In the past, the Nest Doorbell has been a popular option thanks to its versatility and clear image quality, but the battery was always a consideration. The latest iteration of the video doorbell does away with the battery in favor of a hardwired connection, ensuring you never have to worry about the battery running out of juice. It also has another nifty feature: an hour of onboard video storage backup. This means that if your Wi-Fi drops, you’ll still be able to see anything that happens (for an hour, anyway), and the footage will automatically be uploaded to your cloud storage as soon as the connection resumes.
Like other Nest products, you’ll only get three hours of event video history on the free tier. To get 30 days of footage, you’ll need to upgrade to Nest Aware at $6 per month or $60 per year.
Google shared that according to DXOMark, the new Nest Doorbell is “the best camera doorbell we have tested so far in terms of image quality.” Whether that’s true or not in the real world remains to be seen, but Nest has spent a lot of time tweaking this doorbell to make sure it offers a clear image no matter the situation. Nest also invested more heavily into privacy. All image processing is done on-device, which means your footage isn’t going to some far-off cloud server to be processed and then returned to you. That also means faster results and alerts, since you don’t have to account for latency, cloudy weather, or any of the other factors that can affect data speed.
Perhaps the most notable feature is the inclusion of pre-recorded messages you can select to quickly respond to visitors. It’s an ideal option if you’re stuck in a meeting and can’t use the two-way audio feature to answer someone; plus, it’s reminiscent of the Alexa Smart Responses feature on Ring doorbells. You can also set up Activity Zones to monitor only specific areas of your porch.
The Nest Doorbell can distinguish between people, pets, vehicles, and other forms, as well as tell you when it detects a familiar or an unfamiliar face. It’s definitely Nest’s most advanced doorbell yet, especially when you factor in the Household Routines feature. For example, you can set it up so that someone pressing the doorbell after sunset will automatically activate your porch lights.
The Nest Doorbell is available in the U.S. starting today for $180 and comes in four colors: snow, linen, ash, and ivy.
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