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Nest Doorbell with battery vs. Nest Hello: Which Google model is better?

Google has two video doorbells now. But which is best?

Google just launched two new home security gadgets: a video doorbell (called the Nest Doorbell with battery) and an outdoor security camera. And they have two more on the way for later this year.

But Google already makes a smart doorbell, right? Yup. The Nest Hello isn't going anywhere. Instead, it's getting a new name: the Nest Doorbell (wired). 

While the names might be similar, there are some big differences between the two Nest Doorbells. Let's break down what you will (and won't) get with each doorbell.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Nest Doorbell (wired), formerly known as the Nest Hello, is the original smart doorbell from Google. At $230, it's the more expensive model, although Best Buy seems to have cut the price to match that of its battery-powered sibling. It doesn't have a battery power option, so you'll need to hardwire it to your home's existing electrical supply.

That hardwiring supports one feature the Nest Doorbell (battery) doesn't have: 24/7 continuous recording. The Nest Doorbell (battery) includes three hours of free event video history, but cannot record continuous video even if you hardwire it. 

A few other characteristics separate the two doorbells. The Nest Doorbell (wired) is shorter and slightly thinner than the new Nest Doorbell (battery). It comes in one color, a black-and-white combination. The Nest Doorbell (wired) has a 160-degree diagonal field of view with a 4:3 ratio and 8x digital zoom. 

Aside from a clunkier look and the wiring requirement, the (former) Nest Hello is still a competent device. Since it works with Google's Home App and will continue to be supported, it's still a good option for your front door. Read our Nest Doorbell (wired) review

Read our Nest Hello review.

 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The latest doorbell model from Google is designed to be installed anywhere. Choose battery power if you need to install the Nest Doorbell (battery) without access to doorbell wiring. This doorbell can be wired as well, linking it to your home's doorbell chime. 

The Nest Doorbell (battery) comes with Google's latest machine-learning chip onboard for free notifications that can differentiate between people, packages, animals and vehicles. The Nest Doorbell (wired) only recognizes people and other motion. Familiar Faces is available with a Nest Aware subscription for both models, and adds sound and packages for the Nest Doorbell (wired).

You'll get three hours of event history with video clips, while the Nest Doorbell (wired) offers only still images for its three-hour history. The Nest Doorbell (battery) can also record footage even if your power and Wi-Fi go out; something the wired model can't do. 

At 6.3 inches, the Nest Doorbell (battery) is significantly taller than the wired model's 4.6 inches. Other dimensions are nearly identical. The field of view on the Nest Doorbell (battery) is 145-degree diagonal with 3:4 ratio. Here's a look at more specs side by side.

Nest Doorbell specs compared


Nest Doorbell (wired) Nest Doorbell (battery)
Price $180 $180
Colors Black/white Snow, Linen, Ivy, Ash
Dimensions 4.6 x 1.7 x 1 in. (HWD) 6.3 x 1.8 x.95 in. (HWD)
Field of view 160-degree diagonal; 4:3 ratio 145-degree diagonal; 3:4 ratio
Zoom 8x digital 6x digital
Night vision Yes Yes
HDR Yes Yes
Free smart alerts Motion, person Motion, person, package, animal and vehicle
Paid alerts Familiar faces, package and sound Familiar faces
24/7 continuous recording No Yes, if wired
Chime Yes Yes, if wired
History 3 hours still images 3 hours video
Can record during outage No Yes, up to 1 hour

Smarter, sleeker and more affordable than its predecessor, the Nest Doorbell (battery) is an impressive device with a lot of perks going for it.

While both Nest Doorbells take advantage of Google's software, Nest Aware program and Home app integration, the Nest Doorbell (battery) comes with more free alerts, more flexible mounting options and a lower price. It also has a slightly more generous vertical field of view, which is what really matters for most video doorbell setups. Still, if you really want or need 24/7 recording the Nest Doorbell (wired) is the only model that offers it.

If you're looking for an affordable video doorbell to use without a subscription, Nest's Doorbell (battery) will be a great fit for you. On the other hand, if you have doorbell wiring and really want that 24/7 recording option, then you'll want to stick with the Nest Doorbell (wired).

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