The Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) is just the second doorbell from the corporate, and the primary with Google branding. As a long-time Nest Hey proprietor, I used to be significantly to see how totally different the brand new mannequin could be – and what it could convey to the desk – particularly given the three-year hole for the reason that Hey launched.
And the newcomer actually is a whole redesign. It is bigger, has an inside battery, presents three hours’ value of recordings and allows you to arrange exercise zones with out subscribing to Nest Conscious Plus.
It sounds good, however there are some things that aren’t so nice, akin to the dearth of steady recording even in case you subscribe to Nest Conscious Plus and hook the Doorbell as much as energy. Being compelled to make use of the Google Dwelling app will be irritating as properly, as can the brand new, tall facet ratio for movies.
Options & Design
A number of color choices (not within the UK, although)
Simple set up
Battery or mains energy
Not like Ring, Google has opted for a single-model method so there’s one worth and – within the UK a minimum of – one color. That color is White.
Patrons within the US get to select between Ash (gray), Linen (beige), Ivy (greenish-grey) and Snow (white).
One other distinction between US and UK fashions is that US doorbell helps 2.4- and 5GHz 802.11n, whereas the UK one is 2.4GHz solely.
The Doorbell is big in comparison with the Hey, which has since been renamed the Nest Doorbell (Wired). That’s primarily due to the additional room required for the battery. And, frankly, it shouldn’t matter for most individuals as there isn’t normally restricted area in your wall or doorframe for a taller doorbell.
The button remains to be on the backside and has an LED ring round it which lights up when an individual is detected, so it’s apparent the place guests should press. And so they’ll hear a doorbell chime sound once they press it, together with a pre-recorded response in case you’ve elected to make use of one.
There are three ‘Fast responses’:
You may simply go away it
We’ll be proper with you
We will’t reply the door
In case you’re at residence, you’ll get a notification in your telephone, in addition to a customer announcement on Google Assistant-enable audio system and the dwell video on Google Nest sensible shows. You probably have an old school doorbell chime, that may sound as properly, however it should solely work in case you wire up the Doorbell to energy, not if it’s operating on battery energy.
As with the Nest Hey, you may as well allow Quiet time, which is the period of time you need to mute customer bulletins on Google Assistant-enabled gadgets and an indoor chime when you’ve got one. There’s nonetheless no choice to schedule Quiet time although.
The large change, apart from the battery, is that there’s a extra highly effective onboard processor which might do issues like recognise automobiles, animals and packages. This implies you will get alerts for these, in addition to arrange a number of zones, with out having to subscribe to Nest Conscious to get these options.
Higher nonetheless, Google presents three hours of storage for recordings. That’s not a rolling three-hour window: it’s three hours’ value of clips. Since clips are sometimes lower than 10 seconds lengthy, that may very well be per week or extra earlier than the oldest clips are overwritten.
Nevertheless, you continue to don’t get alerts about acquainted faces until you subscribe.
One other large change is that video is recorded with a 3:Four facet ratio as an alternative of 4:3. So, as with the Ring Video Doorbell Professional 2, you see a taller picture that ought to present the doorstep in addition to extra of the sky.
However, it additionally means a narrower view, so that you lose visibility of what’s to the left and proper in comparison with the view from the Nest Hey.
In numbers, it means the Doorbell (Battery) has a diagonal subject of view of 145° the place the Nest Hey exhibits 160°.
In the end, neither is inherently higher, but it surely’s a disgrace you may’t have each (as you may with the Ring Professional 2 and its super-wide angle lens or the Arlo Important Wi-fi Video Doorbell).
The ultimate new characteristic is the Doorbell’s capacity to hold on recording for as much as an hour in case your Wi-Fi goes down or your private home suffers an influence minimize. When energy and Wi-Fi are restored, the recordings are then made accessible within the Google Dwelling app.
Easy in case you’re utilizing battery energy
No energy provide included within the field
20° wedge included
Other than a device to make holes in your wall or doorframe, every thing you have to set up the Doorbell (Battery) is included within the field. That’s assuming you’ll use its inside battery. There’s no possibility (as you get with some Ring doorbells) to purchase a bundle that features a mains transformer.
However in case you don’t have already got wires operating to your door, you may decide up an appropriate energy provide that plugs right into a mains socket for round £15 / US$15.
The Google Dwelling app is required to arrange the doorbell as there’s no help for the Nest app. And if you’re an current Nest app person, notice that you’ll have to migrate to a Google account.
A useful video exhibits precisely what you have to do, and the essential undeniable fact that you have to permit a minimum of 55mm of area above the system with the intention to use the discharge key. In any other case, you would possibly click on it into place on the backplate and be unable to take away it later.
