Nest Doorbell 2nd Gen (Wired) Review: Useful Features, Simple Design



Excessive-quality audio and videoLots of customizable settingsFree cloud storage as much as three hoursCompatible with Google Assistant and Alexa

Do not Like

Recorded occasions mechanically delete after 3 hoursSomewhat restricted discipline of view

Google constructed on the design and options of its Nest Doorbell with Battery to create a second era doorbell. In contrast to the primary era, the place the wired and wi-fi variations had been considerably totally different, the second-gen units, each wired and with battery, have the identical look and options.

There’s quite a bit to love about this next-gen video doorbell however, as with all sensible dwelling gadget, it is not completely free from flaws. After per week of testing, I encountered minor ache factors such because the temporary 3-hour window to look at recordings and a barely restricted discipline of view, however I would not contemplate any of them to be deal-breakers. They’re one thing you may need to pay attention to earlier than buying, although.

Google Nest Doorbell 2nd generation wired in Ash color
David Anders/ClassyBuzz

Even with a couple of imperfections, the brand new, hardwired Nest Doorbell is a good worth at $180. It isn’t the most affordable video doorbell you may discover — older fashions from Arlo and Wyze, for instance, are inexpensive, as are the cloud storage subscriptions. Even so, if you happen to favor Google units and also you’re looking forward to a user-friendly, feature-stacked dwelling safety improve to your entrance porch, you may doubtless discover the latest Nest Doorbell to be value the fee.

I ought to notice that Google additionally launched a second-gen battery-powered Nest Doorbell together with the wired model. The 2 units share comparable performance and the identical $180 price ticket, although the battery-powered model is about an inch longer at 6.3 inches. 

With that in thoughts, you could possibly largely apply my findings from testing the wired model to each units (aside from set up, extra on that in a bit). So, if you happen to’re concerned about both, learn on for a full breakdown of what to anticipate.

Video and audio high quality

Sporting a 1,280×960-pixel decision with HDR and clear evening imaginative and prescient, the second-gen Nest Doorbell’s video high quality is nearly as good as any. I might see every little thing from my entrance porch and past in nice element just about any time of day. Colours are brilliant and vibrant when it is gentle out, and shapes and motion are discernable at evening, even with none lights on.

Nevertheless, like we found with the previous-generation Nest Doorbell, I discovered the 145-degree diagonal, 3:4 ratio discipline of view to be considerably restricted, a minimum of horizontally. In case your doorbell is like mine and positioned six inches or extra away from the door, the digital camera view might not absolutely seize folks or packages instantly in entrance of or barely to the far aspect of the door when it is mounted flush to the wall or doorframe. 

Google appears to pay attention to this minor downside as properly. To treatment the difficulty, the packaging comes with a 20-degree wedge mount to raised angle the doorbell and digital camera towards the door. After putting in the wedge, I had a adequate view of every little thing in entrance of the door. 

As for sound high quality, I might clearly hear somebody talking or the thud of a package deal being dropped off and the sound high quality wasn’t overly disrupted by background noises just like the wind or a automobile passing by. Equally, anybody on the porch might hear and talk with me over the two-way audio with out problem.

About these sensible alerts and recorded historical past

Screenshot of notifications settings for Nest Doorbell
Screenshot by David Anders/ClassyBuzz

You’ll be able to customise the second-gen Nest Doorbell to look at for folks, packages, animals, autos or any movement in any respect, proscribing the recordings and notifications to solely the occasions you wish to see. I began out by choosing all alert choices, however after a day of quite a few notifications, I switched it to simply folks and packages. 

In any case, the sensible alerts had been smarter than I anticipated. For instance, the “Individuals” alert setting despatched notifications and recorded video when anybody walked as much as the door, after all, but in addition when somebody walked alongside the sidewalk in entrance of my home. It would not, nevertheless, trouble me with a notification when my neighbors simply throughout the road had been moving into their automobile or taking part in within the yard, though they had been actually seen within the digital camera feed. The “Packages” setting confirmed comparable smarts and despatched a notification not solely when a package deal was delivered but in addition when somebody picked it up.

By default, the Nest Doorbell 2nd gen (wired) is about to mechanically file video of all of your chosen occasions and retailer them for as much as three hours. Audio recording isn’t on by default, however you possibly can activate it below the gadget settings if you’d like recorded audio together with video. If you don’t need or want both, merely flip off occasion recording within the gadget settings.

