Nest vs Lyric: Thermostat Comparison

Nest 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat and Honeywell’s Lyric 2.0 are somewhat alike since they both can be considered smart thermostats designed to save users energy and provide clever home climate control capabilities.

However, Nest vs Lyric debate rages on because of the vast differences in the way these two physically similar thermostats are designed and how they work.

Consumers looking to save money on their heating and cooling costs can use either Nest third generation or Honeywell Lyric Round second generation thermostats to set a schedule, control their HVAC system remotely or change the temperature through Amazon’s Alexa platform.

The Honeywell Lyric 2.0 is a programmable thermostat that comes with features like a Home/Away switch to save energy while Nest Learning Thermostat uses a sophisticated machine learning algorithm to adjust itself based on its user’s habits.

Nest thermostat also now has remote room sensors control capability to monitor and adjust the temperature based on the entire residency, not only on the area around the thermostat.

Google, T3007ES, Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen, Smart Thermostat, Stainless Steel, Works With Alexa

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Nest vs Lyric: Similarities & Differences

Key Similarities

  • Rotary dials let you set the temperature on both of these models the same way you would on a classic thermostat.
  • Both thermostats can sync up with Amazon Alexa devices, giving you the option of voice control.
  • You can read the displays on either thermostat easily. The Honeywell Lyric Round comes with a stylishly large readout while the Nest thermostat employs their proprietary Farsight technology, which brightens up the numerals on the screen and turns the display on automatically.
  • Both thermostats feature a round shell that mimics the look and feel of traditional thermostats. This makes them fit in with most types of decor.
  • Wireless networking and mobile apps are supported by both models.
  • Though the way they do it is quite different, both the Honeywell Lyric and Nest thermostat offer geofencing and scheduling options to dial back your HVAC system when you’re not around.
  • Users of both the Nest and the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 have reported that they’ve been able to use their thermostats without a c-wire.
  • They both support the IFTTT platform, which is a user-friendly technology you can use to get your different smart home gadgets to interact with one another.

Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat - Second Generation (RCH9310WF)

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Key Differences

  • Nest 3rd generation thermostat learns more about your routine when you use them. The Honeywell Lyric relies totally on geofencing and the schedule you set.
  • While Nest thermostats use an occupancy sensor, the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 doesn’t. Nest technology now works with room sensors as well, which track the temperature in different parts of the house instead of just in front of the thermostat.
  • The Honeywell Lyric comes with iOS and HomeKit support while Nest thermostat isn’t as compatible with Apple devices.
  • Nest thermostats use a leaf icon to remind users when they’re saving energy, which the Lyric doesn’t do.
  • Unlike the Nest’s scheduler, the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 lets you create custom shortcuts for reoccurring events. This lets you dial the HVAC system up or down the same way as many times as you want without having to physically type in the temperature all the time.

How Both Thermostat Stack Up?

Ease of Use

Nest thermostats have a dial that gives you the freedom of using it just like a regular thermostat. Turning the ring up raises the temperature while turning it down lowers it. You can push the ring toward the wall to see a list of helpful options then rotate the dial again to move up or down through the options. Pushing the ring back toward the wall tells the thermostat that’s it’s okay to enable whatever function you’ve highlighted when rotating it.

While it can be a bit strange at first, the motion is very intuitive and should feel familiar to anyone who has used a traditional rotary thermostat. Controlling the Honeywell Lyric Round thermostat directly is a bit different because it has a pair of buttons in addition to the dial.

Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat - Second Generation (RCH9310WF)
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
  • Perfect for the future home - Works with Apple HomeKit(TM), Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT
  • Control your Smart Home with Amazon Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately) and Apple HomeKit with voice control using Siri, the Apple voice assistant
  • "Feels Like" temperature function considers both humidity and temperature to maintain your comfort
  • Adaptive recovery learns how long it takes to achieve the right temperature at the right time, with auto change from heat to cool

Tapping the cloud button will give you a forecast for the day. You can switch the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 to away mode automatically by pushing the house button on the other side.

In addition to these controls and a rotary dial, you also have a smaller display above the main readout that allows you to switch between your furnace and AC.

Honeywell recently retired the classic Lyric app, but the Honeywell Lyric thermostat works just fine with their new Honeywell Home app without any adjustments.

The app shows an at a glance look at any other Honeywell connected devices you might have, which lets you control any of your integrated home automation devices each time you take a look at your thermostat.

Tapping on the thermostat’s icon will let you adjust the temperature and the schedule. You’ll see all of your connected thermostats if you’re using any sort of multizone HVAC system. Like the Honeywell Home app, Nest app can show you updates for all of your connected Nest-branded devices each time you have a look at the current temperature.

The Nest app mimics the round display of the Nest thermostat, though you’ll set the temperature by tapping on a couple of arrows on your phone’s screen instead of spinning a ring when you want to change it. This makes it easy to use since you won’t have to relearn anything after you’ve mastered how to use the thermostat directly.

Some Honeywell Lyric users have made complaints about ease of use issues. Networking problems were among the most serious since you can’t change the schedule without a Wi-Fi connection. The lack of good error messages when something went wrong seems to be an issue as well.

Controlling Home Climate

Auto-schedule is a feature on the Nest 3rd generation thermostat that gives you the freedom to eventually stop concerning yourself with the schedule.

