature on android and ios.
  • It has weather forecast, on-screen reminders and local live weather on its display.
  • It has the facility to control the HVAC system of your house.
  • Installation is easy and quick.
  • It has free cooling and ventilator control in it.
  • Ecobee4 has in build AMAZON ALEXA for voice activation control facility.
  • Ecobee4 saves approximately 23% of energy which is a great advantage.
  • Lacks SUNBLOCK ADJUST facility.
  • Uses only 2.4gigahertz band WIFI.
  • Only powered by C wire and lacks lithium-ion battery power.
  • Lacks a customized display.
  • Not a learning thermostat. Solely depends on your input. Never stores your usage patterns to create schedule temperature change.

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) Pros and Cons:

  • Nest 3rd gen gives you the SUNBLOCK ADJUST feature which is unique.
  • Nest 3rd gen gives you a customized display.
  • Nest 3rd gen can be powered by C wire as well as Lithium-ion battery.
  • Nest 3rd gen provides you with Early on feature which means it adjusts the temperature according to time (e.g., raising the temp. in the early morning to keep you warm).
  • Nest 3rd gen has an alert mechanism that alerts you if something breaks down or goes wrong.
  • Nest 3rd gen has the mobile app feature.
  • Nest 3rd gen is a smart learning thermostat which learns from your usage patterns. It automatically schedules itself of temperature adjustments.
  • It has a ‘Farsight’ sensor to detect your presence.
  • Lacks in build AMAZON ALEXA for voice activation control, have to spend more to get it.
  • Lacks wireless remote sensors for active movement detecting.
  • Lacks the FOLLOW ME mode.
  • Had to sync it with Google home for voice control activation.
  • Provides only 1-year warranty.
  • Installation is not so user-friendly and a little bit lengthy.


To sum up would like to say that I have discussed, compared and presented the most important points. Now the choice always depends on you and your requirements.

If you want a learning thermostat that automatically schedules your temperature changes and has SUNBLOCK feature, can be powered both by C wire as well as Lithium-ion battery and changes its display, then NEST 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat is the best choice for you. And if you want almost same features of Nest 3rd generation in low price range then you can go with Nest E. You can also go for Ecobee3 lite which gives you most features of Ecobee4 in a less price range.

In my opinion, Ecobee 4 is the best choice in general (keeping aside personal preferences). It gives you a user-friendly interface, in build ALEXA which would listen to your commands and obey them, provides you 3 years warranty. Apart from this it also gives you the best feature of FOLLOW ME, which will detect your occupancy and movement from one room to another through remote sensors and would change the room temperature accordingly. So, you don’t have to worry about changing the room temperature manually every time you move to another room. Installation is simple, mobile app easy to use.

In short ECOBEE 4 is the best choice for a Smart Thermostat.

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