2022 Nest Doorbell Wired Review vs Nest Hello (2018)
Earlier this month, Google launched a wired version of its Nest Doorbell, offering the next version of the latter that originally debuted in battery form last year.
Google sent us its latest Nest Doorbell to check out and here’s our brief review of this highly-anticipated doorbell.
The original Nest Hello doorbell is one of our favourite pieces of smart home tech. Beyond the camera’s ability to help track visitors and deliveries, the Nest app is so perfectly designed in conjunction with other Nest family products, such as Nest Protect smoke alarms and the company’s cameras.
But this latest Nest Doorbell wired requires using the Google Home app and not the original Nest app. Google is set to launch an overhauled version of its Home app, with a Public Preview coming soon for iOS and Android, ahead of its launch. That being said, this review is based on the busy, messy and complex Google Home app we have today. Let’s begin.
The new wired Nest Doorbell is shorter than the battery version, but taller than the original Nest Hello. There’s a large button that’s outlined with an LED. Basically, a shorter design since no huge battery is required inside the device. Google says the wired Nest Doorbell is 30% smaller than the battery version, allowing the latter to fit better in tight spaces and around door frames.
Inside the box (100% recyclable) you’ll find everything you need to get started for install. If you’re coming from a Nest Hello, it’s very easy to install the Nest Doorbell wired. You’ll need to just replace the mounting bracket with the new one and connect the wires. You get screws, anchors, a wedge, doorbell chime connector (if you need it) and more.
This video below explains everything you need to know:
Google added some little details such as the wording “HELLO” along the perimeter of the lens enclosure:
2022 Nest Doorbell wired packaging versus the original Nest Hello from 2018:
Here’s the original Nest Hello next to the Nest Doorbell wired from the front:
…from the side:
…and from the back:
Installing the Nest Doorbell wired was very simple. Just swap the mounting brackets (we were able to use the same drill holes, as Google mentioned before), attach the included wedge, connect the doorbell wires, attach the doorbell so it’s flush, then slide down and you’ll hear a click.
Next, install a small screw to secure the doorbell. This was the most difficult part because the screw took some jiggling to align into the doorbell mount, but we got it done. For the Nest Hello, you had to jab an iPhone SIM tray tool-like device up from the bottom to dislodge the doorbell. This 2022 solution is easier. Google says if someone steals your doorbell, they will replace it (thieves would be pretty stupid to do so, since they’ll be on camera).
Here’s the original Nest Hello installed versus the new Nest Doorbell wired (the wall plate is from Amazon.ca):
Google says this new wired Nest Doorbell includes a “hybrid lens made of glass and plastic that provides more clarity,” while the camera pixels are “125% larger than the original wired Nest Doorbells,” offering more light capture during the day and night. We agree it’s indeed true.
Below is a screenshot of the original Nest Hello on the left (zoomed in) and on the right is the wired Nest Doorbell (zoomed in as well). These are zoomed in shots to show roughly the same scene in both and the wired Nest Doorbell has more details than its predecessor. Notice how you can see the doormat in the Nest Doorbell thanks to its new viewing angle:
This wired Nest Doorbell can record 1 hour of event history locally if your Wi-Fi cuts out, while it also has two-second previews and extended clips when you’re viewing in the Google Home app. You also get intelligent alerts for motion, people, package deliveries, animals and cars.
If you’re buying a Nest Doorbell, a Nest Aware Plus subscription is essential for 24/7 video recording and 10 days of continuous history and 60 days of video event history. That means you also get Familiar face alerts, which again tie into your Google smart speakers to announce who’s at the front door. This is helpful if you get a lot of visitors or package deliveries. Without Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus, you only get three hours of event video history with clips up to 5-minutes long.
We noticed notifications from the wired Nest Doorbell popped up pretty quickly on our iPhone 14 Pro Max, with an option to 1-tap pre-recorded replies, just like you could with the Nest Hello.
After installing the wired Nest Doorbell, we immediately noticed the new 145° diagonal view with 3:4 ratio, allowing you to see more top to bottom, versus a wide view of the previous Nest Hello. This comes down to preference, but I prefer the wider view of the Nest Hello to see who’s coming and going better based on the front layout of our home.
So the new wired Nest Doorbell looks great, has a clear HDR view and still lets you chat with who’s at the door, like before. The problem? That darn Google Home app. Yes, the Google Home app is slated for a major overhaul. But for now, it’s terrible with any Nest cameras. We miss the one-tap 15-second fast forward and rewind and also quicker access to events.
Live view with the Nest app shows what’s happening in one pane, then event history below, and one-tap to get to the scrolling timeline view. It just makes more sense than what’s happening in the Google Home app.
The Google Home app has too much happening inside and it takes too many steps to access your cameras. Sometimes video history wasn’t readily available to view after it happened, whereas the Nest app was much faster. The Google Home app is not “wife approved” and I’m being told to reinstall the old Nest Hello doorbell, because the former is just not user-friendly and frustrating to use. I have yet to sleep on the couch, and that’s only because I said a new Google Home app is coming (soon).
So what should you do if you have the original Nest Hello Doorbell? Hold onto that thing, because it’s still useful and worthy, thanks to the excellent Nest app. If you’re considering an upgrade to the wired Nest Doorbell, at least wait until the revamped Google Home app is made available, because as it stands now, it’s not that much fun to use.
The 2022 Nest Doorbell wired is available in Canada for $239.99 CAD with only two colours available: Snow and Ash (Linen and Ivy are available for the U.S.).