Nest first made a name in the smart home space with its smart thermostat. Over the years, the company also moved into other products such as the Nest Protect, which, as a smoke detector, monitors your home for carbon monoxide incidents as well as fire.
Then the company releases the Nest Cam and the Nest Secure, putting it in the home security space. Their latest product, the Nest Hello Doorbell, marks the company’s entry into another product category: smart doorbells.
The Nest Hello Doorbell is going to be available in 2018 [UPDATE: It’s now available at select retailers – I bought 2 from Jet.com here), and it promises to have HD video resolutions that would give you crisp and clear footage and video streams night or day.
It also comes with a motion sensor that will be able to detect if a person is moving outside your door, alerting you even when they do not ring the doorbell. In addition, it has a two-way communication system that would allow you to talk with whoever is outside your door.
Aside from the built-in speaker and microphone, the 4:3 HD camera that has a field of view of 160 degrees (allowing you to see who is at your door from head to toe), and the motion sensors, the Nest Hello Doorbell also has a LED ring that would help your visitors locate your doorbell at night. The doorbell also features the ability to communicate over a Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth.
Features of the Nest Hello Doorbell
One of the features that the Nest Hello Doorbell has that most other video doorbells lack is facial recognition. Currently, there are video doorbells and security cameras that can differentiate movement made by a person and movement made by other things such as cats or moving cars.
Only a few of them have been able to deliver accurate facial recognition. Netatmo’s Welcome and Arcsoft Simplicam offers facial recognition, but it is a security camera and not a doorbell. Video doorbell makers have yet to come out with a product that uses facial recognition.
The Nest Hello Doorbell has a facial recognition feature that enables it to identify the people it sees so that you can then customize the notifications you get. You can pay for the Nest Aware service per month so that you can train your doorbell to recognize the people living at home.
There is not much information detailing how the Nest Hello Doorbell would be using its facial recognition features. But looking at the Nest Cam IQ, you could expect that the new doorbell would have the same Familiar Face Alerts, which tell you when friends or family members arrive at your front door.
The facial recognition feature also allows the Nest Cam IQ to make sure that it is a person moving and not something else. This way, you get less false positives.
You can use pre-recorded messages with your Nest Hello Doorbell. When you are busy and you cannot talk to the person outside the door, you can just play a recorded message and get the job done.
For example, you are in a meeting when the delivery guy arrives with your package. No sweat, you can just use the recorded greeting to tell him that he could leave it with your neighbor or at the front door.
Nest Hello Doorbell has a quiet mode that is very useful when you have small kids at home and you do not want to wake them up with the wired doorbell chime. When nap time is engaged, the Nest Hello Doorbell will not ring but instead will send you an alert on your phone when there is somebody at the door.
The Nest Hello Doorbell has a beautiful modern design. Unlike most other video doorbells, it does not have a round or a rectangular form. Instead, it takes on an oblong shape.
There is the glass lens, the status LED, and the HD video camera at the top, while you have the Nest logo and microphone in the middle part of the doorbell.
You have the light ring at the bottom, as well as the speaker. Compared to the Ring Video Doorbell, the Nest Hello Doorbell looks better and more pleasing to the eyes.
There is no available information on the Nest Hello Doorbell’s dimensions yet, but it is more compact and more solid than the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
Works with Nest
Nest has a wide array of home security devices and uses the Thread protocol for these. So, you can expect the Nest Hello Doorbell to connect and work with these Nest devices.
The Nest Aware subscription (read my full Aware review here!) not only activates the facial recognition feature of your doorbell but also allows you to enjoy video recordings round the clock. You can, however, store still images for free.
Comparing the Nest Hello Doorbell with existing HD video doorbells
The Nest Hello Doorbell’s set of features sounds pretty much like what other video doorbells are currently offering, most notably the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Skybell HD.
The similar features shared by all three doorbell models include: HD video, a wide field of view, live video streaming, accessible via a mobile app, motion detection, and night vision.
