Want to see what’s happening at your doorstep wherever you are? Then the Google Nest Doorbell could be for you. I tried these and below you can read my findings.
I had been looking for a video intercom for my home for some time. The idea of being able to see what’s going on at the door before I open it or when I’m not there seemed ideal. So I was very happy to have the opportunity to test the Google Nest Doorbell for TechGirl.
The first thing I noticed about the video intercom is that it is wireless and battery powered. This allows me to place the video door phone wherever I want. Installation is simple. First, download the Nest app from the Appstore or Google Play. After creating an account in the app, you can add a product. By scanning the QR code on the packaging, you will receive installation instructions. You can also connect the Google Nest Doorbell to your existing doorbell wiring. When you choose this option, you will hear your existing doorbell sound when someone rings the doorbell. This requires a transformer from 8 to 24 V AC and 10-40 VA.
Google Nest claims that the battery lasts up to 6 months, but of course this depends on the number of videos taken daily. I have been using the doorbell for almost 2 months and it shows a battery percentage of 45%. With the included tools, you can easily remove the hood from the mount for charging. It takes about five hours to fully charge.
Supplied as standard†
- 1 Google Nest doorbell
- 1 mounting bracket
- unlock tool
- 2 plugs and 2 screws
- Wired connection
- 20° wedge
- wedge screws
- 1 charging cable
- Quick Start Guide and Safety and Warranty Document
The design and the camera.
I really like the doorbell design. It is an attractive model with a modern, minimalist and aesthetic shape without cheap-looking plastic materials. So qualitatively an excellent product.
The video is Full HD with a resolution of 1280 x 960 pixels. The quality of the images is excellent. I was very surprised by the sharpness of the shots. Additionally, the 145-degree diagonal field of view contributed to the Nest Doorbell’s excellent video quality. It covered my entire front door, but it didn’t have that distorted fisheye effect that most wide-angle cameras have.
The camera has a 3:4 aspect ratio and a larger field of view. People are visible from head to toe and you can see if there are packages on the ground.
Night images are very good thanks to the infrared LEDs. With night vision, you can see what’s going on even in low-light conditions or in the dark. I could see very clearly the face of the person at the door. Night vision turns off when the doorbell is placed closer to a light source and therefore the person is better lit. No matter how dark it was by the door, it worked fine.
Using the Google Nest doorbell
The doorbell integrates with the Google Nest Hub app, and the Google Home app lets you control things from your smartphone, whether that’s through an Android or Apple phone.
The app sends a notification to your device when the button is pressed or when the doorbell detects motion, allowing you to view the camera’s live feed from the Google Home app. In the settings, you can determine if you want to be warned when a person, package, animal, vehicle or any movement is detected. If you live on a busy street, you can choose to activate only the most important movements, such as people and packages. This system works very well and quite accurately.
If you turn on familiar face recognition, the doorbell will use the familiar faces you’ve tagged in your account to match them to your footage. You can add names to faces to personalize the experience, but this feature is only available with a Nest Aware subscription. Since I had a trial subscription, I was able to test this feature well. The doorbell was correct and sent me a message that Gaby (my daughter) was at the door. Without a subscription, she says “person seen” or “package delivery”. I personally think this is good enough and I personally don’t think a subscription is required for this additional feature.
While broadcasting live images, I could see and hear who was at my door thanks to the smart doorbell’s speaker and microphone. However, the person cannot hear you until you press the microphone button to start two-way audio communication. This works great and it doesn’t matter if you are at home or not. As long as you have an internet connection on your phone, the ringer is connected to your phone. There are some default recordings you can use to reply, like “we’ll be with you in a minute”, “can’t open the door”, etc.
Notifications work fine, but if you don’t have your phone handy, don’t have an internet connection, or aren’t using a Google speaker, you won’t receive a call or hear a ring to alert you. that someone is on the door stands. There is also a several second delay between the notification and opening the live video to see who is at the door. I found this irritating myself. At first I thought it was my old phone, but in other reviews I also read complaints about the delay. It is something that definitely needs improvement in my opinion. By the way, I think it has to do with the Google Home app in general and not the doorbell itself.
Another addition to the new Nest Doorbell is internal storage, which allows you to record and store events when the internet goes down. It will then upload the images once the internet connection is restored. This is a good form of security if the internet at home regularly goes down.
Nest Aware subscription
You can use the doorbell without subscribing to Nest Aware, but then you’ll have storage for up to 3 hours of video recordings. Those three hours are not cumulative, it is a progressive block of time. When you are sleeping and an event is being recorded, you may not be able to see it when you wake up.
The Nest Aware service offers two options: a $5/month ($50/year) subscription that offers 30 days of video history and Face ID notifications, or a $10/month ($100/year) subscription that extends the video history up to 60 days. Neither option allows for 24/7 video recording with the Nest Doorbell’s battery, the camera simply doesn’t support that feature.
I myself am very satisfied with the doorbell. You get pretty much everything you’d expect from a wireless doorbell from a big brand like Google: two-way talk, HD resolution, and a 145-degree field of view with night vision. If you’re looking for a smart wireless video doorbell that doesn’t rely on those monthly fees or if you’re willing to pay $5 a month for the extra features, Nest’s new doorbell might be a good option for you. I absolutely recommend the doorbell.
Above average battery life
It can be installed both in the current wiring and wirelessly.
Good motion detection even in the dark.
Smart notifications that distinguish between people, packages, animals and vehicles
The camera offers very good image quality.
Free storage may be limited for some
A bit expensive, from €179
Nest Aware required to access all features
The Google Home app doesn’t always work properly