I hear you on the “non-geek factor.” But I guess I was really talking about people in the Smart Things community. These are people who want to connect it to their IoT and communicate with other devices. That means ANY connected thermostat can be programmed to emulate a good majority of Nests better features for much less money and within this community, these are people who are going to do it.
I also think anybody willing to make that kind of dollar investment to improve their energy bill would take the three minutes a day for a week or two to figure out who got home when and what temperatures they like. My wife and I bought our home recently. I programmed the thermostat based on our normal schedule and temps from where we were living before. But the layout and sun exposure and insulation are different so after a couple days of paying attention to when we were adjusting the temp and what to, I changed the program and was done. It’s three buttons. I’ve never had to look back all fall or winter. I never really imagined people could live in a space for an extended time and still be confused by their thermostat, but then again, I’m a strange guy.
I was very sucked in by its pretty face at first but learning how finicky the Auto-Away is and how a irregular schedule kills its learning algorithms, I realized its definitely not for me.