Sadly, I had a horrible time attempting to get the Doorbell arrange. The Google Dwelling app didn’t ‘discover’ it and after scanning the QR code on its rear, it failed to search out an aiding Nest system “that may assist get your system on-line sooner”.
After some tech help, it appeared that my now-offline Nest Hey was the problem, so I used to be instructed to take away it from the Nest app. This didn’t repair the problem, which ultimately turned out to be attributable to the shortcoming of each the Nest app and Google Dwelling app to make use of my Nest Cam IQ because the ‘aiding’ system.
Solely after that was faraway from the Nest app was I given the choice to select a Wi-Fi community from a listing. Previous to that, the Google Dwelling app would solely permit me to ‘Retry’ connecting to this mysterious aiding system or ‘Exit’ and cancel the setup. Google wants to repair this and supply the choice to arrange a brand new system’s Wi-Fi settings manually.
So-so video high quality
No false positives
In case you’re anticipating a bounce in video high quality from the Hey, you’ll be sorely dissatisfied. It’s nonetheless recorded in HDR, however decision is barely worse than the Hey, even in case you swap to Max high quality within the app (which warns you that it’s going to shorten battery life).
The truth is, decision is down from 1600×1200 to 960×1280. In apply it doesn’t make a large distinction: I might nonetheless clearly see individuals’s faces, even when there was robust backlighting from the solar (beneath, left). Nevertheless it looks like a step backwards that even the brand new cheaper price can’t make up for.
At night time, high quality is worse, simply as it’s with all cameras. Infrared LEDs assist to light up the scene, however they will solely achieve this a lot.
Extra disappointing is the truth that there’s no pre-roll, one thing you get even on Ring’s £49 / $59 Doorbell Wired. It implies that there’s a few seconds’ delay after an occasion is detected and recording begins.
This implies you don’t see individuals method your door within the recorded clip, and it additionally means you get much less advance warning earlier than somebody presses the doorbell. Though it is a doorbell and never billed as a safety digital camera, the dearth of pre-roll can also be annoying in case you do need it to behave like one (and as different doorbells can) as a result of recorded clips will generally start as an individual is strolling out of the body.
The excellent news is that the on-board processing does a superb job of detecting occasions and by no means despatched alerts when bushes swayed within the wind, the solar went behind the clouds or bugs flew in entrance of the lens at night time – frequent occurrences with the Nest Hey.
A aspect good thing about that is that the three hours of storage doesn’t get wasted on non-events.
Google says that the battery can last as long as 2.5 months. However that is very a lot primarily based on what number of occasions occur in entrance of the digital camera.
In case you dwell in suburbia, as I do, there’s simply an excessive amount of happening to see anyplace close to that kind of time between recharges.
My entrance door is only some toes from the kerb and members of the family come and go pretty frequently. Add to this the morning submit, numerous courier deliveries and it provides as much as various occasions.
The Doorbell goes right into a sleep (idle) mode when no movement is detected, and this protects energy. But when it has to consistently get up and document video, this shortens battery life. There’s a setting you may allow which stops the system recording something besides when the doorbell is pressed if battery life is estimated to be lower than seven days. It will prolong the run-time, and may very well be useful in case you gained’t return residence earlier than it runs out utterly (akin to in case you’re on vacation).
In my expertise, it took simply six days earlier than that cut-off, and with out utilizing the battery saver mode, that meant a complete time between fees of just below a fortnight.
There are, nevertheless, totally different modes you may select in case you actually drill down into the settings. There’s Extra recording, Default, Extra battery life and Customized, which suggests battery life will depend on the settings you’ve chosen for recording high quality.
Extra battery life means it should document at ‘Excessive’, not Max high quality, and can restrict the size of recordings, and improve the time between when it detects occasions.
After all, the battery life you’ll obtain will rely in your circumstances. What’s clear is that for it to final 2.5 months, you’d want to remain largely at residence, have a entrance door that sees little motion and has only a few guests.
Google Dwelling app
Timeline wants work
Not as good to make use of as Nest app
Requires Google account
Regardless of being a Nest-branded product, you may’t use the Nest app with the Doorbell (Battery). It’s essential to use the Google Dwelling app to each arrange and use it.
While you faucet on the system within the checklist of all gadgets you’re taken to both the dwell view or, if the digital camera is idle as a result of no occasions have occurred not too long ago, a display screen exhibiting the remaining battery life, with choices to view Reside video, Historical past and Extra.
Faucet Reside video and also you’ll see what the digital camera can see, together with sound. On battery energy, that took a mean of about three or 4 seconds, however was noticeably faster on mains energy. Often, it should take a great deal longer to see the dwell view, however this tends to be once you’re out and about, viewing the feed remotely over a cellular community.
