I really, really like the $229 Nest Hello video doorbell (roughly £165/AU$290 converted) and believe it deserves your strong consideration alongside Ring, August and SkyBell.
At first glance, the Nest Hello is an HD live streaming camera-buzzer combination like any other smart doorbell. View the video feed from your phone or computer, receive push alerts and emails when the camera detects motion, sees a person or hears a loud sound -- and review three hours of saved images for free. There's other neat stuff, like scheduling and geofencing if you want to control when the camera is on and off.
But my favorite thing about the Nest Hello is its ability to scan faces and tell you who is at your front door from images of friends and family members you ID in the app. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to the Nest Aware service to create your own face-scanning database, which starts at $5 a month. No other video doorbell I've tested offers facial recognition, though, and I liked it more than I expected. The fact that Nest now offers suchdoesn't hurt either because many of the devices work together fairly seamlessly. You can also ask Alexa or Google Assistant to pull up your Hello doorbell's live feed on a screen-compatible device.
Yes, you have to pay a little more for the Hello, and I wish Nest offered Editors' Choice Award.like August and SkyBell, but this full-featured smart doorbell is worth it. For these reasons, I'm giving the Nest Hello video doorbell an
Well, 'Hello' there
The Nest Hello looks more like a traditional doorbell than, say,. I personally like the Hello's design, because it actually looks like a doorbell and it's narrow enough to fit on most door frames.
Installing it was easy, too, despite an important caveat that I'll get to in a minute. You download the Nest app for Android or iOS and follow the step-by-step guide to get everything going. Like the, the August Doorbell Cam Pro and the , the Hello is a hardwired buzzer.
Strangely, Nest's Hello comes with a "required" accessory called a "chime connector." This odd-looking gizmo is supposed to connect to your mechanical or digital doorbell chime to help with power management. Digital chimes are often more problematic for smart doorbells than mechanical ones, so companies often provide workarounds so digital chimes will work with their products. Ring includes a small piece of hardware it calls a Diode for anyone installing a with a digital doorbell chime, but it isn't required for folks with a mechanical chime. SkyBell offers something similar called a Digital Doorbell Adapter.
The Hello's chime connector appears to perform a different function, but the most information I could get from Nest was that it helps prevent shorting. While it's inconvenient to install this thing, it wasn't hard -- and like Nest's other installs, everything is detailed clearly in the app.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro does come with a transformer accessory that seems to offer the same functionality as Nest's chime connector. Ring doesn't explicitly state that the transformer is required, though: "This kit contains the transformer we recommend for powering a Ring Video Doorbell Pro along with a 16-24 volt AC doorbell chime (required). This transformer is meant as a drop- in upgrade for existing doorbell systems, to solve power-related issues." Read more about Ring's transformer accessory here.
Charting new territory
Check out the chart I painstakingly put together below to see how the Nest Hello stacks up against two different Ring buzzers, August's Doorbell Cam Pro and the SkyBell HD:
Comparing video doorbells
||Nest Hello Video Doorbell||Ring Video Doorbell 2||Ring Video Doorbell Pro||August Doorbell Cam Pro||SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell|
|Color finish||White and black||Satin nickel, venetian (both finishes included with purchase)||Satin nickel, venetian, satin black, pearl white||silver, dark gray||Brushed aluminum, oil-rubbed bronze|
|Power source||Hardwired||Hardwired or removable, rechargeable battery||Hardwired||Hardwired||Hardwired|
|Resolution||1600x1200p HD||1920x1080p HD||1920x1080p HD||1280×960p HD||1920x1080p HD|
|Field of view||160 degrees||160 degrees||160 degrees||120 degrees||180 degrees|
|Cloud storage||Yes, free 3-hour image history; continuous recording starting at $5 per month||Yes, 60-day storage for $3 per month||Yes, 60-day storage for $3 per month||Yes, free 24-hour clips; 30-day storage for $5 per month||Yes, free 7-day clips|
|Mobile app||Android and iPhone||Android and iPhone||Android and iPhone||Android and iPhone||Android and iPhone|
|Alerts||Motion, person, facial recognition (with Nest Aware)||Motion||Motion||Motion||Motion|
|Activity zones||Yes (with Nest Aware)||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||4.6 x 1.7 x 1.0 inches||5.1 x 2.5 x 1.1 inches||4.5 x 1.9 x 0.8 inches||2.9 x 2.9 x 0.9 inches||2.8 x 2.8 x 0.9 inches|
|Integrations||Alexa; Google Assistant; Nest||Alexa; IFTTT; Wink||Alexa; IFTTT; Wink||Alexa; IFTTT; Nest||Alexa; IFTTT; Nest|
|Operating temperature range||14 to 104 degrees F (–10 to 40 degrees C)||-5 to 120 degrees F (-20 to 48 degrees C)||-5 to 120 degrees F (-20 to 48 degrees C)||-13 to 122 degrees F (-25 to 50 degrees C)||-40 to 140 degrees F (-40 to 60 degrees C)|
As far as the basics go, the Nest Hello is competitive with its counterparts, with the exception of the free cloud storage available with August and SkyBell cameras and its operating temperature range. If you want your doorbell to work when it's -5 degrees F out, I guess you need to go with a different buzzer.
But the Hello's advanced features, available through Nest Aware, blow away the competition.