Nest Doorbell (wired) vs. Nest Doorbell (battery): Which Google model is best? – CNET

Google recently announced a slew of new smart home security products, including a $180 battery-powered doorbell called Nest Doorbell (battery). It is available for preorder now and scheduled to be in retailers Aug. 24. 

But Google already makes a smart doorbell, right? Yup. The Nest Hello isn’t going anywhere. Instead, it’s getting a new name: Nest Doorbell (wired). 

While the names might be similar, there are some big differences between the two models. Let’s break down what you will (and won’t) get with each doorbell.  

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Nest Doorbell (wired), formerly known as Nest Hello, is the original smart doorbell from Google. At $230, it’s the more expensive model. It doesn’t have a battery power option, so you’ll need to hardwire it to your home’s existing electrical supply. 

That hardwiring supports one feature the Nest Doorbell (battery) doesn’t have: 24/7 continuous recording. The Nest Doorbell (battery) includes three hours of free event video history, but cannot record continuous video even if you hardwire it. 

A few other characteristics separate the two doorbells. Nest Doorbell (wired) is shorter and slightly thinner than the new Nest Doorbell (battery). It comes in one color, a black and white combination. The Nest Doorbell (wired) has a 160° diagonal field of view with a 4:3 ratio and 8x digital zoom. 

Aside from a clunkier look and the wiring requirement, the Nest Hello is still a very competent device. Since it works with Google’s Home App and will continue to be supported, it’s still a good option for your front door. Read our Nest Doorbell (wired) review


The latest doorbell model from Google is designed to be installed anywhere. Choose battery power if you need to install Nest Doorbell (battery) without access to doorbell wiring. This doorbell can be wired as well, linking it to your home’s doorbell chime. 

The Nest Doorbell (battery) comes with Google’s latest ML chip onboard for free notifications that can differentiate between people, packages, animals and vehicles. The Nest Doorbell (wired) only recognizes people and other motion. Familiar Faces is available with a Nest Aware subscription for both models (and adds sound and packages for Nest Doorbell (wired)).

You’ll get three hours of event history with video clips, while the Nest Doorbell (wired) offers only still images for its three hour history. The Nest Doorbell (battery) can also record footage even if your power and Wi-Fi go out; something the Nest Doorbell (wired) can’t do. 

At 6.3 inches, the Nest Doorbell (battery) is significantly taller than the wired model’s 4.6 inches. Other dimensions are nearly identical. The field of view on the Nest Doorbell (battery) is 145° diagonal with 3:4 ratio. Here’s a look at more specs side by side.

Nest Doorbell Specs Compared

Nest Doorbell (wired) Nest Doorbell (battery)
Price $230 $180
Colors Black/White Snow, Linen, Ivy, Ash
Dimensions 4.6in H x 1.7in W x 1.0in D 6.3 in H x 1.8in W x.95in D
Field of view 160° diagonal; 4:3 ratio 145° diagonal; 3:4 ratio
Zoom 8x digital 6x digital
Night Vision Yes Yes
HDR Yes Yes
Free smart alerts Motion, person Motion, person, package, animal and vehicle
Paid alerts Familiar faces, package, and sound Familiar faces
24/7 continuous recording No Yes, if wired
Chime Yes Yes, if wired
History 3 hours still images 3 hours video
Can record during outage No Yes, up to 1 hour

Smarter, sleeker and more affordable than its predecessor, the Nest Doorbell (battery) stands a real chance at dethroning all the other doorbells on the market.

While both doorbells take advantage of Google’s software, Nest Aware program and Home app integration, the Nest Doorbell (battery) comes with more free alerts, more flexible mounting options and a lower price. It also has a slightly more generous vertical field of view, which is what really matters for most video doorbell setups. Still, if you really want or need 24/7 recording the Nest Doorbell (wired) is the only model that offers it.

We haven’t reviewed the Nest Doorbell (battery) yet, but will update you here as soon as we spend some time with this new model. 

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