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Google goes after Ring with new Nest home security cameras and a video doorbell

The new Nest products are about to hit shelves in a major line update.

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The new Nest Doorbell offers a battery-powered or wired installation.

Google

It's been a minute since Google released a smart home security camera or doorbell. The Nest Cam launched in 2017 with indoor and outdoor versions. The Nest Hello doorbell followed in 2018. Back then, Google also introduced person-identifying Nest Cam IQ models, although they have since been discontinued. 

To say the least, the line could use a refresh, and Google is finally taking a stab at it with four new products, according to a blog post.

Read more: Google cannonballs back into the home security market: Four big takeaways

A full lineup of smart cameras and doorbells are coming this year, with two models going on sale later this month. We've yet to get our hands on the actual hardware, but here's what Google told us we could expect from these shiny new neighborhood watchers.

Nest Doorbell

Unoriginal moniker aside, the Nest Doorbell stands a real chance at competing with the likes of Arlo and Ring.

For starters, you'll get four smart alerts that identify packages, people, animals and vehicles, as well as the option to create specific activity zones. Google is harnessing the power of a new on-device machine learning chip to offer more detailed recognition than the older Nest Hello, which could recognize people and familiar faces. 

You'll also get generous history and storage. Three hours of event video history come standard. You can opt for an additional $6-a-month Nest Aware subscription for the aforementioned familiar face detection and 30 days of event video history. A Nest Aware Plus subscription for $12 a month bumps that up to 60 days for event recordings. 

If battery power is more your style (or what your home demands), there is a built-in rechargeable battery. You'll also get a 20-degree wedge accessory to get just the ring viewing angle. A Nest speaker or display can act as the chime. If you do go the wired route, you can connected to existing doorbell wires and chimes, provided you have an 8-24 VAC, 10 VA, 50/60Hz transformer. Here are a few key specs for the upcoming Nest Doorbell:

  • Four colors: snow, linen, ivy and ash
  • 1.8in L x .95in W x 6.3in H
  • 6x digital zoom
  • 3:4 aspect ratio
  • 145° diagonal field of view
  • Night vision up to 10 feet
  • Two-way audio with noise cancelation

Google's first smart doorbell, the Nest Hello, isn't going anywhere. You'll still be able to buy it if you prefer a wired option. The Nest Doorbell is available for preorder today and will be available Aug, 24 at the Google Store, Target, Best Buy, Walmart and other select retailers for $180 (AU$244, £129). 

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Google

Nest Cam (battery)

This is Google's first battery-powered indoor/outdoor camera option. Like the doorbell, Nest Cams come with the new ML chip powering activity zones and notifications for people, animals and vehicles. It's available in a white hue called Snow and stands 3.27 inches wide. A built-in rechargeable 6Ah, 3.65V lithium-ion battery provides wireless power, but you can also set up this camera with a wire if you prefer to skip the recharging routine. Check out these specs on Google's newest wire-free camera:

  • 130° field of view
  • 6x digital zoom
  • Night vision with HDR
  • Up to 1080p at 30 FPS, HDR
  • IP54 weather resistant 

The Nest Cam (battery) is available for preorder today and will be available Aug. 24 at the Google Store, Target, Best Buy, Walmart and other select retailers for $180 (AU$244, £129).

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The Nest Cam (wired) comes in four colors: snow, sand, linen and fog.

Google

Nest Cam (wired)

Google's indoor option comes with a fresh new look, but no battery power option. Available in four colors, one with an on-trend wooden base, the Nest Cam (wired) is clearly the model Google created for indoor use and display. 

All Nest Cams include the same software features like object identification, activity zones and Google Home app viewing and support. Here's what we know about the wired model so far:

  • Four colors: snow, sand, linen and fog
  • Night vision
  • HDR video 
  • 1080p at 30fps
  • 135° diagonal field of view
  • 6x digital zoom
  • 16:9 aspect ratio

The Nest Cam (wired) and Nest Cam (battery) will replace the current Nest Cam models. A Nest Cam (wired) availability date has not been announced, but the camera will cost $100 (AU$135, £72). 

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The Nest Cam with Floodlight is the most expensive of the newly announced products at $280. 

Google

Nest Cam with Floodlight

Google's first floodlight-camera combo is the Nest Cam with Floodlight. It's also the most expensive product in this new suite of cameras at $280 (AU$379, £201).

This model is wired, without a battery option and is IP54 weather resistant for a long life outdoors, and comes with two lights, one on either side of the camera totally 2400 lumens. Spec-wise it's the same camera as the Nest Cam (battery). 

Like the Nest Cam (wired), Google has not announced an availability date.

Things to know

There are a handful of features and requirements these cameras all share, and some things you should consider if you're thinking about making a purchase. 

Wi-Fi reliability

We always recommend a strong wireless network when you're building out your smart home. If your Wi-Fi does go out, the Nest Doorbell, Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Cam with Floodlight have local storage fallback.

That means they can record up to one hour of events-triggered clips on the device itself. Google estimates that's about one week's worth of event recording. Nest Cam (wired) also records offline if needed, but doesn't claim the one-hour capacity of the other three. When Wi-Fi returns, videos will upload to the cloud for your review. 

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Google's new family of Nest Cams are ready to take on Arlo and Ring. 

Google

Design and sustainability

In the US, the Nest Cam (wired) and Nest Doorbell come in several colors Google says are inspired by nature and inspired by lighting and architecture to fit a modern aesthetic.

All of the new devices are made with recycled materials. Google says its Nest Cams are made with 47% post-consumer recycled material, and the Nest Doorbell is made with at least 45% of post-consumer recycled material. 

Google account required

You will need a Google account to install and use the Nest Cams and Nest Doorbell. Google says this is to ensure the security of your devices, as Google accounts include suspicious activity detection, two-step verification and password checkup.

Add-on subscriptions

These devices have plenty of helpful features out of the box, but there are some capabilities that live behind a paywall.

Add a Nest Aware subscription for $6 per month and you'll get familiar face detection, the ability to call 911 from the Google Home app and 30 days of event video history. 

Upgrade to Nest Aware Plus for $12 per month and you'll get those options plus 60 days of event video history and 10 days of continuous video recording on wired Nest Cams.

Familiar face detection works nicely if you have a Google Nest smart display for those personalized alerts. Extra video storage is a perk if you get a lot of deliveries or just tend to capture lots of footage in general. Those services could be worth the extra cash for some folks, but likely not everyone.

We'll be testing out Google's new suite of smart home security products in the coming weeks. 

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