You may press the microphone button to talk or you may faucet Historical past to see what occurred beforehand.
This entails swiping proper to scroll again to search out the blue bars which symbolize occasions. Between them the preview window goes clean and exhibits No occasions detected. There’s no choice to take nonetheless photos occasionally to get a tough concept of what occurred all through the day as you may with Ring’s Snapshots characteristic.
It doesn’t compress clean sections of the timeline both, so you will have to swipe loads to search out these occasions.
There’s an alternate: faucet on Full historical past and also you see a listing of recorded clips (above, left) and you may filter these by Package deal, Automobile, Animal, Particular person and – in case you subscribe to Conscious – Acquainted face and Unfamiliar face.
You may as well filter by Doorbell, and so rapidly see who rang the doorbell not too long ago, and sounds akin to ‘Glass breaking’, ‘Canine barking’, ‘Smoke alarm’ and ‘Particular person speaking’.
For every occasion within the checklist, a thumbnail video will loop a brief part of the video (round a second lengthy) exhibiting the occasion. Most thumbnail (however not all) briefly disappear earlier than restarting which creates an annoying flashing impact, one thing that doesn’t occur within the Nest app.
I’ve requested Google if it is a bug or intentional, however am nonetheless ready for a response.
This wasn’t the one drawback I discovered. Generally, tapping on Reside would play dwell audio, however not present dwell video: solely a nonetheless picture from a earlier time so I couldn’t see what was occurring. Tapping on an occasion within the Historical past checklist would sometimes lead to a message saying ‘This video isn’t accessible but. Examine again later’ regardless of being recorded a number of minutes in the past.
Although I am subscribed to Nest Conscious, more often than not notifications merely mentioned ‘Acquainted face’ as an alternative of the particular person’s identify, and I solely noticed a selected identify talked about as soon as, even if the Dwelling app makes use of current data out of your account so it is aware of who’s who in case you spent the time to undergo the checklist and inform the app what every acquainted particular person’s identify is.
Wealthy notifications did not work correctly on iOS both, with the area showing for a picture on my Apple Watch, however no precise picture.
When watching movies, you may zoom in as much as 6x. Not like Nest’s IQ cameras, with their greater decision sensors, the Doorbell doesn’t have Supersight, so can’t robotically zoom in and comply with individuals, automobiles or animals it spots.
Within the Settings display screen you may select which notifications to obtain. That is properly designed because it lets you select which forms of occasion you need to document and whether or not you need to obtain notifications about these occasions or not.
Higher nonetheless, that is per zone and there’s additionally an ‘Exterior of zone’ space, so you may nonetheless document sure forms of occasions that occur exterior of a zone you care about, however don’t need notifications.
For instance, you may outline a zone (which doesn’t should be a rectangle) protecting the pathway to your door, and get alerts for particular person, bundle and animal in that zone. For Exterior of zone, you might select to document video when automobiles and persons are detected, however not be bothered by notifications – you may merely overview the movies later.
Worth & availability
The Nest Doorbell (Battery) prices £179.99 / US$179.99 and you should purchase it direct from Google or from different retailers. Purchase from Google and you will get a free Nest Mini, or you should purchase the Doorbell in a reduced bundle with a second-gen Nest Hub.
Within the UK you’ll discover it at Currys, Argos, John Lewis and others.
Within the US, you should purchase the Nest Doorbell (Battery) from Greatest Purchase, Staples,
For alternate options, see our roundup of the very best sensible doorbells.
The Nest Doorbell (Battery) is a blended bag of enhancements and steps backwards. The actual fact you may have detailed alerts, arrange zones and retailer three hours’ value of occasions with out subscribing is nice, as is the very fact it will possibly run from battery energy, or be hooked as much as current doorbell wires.
However the Google Dwelling app isn’t almost as good to make use of because the Nest one, and when you’ve got older Nest cameras, you’ll little doubt find yourself utilizing each.
And in case you do have earlier Nest merchandise, you in all probability subscribe to Nest Conscious anyway, by which case the free storage isn’t a profit.
In the end, whether or not or not it’s the fitting selection for you’ll depend on what you need from a doorbell and whether or not you have already got Google Nest audio system or Nest Hubs.
Google Nest Doorbell (Battery): Specs
Decision: 960×1280, 30fps, HDR
Discipline of view: 145° diagonal
Working temperature:-20°C to 40°C
Climate proofing score: IP54
Constructed-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery, 6 Ah, 3.65 V
Non-compulsory 8–24V AC, 10VA transformer
Requires minimal 2Mb/s broadband connection
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 2.Four GHz (5GHz US solely)
Bluetooth Low Vitality (BLE)
46 x 160 x 24 mm