Best Smart Thermostats in 2020 – Reviews, Pros and Cons, Specs, Pricing

Ecobee4 vs Nest Learning Thermostat vs Honeywell Lyric T5 Review

In this review of best smart thermostats 2020, we will be going through the top 3 smart thermostat brands such as Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell. We will be talking about overall review, design, features, performance, installation guide, pros and cons, buyer’s guide and much more.

The first smart thermostat by Ecobee in 2007 didn’t make much buzz compared to the Nest in 2011. The Nest thermostat was compact and wifi connected and could learn a lot of your daily routines automatically. This made the competition between Ecobee and Nest much intense when the company launched its Ecobee4 model which has inbuilt Amazon Alexa. Sooner, more HVAC companies like Honeywell and Carrier jumped into the smart thermostats market and are now competing with each other. But as you can see the table below, the major players are still Ecobee and Nest.

Smart ThermostatEcobee4 Thermostat

ecobee4 smart thermostat review pros and cons

Nest Learning Thermostat

Honeywell Lyric T5

Rating4.9 out of 54.8 out of 54 out of 5
CompatibilityMulti-StageMulti-Stage2 Stage
Multiple Zones
C- Wire
Motion Sensor
Remote Sensor
Voice AssistantAmazon Alexa & Apple SiriAmazon Alexa & Google AssistantAmazon Alexa,  Google Assistant & Apple Siri
Review Ecobee4 Thermostat Review Nest Learning Thermostat ReviewHoneywell Lyric T5 Review
Buy NowBuy From AmazonBuy From AmazonBuy From Amazon


To make your home smarter, we got the best 3 thermostats for review. We have reviewed these smart thermostats after doing a lot of research. These smart thermostats will reduce your house energy costs by heating and cooling based upon your schedules and geofencing technology that they boast.

Each of these smart thermostats is different in their own features. Some smart thermostats are multi-stage systems while the other one from Honeywell T5 is a 2 stage system. A multi-stage system generally means that the thermostats are designed to control not just heating and cooling but also control your humidifier, dehumidifier, and ventilation.


Ecobee4 wins this race for best smart thermostats because of its features, design, easy setup process and voice assistant that is built-in. The Ecobee4 smart thermostat comes with a remote sensor which can be used to set heating or cooling in different rooms. Ecobee4 thermostat also dons built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant which is added advantage and gives more features such as you can control smart devices, shop, play music, get the latest news and check whether updates.

ecobee4 smart thermostat review


The Ecobee4 is similar to Ecobee3 in design. The elegant black plate and 3.5-inch touch display give it a gorgeous look. The built-in speaker can be seen behind the panel. There are 12 terminal connections so that you can connect for heating, air conditioning, humidifiers, ventilation systems and such. The LED strip on top will turn blue whenever you ask Alexa to do something and it will turn red when the microphone is turned off.

There are temperature, motion, proximity and other sensors which will track the heating and cooling process when you are home or away. The built-in 802.11n Wifi technology and voice assistant from Amazon Alexa will make your smart thermostat better in features it has to offer.

The remote sensor will communicate with your Ecobee4 thermostat in case the temperature needs to be set. If you want to add more remote sensors, you can buy them separately as well. The touch display is pretty good and you can easily configure using your Android or iOS smartphone app. The Display screen will feature the room temperature and you can set alerts and reminders, set up Alexa voice control, schedule the system, check weather and features like Vacation(Away mode). There is also a HOME IQ feature which you can view via the web app. This Home IQ will show you graphs and more data about HVAC devices connected to your Ecobee4 thermostat and give more insights.


Ecobee4 is similar to Ecobee3 in installation. There is a complete Installation manual (guide) on how to set up your Ecobee4 thermostat. If you are not sure on how to do the installation, ask a professional technician and they should be able to do it.

But to do the installation by yourself here is how to do. 1. Unscrew your existing thermostat. 2. Take a picture of the wiring before you remove. The installation guide comes with labels so that you can attach it to each wire.  3. Install the Ecobee4 base plate and connect the corresponding wires. If you have C wire (common wire), then connect to each wire slot. If your system doesn’t have C wire, then use the power extender kit that comes with your Ecobee4 thermostat and use the given installation guide to proceed. 4. Once done, snap your Ecobee4 and it will be ready to start.


While testing the Ecobee4 thermostat was very much responsive and it was easy working with temperature change commands. I was able to schedule the heating and cooling system. I tried Amazon Alexa voice command as well and it performed flawlessly.

I then set up the remote sensor in my other room which is on the first floor and it automatically guided the Ecobee4 smart thermostat about the temperature. If there were any changes in the humidity or temperature reaching threshold, it was sending me alerts.

