Smart doorbells have only recently made their way to the fold, and two companies that have made a name for themselves in the area are Nest and Ring. Both companies offer comprehensive support with their products, and each unit comes with a wide range of features. This aspect chooses between the two rival offerings incredibly hard. Keeping this in mind, we decided to have a closer look at the hardware as well as software features these cameras offer.
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Amazon only recently acquired Ring, while Nest has been a Google-owned company for a few years now. One can say that Ring is a relatively new entrant to the smart doorbell segment, although there’s no real advantage in being new to the market, especially with Nest continuing to innovate.
So let’s have a closer look at both smart doorbells.
Ring vs. Nest Best Smart Doorbell in 2020
The design follows closely in the footsteps of the predecessor, and there aren’t any significant changes on board here. The same silver/nickel color is retained while the doorbell button has a blue accent. The company also offers another faceplate with the product, so you can swap them out whenever you feel like.
Features and Performance
This camera can monitor your front door 24/7 and offer 1080 Full HD video recording with infrared night vision. Installing the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a breeze thanks to the battery-operated functionality. While you can also connect this over your existing doorbell, there’s also the option to avoid the trouble. So if you’re new to fitting doorbells at home, this offering is suited for you.
One caveat with the addition of a battery is that it makes the doorbell slightly wider than conventional bells. This may not necessarily be a concern since safety and the ability to monitor your guests is what a smart doorbell is for. This uses a removable battery pack, which allows you to charge the batteries while the doorbell remains functional quickly.
The purchase of your first Ring Video Doorbell 2 also gives you a 30-day free trial of Ring Protect Plus, which allows you to record, save and share all videos taken from ring products, including standalone surveillance cameras as well as the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Since this is an Amazon product, it goes without saying that this product also works with Alexa. Amazon is also kind enough to offer the Echo Dot for free with this product. When paired with an Echo device, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 can alert you when motion is detected around the doorbell. Although there’s no facial recognition here, this video doorbell has no issues with false motion detection (leaves, pets, etc.).
A smart video doorbell like this can be complemented with Ring’s Stick Up Cam Solar, which utilizes solar-powered energy to power up the camera. Naturally, you can access all the cameras from your smartphone app, allowing you to monitor your surroundings actively. Ring offers two subscription tiers under its Ring Protect plans known as Protect Basic and Protect Plus. The latter provides the ability to control as many cameras and doorbells as you want as long as they’re in the same address. The Basic Plan only covers one camera or doorbell at a time. Both plans come with up to 60 days of cloud storage for every video recorded by either a Ring camera or a smart video doorbell.
In addition to offering compatibility with Alexa, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 can also work with Samsung’s SmartThings platform, which has been around for a while now. Unfortunately, this video doorbell currently doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit, thus making this incompatible with the HomePod. However, the Ring has its app on both Android and iOS platforms.
Ring’s offering can be purchased from a wide range of retailers out there, but we highly recommend getting this on Amazon, especially with the free Echo Dot that the retailer is currently offering. There’s no telling as to how long this deal will last, so we suggest you hurry.
This is significantly sleeker than the Ring offering, and can easily blend in with any home doorbell. Fortunately, you can replace your old doorbell with this offering without much fuss. However, installation may be slightly harder with the Nest Hello, especially in comparison to the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
Features and Performance
The Nest Hello comes with a 1/3-inch 3MP 2K color sensor to gather the most detail. This sensor can record at HD UXGA 1600 x 1200 with up to 30 frames/sec, H.264 encoding, as well as HDR support. This also helps the camera enable facial recognition features, although Nest can take some time to adjust appropriately to the new faces. It has a 160-degree diagonal field of view, which pretty much covers the entire front portion of your home/office, depending on how you place it.
The Nest Hello is compatible with Google Home Hub as well as IFTTT and Alexa. This doorbell can also send alerts on your smart home device when there’s motion detected on the camera. Notifications can be controlled using the Nest app. This app is compatible with most Android and iOS devices as long as they support Bluetooth 4.0. The company also has a wide range of products under the Works With Nest lineup that can offer smart features akin to the Amazon Echo.
One major caveat with the Nest offering is that it doesn’t have a wireless option. Even the standalone cameras sold by Nest are wired, which is somewhat disappointing, especially considering the utility of wireless smart home products like the Ring Video Doorbell 2. But if you’ve previously purchased a Nest product, this is something you were probably expecting here. Users will need a wired doorbell and chime for this setup to work.
This doorbell also allows you to set up multiple zones around its periphery, which can help avoid recognizing motion at a place that you deem unnecessary.
So while the Nest Hello does offer some significant improvements over the Ring variant, it does come with a sacrifice. I don’t mind the slightly larger exterior of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 if it means I can use it even without an elaborate wired connection. Perhaps Nest will consider adding a wireless option to the successor of this doorbell. Customers also get a speaker and microphone on the doorbell, which supports two-way audio. This is an excellent safety feature that lets you establish the person at your door without even getting off your couch.
Nest is also using 850 nm infrared LEDs on the Hello to offer night vision. Nest claims that this product can work at temperatures of 14° to 104°F, which goes well with the Ipx4 rating for water resistance. This means that the Nest Hello can withstand any weather around you. Nest offers a wide range of accessories with the product, including screws, holders, a masonry drill bit, wall anchors, window decal, and a Chime connector.
Those concerned with security will be pleased to know that the Nest Hello offers 128-bit AES encryption with TLS/SSL, ensuring that any data transferred over your network isn’t intercepted. So as far as compatibility with voice assistants and smart home products are concerned, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Nest Hello have a lot in common.
Nest offers three subscription plans that provide 5 days, 10 days, and 30 days worth of recording on the cloud. All three subscription plans offer 24/7 continuous video recording.
Unfortunately, listings for the Nest Hello have been removed on Amazon, although you can still get it via Best Buy, eBay, or even directly from Google’s store. This offering costs slightly more than the Ring Video Doorbell 2, but that’s a fair compromise to make because this device also has facial recognition features and a much sleeker design.
Both video doorbells are excellent in their own right. Given that the Ring and the Nest Hello cater to different audiences, there cannot be just the one winner here. If you’re looking for features like ease of use and a convenient setup process, it will be tough to beat the Ring Video Doorbell. However, Google’s offering can also appeal to a different set of users, especially those who have already invested in Google’s smart home products, primarily the Google Home. But since both devices are compatible with all major voice assistants (barring Siri), there’s very little to separate the two.
But customers would be hard-pressed not to pick the Ring Video Doorbell 2 right now given that it also comes with an Amazon Echo Dot at absolutely no additional cost. It’s also worth noting that the somewhat limited availability, as well as the pricing, may sway some customers towards the Ring offering. But if you can figure out the setup process for the Nest Hello and make do with the limited connectivity options, there’s no reason why it can’t work for you.
Be sure to have a closer look at both offerings.