Nest Doorbell Review

Updated by Alexia on

We tested the Nest Doorbell (Battery) for two months to see how it stacks up against other video doorbells.

Best video doorbell
View Packages

Google Nest offers perhaps the best smart detection in a video doorbell through its Nest Doorbell (Battery). This hot-dog-sized device makes it easy to speak with visitors, neighbors, and delivery people. Its video and sound quality come in clearly through the Google Home app, and installing the doorbell camera takes just a few minutes.

The Nest Doorbell (Battery) introduces a couple of firsts for Google's doorbell camera lineup—it runs on battery power and has a free cloud storage option. Plus, you don't need a subscription anymore to use most of Google's excellent smart detection features. 

pro Pros con Cons
pro 3 hours of free cloud storage
pro Excellent smart detection without a subscription
pro Battery or wired installation
pro Affordable cloud storage plans
pro 4 colors to choose from
con Above-average price tag
con Relatively narrow field of view
con Facial recognition requires a subscription



Compare Nest Doorbell models

Product Best for Price Field of view Power source Learn more

Nest Doorbell (Battery)

Nest Doorbell (Battery)

Best smart detection $179.99 145º Battery, wired View

Nest Doorbell (Wired)

Nest Doorbell (Wired)

Best for continuous recording $179.99 145º Wired View


Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.


Is Nest Hello being discontinued?

Yes, Google no longer sells the Nest Hello—the wired predecessor to the Nest Doorbell (Wired).

Is the Nest Doorbell (Wired) worth it?

While both doorbells offer many of the same core features, there are strengths and weaknesses to each model:

  • The Nest Doorbell (Battery) offers more flexible installation options but records only short motion events.
  • The Nest Doorbell (Wired) can record longer, continuously, and has a two-second prebuffer on video clips. But it requires doorbell wiring and won't during power outages.

Both cameras cost the same so it comes down to your personal preferences.


Nest Doorbell video


Nest Doorbell video quality


The Nest Doorbell has a 960p video resolution that's lower than the 1080p you'll find on most video doorbells. Still, we think it looks great for something you'll almost exclusively use on a small screen. We like that the camera skips over widescreen video in favor of a tall aspect ratio, which makes it easier for the camera to see what's on your porch.

The 145º field of view is a downgrade compared to most competitors, which come in at 160º or higher. We prefer a wider field of view on video doorbells since mounting them on a wall means they aren't adjustable like security cameras with traditional stands. We think the Nest Doorbell holds up well enough for the front door even with reduced peripheral vision.

It produced excellent daytime video quality in our tests, thanks to its HDR feature. This allows the camera to keep color and light stable in both low and bright lighting conditions, making it easier to see visitors at your door.

Nighttime video quality doesn't look nearly as good due to the doorbell's tiny infrared LEDs and their meager light output—Arlo and Ring doorbell cameras have brighter nighttime video. Still, we think the camera captures more than enough detail when someone comes within 10 feet of the camera. Even though the night vision quality doesn't match daytime performance, this makes sense for a doorbell camera focusing on nearby objects and people.

If you're looking to monitor more than your front steps at night, we suggest getting an outdoor camera, which generally has better night vision than a doorbell camera.


Nest Doorbell video storage


Cloud storage

While viewing live video is always free, one of the biggest improvements with the newest Nest cams is three hours of free cloud storage. This is practically nothing compared to the 30- and 60-day options in paid Nest Aware plans. Still, it means you can download videos without a fee—an option you won't find on Ring and Arlo doorbells.

We think it's worth upgrading to a paid plan for added benefits like e911 emergency assistance and extra cloud storage, even with the free cloud storage.

Compare Nest Aware plans

Plan Price Event video history Continuous recording e911 Smart detection
Without a plan Free 3 hours None Icon No Light No Motion zones, people, animals, vehicles, packages
Nest Aware $6.00/mo. 30 days None Icon Yes  Light Yes Motion zones, people, animals, vehicles, packages, familiar faces*
Nest Aware Plus $12.00/mo. 60 days 10 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Motion zones, people, animals, vehicles, packages, familiar faces*


Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Familiar face smart detection is not available in Illinois.


While Nest Aware Plus has the option to record 10 days of continuous video, this feature doesn't work with the Nest Doorbell (Battery), whether you connect it to doorbell wiring or not. But we're glad the option's still available for the Nest Doorbell (Wired).


Local storage

We're happy to see that Nest's newest cameras have local video storage, which gives you even more independence from a subscription. The onboard storage holds only an hour of footage, but Nest says this is enough for about a week's worth of recordings.

Whether you have access to the whole week of event recordings depends on having a Nest Aware plan when your internet and power come back after an outage. Free users have only three hours to view and download recent clips.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.