The built-in Amazon Alexa is the added advantage for sure, it played music, I was able to place orders via Amazon and gave all the updates that your typical Amazon Alexa would do.

I really liked the Ecobee4 smart thermostat and it is worth having making your home a smart home.


  • Compact and Sturdy
  • Inbuilt Amazon Alexa
  • Remote Sensor
  • Multi-Zone
  • Easy to Install.


  • A bit pricey.

Nest Learning Thermostat:

The Nest company under the Alphabet Inc (Google) has been thriving. Since the launch of its first thermostat in 2011, NEST has evolved consistently and its newly launched NEST learning thermostat is beautiful and rich in features. The latest Nest Learning Thermostat is a compact and gorgeous looking learning product designed by none other than Tony Fadell who created the iPod design. We will cover its features, design, installation part, the support and the technology in-depth below. There is no doubt both Ecobee4 and Nest Learning Thermostat gives strong competition to each other.

Nest Learning Thermostat Review


Nest thermostats are smaller in size and look like a hockey puck in design. The Nest Learning Thermostat is black and white in color and comes in stainless steel. The display screen is pretty large compared to its earlier models and gives you a 480×480 resolution. The one thing about the NEST smart thermostats is that they use an outer ring to navigate across settings which although looks beautiful, but for most of us who very much make use of touch screen method, this might be something new. It’s a different experience for sure and you will love it. There are about 10 sensors such as humidity, ambient light and motion sensors and such.

In addition to this, there is also a new feature called Farsight that automatically turns on the display as soon as you enter your room on come nearby. Just like Ecobee4, it also has the wi-fi connectivity of 802.11b/g/n and has Bluetooth feature as well as 512 MB of internal memory. It also is a multi-stage smart thermostat just like Ecobee4.


Talking about installation, the NEST learning thermostat is pretty much similar to the Ecobee4 as described above. Your Nest learning thermostat comes with installation tools, screwdrivers, installation manual, and labels. Here is how to self install your Nest thermostat. 1. Make sure you take pictures of wires connectivity before taking out the existing thermostat. 2. Mount the back plate on your wall and screw them tightly. Take out the wires and connect each wire as described in the NEST thermostat installation guide. 3. Once connected, mount your NEST smart thermostat with a snap sound. 4. As soon as you mount, you will see NEST thermostat display screen welcome message.


One very interesting thing about the NEST thermostats is that it can automatically learn and schedule your heating and cooling temperature based on your daily routines because this is a 3rd Gen learning thermostat. You can also set your own schedule throughout the day, week or months.

You can connect your NEST thermostat with other devices as well as your Google Home or Amazon Alexa assistant. It also works with WeMo switches, Haiku fans and Smart lightings by LIFX.

Nest’s motion sensor will automatically know as soon as you enter your room and will adjust the temperature. If you are in the home with your phone, it will switch on and if you are out of your home, it will automatically set itself on the away mode. This will save energy conservation.

With NEST Learning thermostat you can relax. Also, you can schedule Home/Away modes. You can set ECO thresholds, update time and date, set air filter replacement alerts, and edit your home’s location information.

Controlling your thermostat is easy with the help of Android, iOS or web app. Once you tap the screen it will show you the current temperature, humidity, and more details. During energy-saving temperature, you will see a green leaf being displayed. Talking about colors, when it is heating you will see the NEST background color change to orange and when it is cooling it will change color to blue.

Overall the Nest Learning Thermostat performed really well in my testing and it was very much sensitive and responsive. It responded quickly to my voice commands however my favorite thing is the Farsight feature which will show temperature, weather, other details in a larger format.


  • Compact and Sturdy
  • Beautiful design
  • Multi-Zone
  • Easy to install
  • Farsight feature


  • Pricey
  • No remote sensor

Honeywell Lyric T5

Honeywell has been manufacturing HVAC products for more than 100 years and it’s a company you can always rely on. The latest smart thermostat from Honeywell is the Lyric T5 which boasts most of the features like other smart thermostats do and is actually an affordable solution in the range of smart thermostats.

It is about $100 less than other smart thermostats and hence some features might not be available and you would be perfectly fine if you are looking for budget smart thermostats.

The Honeywell Lyric T5 comes with geofencing technology and it also supports Apple HomeKit which makes you use Siri Voice commands.

honeywell lyric t5 review


The Lyric T5 from Honeywell is a 4 inch round squared case and is about 1 inch thick. It doesn’t have a colorful display screen but it is a pretty large touch screen which you can easy to read and make adjustments. It is two-stage heating and cooling system and hence it doesn’t give support to humidifiers and other such products. If you are looking for a multi-stage system, then I would recommend thinking about Ecobee4 or Nest Learning Thermostat which are packed with features. But if you are okay with the two-stage system and only need the basic heating and cooling system, then the Honeywell Lyric T5 is a good choice too. It supports HomeKit by Apple and this means you can always use Siri voice command to raise and lower the temperature, turn fans on and off and such.

