Nest is making sure that they remain relevant when it comes to home automation. Nest has been in the game with its Thermostats, Smoke + CO Alarms, home security system, and now with the doorbell camera, Lock, and temperature sensor. They came out swinging with the Nest Hello Doorbell. I currently have a nest Thermostat in my current home automation setup, I have to say it is an amazing device. I recently added the Nest Hello Video Doorbell and Nest did not disappoint with this device. It really is a must-have device to expand your home automation setup. It has some great qualities and a few things Nest will need to address because it’s not perfect but overall. It’s one of the best home security options available that doesn’t require a complex setup, DVR or networking experience. It’s home security for anyone.

INSTALLATION:

Installation of the Hello Doorbell was surprisingly easy. While the installation overall doesn’t require any electrical or circuitry expertise. Nest does advise you of the likelihood of needing to hire an electrician if by chance your current doorbell does not have enough voltage to power the Nest Camera portion of the doorbell. This device is not battery based but does work with low voltage wires just like your normal doorbell would. The wiring will need to carry 14 to 30 Volts AC (Alternate Current) or have a transformer labeled 16 to 24 Volts AC. This is needed to use all its features and you might want to hire a licensed electrician to do the actual installation for safety’s sake if you are not comfortable installing on your own. Nest does provide detailed instructions on the tools you will need, all the steps you will need to take in detail on how to install the doorbell and a location that you can check if your current system is compatible with the doorbell. Nest created a simple instructional video for you to watch via your smartphone or PC making self-installation even easier for those that are comfortable doing so.

FEATURES:

The Nest Hello Doorbell stands out with the amazing features that separate it from its competitor Ring. Not to take anything away from Ring as that is still an amazing doorbell. The Nest just has a feature that helps it stand out, that feature is facial recognition. As people walk up to your door and ring the bell the Nest Hello takes several pictures of the persons face. It alerts you when someone is at the door and that you have pictures to review for profiles. Now, if you assign a name to the profile every time that person comes to your door the Nest will alert you by that person’s name. The Nest Hello will take several shots and allow you to merge them into one file so that the system will know that all those images are the same person. The process is instant, it does not take long for the system to recognize who is at your door once it realizes they are in your profile history.

Another amazing feature the Nest Hello has is its incorporation with Google Home. As we all know, Google has a deal with Nest. Google sells Nest products on the Google store and because of this deal all nest products work seamlessly with Google Home and Google Home Mini. It works extremely well with Google Assistant. When someone rings your bell the Nest Hello will not only ring, but it will also alert you to all Google Home devices you might have in your home. If the person ringing the bell is in your familiar faces database and has a name assigned, the Nest Hello will sound, and your Google Home will say that person’s name at the door. A feature I have enjoyed the most so far is the video capturing feature. Let’s say you want to create a time-lapse video, the mobile app and online video viewer allow you to do so. If you have Chromecast as part of your home automation setup you can instruct Google Home to show you who is at the door and it will bring the nest camera on your TV using Google Chromecast. IFTTT also has a feature that as soon as your Nest Hello senses movement at the door it can automatically bring up the image on your Chromecast devices. This feature is beneficial for when you might not have your phone in your hand or you did not hear Google Home announce who was at the door.

Nest allows you to save recorded video to its cloud storage. Nest requires you to subscribe to save recorded video to cloud-based storage. The price for cloud-based storage may differ but without the subscription, you are unable to use the video feature on neither of these devices. Nest has provided three different options for subscriptions and this is per camera based. So, if you have any other Nest cameras you will need a subscription for each camera. I do believe that you get a discount on each subscription you apply to each camera. I am not 100% sure about this as I only have one camera. I have heard from other people who have more than one camera they have received a discount. Nest is providing a 5-Day video history for $50 per year, 10-Day Video History for $100 per year, and 30-Day video History for $300 per year. These are steep prices for such an already expensive device, to begin with, but it’s worth it, in the end, depending on how much security you require. How many news broadcasts have you seen of people having a recording of someone coming up and grabbing their packages? This feature is well worth the expense when it comes to security.

COMMUNICATION:

Apart from video communication, the Nest Hello can also do audio communication. The Nest hello allows you to use its built-in speakers to communicate with the person at your doorbell. The mobile app allows you to turn the mic on so that you can talk back to the person at the door or send a short-preset message. You can hear the person at the door, but they might not know they can hear you. Once you enable the mic then you’ll be able to communicate as well as observe. This a feature that is beneficial for those who less likely to be available at home when visitors or packages arrive.

The camera is very sensitive, any movement or sound and it alerts you. It also defines if the alert is for motion or sound, so you know what to expect when you check the alert. You are able to create area zones that tell the system what areas to alert you about and what areas to ignore. This can be helpful for zones within your area that have heavy traffic like cars going by. You receive alerts on the mobile app which provides a full video of all the activity at your door. You are also able to send alerts through email, which can be helpful if you leave your phone but have your computer or tablet with you.

ISSUES:

The only issues with the Hello Doorbell are the delay in the notifications. The delay is not a substantial delay, but you do have a delay. The delay is by seconds, which is not that bad. It is concerning as at times it can only take seconds for someone to take a package from your doorstep. I can say that by the time I receive a notification about who is at my door they are still at the door and I have not opened the door already or left my step with a package. This is something Nest will resolve with an update to the devices notification system. Other than the delay I honestly cannot find anything else wrong with this device.

OVERALL:

This is one device that is an excellent addition to a smart home. It incorporates itself with other smart homes devices seamlessly. Does not take much to set up and provides that extra level of security that your front door might need. All the features that help it stand out make it worth the price tag. The way it seamlessly incorporates with other smart home devices and still is able to maintain its own level of awe. If you have Google Home or a Google Home mini in almost every room you can know who is at the door without even leaving the room. If you have Philips Hue bulbs you can have the doorbell turn a light on so people think you are home. The device and its capabilities are limitless to how it works with other smart home devices. Nest honestly took the doorbell to another level. This a purchase that honestly has paid for itself in all that it provides.

 

 

 

 

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Shawn Gonsalves
Shawn A Gonsalves is a 14-year veteran in Information Technology. He enjoys all forms of technology, from gaming to networking, to mobile devices, to home entertainment. It was his love for the first Street Fighter video game that truly started his love for gaming. Since then he has played every version of Street Fighter that has come out. His favorite gaming console has been the PlayStation, it is his love for gaming on a PS4 the last few years that has motivated him to play a role in sharing his experiences with the different forms of technology.