Oh, Nest Learning Thermostat, what hast thou wrought? Released only in 2011, you have already attracted a pack of imitators the way that honey attracts bees — or that money attracts, um, technology corporations.
The company likely to have been most affected by the huge success of the Nest is long-time thermostat king Honeywell, and it shouldn't startle anyone to discover that Honeywell, when it isn't firing patent-infringement lawsuits at Nest, is not-so-quietly perfecting their own line of smart thermostats to take some of the Nest's heat away, as it were. The 9000 series is about as close a response as Honeywell has made to the Nest, and if it succeeds on some counts, it falls short on others.
Like the Nest, the WiFi 9000 with Voice Control comes with a smartphone (and Web) app that lets you set schedules for all of the thermostats in your house. It learns your preferred temperature schedule over time, calculating an energy-efficient usage pattern that will save you money and save the world from slow death by hydrocarbon emission. It susses out the relationship between external weather, obtained via the Internet, and the internal temperatures in your house, so that it knows just how many ergs that incoming heat wave will pump into your bedroom. It also — as the name suggests — shares the 9590's ability to be activated and controlled via voice commands, so long as one prefaces each command with the required greeting, "Hello Thermostat."
On the other hand, it isn't as stylish as the staring eyeball of the Nest wall unit and looks a lot like an old Honeywell thermostat with a new color video display. It also lacks as versatile a set of connection ports as the Nest, so that if you're hooking it up by hand you might have some difficulties making it talk to a pre-existing HVAC system without professional help.
If you want to play the maverick and go with something that's from neither Nest nor Honeywell, there are plenty of stylish new smart thermostats on the market. Just look at the Ecobee3 2nd Generation, and go from there.
Easy to install with a little guidance from the telephone helpline, looks good, works well, especially with the app. Voice activation is fun too.
The voice activation is a great feature love the app that goes with it.