Nest’s first video doorbell doubles as a security camera. The HDR video looks great and the 4:3 aspect ratio combined with a 160-degree field-of-view means you can get a full look at your guest before opening the door.
We recommend getting the Nest Aware subscription, which unlocks continuous 24/7 live video recording, at least five days’ worth of archives, and face recognition. The Hello is especially useful if you have other Nest or google products in your home.
At first glance, the Nest Hello is an HD live streaming camera-buzzer combination like any other smart doorbell. You can view the video feed from your smart phone or computer, receive push alerts and emails when the camera detects motion, sees a person or hears a loud sound – and review three hours of saved images for free. There’s other neat stuff, like scheduling and geofencing if you want to control when the camera is on and off.
But one of our favourite things about the Nest Hello is its ability to scan faces and tell you who is at your front door from images of friends and family members you ID within the app. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to the Nest Aware service to create your own facial-recognition database, which starts from £4 a month.
No other video doorbell that we’ve tested offers facial recognition though, and we liked it. The fact that Nest now offers a line-up of other smart home products doesn’t hurt either because many of the devices work together.
You can also ask Alexa or Google Assistant to pull up your Hello doorbell’s live feed on a screen-compatible device.
Installation is not usually straight forward, and even if you have a doorbell and chime already installed at home. The majority of UK door bell installations are with 8-12vac transformers and doorbell chimes. The nest hello will require a 16-24vac transformer for it to function correctly.
Depending on your current installation, this could mean placing a din-rail mounted transformer in an enclosure next to the doorbell chime. However, if your set up allows, the transformer may be able to be placed in or near your consumer unit.