However, only Nest Hello Doorbell has facial recognition, which should be the new doorbell’s differentiating factor. These three doorbells also have different form factors.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has a rectangular box shape while the SkyBell HD has a circular form. The Nest Hello Doorbell has an oblong shape that is both compact and solid looking. Indeed, the Hello Doorbell is poised to be the best-looking doorbell of the three.
Side by side comparison of Ring Video Doorbell 2, Skybell HD and Nest Hello Doorbell
|Ring Video Doorbell 2||SkyBell HD||Nest Hello Doorbell|
|Price||(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||No price yet|
|Dimensions||5.05 x 2.5 x 1.08 in.||2.8 x 2.8 x 0.9 in||No information yet|
|Battery Life||Up to 12 months||Hardwired||No information yet|
|Field of view||160 degrees||180 degrees||160 degrees|
|Live Video streaming||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Operating Temperature||-5 to 120 degrees F||-40 to 140 degrees F||No information yet|
|Weather resistant||Yes||Yes||No information yet|
|Power Options||Battery or hardwired||Hardwired||No information yet|
|Video Resolution||1080 pixels||1080 pixels||1080 pixels|
|Integrations||Alexa, Wink, IFTTT||Alexa, Nest, IFTTT, Honeywell, iControl, Kwikset, Alarm.com||No information yet|
|Free video recording||No||Yes||Free photo storage only|
|Two way communication||Yes||Yes||Yes|
What could be better about the Nest Hello Doorbell
The Nest Hello Doorbell uses a 4:3 aspect ratio, which gives you a standard aspect ratio for your footages and images. This means that the camera might not be as good as far as handling wide sceneries compared to the Ring Video Doorbell or the SkyBell HD.
The Nest Hello Doorbell has a field of view of 160 degrees, narrower than the SkyBell HD’s 180 degrees. This means that the SkyBell HD can show you more of what is in front of your front door than the Hello Doorbell.
While the Nest Hello has the same field of view as the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Ring 2 has a fisheye camera, which is much effective at presenting wider scenes.
That said, if you have a front door with a view, the Nest Hello Doorbell might not be able to capture as much as either Ring 2 or Skybell HD. But still, its 160-degree field of view is enough to show you what is in front of your front door.
Additional Reading: You can learn more about the top smart doorbells with my guide.
Final Say About the Nest Doorbell Review
There are still many specs and details about the Nest Hello Doorbell that we do not know. For instance, the company has been mum about its price.
There is also no word yet on whether it is weather- and water-proof, features that are important for outdoor devices.
But the fact that the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has an operating temperature of -40 degrees to 113 degrees Fahrenheit and the Nest Cam Outdoor has a temperature range of -4 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit might give you an idea.
Not much is known about its integrations with other smart home devices and even how it works with other devices from Nest.
This early, however, there is a good deal of excitement regarding the Nest Hello Doorbell, which has been touted as a worthy challenger to the Ring Video Doorbell.
Already, it offers the more important features of the top doorbells that are currently available, including HD video, night vision, motion detection, and two-way communication.
It would be nice if it will come out with a competitive price, and a functionality that would use its facial recognition to the fullest.
These, along with the ability to tell you when friends and family members are at the door, and allowing you to skip getting alerted if it is somebody familiar, would surely put it on top of the current crop of top video doorbells.
Where to Buy the Nest Hello Doorbell
Initially, I was shocked to learn that Amazon (my go-to for most smart tech) wasn’t going to carry the Nest Hello. However, with Amazon’s recent acquisition of Ring, it seems that there’s a strong competition brewing… which made more sense.
So where does that leave us? Well there are a few options that I prefer online:
- Order via Jet.com: The advantage here is that you get a similar experience to Amazon (Jet is owned by Walmart and directly competes on prices and service). You can also get BULK discounts. Each additional unit get’s cheaper. I took advantage of this as I needed a unit for my front AND side door.
- Order via Smarthome.com: They frequently have seasonal discounts from 10% to 20% off. They have been online for quite some time, so I would recommend at least CHECKING the site to see what discounts are currently available.