Nest Hello


PC & Tech Authority - - REVIEWS INTRO -

Once the sole do­main of the wealthy and para­noid, video door­bells are boom­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. It’s easy to un­der­stand why. They let you see and speak to who­ever’s at the door with­out hav­ing to open it; they can mon­i­tor the out­side of your house and alert you when mo­tion is de­tected; and they al­low you to be in when you’re out – es­pe­cially use­ful if a courier turns up with a pack­age unan­nounced.

Nest is the lat­est big name to join in the fun, with the Google-owned brand re­leas­ing the high-end Hello to take on the mar­ket-lead­ing Ring Video Doorbell 2. Let bat­tle com­mence.


Ring wins the ease of setup round hands down. Even a novice DIY-er with a screw­driver and a few min­utes to spare should be able to get it up and run­ning in less than half an hour – you don’t even have to own a screw­driver as one is in­cluded in the box.

That’s mainly be­cause the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is pow­ered by a re­mov­able and recharge­able lithium-ion bat­tery. All you need do is screw it onto your door frame, charge up the bat­tery and screw the cover on. Next, it’s a sim­ple mat­ter of down­load­ing the app to your smart­phone, run­ning through the setup rou­tine and sign­ing up for a Ring ac­count so you can ac­cess and down­load clips once they’ve been recorded. The doorbell con­nects to your home Wi-Fi via 2.4GHz 802.11n.

The Hello, on the other hand, is mains- pow­ered only. In­stal­la­tion is quite in­volved, so I’d rec­om­mend get­ting a elec­tri­cian to put it in.

There are def­i­nite ad­van­tages to Nest’s ap­proach. Be­cause it doesn’t have a bat­tery built in, it’s more el­e­gant than the Ring 2 and also looks much less like a se­cu­rity cam­era. There’s no bat­tery to pull out and recharge ev­ery cou­ple of months or so and, as part of the setup, it can be in­te­grated with your ex­ist­ing door chime if you have one.

Note that you can also in­te­grate the Ring with your mains and an ex­ist­ing chime, but again you’ll need some elec­tri­cal know-how.


Which brings us to to the $59 Chime Pro, Ring’s Wi-Fi ex­ten­der unit that also acts as a chime. The Nest Hello might look sim­i­lar at $299, but that rises to $358 with the Chime and doesn’t in­clude the price of in­stal­la­tion. Over­all, the Ring will prob­a­bly cost around $250 less to

get set up than the equiv­a­lent Nest prod­uct.

Also con­sider subscription costs for the com­pa­nies’ on­line video stor­age fa­cil­i­ties. Ring’s prices start at $30 per year, Nest’s at $100 per year. You’ll need to pay for this af­ter the first month – oth­er­wise, you can’t view clips af­ter they’ve been recorded or down­load them for shar­ing with the po­lice if you’ve been bro­ken into.

The Nest Hello’s video res­o­lu­tion isn’t as high as the Ring Video Doorbell 2. It’s 1,600 x 1,200 (recorded on a 1/3in sen­sor), while the Ring 2 records 1,920 x 1,080 video. In most other re­spects, how­ever, the Nest matches or bet­ters its ri­val.

The first area of su­pe­ri­or­ity is that the Nest records video 24/7, just like a reg­u­lar se­cu­rity cam­era, and it saves that video di­rect to Nest’s servers. This means you can re­view any minute of the day, whereas the Ring 2 records clips only when it de­tects mo­tion.

The level of subscription you buy de­ter­mines how far back you can go in your video his­tory. The cheap­est $70-per-year subscription gives you ac­cess to con­tin­u­ous video record­ing five days into the past; the next level up is $140 per year for ten days; and if you want a full month (30 days), it’s an in­cred­i­bly pricey $300 pa..

Even a novice can set up the Ring, while in­stalling the Hello may re­quire pro­fes­sional help

HDR means that the Nest can deal with tricky light and in­frared LEDs boost its night vi­sionThe Hello’s “fa­mil­iar face alerts” give you a tai­lored an­nounce­ment when­ever a reg­u­lar visi­tor ar­rives

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