The technology industry is swimming with smart doorbells that allow you to feel safe in your home and talk to guests at your door without getting up from the sofa. Two of the best models are the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus and the Google Nest Hello. We’re here to uncover the differences between the two and name which one is the overall winner.
At a glance
|Google Nest Hello||Ring Video Door 3 Plus|
|Design||4.6 by 1.7 by 1 inches, camera at the top, blue halo light||5.1 by 2.4 by 1.1 inches, camera at the top, available in satin nickel and Venetian bronze|
|Features||Two-way audio, smart facial recognition, detects package collection (with subscription), senses sounds (with subscription), 24/7 video streaming (with subscription)||Wireless, live view, four second pre-roll video previews, two-way audio, night vision, motion detection with adjustable zones|
|Specs||HD UXGA 1600 x 1200 images, IPx4 water-resistant, 160-degree diagonal field of view, 850nm infrared night vision||1080p HD videos, water-resistant with IPx5 rating, 160-degree field of view|
|Subscription||Starts at $6 per month, premium is $12 a month||Starts at $3 per month, $10 a month for premium features|
|Installation requirements||10 VA transformer, wired doorbell (or power adapter) and chime||Runs on an included rechargeable, quick-release battery pack, or hard wire to an existing doorbell system or transformer for continuous charging (8-24 VAC, 40VA max, 50/60Hz, No DC transformer/power supply)|
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is small and rectangular with smooth edges. It’s 5.1 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide, and 1.1 inches deep. The camera is located at the top for a 160-degree view, and the doorbell button is at the bottom with obvious placement for guests. It’s available in satin nickel and Venetian bronze.
The Google Nest Hello is 4.6 inches in height, 1.7 inches wide, and 1 inch deep. This device also offers a 160-degree view. The camera is at the top, and the doorbell is at the bottom with an ergonomic shape that’s comfortable for users to press. It’s available in black with a blue halo light around the doorbell.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus only takes minutes to set up and doesn’t require hiring a professional to mount it to a wall. To be compatible, you’ll need an existing doorbell system that’s 8-24 VAC, but if your doorbell doesn’t meet these specifications, you can install the Ring doorbell wirelessly. Wireless installation is quick and easy. Simply insert the charged battery pack into the doorbell and open the Ring app to customize your settings. If you’re installing it through wires, Ring provides an easy step-by-step guide, along with tips. For example, if your current doorbell is located high up, you can purchase a wedge mount to properly adjust the angle for viewing guests through the camera. Your Ring purchase also includes extendable wires and nuts if the wires from your previous doorbell are too short to access.
The Nest doorbell can be connected to your existing doorbell wiring, or you can purchase a power adapter, which allows you to connect the Nest Hello to an indoor outlet. You can also add Google Home as your chime, and the adapter will announce who’s at the door.
If you opt for a wired installation, you’ll need a 10 VA transformer, wired doorbell, and chime. You should check that it’s compatible with your current doorbell via their compatibility checker. If you don’t have a doorbell or your current one is wireless, you’ll need to hire a professional for installation. This typically takes around one hour, as the electrician has to run a wire through the nearest socket to your door. The Nest app offers a step-by-step installation guide. Installation requires connecting the Nest Hello to a mount that’s permanently fixed outside of your house. You’ll also have to connect a chime, which is fairly straightforward, as the Nest app will guide you — though this does add another step.
Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
Features and specs
The Ring 3 Plus sends instant notifications to your phone or tablet when there’s motion at your door. Compared to the Ring 2, it a vast improvement, with motion detection in areas around 5 to 15 feet in front of your home, reducing false notifications farther away. The camera rolls for four seconds before you receive the notification, allowing you to get a broader picture of the scenery when you review it back.
It works with Alexa, so you can control the doorbell with voice commands and launch video on a compatible smart display. The high-quality 1080p HD videos are clear, so you can see exactly who is at your door. Ring 3 Plus has a night vision mode, which, like most smart doorbells, is in black and white. It’s water-resistant, has a rating of IPX5, and can operate in conditions ranging from -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Ring 3 Plus provides a field of view of 160 degrees. You can snooze motion alerts for up to four hours, so if you have a gardener visiting your home for the day, you won’t receive hundreds of notifications.
The Nest Hello features grayscale night vision through 850 lumens, and it’ll switch to a daytime color mode at sunrise. It has 1,600 x 1,200 pixel resolution images at up to 30 frames per second to produce clear images.
It can operate in temperatures from 5 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and is weather-resistant. The 8x digital zoom allows you to be in control of the scene before you speak to guests or answer your door, while the 3-megapixel 2K color sensor screen means you can see your surroundings clearly.
The Nest Hello has smart technology that can differentiate between packages and people. Over time, the device can recognize familiar faces and people pronouncing their names. It offers 24/7 streaming, and you can even set pre-recorded messages to guests if you’re out of the house.
The 4:3 HD camera allows you to clearly see people from head to toe when they’re up close to the doorbell, and the 160-degree view allows you to clearly see who’s at your door. Its two-way audio allows you to talk to guests at your door, and the echo and noise cancellation prevents any background noise.
Winner: Google Nest Hello
The Nest doorbell costs $229. Its subscription service, Nest Aware, starts at $6 per month or $60 per year. Alternatively, Nest Aware Plus costs $12 per month or $120 annually. With both, the doorbell will detect if anyone picks up a package and will send you a notification of the evidence, although this is only compatible with a Nest subscription. It’ll also send you an alert if the sensor detects noises but there’s no one to be seen. You can customize the activity zones for the doorbell to monitor a specific area, plus you can share videos with friends and the police with security features. The Nest Aware Plus offers all of these features, plus 24/7 video history and two months of video footage, as opposed to the standard one-month subscription.
The Ring 3 Plus costs $230 and offers a subscription from $3 per month. Ring Protect allows you to store unlimited footage for up to 60 days and download and share; it also comes with an extended warranty. For $10 per month, Ring Protection Plus offers photo capture, and sharing for unlimited Ring cams and doorbells, and more.
The Nest doorbell has plenty of advantages, such as the ability to detect packages and people, but you can only access this feature with a subscription. Another flaw is its timely installation process, and some users have trouble setting up the device themselves.
You’ll have to monitor the Ring 3 Plus’ battery throughout its use, but you have the option of a wireless or wired installation, making it accessible to more users and easier to set up. Its two-way audio system is reliable and clear, and all videos are sharp and show all the necessary details. We were also incredibly impressed that it vastly eliminates false notifications compared to its predecessor. So, if you want more features included in your purchase price, the Ring 3 Plus is the winner.
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