Talking about the touch screen, it is bright in display and was pretty sensitive in touch. When tapping the screen, you will be able to see the current room temperature and time along with additional icons for adjusting the temperature. The settings menu has three options such as Mode, Menu, and Fan. The Mode setting helps you select heating and cooling modes, on/off feature and Fan settings have a similar feature to turn the fan on/off. With the Menu option, you can change your thermostat settings, set wi-fi, change time, schedule and such.


Just like the other two smart thermostats, the Honeywell Lyric T5 is too easy to install. The thermostat comes with a base plate, screws and installation manual. As I said earlier, before removing any wiring make sure you take a picture of the existing wiring. 1. Mount your base plate at first. 2. Connect wires to each terminal as per the guide. 3. Snap your smart thermostat to the base plate. 4. Configure using your mobile app. Pair with your mobile via wifi connectivity. You can control your thermostat either via mobile app or via touch screen as well. Performance wise I really liked how Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat was very responsive.


The Honeywell Lyric T5 has similar Wifi circuitry as the other smart thermostats and it uses the same Android and iOS app to operate your thermostat. As soon as you turn on your Lyric app, you will see your T5 is connected. Click on the T5 icon and you will see your room’s current temperature as well as outside temperature. Additionally, the Honeywell Lyric T5 also provides a weather forecast. You can change the temperature through the app.

You can select Fan mode, Thermostat mode, and Schedule mode through the app and make your selections. You can schedule the thermostat to your weekly cycle as well. The geofencing feature is good and you can use it to make Home/Away modes.


  • Compact and Sturdy
  • Affordable
  • Voice command
  • Easy to install


  • 2-stage
  • No motion sensor

Buyer’s Guide

Each smart thermostat has its own features and will help you to reduce electricity costs.

If you see our comparison table above, you will see that Honeywell is fairly cheaper in terms of price. But this has its own limitations as well. Some smart thermostats provide additional and important features and thus are pricier.

For thermostats, the basic controls are usually to turn the temperature high or low. However, the smart thermostat can do more than that and are used to reduce the energy costs as well. They can automatically raise and lower the temperature. They can keep schedules, they can turn on and off whenever you want them. Nest and Ecobee4 can track your daily heating trends as well and so when you are not in the home, they can turn off automatically.

When buying a smart thermostat apart from your budget make sure you have these 7 things answered.

1. Features do you need: If you are just looking for smart thermostats, you can very well buy a Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat but if you are looking for more features, then head over to Ecobee4 or Nest learning thermostat. These two brands are the ones I would recommend the most.

2. Multi-Stage or 2 – Stage: Check whether the thermostat has a multi-stage system or not. If you are fine with the 2-stage system then it will be with fewer features.

3. Motion Sensing: Check whether it has motion detection to automatically level the temperature. For example, when you are away, it will stop the heating and cooling settings.

4. Check for Geofencing technology: This means that the thermostat will automatically turn the heating and cooling system when you are within a perimeter of your home. This is done via your phone’s location service.

5. Scheduling: Check for features like power cycles, scheduling, weather feature and such.

6. Voice Assistant: Check if your Smart thermostat can work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri.

7. Installation process: Check if it is a self-install thermostat or you would require a professional technician.

It all comes down to the necessities and the budget you have. If you are going for complete smart home thermostat system, our recommendations would be Ecobee4 and Nest Learning Thermostat. As with every smart device, you generally pay more because it is smarter than the traditional ones and that’s money well spent.

Smart thermostats have more features and they do things automatically just by voice commands. Although Honeywell Lyric T5 has this feature as well, they are 2 stage system and for a smart home, I would generally spend little more to get the maximum feature as I can. Ecobee4 comes with a remote sensor as well so that you can place it in other room and configure the temperature. Nest Learning Thermostat comes with an auto-scheduling feature which learns daily routines.

Editor’s Choice: Ecobee4 and Nest Learning Thermostat.

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Must Buy!

Ecobee4 and Nest Learning thermostats are the editor's choice for the best smart thermostat. They are feature packed. The Honeywell Lyric T5 is something you can consider for sure if looking within budget.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

Last update on 2020-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Being the lead editor at BuildZap, I handle most of the contents you see on BuildZap. I write articles, deals and review smart wearable products. Since wearable technology is the present and future, you can stay up to date with latest trends and products by following me.

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