Category - Smart Home
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Paul Holdsworth, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 22 Apr ● 7 min read

Google Nest V Hive thermostats

It can be difficult sometimes trying to figure out which brand is best for you. Do you buy an iPhone or Samsung? Nike or Adidas? Worcester or Viessman? There’s no exception when it comes to smart thermostats. That’s why we at BOXT are trying to make your life easier. With an array of thermostats available, ranging from the good, the bad, and the ugly - we’ve narrowed it down to the two that have impressed us the most: Google Nest and Hive. 

Both cutting edge, both innovative, and both highly convenient. So which one should you spend your hard earned cash on? In this helpful guide, we’ll be taking you through all of the nifty features Google Nest and The Hive have to offer and explain how it all works. Read on for more thermostat stats...


How does a Smart Thermostat work?

A smart thermostat, also known as a digital thermostat, enables you to control the temperature of any room in your home - directly from your mobile. Turn your heating on or off, increase or decrease the degrees Celsius in your living room, and set heating schedules - the power is in your hands!

Thanks to the convenience of smart thermostats, you become more consciously aware of your heating habits. Unlike a traditional thermostat which is out of sight, out of mind - a smart thermostat is connected to your mobile via an app, meaning you’re interacting with it more regularly. So you’ll know exactly what your boiler’s activities are, even when you’re not there. It’s the perfect tool for saving money, energy, and as a result - the environment. 

Google Nest simply connects to your Wi-Fi and central heating. You’ll be in full command over the temperature of your boiler. Depending on what brand of smart thermostat you have - you’ll have to download their bespoke app. 

Hive requires a ‘hub’ that connects to a broadband router via an Ethernet cable. This is then plugged in to a three plug socket to power it.

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Always ‘learning’.

By pushing the boundaries of modern home technology, the Google ‘Learning’ Thermostat has excelled at becoming one of the most advanced thermostats available. 

Remarkably, Google Nest ‘learns’ your heating habits and adjusts accordingly. This means that it automatically updates your heating schedule to make it unique to you and your home. Depending on the weather outside, Google Nest learns how long it will take to heat up your home and may switch on earlier or later.

Ground-breaking technology.

Another feature that separates Google Nest from other smart thermostats is the built in Farsight sensor. By sensing any movement within 20 feet, it wakes up the screen providing the Google Nest Learning Thermostat with the necessary information to be aware if anyone is at home. If no one is in, then it will turn OFF until it recognises any motion within your home - to conserve power. This also learns from this and may shift the heating schedule around this activity. 

Practically speaking, Farsight makes the Google Nest Learning Thermostat far more engaging. It shows you the time, the weather, and the temperature which can be effortlessly read from across the room - courtesy of the smooth and clear interface. 

Accuracy - wherever you are.

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat takes full advantage of GPS technology - providing you with the precision you need with you heating. If you permit Google Nest to connect to your GPS - you’ll be able to use the Geolocation feature. This works out how far away from home you are and will customise the temperature. Google Nest's smart thermostat completely adapts to your schedule correspondingly. So you’ll always be entering into a warm home. 

This home/away setting means you don’t have to constantly change the heating schedule. It reads your location, and learns from this and turns the heat up or down accordingly - always keeping an eye on things. 

An energy saver.

Another interesting feature is the OpenTherm compatibility. This is a protocol that controls how fast the boiler is running when the heating is on. For example, as the heating gets to the set temperature, it backs off to remove any possibility of overshooting the temperature. Saving you energy as a result. 

Safety first.

For optimum safety, the ‘Nest Protect’ is a carbon monoxide and smoke detector which directly alerts you via your mobile if anything unusual is detected. Its ability to self test enhances the convenience and simplicity of it. 

Accompanied by a ‘Nest Protect’ app where you’ll be able to check the status, battery, and if any carbon monoxide or smoke has been detected. It will also give you the date and time of the last time you had a test and the status of your internet connection. This is a product that is sold separately to the thermostat, but it highlights the possibilities you can receive when using the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. 

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Hive Thermostat

Tailored to your preferences. 

The Hive thermostat is a modern piece of equipment that is highly customisable. You’ll be able to set a temperature that is built around your schedule, so you don’t have to keep turning it on and off every five minutes. This can be problematic as once a schedule has been set, people don’t tend to adjust the temperature to their new routines. Unlike the Google Nest Learning Thermostat which moulds around any changes to your routine automatically. 

Although, Hive provides you with the option of arranging up to six time slots everyday with a range of settings and options. Giving you more room to personalise you smart thermostat. Installed with a ‘ready by’ mode is a hugely beneficial feature which makes sure you home reaches a set temperature at a certain time rather than just starting to climb to that temperature.

Great portability. 

A huge advantage of using Hive is that it functions as a battery powered device. So you can place it anywhere in your home and set up pretty simply. Hive requires a ‘hub’ that connects to a broadband router via an Ethernet cable. This is then plugged in to a three plug socket to power it. In comparison to the Google Nest Learning Thermostat which is powered by the wires in the existing thermostat - you will need a professional to install it properly.

They’re not so different, Google Nest and Hive…

Although they may have their differences, Google Nest and Hive do have a lot in common. Firstly, they’re both blessed with a beautifully designed and simple to use interface. This means they’re super easy to interact with and look great wherever you place it in your home. Anyone can figure out how to use them, removing any complexities and technical terms - so you can avoid any confusion! 

Following the trend of voice assistance - the two of them feature voice control. This means if you connect the smart thermostats to your Amazon Echo, you’ll be able to control the heating temperature with your voice - optimum convenience. 

Practically they are equally well functioning and clever thermostats. Both have the ability to prevent your pipes from freezing. They do this by recognising when there’s a drop in temperature then activating the heating. This means you won’t have to worry about any damage to your pipes, and allows you to consistently have warm water in your home.

So, should you buy a Google Nest or a Hive?

Above all, Hive and Google Nest are top quality products that are continuously improving and adding features. It may just come down to the tiny details such as Google Nest permitting you to heat up to 20 zones than opposed to Hive’s three. Or a design function, such as Hive’s enhanced portability. Fundamentally, they both save you money, energy, and are more eco friendly - but for us, the Google Nest takes the top spot!

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