Nest Doorbell: Google's smart doorbell is for many, but not everyone

Nest Doorbell: Google's smart doorbell is for many, but not everyone

Nest Doorbell

Nest Doorbell, the “Made by Google” smart doorbell is also available in Italy. It fits into the now large array of smart devices available for our homes, connects to smartphones and is equipped with automated functions that make it a real "virtual concierge". However, it is not suitable for everyone, and the main discriminant is represented by the type of house you live in.

How it's made

Nest Doorbell develops vertically, with the camera lens positioned at the top and a large circular button at the opposite end, surrounded by an LED. The model we tested is battery-powered, which recharges via a USB Type-C connector located on the back. A small hole, also in this area, hides the reset button.

There are no further elements in sight, but it includes a speaker, a microphone and the necessary to connect to a wireless network.

The package also includes the charging cable, the support for installation, two plugs, an accessory for unlocking from the wall plate and a sticker indicating the presence of a video camera.


The activation of Nest Doorbell occurs as for all Nest devices, therefore through the Google Home app. After downloading it on your iOS or Android smartphone, you will need to search for a new device; you will be asked to frame the QR Code positioned in the back and then you will have to follow the procedure step by step, answering some simple questions.

During activation you will be asked to choose which Wi-Fi network to connect it to: it will be a unique choice if you have only one Wi-Fi network, while if you have more than one, you will have to choose the one which offers the best performance where you want to install the Nest Doorbell. The availability of good Wi-Fi connectivity is the most important condition to consider, which determines the good usability of the product or, if not, the impossibility of using it.

After the configuration has been completed, video playback will start so that you can move the Nest Doorbell to where it will be installed, ensuring that connectivity remains good.

There is a wall plate and a side tilted stand in the box, which can be used if you will want to install the bell to the right or left of the door, so that it can correctly frame a person who is in front of the entrance.

You will need to make a couple of small holes (6mm), after which the bell will be fixed by aligning the holes and sliding it vertically. In the package there is a special key that allows you to unlock the mechanism that holds the bell in place, in order to remove it and recharge the battery.

Test use

Nest Doorbell is not a simple "video door phone", but a product that has the purpose of monitoring, interacting and, above all, always being reachable, even when you are not at home.

When you press the button you will receive an alert on your smartphone, or on another Google Home / Nest device; by tapping the notification you will be taken to the Nest Doorbell management application where you can access the video feed in real time and communicate with whoever is at the door thanks to the integrated speaker as if it were a real video call. If you cannot speak, for example if you are attending a business meeting, you can choose from one of the predefined phrases (Leave it there, We'll be right there or No one can come to the door), which will be recited by the voice assistant.

Unfortunately the resolution has dropped compared to that of Nest Hello, the model that preceded this one. Nest Doorbell is able to record in 1280 × 960 pixel resolution (3: 4 aspect ratio), and has a lens with a 145 ° FOV, also a lower value than that of the old model which, however, is more expensive.

The vertical aspect ratio was chosen to better frame a person, who obviously develops in height and not in width, managing to frame even a package left on the ground. It may not be a choice that will please everyone, but we find it more functional.

Fortunately video streaming is very good and the wide dynamic range (HDR) helps to get a movie properly exposed in high light situations . Night vision is present, although in the dark Doorbell has a little more difficulty in recognizing movements in the distance and activates recording only when the subjects are close to the camera. Without a Nest Aware subscription, you are limited to just 3 hours of cloud-recorded events which become only 1 hour if you lose your internet connection. If you want more, you have to rely on Nest Aware, which we will talk about later.

You can select different areas of activity to monitor in the frame, for example excluding uninteresting areas such as a crowded street or sidewalk that could inadvertently lead the smart doorbell to activate unnecessarily. During our test we found no defects, other than the impossibility of changing the wi-fi network without resetting the cam

Battery life

If you have already exclaimed "oh no! another device to which I will have to recharge the battery ”, we understand you, but at the same time we can reassure you since you will not have to recharge it so often. We can't give you an accurate estimate of how long the battery will last, first of all because we have been using Nest Doorbell for a few weeks and, above all, because the autonomy changes a lot based on how much it will be used.

Google talks about a autonomy that can reach 6 months with limited use, identified in "from 2 to 5 events" recorded per day, up to 1 month of autonomy with intense activity, ie "from 25 to 30 events" per day. Realistically, for a normal home, you might consider at least 3 months of battery life.

Nest Doorbell will send you a message when the battery is low, and you simply have to remove it using the appropriate wrench (or a small, flat screwdriver) , connect it to your smartphone charger for a couple of hours and then put it back.

Nest Aware subscription

If you want to get the most out of Nest Doorbell you can subscribe to the Nest Aware subscription , which for 5 euros a month offers you: automatic recognition of the person's face, 30 days of video recordings or 10 days of video 24 hours a day.

These are very specific functions that, in our opinion, are beyond the use of this smart doorbell and which would only make sense in combination with other Nest cameras.

Who should buy it

There is only one feature that determines the type of user suitable for the use of Nest Doorbell, or rather, a character tica of the house in which you want to install it. For example, if you live in an apartment and want to install it outside the front door, you will most likely have no problem connecting it to your home wi-fi network.

On the contrary, if you want to install it outside the door of the building, many meters away (as long as you can) or if you live in a villa or any other accommodation with the entrance several meters away from the house, the presence or absence of Wi-Fi determines the possibility of use. br>
If connectivity is present (or you will be able to bring it through, for example, a Wi-Fi extender / mesh), then there is no reason not to consider it.


Nest Doorbell is not a simple video intercom, but an intelligent device that allows us, wherever we are, to answer whoever rings the doorbell, with an added video surveillance function thanks to the automatic recognition of people, packages, cars or animals. This is why comparing it with a simple video intercom would be wrong.

If you want this smart doorbell, you will need to make sure that there is good wi-fi connectivity in the place where you want to install it, in fact the only necessary feature. Installation is simple, as is configuration via the app and use. The battery lasts long enough not to be a problem, and in case you can opt for the wired version, much more inconvenient to install but which does not require battery recharging.

The price puts it in the high-end of smart doorbells , but the functions offered we believe are worth the asking price. If you often find yourself in some of the situations mentioned above ("proof of use section), then it could be a good buy.

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