Nest is debuting a new version of its thermostat today, the first truly different model since the product was introduced in 2011. It’s called the Nest Thermostat E, and it can do nearly everything the regular Nest Thermostat can do, except it’s cheaper and housed in a brand new design — one that’s intentionally much, much plainer.
Rather than a glossy metal ring with a big, bright screen in the middle of it, this version of the Nest Thermostat looks a lot more like other, duller thermostats. It’s a relatively plain white puck, and when it’s on a wall, it’s really easy to ignore.
But that’s the point: Nest is trying to make a version of its thermostat with appeal beyond the gadget-loving crowd. It wants this to be a thermostat that you buy and forget about, but still get all the benefits that come with having some built-in intelligence. Namely, a reduced heating bill.
To make the Nest Thermostat E more forgettable, Nest has hidden its display behind a frosted glass that blocks some light from coming through. Rather than a detailed interface, you’ll see big, bubbly numbers and notches shine through when you spin the thermostat’s ring around to set the temperature.