When you first start to edit the schedule, the Nest thermostat makes a note of every option you set. It usually takes about a week before it has a good grasp on what time to change the temperature in your home.

The learning system, referred to as Nest Sense, has some interesting features when turned on as well. If it accidentally enables Auto-Away and realizes it made a mistake, then it will wait a longer period of time after sensing a lack of activity before dialing back your furnace or AC unit.

You can use the dial on the device itself or the app to go through your weekly schedule and adjust the temperature to set itself at different times of the day.

Some users appreciate the fine-tuned scheduling because they find themselves leaving and coming back home at odd times. Over time, the Nest 3rd generation will record enough data from scheduling and sensing whether people are there to begin controlling the temperature by itself.

Honeywell’s Lyric doesn’t offer the same fine-tuning when it comes to the schedule nor does it have any learning system. What it does have is geofencing technology that tracks your phone’s location and sets the temperature accordingly. You can register your whole family’s group of phones with the app and the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 will know when the house is completely empty.

When it senses one or more phones getting closer to your home, it will start the HVAC system again so that it’s ready when walking in through the door. When you first configure the geofencing option, you’ll be able to draw some boundaries around your house on a map presented to you by Honeywell’s app.

This will let you set the minimum distance between your phone and the thermostat before it kicks on and starts to heat or cool your home. Some users have been concerned about how this might impact the battery life of their phones, but Honeywell claims that it doesn’t have any noticeable influence.

Energy Saving Features

On top of the learning capabilities, the Nest 3rd generation learning thermostat can prepare reports for you that show much energy you’re using. If you’ve been regularly allowing the thermostat to set a temperature that saves power, then you’ll earn little leaf icons which should also show up on the report.

These reports get sent to a connected e-mail address. You’ll also get notified if you’ve manually turned off your furnace or AC unit during the month to save a little more power.

While Nest devices didn’t support room sensors at one point, the Nest 3rd generation thermostat can now sync with sensors all over your house if you’d like. Room sensors provide a more accurate picture of your home’s interior climate since they give your thermostat information about more than just the temperature in front of the device itself.

When the Nest 3rd generation thermostat first came out the developers upgraded it so that it displays a weather forecast on the front of the dial that’s large enough to see from across the room. This is one of several changes made to highlight Farsight technology, which brightens up and enlarges information on the display whenever you get close to the thermostat.

Nest 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat
  • Auto-Schedule: No more confusing programming. It learns the temperatures you like and programs itself.
  • Wi-Fi Thermostat: Connect the Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi to change the temperature from your phone, tablet or laptop.
  • Energy Saving: You'll see the Nest Leaf when you choose a temperature that saves energy. It guides you in the right direction.
  • Smart Thermostat: Early-On Nest learns how your home warms up and keeps an eye on the weather to get you the temperature you want when you want it.
  • Home/Away Assist: The Nest Thermostat automatically turns itself down when you're away to avoid heating or cooling an empty home.

Seeing a visible forecast might encourage homeowners to raise or lower the temperature and save a bit more power. Honeywell’s designers apparently thought the same thing. The Honeywell Lyric thermostat main screen, as well as the app’s home screen, prominently displays the local weather and humidity level.

Honeywell went so far as to give users the option to sign up for a WeatherBug Home software update that integrates local weather data with the thermostat’s temperature settings so energy efficient settings are always used.

Honeywell’s monthly home energy report for Lyric thermostat users is also sent to a connected e-mail address, and it offers information about how much energy people in the surrounding area are using. This can help to let you know about whether or not you’re using more power than your neighbors.

Integration with Smart Home Ecosystems

The Nest 3rd generation learning thermostat can work with devices that come with the “works with Nest” logo on them, which encompasses a large number of smart home gadgets currently on the market.

You can connect it to Phillips Hue lamps or Wemo switches to automatically turn off the lights when you’re not using them and save a little extra power. The list of devices that Nest thermostats work with is growing each day.

This really helps to make Nest’s offering attractive to those who have other automated equipment in their home. The Honeywell Lyric 2.0 thermostat has it beat in only one respect when it comes to smart home integration. It offers full support for Apple HomeKit devices.

Perhaps due to Nest’s association with Google, the Nest 3rd generation thermostat doesn’t work as well with Apple’s smart home ecosystem. You will need to have a C-wire if you want to use Apple HomeKit devices with your Honeywell Lyric thermostat. While the Lyric thermostat is supposed to integrate with Honeywell’s home security system, it doesn’t appear that most consumers were able to get much use out of this option.

Final Verdict

For most users, the Nest 3rd Generation Learning Thermostat wins the Nest vs Lyric debate. Nest’s thermostats have been on the market longer and the designers have had more time to polish them up as a result.

Users looking for a completely automated experience will like the fact that it learns everything about their routine and works with countless devices.

Moreover, the learning features are almost lightyears ahead of anything the Lyric 2.0 has to offer. Support for Apple HomeKit devices is just about the only area where the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 beats Nest’s offering out.

If you feel that both of these options are too expensive, then you might want to have a look at the Nest Thermostat E. It offers almost all of the same features as the Nest 3rd generation and the Honeywell Lyric, but it comes at a much lower price as the result of a few design changes.

You may also want to look into the ecobee3 lite if you absolutely need to interface your thermostat with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem while still enjoying a wider range of features than the Honeywell Lyric 2.0 has to offer.

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