The free recording characteristic is sweet, however as we famous earlier than with the first-gen Nest Doorbell, it does little good previous that three-hour window. In case your doorbell captured exercise at 3 within the morning however you did not get up and see the notification till 7, that recording may have already been deleted.

For twenty-four/7 recording and an extended length of saved exercise, you may want a Nest Conscious subscription. Beginning at $6 monthly, Nest Conscious consists of 30 days of occasion historical past storage (however no 24/7 recording). For double the subscription price, you possibly can improve to the Nest Conscious Professional plan and get 10 days of 24/7 recording and 60 days of occasion historical past storage.

In case you go for 24/7 video recording, needless to say the Nest Doorbell is linked to your Wi-Fi and will probably use a big quantity of knowledge. Google notes {that a} month of 24/7 recording might use as a lot as 300GB of knowledge, one thing to bear in mind in case your web supplier has an information cap.

Different customizable settings

One other distinctive perk of Nest Conscious is Acquainted Faces, a facial-recognition characteristic that may provide you with a warning to who, particularly, is at your door. Different extras that include Nest Conscious embody sound detection for smoke alarms or damaged glass and the flexibility to name 911 from the Google Residence app in case of an emergency.

However for example you don’t need to enroll in a $6 or $12 month-to-month Nest Conscious subscription, what else comes with the usual doorbell? A certain crowd pleaser: themed doorbell rings.

Particularly, the Nest Doorbell 2nd gen comes with seven ring themes together with the standard “ding dong,” “comfortable birthday” and others together with limited-time seasonal themes. As of this writing it is a few week out from Halloween and sure, I’m genuinely excited for the Nest Doorbell to greet my trick or treaters with ghostly boos and spooky music after they ring for sweet. 

To make clear, the themed rings solely play in your guests. Your indoor chime is the usual “ding dong” whatever the out of doors ring, although you possibly can regulate how lengthy the indoor chime lasts or mute the chime altogether within the gadget settings. 

Design and set up

The options are spectacular with Google’s hardwired, second-gen Nest Doorbell, however I need to say I am a little bit detached to the design. Google toned down the shiny, high-tech look of its earlier wired doorbell in favor of a extra modest, virtually muted, design. 

The change appears intentional (Google notes it’s “designed for simplicity”) and I do recognize how the softer look and 4 shade choices — ash, ivy, linen and snow — assist the doorbell mix in higher with any dwelling exterior. The colour I chosen, ash, matches my dwelling properly, however I would liken its look to that of the important thing fob pad at my neighborhood pool. One thing much less utilitarian may need been a greater match for a $180 gadget.

Nest Doorbell's four color options, white, beige, gray and dark gray

The Nest Doorbell is available in your alternative of 4 colours: snow, linen, ash and ivy.


One other factor to think about: Would you like your video doorbell to mix in? Granted, an excellent sensible gadget ought to complement your own home and go nearly unnoticed, besides perhaps if stated gadget is meant partially for dwelling safety. I would argue {that a} flashy video doorbell would possibly function a extra recognizable and efficient deterrent to potential porch pirates or intruders than a discreet one.

So I am not completely in love with the design, however I am going to admit it does enable for a fast and simple set up. The Google Residence app walked me via a sequence of easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions from starting to finish. Apart from spending a couple of minutes determining which change within the electrical panel managed the doorbell, the one hiccup I encountered was with the doorbell wiring.

The wiring setup is an efficient inch or two longer than I wanted it to be and connects to the doorbell wiring through two considerably cumbersome connectors versus simply twisting the wires collectively. It undoubtedly simplified the wiring course of, however because the doorbell must be flush with the mount to suit correctly, I ended up having to stuff the surplus wiring and connectors into the opening for the doorbell wiring. If the prevailing gap is not giant sufficient, you could have to do like I did and get the drill out to widen it. A minor inconvenience, however one chances are you’ll encounter simply the identical.

A child's hand reaches up to ring the hardwired Nest Doorbell at a sunlit front door.

Summing it up

Whether or not you discover the design to be interesting or not, there isn’t any denying that the options and sensible expertise that comes with the second-gen Nest Doorbell (wired or battery) are spectacular. It isn’t the most affordable video doorbell in the marketplace, however I would say the video and audio high quality, customizable alert and ring settings and compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa units greater than justify the fee.