Google announces new Nest Thermostat with Soli radar

Google on Monday announced a new $129 Nest Thermostat, its first update in two years.

It’s a little different than the $249 Nest Learning Thermostat and $169 Nest Thermostat E.

Nest has become Google’s in-home electronics brand and includes other products like an alarm system, speakers and security cameras. The Nest thermostat competes with similar products from companies like Amazon-backed Ecobee and Honeywell.

Nest has become synonymous with smart thermostats, and allows people to control the temperature of their home from a phone. The earlier Nest Learning Thermostats learned from a user’s trends and automatically adjusted the temperature to help save on energy costs. The new model doesn’t automatically learn and adjust your temperature, but it can recommend schedules to help users save on energy costs. Google said it estimates it can save people 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.

The Nest Thermostat has a completely new design with a mirror finish on the front. It looks less clunky than earlier models. Instead of rotating the face of the unit, you just touch and swipe down the side to increase or decrease the temperature. It uses Google’s Soli radar, first introduced in the Pixel 4 phone, which can detect when someone walks by and will automatically light up the screen.

But unlike on the Pixel 4’s implementation of Soli, you can’t use the radar to simply gesture in the air to interact with it. That seems like a missed opportunity that could have allowed you to adjust the temperature or move through menus by waving your hand in front of it.

Google said it has simplified setup for this thermostat. Users just need to install and open the Google Home app, which then walks them through the setup process. It also uses Google’s new HVAC monitoring feature, which can notify a user if it notices something isn’t working properly and can recommend a professional who is able to fix it.

The Nest Thermostat is available to order on Monday. It will launch in four colors and will ship in the coming weeks.

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