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New Nest Thermostat has motion sensors, touch controls and an unbeatable price

Google has announced a new version of its Nest Thermostat, which dramatically brings down the price point and, hopefully, your energy bills.

The $129 (around £100) Nest Thermostat debuts an attractive new design and some enticing new features. It loses the traditional twisting bezel and replaces it with a touch-sensitive casing. Now, users will be able to increase or decrease the temperature with taps and swipes on the side panel.

The new design enables a much more elegant, slimmer – could we say ornamental? – smart home solution, with a mirrored display providing a much more demure look. The display remains blank until it senses the approach of the user and illuminates the current settings.

Those motion detection features – based upon the same Soli tech Google uses in its Pixel smartphones – will detect if everyone’s left the house and will automatically change the settings to Eco mode, assisting with energy savings.

Related: Best smart home products 2020

While the Nest Learning Thermostat has traditionally learned from user’s schedules, comings and goings to help automatically correct the in-home temperature (clue’s in the name), the new Nest Thermostat focuses on helpful suggestions to enable the users to set their own schedules.

The Quick Schedule tools, for example, enable users to set in/out and night/day settings, while the companion app will provide little tips to ensure energy savings are maximised.

In a blog post the company writes: “With Savings Finder, Nest Thermostat is constantly looking for small optimisations that will help you save energy in your home. It proactively suggests small tweaks to your schedule that you can accept using the Home app. For example, it might suggest a small change to your sleep temperature to help aid sleep while saving you more on energy.”

They device also keeps tabs on the system in order to surface potential problems that could be leading to wastage. For example, if it believes your heating or air conditioning system might need a service, or whether it’s time for a filter change.

Naturally, the Google Home app plays a big role once you’re out of the house and will enable you to set the temperature to the perfect level when you’re about to head for home. Google Assistant commands from a compatible smart speaker are also supported.

Overall this looks like it may be the best Nest device for most people, and it comes in four colours; Snow, Charcoal, Sand and Fog. So far, availability has only been announced for the US and Canada, but we’d assume a UK launch won’t be far behind.

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