If you’re looking for a new video doorbell, you’ve probably stumbled across Ring and Nest. Both companies are churning out popular smart home products, but few are as appealing as the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and Nest Doorbell Wired. The two doorbells bring heaps of functionality to the table, with plenty of crossover on their stat sheets.
But which one is best for your home? Here’s a closer look at the two video doorbells to help you make the right purchase.
Resolution and night video
Both the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and Nest Doorbell Wired capture HD video. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 films in standard 1080p, while the Nest Doorbell Wired uses a 960 x 1280 resolution. That’s slightly lower than Ring — although both will look great when viewing footage on your smartphone. The same goes for footage recorded at night, as both products are able to capture movement in the dark.
It’s also worth noting that while the Nest’s resolution is a bit lower than Ring’s, its vertical orientation makes it easier to see packages left at the foot of your door. And with support for HDR, the image looks crisp whether filming during the day or night.
Winner: Although it doesn’t film in 1080p, the Nest Doorbell Wired offers a better viewing angle and impressive night vision.
As two of the most popular video doorbells on the market, it should come as no surprise that both are packed to the brim with features. For the Ring Video Doorbell 4, you’ll be treated to real-time notifications on your phone, the ability to view a live video and audio feed, and customizable alerts based on what motion is detected at your front door. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 doesn’t provide a continuous stream of footage, but it does capture up to four seconds of additional footage before motion is detected.
You’ll get much the same with the Nest Doorbell Wired, as it offers customizable alerts based on who (or what) is at your door, access to a live feed of your property, and an impressive vertical viewing angle that makes it easy to see packages left at your doorstep. But the big selling point of the Nest is its continuous video capture option, which lets you capture every second of the day on film — whether there’s movement detected or not.
It’s also worth noting that the Ring Video Doorbell 4 costs $220, while the Nest clocks in at just $180.
Winner: With a smaller price tag. yet nearly identical features, the Nest squeaks by as the winner of this round.
Monthly fees and what you get
If you want to make the most out of either doorbell, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly membership. Ring offers three different membership tiers — Basic, Plus, and Pro. Basic clocks in at $4 per month and offers video history for up to 180 days, video saving and sharing, snapshot capture, person alerts, and a few other perks. Step up to the Plus membership ($10 per month), and you’ll get extended warranties for all your Ring products. Then there’s the Pro membership plan, which runs $20 per month. Most folks probably don’t need this level of coverage, but springing for the plan will get you a variety of professional security services and the chance to save $100 per year on your home insurance.
Nest, meanwhile, only offers two plans. The basic plan is called Nest Aware and costs $6 per month. It offers a 30-day event history and intelligent alerts that can identify familiar faces and glass breaking, and even serves as a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
Nest Aware Plus gives you a few extra features. It costs $12 per month and extends your video history to 60 days and offers 10 days of 24/7 video history.
Winner: With more variety and a cheaper standard subscription, Ring is a bit more generous with its monthly plans.
Ease of use
When it comes to using either video doorbell, it’s as simple as opening an app. Both the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and Nest Doorbell Wired offer robust, easy-to-navigate smartphone apps that make it a breeze to check in on your front door, customize your alerts, or review past events.
Where they differ is in the installation process. The Nest Doorbell Wired is (unsurprisingly) hardwired to your home. It’s not too challenging to get it installed, but it’s not nearly as easy as the Ring Video Doorbell 4 — which is wireless and requires little technical know-how. To install the Ring doorbell, you’ll simply need to plop in a battery, connect it to your Wi-Fi network, then mount it next to your door.
Winner: Compatible with every home and with a remarkably easy installation process, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 wins this round.
Apps and monitoring
Whether you’re using the Ring or Nest app, you’ll be treated to a user-friendly interface that’s teeming with features. Of course, you’ll need a monthly subscription to use some of the most enticing features (such as viewing your alert history), but it’s hard to say one product has the edge over the other.
However, because the Nest Doorbell Wired gives you the option for continuous coverage of your home, it might be the better choice if you want to make sure nothing gets missed. Most people will also love its vertical orientation, which allows you to monitor not just who is at your door, but anything that’s been placed at the foot of your entryway.
Winner: The Nest Doorbell Wired can continuously monitor your property — although both doorbells offer impressive smartphone apps.
Integration with other smart home systems
Since Ring is owned by Amazon and Nest is owned by Google, it should come as no surprise that one plays well with Alexa while the other plays well with Google Home. If you’re an avid Google Home user, then Nest will fit in nicely with your setup. If you’re more of an Amazon household, then Ring might be a better choice.
Ring can still be synced with Google Home, but some of its features may not work properly through the voice assistant. It’s also worth noting that it currently does not support Apple HomeKit.
Nest, meanwhile, supports Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa.
Winner: If you’re worried about compatibility with other systems, consider picking up the Nest Video Doorbell Wired.
Better price, better features
At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong with either product. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 and Nest Video Doorbell Wired are both near the top of their class, and there’s a lot of overlap in their performance. However, the Nest Video Doorbell Wired is probably a better fit for most homes.
Not only is it cheaper than the competition, but it’s available in a variety of colors to complement your style, offers a unique vertical video orientation, and is capable of continuously filming your porch. It also plays well with most smart home ecosystems, allowing it to integrate seamlessly with existing setups.
If you’re worried about fiddling with wires and are unsure if the Nest will be compatible with your setup, then it might be worth springing for the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and its simple, battery-powered setup. And although the Nest Doorbell Wired is technically cheaper than the Ring Video Doorbell 4, Ring offers a monthly subscription that’s much cheaper than Nest. That means you could actually end up spending less over time for the Ring Video Doorbell 4 if you plan on picking up a monthly subscription with your purchase.
Subscription squabbles aside, there’s not much to dislike about the Nest Video Doorbell Wired. As long as the existing setup in your home is compatible, there’s no reason to pass it up — although you’ll still want to peruse our roundup of the best video doorbells of 2022 to make sure there’s nothing that would better suit your home.
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