Review: Nest Hello

See who's calling

You no longer have to wonder who is standing by the front door.

Nest Hello
Nest Hello

Our verdict

Amazingly practical bell with good camera and good app support.
Costs a bit, requires installation and lacks support for e.g. smart door locks.
  • Type: doorbell with camera
  • Camera: HD with HDR and 8 x digital zoom
  • Tilkobling: 16-24 V transformator,
    Bluetooth/Wifi-adapter
  • Other: speaker, microphone, iOS / Android app
  • Web: nest.com
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Price: £

Everyone knows the feeling. The ding dong that warns that someone is ringing the door immediately triggers curiosity. Who can it be? An old friend? Kemneren? Lottery sellers?

You can get the answer before you open the door. If you have a camera bell.

There are several variations on the same theme, Nest Hello is one of them. A smarter bell with a built-in camera that shows you who is calling. It does not matter if you are at home or away. An app on your mobile notifies you if someone calls, so you know who it is before you open the door.

If you are away, you can choose to talk to the person. For Nest Hello has a small speaker and microphone built-in. Just tap on speech in the Nest app, and tell them that you are unfortunately not at home.

The camera at the top shows 160-degree video in HD quality, and below sits a small speaker and microphone. Photo: Lasse Svendsen

Of course, you can do this even if you are at home, or you can ignore the notification if you want.

If you are not at home and DHL or the post office are to deliver a package, you can talk to the courier and agree there and then how the delivery will take place.

The doorbell has a large ring button, with a ring that glows in the dark around the button – the light can be turned off – and an HD camera with 160 degree coverage. It is not wireless and must be connected to a cord. Which in turn is connected to a bell that must go on power.

The camera is relatively light sensitive and uses HDR and infrared LEDs to display image and video whether it is dark outside or shining sunlight.

Installation

Nest Hello can be connected to the wireless home network by in the setup of the Nest app on the mobile. Then the camera can stream 16: 9 video in HD quality, to the Nest app with 128-bit encryption, for more secure storage.

It also displays still images in 4: 3 format, and saves the last callers in the app.

If you choose to subscribe to the Nest Aware service, which unfortunately costs extra, you can store the recordings for up to 30 days. Depending on the subscription you choose.

By the way, it is possible to activate the camera in the app at any time, if you want to see what it looks like or what is moving in front of the stairs.

But before you get that far, Nest Hello needs to be installed.

Nest Hello almost always requires installation. Photo: Lasse Svendsen

For that, electricity is needed. Both for the doorbell and the bell. Note that not all bells are compatible with the supplied wireless adapter. If in doubt, ask at the store, or order installation from an approved installer.

The doorbell itself can be mounted at an angle of 15 degrees if necessary, and everything you need, except for tools, is included in the box.

Most things besides tools, included in the box. Photo: Lasse Svendsen

In use

When everything is ready, download the Nest app and follow the instructions to connect the bell to the network.

In the app you can switch the camera and / or the ringtone on and off, choose whether the camera should be on only when you are away, select days of the week, time, and switch on and off alerts.

The doorbell camera can alert you to whatever is moving in front of the camera. or only if there are people in front of the camera. It can also recognize selected faces, such as the family so that the app does not notify every time the children come home.

There are several setting options, but these are the most important.

The fact that the Nest camera and the bells are connected to power removes the battery problem. Many of the competing smart bells use batteries that need to be replaced. More frequently when the temperature drops. You can avoid that here.

Sometimes I experienced that it took several seconds from the time the call rang until the alert appeared on my mobile. Sometimes it happened immediately. Otherwise, it was a pleasure to use the app when it rang. The sound quality is not universal, but the person at the front door understands well what is being said, when you tell them that they have to wait a bit before you come and open the door.

The picture quality does not drop unexpectedly when it is dark, but in good enough light, it is good enough that you can clearly see who is standing on the stairs and calling.

The app shows who is calling, who has been there, and you can talk to the caller via mobile. Photo: Lasse Svendsen

Google Assistant

Nest smart systems work so that all Nest devices, such as wireless Nest smoke alarms, and other wireless control systems, such as Philips Hue, work together in the same network.

There is also support for Google Home speakers with Google Assistant, and in the US, Nest x Yale door lock works with Nest Hello. So far it does not work in the Nordics, but according to what we have learned, more smart products will come with support for the Nest system.

Conclusion

Nest Hello can be perceived as a nice-to-have-thing, which you do not really need. For many, this will be the case, but if you want to have a better overview of visitors, especially when you are away, the camera and the opportunity to talk to those who call can be more than just nice to have. But it is only when Nest Hello works with a wider range of smart products that it becomes really interesting. Then Nest Hello can quickly become indispensable.

Alternatives to Nest Hello

Ring Video Doorbell 3

Who is standing outside calling?

With Ring Video Doorbell 3 you are always at home, and the mailman will never be able to lie again!

Kasa Smart Light Bulb (Multicolor)

Smart bulb

Kasa Smart Light Bulb manages without a hub, and can speak directly to your Wifi.

Nest Hello

See who's calling

You no longer have to wonder who is standing by the front door.