All that ugly white cheap plastic and incomprehensible programming buttons.
Clearly a design revamp has been a long time coming, and as far as most punters are concerned, it arrived with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Hive from British Gas, and Germany's Tado.
It's easy to program an on/off schedule using the excellent Nest app but this might not even be required since the unit also has activity sensors on board so it can detect if no-one's home and adjust/turn off the heat accordingly.
The circular glass interface, meanwhile, is a beautiful thing to behold and so incredibly simple use; all you require is an opposable thumb and a forefinger.
In fact, it works with 95% of current heating systems, whether a combi or conventional boiler, or an electric under-floor setup, and can also control your hot water.
Although, as with most smart thermostats, installation is best carried out by a qualified engineer. It's smart enough to learn about the layout of a user's home and soon has the specific heat capacity of your house worked out, so if you want it to be 18 degrees at 7am, it'll fire up in advance if needed.
Most smart thermostats also work with a wider range smart home devices, allowing you to create some automated processes in your home.Which is pretty helpful if you want to dip your toes into smart home waters.You can buy Hive as part of a smart home subscription package, with ongoing care and user tips.The Nest Learning Thermostat monitors the user's habits and will control the heating accordingly.So for instance, if you regularly go to bed at, say, 11pm, the system will learn your behaviour patterns and turn the system off when necessary.