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Ecobee introduces its newest smart thermostat (pictures)

With room-by-room motion-sensing capabilities and a slick interface, the Ecobee3 might turn up the heat on Nest.

Ry Crist
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Ry Crist
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Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Ecobee's newest thermostat sports a capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi smarts, and a other interesting features. Is it a worthy Nest competitor? Click through to see.

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Minimalist design

The Ecobee3 sports a minimalist, unobtrusive design, with an interface that's almost entirely black and white.

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Wireless room sensor

It also comes packaged with a wireless room sensor. Like the thermostat itself, this sensor will read the climate in the room and use built-in motion sensors to detect whether you're around or not.

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Room-by-room climate control

These sensors help the system tailor your home's heating and cooling to your specific needs, by optimizing heating and cooling for the room you're actually in, not the hallway where the thermostat sits.

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Installation

The Ecobee3 is fairly easy to install, with a similar backing to the Nest and other thermostats.

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Power draw

One difference is the way that Ecobee powers the thermostat. You'll need to install a separate "power extender kit" inside your HVAC unit.

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App controls

The Ecobee3 app, available for Android and iOS devices, mimics the interface found on the thermostat itself.

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App features

Along with temperature adjustments, you'll be able to do things like check the local weather or tell your system when you'll be on vacation.

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Advanced features

You'll also be able to adjust preset modes, or program in a weekly heating and cooling schedule.

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Web interface

Ecobee also offers a Web interface that you can access right from your computer. The design looks a little like the Live Tiles of Windows 8.

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Price

You can order the Ecobee3 directly from the manufacturer, or through a licensed HVAC technician. The thermostat comes with a three-year warranty, and retails for $250 -- the same price as the Nest.

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