When you have a video doorbell, it’s kind of like having your own personal doorman. You can see who’s at the door and talk to them without getting up and interrupting your Netflix binge. You can even find out who’s at your door when you’re away from home, whether it be seeing porch pirates in the act, your kids throwing a rager when you’re on vacation, or a prowler roaming around your driveway.
There are several video doorbells for sale from a variety of different brands, but two of the most well-known options are the Nest Hello and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Between these two, which should you buy? We compared both side-by-side to determine which video doorbell reigns supreme.
At a glance
|Nest Hello||Ring Video Doorbell Pro|
|Design||Oval shaped, 4.6 inches tall, 1.7 inches wide, and 1-inch in depth||Rectangular, 4.5 inches tall, 1.85 inches wide, and 0.8 inches thick|
|Features||Two-way audio, live video, alerts, night vision, motion detection, quiet time, pre-recorded messaging, works with Google Assistant, has smart alerts and facial recognition (with subscription), and video recording (limited without subscription)||Two-way audio, live video, alerts, night vision, advanced motion detection, works with Alexa, has video review and recording (with subscription)|
|Specs||3 megapixel color sensor camera with 8x digital zoom and a 160-degree diagonal field of view||160-degree horizontal and a 90-degree vertical field of view, takes video in 1080p resolution|
|Subscription||starts at $5 per month, highest tier is $30 per month||starts at $3 per month, highest tier is $10 per month|
|Install Requirements||10VA transformer and wired doorbell and chime, pro install recommended but you can self install||existing standard doorbell system and chime (16-24 VAC transformer), includes pro power kit, easy to self install|
|Review score||9/10, editors’ choice award||8/10, recommended|
The Nest Hello Doorbell is small and oval-shaped. It’s 4.6 inches tall, 1.7 inches wide, and 1-inch in depth. The doorbell button is located at the bottom, and it has a light ring around the button that lights up when it’s in use. The camera is located at the top of the device.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is small and rectangular. It’s 4.5 inches tall, 1.85 inches wide, and only 0.8 inches thick. The doorbell button is in the center of the device, and the button is surrounded by a blue LED light ring. Above the doorbell button sits the camera. The Ring Pro comes with four interchangeable face plates (satin nickel, pearl, Venetian, and black face plates are included) so you can customize it to fit your home’s design.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Nest recommends getting a professional to install its smart doorbell. To install the doorbell yourself, you’ll need to make sure your current doorbell setup will work with the Nest Hello. The power requirements for the device are a 10VA transformer and wired doorbell and chime. The Nest website has helpful tools, like a compatibility checker to find out if your existing doorbell wires are compatible and professional installers in your area. The Nest app (iOs or Android) guides you through the self-installation process, and the box includes a mini-toolkit with the tools you need for installation.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro install process is relatively painless, and anyone with a solid amount of DIY or home improvement knowledge can install it. Provided you have an existing standard doorbell system (16-24 VAC transformer), the box comes with everything you need. Compatibility isn’t as much of an issue with the Ring Pro because it comes with a Pro Power Kit that ensures the doorbell has enough power. The Pro Power Kit goes on your internal doorbell box inside of your home. Like the Nest app, the Ring app (iOs or Android) is easy to use and navigate. Because of the Ring’s less stringent compatibility requirements, however, it beats the Nest Hello in the installation category.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Features and specs
The Nest Hello has two-way audio, noise and echo cancellation, and 24/7 video streaming. It works with Google Assistant or Alexa, so you can have notifications and feeds go to your Google Home and Echo Show devices. One of the huge benefits of the Nest Hello is its smart alerts, which can tell you the difference between people and objects. The device can even learn regular visitors over time and start to announce them by name. There’s also a quiet time feature, which will stop the chime from ringing when you have a sleeping child. The Nest Hello is designed to work in temperatures between 14 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. To take full advantage of the Nest Hello’s features like video recording and smart alerts, you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription (more on that later).
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro lets you see, hear, and talk to visitors from your phone, tablet, or PC. It can send you alerts when someone presses the doorbell button or when it detects motion. The Ring Pro works with Alexa, so you can speak to visitors with two-way talk or see a visitor through Echo devices with a display. It also has night vision and live on-demand video and audio, so you can check on your house while you’re away from home. As with the Nest Hello, if you want to take full advantage of the Ring Pro’s features, you’ll need to purchase a subscription plan. The Ring Pro is made to work in temperatures between -5 degrees and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it’s a bit more resilient than the Nest Hello.
In terms of picture and sound quality, the Nest Hello has a 1/3-inch, 3 megapixel color sensor camera with 8x digital zoom and a 160-degree diagonal field of view. It takes 1600 x 1200 HDR video at up to 30 frames per second. It has night vision (850 nm infrared LEDs), and it has a speaker and microphone. It also has noise and echo cancellation for clearer audio feeds.
The Ring Pro has a 160-degree horizontal and a 90-degree vertical field of view. It takes video in 1080p resolution, has night vision (uses IR LEDs), and it has a speaker and microphone with noise cancellation.
Winner: Nest Hello
Price and subscription model
The Nest Hello costs $199. Its subscription service, Nest Aware, starts at $5 per month (or $50 per year) and the highest cost plan is $30 per month (or $300 per year). With the $5 per month subscription, you get five days of video history, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and time lapses, and activity zones. Without a subscription, you can view live feeds, but you only get a snapshot when someone comes to the door, and that snapshot disappears within three hours. You also need a subscription to take full advantage of the smart alerts and face detection.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro costs $249. The subscription service starts at $3 per month (or $30 annually), and the highest tier plan is $10 per month (or $100 annually). The $3 per month subscription allows you to review, share, and save Ring videos. It also gives you access to recordings for up to 60 days. Without a subscription, you’ll get an alert indicating motion was detected, but you won’t be able to review the video.
Winner: Nest Hello
Although the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has a leg up on Nest in terms of its design and ease of install, the Nest Hello’s features, integration, and specs edge out the Ring Pro. The Ring Pro is an excellent device too, but it feels very similar to the Ring 2. The Ring 2, however, can be battery-powered or hard-wired, while the Ring Pro can only be hard-wired.
One downside to both the Nest Hello and the Ring Pro is that some of the features are limited without the purchase of an additional subscription plan. But, the Nest Hello at least lets you view snapshots from the last three hours.