Nest Doorbell 2nd Gen (Wired) Overview: Helpful Options, Easy Design


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  • Excessive-quality audio and video
  • Plenty of customizable settings
  • Free cloud storage as much as three hours
  • Appropriate with Google Assistant and Alexa

Do not Like

  • Recorded occasions robotically delete after 3 hours
  • Considerably restricted subject of view

Google constructed on the design and options of its Nest Doorbell with Battery to create a second technology doorbell. Not like the primary technology, the place the wired and wi-fi variations have been considerably completely different, the second-gen units, each wired and with battery, have the identical look and options.

There’s lots to love about this next-gen video doorbell however, as with every sensible residence machine, 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 subject of view, however I would not contemplate any of them to be deal-breakers. They’re one thing you will need to concentrate on earlier than buying, although.

Google Nest Doorbell 2nd generation wired in Ash color

David Anders/CNET

Even with a number of imperfections, the brand new, hardwired Nest Doorbell is an honest worth at $180. It isn’t the least expensive video doorbell you will discover — older fashions from Arlo and Wyze, for instance, are cheaper, as are the cloud storage subscriptions. Even so, for those who favor Google units and also you’re looking forward to a user-friendly, feature-stacked residence safety improve to your entrance porch, you will probably discover the latest Nest Doorbell to be value the associated fee.

I ought to word that Google additionally launched a second-gen battery-powered Nest Doorbell together with the wired model. The 2 units share related 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 would largely apply my findings from testing the wired model to each units (apart from set up, extra on that in a bit). So, for those who’re serious 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 night time imaginative and prescient, the second-gen Nest Doorbell’s video high quality is nearly as good as any. I may see every part from my entrance porch and past in nice element just about any time of day. Colours are shiny and vibrant when it is gentle out, and shapes and motion are discernable at night time, even with none lights on.

Nonetheless, like we found with the previous-generation Nest Doorbell, I discovered the 145-degree diagonal, 3:4 ratio subject 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 could not totally seize individuals or packages instantly in entrance of or barely to the far facet of the door when it is mounted flush to the wall or doorframe. 

Google appears to concentrate on this minor downside as nicely. To treatment the problem, the packaging comes with a 20-degree wedge mount to higher angle the doorbell and digital camera towards the door. After putting in the wedge, I had a adequate view of every part in entrance of the door. 

As for sound high quality, I may 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 automotive passing by. Equally, anybody on the porch may 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/CNET

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

In any case, the sensible alerts have been smarter than I anticipated. For instance, the “Folks” alert setting despatched notifications and recorded video when anybody walked as much as the door, after all, but additionally when somebody walked alongside the sidewalk in entrance of my home. It would not, nonetheless, hassle me with a notification when my neighbors simply throughout the road have been stepping into their automotive or enjoying within the yard, despite the fact that they have been actually seen within the digital camera feed. The “Packages” setting confirmed related smarts and despatched a notification not solely when a package deal was delivered but additionally when somebody picked it up.

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

The free recording function 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 period of saved exercise, you will 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 may 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 major quantity of information. Google notes {that a} month of 24/7 recording may use as a lot as 300GB of information, one thing to remember in case your web supplier has a knowledge cap.

Different customizable settings

One other distinctive perk of Nest Conscious is Acquainted Faces, a facial-recognition function that may warn you to who, particularly, is at your door. Different extras that include Nest Conscious embrace sound detection for smoke alarms or damaged glass and the power to name 911 from the Google Dwelling app in case of an emergency.

However as an instance 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 positive 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 couple of 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 once they ring for sweet. 

To make clear, the themed rings solely play to your guests. Your indoor chime is the usual “ding dong” whatever the outside ring, although you may regulate how lengthy the indoor chime lasts or mute the chime altogether within the machine 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 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 coloration choices — ash, ivy, linen and snow — assist the doorbell mix in higher with any residence exterior. The colour I chosen, ash, matches my residence nicely, however I might liken its look to that of the important thing fob pad at my neighborhood pool. One thing much less utilitarian might need been a greater match for a $180 machine.

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, a great sensible machine ought to complement your private home and go just about unnoticed, besides possibly if mentioned machine is meant partially for residence safety. I might argue {that a} flashy video doorbell may 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 will admit it does enable for a fast and straightforward set up. The Google Dwelling 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 effective 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 positively simplified the wiring course of, however because the doorbell needs to be flush with the mount to suit correctly, I ended up having to stuff the surplus wiring and connectors into the outlet for the doorbell wiring. If the prevailing gap is not massive 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 know-how that comes with the second-gen Nest Doorbell (wired or battery) are spectacular. It isn’t the most cost effective video doorbell in the marketplace, however I might say the video and audio high quality, customizable alert and ring settings and compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa units greater than justify the associated fee.


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