Skip to content may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
Home » Electronics » Thermostat

3rd Generation Nest Thermostat Review

The Nest thermostat 3rd generation release brings a few improvements over the 2nd gen Nest that make it the better option. But is the release really that significant? We’ll find out shortly, but I want to let you know the pros and cons of this model before going into my Nest thermostat review.


  • Larger display with better overall resolution.
  • Nest Temperature Sensor is Far-field for viewing temperature from a distance.
  • Learning capability has been enhanced.


  • No remote temperature sensors.
3rd Generation Nest Thermostat Review

My Nest 3rd Generation Review

The new Nest thermostat 3rd generation looks noticeably sharper right out of the box. A screen enhancement makes the viewing screen of the Nest 40% larger. And, the resolution has been enhanced to 229 pixels per inch.

Nest has also been slimmed down slightly, but this isn’t a drastic improvement.

What I will note is that this model is sharp. It has really been enhanced in the aesthetics department where it makes older models, such as the Ecobee3 or the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart, look old.

Enhanced Learning

Nest is the leader in the smart thermostat industry – and remains that way with the 3rd iteration. And, the learning has been enhanced. This is not a feature you’ll look at and say “wow” over, but it is a noticeable difference if you used the second generation model in the past.


The farsight feature is great and uses a far field sensor to operate. What this does is ensures that you can see the temperature from a distance.

Before, you would need to be within 3 feet of the unit for it to illuminate. So, when sitting on the couch, you would have to get up and move close to the unit to see the temperature.

Farsight illuminates when you’re within 20 feet of the unit, so you always know what the temperature is at any given moment.

Display Mode

A quick and easy mode that allows for analog or digital displays. This will transform the Nest screen into a clock that has the time listed for your viewing.

Furnace Heads-Up

Overheating with a forced-air unit is common, but Nest now has a “heads-up” feature that will turn the unit off to prevent overheating. It’s a major enhancement in safety and also adds to the energy efficiency of the unit.


The basic performance of the unit remains unchanged. This means that you’ll have the same robust learning environment that actually learns your temperature habits. Do you like turning up the heat before bed every night? Well, you only have to do it once or twice, and Nest will ensure that at your normal time, the heat is adjusted accordingly.

And, the green leaf functionality allows you to save 10% or more on your energy bills.

Performance is such an important aspect of the unit, and you can use the accompanying app to learn how you can lower your energy bills even further. As an added benefit, you can use the app from anywhere to adjust the temperature of your home.

Note: You’ll need to hook your Nest into your home’s Wi-Fi through the setup process.


The Nest 3rd generation thermostat makes it easier to install the unit. If you’ve installed the 2nd gen model in the past, this model is even easier to install. In total, it will take you about 30 minutes from unpacking the unit to setting it up and having Nest control your home’s temperature.

Nest had blown the competition away in the installation department.

Safety Alerts

Who would have thought that a thermostat is so advanced that it will text the owner when something is amiss with their HVAC system? Nest will monitor the heating and cooling system, and alert you when something isn’t right.

Perhaps the temperature is so cold outside that you risk the pipes bursting. Well, Nest will alert you, so you can take action with the remote app.

You’re at work and your furnace starts acting up? This could be a major safety issue, or you may come home to no heat at all because your furnace simply stopped working. Don’t worry. Nest monitors all of these activities and alerts you, the owner, when something isn’t right with your system, so you can take care of the issue immediately.

Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation Specifications

  • Auto scheduling with no programming needed.
  • Nest app allows for remote access.
  • Auto-away automatically adjusts the thermostat’s temperature.
  • The weight of just 1.3 pounds.
  • Dimensions of 3.3” x 3.3” x 1.2”.
  • Stainless steel finish.
  • 2-year limited warranty on parts.
  • Reduces heating bills by 10-12%, and cooling bills by 15%.
  • Built-in rechargeable battery.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity.
What I Like About the Nest 3rd Generation
by freeheatingquotes

What I Like About the Nest 3rd Generation

There is a lot to love with the Nest thermostat 3rd generation. The third generation brings a lot of display upgrades that are welcomed by users. A clear display with the enhancement of farsight means that you’ll be able to see the time and temperature at all times.

The Nest’s look will fit in with your home’s décor and doesn’t look dated like other models.

Sleek and easy to use, I had this model installed in less than 30 minutes – it was so easy. Nest also includes an in-depth installation guide for users that have older thermostats that need to be replaced.

What I Think the Nest 3rd Generation Lacked

I have to admit, I expected the new Nest thermostat versions to have remote temperature sensors. Other models include them that aren’t as powerful as the Nest thermostat 3rd generation.

Why are remote temperature sensors needed?

Imagine sitting in your bedroom and thinking that it’s hot. Well, that happens because the thermostat monitors the temperature near the thermostat, and not in every room. So, your room’s temperature may be 75 degrees even though you have the thermostat set to 70 degrees.

A remote sensor would have allowed you to have a sensor in your room to monitor your room’s temperature and adjust accordingly.

Wrapping Up The Nest Thermostat Review

There is no doubt about it: the Nest 3rd generation release keeps the company as the leader in the smart thermostat industry. Even on Amazon, the product is already a best-seller. It’s powerful, and it learns with you as you adjust your schedule.

It’s not as much of an improvement over the second generation as many had hoped, but it’s still better in terms of functionality.

The digital display and larger screen are definitely stunning visual components of the 3rd generation Nest thermostat. And, Farsight is something users have always wanted.

If you’re looking for the best smart thermostat, the Nest 3rd generation is your only option – the competition doesn’t compare.

Share this post on social!

Richard Bolden

David has been interested in computers for over 25 years. From playing games on his parents computer as a kid in the early 90s, to building his first PC in 2003 (and many more since then). He has a passion for everything related to computing and this site is dedicated to helping others find the info they need.