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Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium vs. Nest Learning Thermostat

Which of these high-end smart thermostats is the best?

Ecobee's latest high-end thermostat, the Smart Thermostat Premium, is a direct competitor to the Nest Learning Thermostat. Both app-enabled models cost $250, support voice commands and work with remote temperature sensors. While Nest's Learning Thermostat still outshines all the other options in terms of design, Ecobee's Smart Thermostat Premium has a couple of unique features that set it apart.

Which one makes the most sense for you? Let's find out.

Read more: Best Smart Thermostats of 2022

Ecobee

The Smart Thermostat Premium is Ecobee's new flagship model. At $250, this thermostat might look a lot like the last-gen SmartThermostat with Voice Control, but it adds on a couple of interesting features. First, and most notably, the Premium adds an integrated air quality sensor that gives a rating from clean to poor on the thermostat's display. If you click on the rating, it will show where your rating sits on the scale, as well as whether your thermostat detects the presence of volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide.  

In addition, this model features an improved motion sensor, according to Ecobee, that relies on radar rather than the standard passive infrared. This new sensor is supposed to do a better job of sensing activity at a distance and even around corners. 

Additional updates include a redesigned touchscreen and a zinc thermostat body (rather than plastic). Like the previous model, the Premium also has a built-in Alexa speaker and comes with one remote sensor. 

John Kim/CNET

Nest introduced its first Learning Thermostat in 2011, revolutionizing the smart thermostat industry -- and it's still going strong. The flagship model is currently in its third iteration and that classic round design has become a well-known fixture that other brands have attempted to replicate

While its design certainly stands out, the Learning Thermostat has far fewer features than the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium. It does support voice control (if you have a compatible smart speaker or display), but it doesn't have a built-in speaker like Ecobee's thermostat. This model also doesn't have an integrated air quality sensor -- and Nest's remote sensors are sold separately. 

Ecobee or Nest?

For the money, Ecobee has the better value. You get the integrated Alexa speaker and air quality sensor, as well as one included remote sensor with your purchase. In terms of features, accessories and overall options, Ecobee blows Nest away. That said, you might not need (or want) all of those options, particularly if you already have a compatible smart speaker or aren't planning to use a remote temperature sensor. 

Consider your needs and also what other smart products you already have at home. If you want that unique Nest thermostat look, the Learning Thermostat might be the right choice. However, when it come to sheer number of options, Ecobee's Smart Thermostat Premium wins by a long shot. 

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