The Nest Hello video doorbell makes it easy to speak with visitors, neighbors, and delivery people. Its video and sound quality come in clearly through the Nest app, and installing the doorbell camera takes just a few minutes.
But the features that make this smart doorbell special require a little extra cash for an already expensive device. The subscription allows you to save video footage, build a database of visitors, and watch your front door with time-lapses and close-ups.
Thankfully, the Nest Aware subscription starts at $5 per month, so it doesn’t take much to get these extra (door)bells and whistles. But you can get a doorbell with the same audio and video quality from more affordable competitors like Ring or Eufy.
If you have money to spend, the Nest Hello is a smart option because it’s already an investment. But if you’re saving up for other things, you might want to go with a more budget-friendly option.
Data effective 12/09/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Without a Nest Aware subscription, the Hello doesn’t stand out from the crowd as much. The Hello, Ring Pro, and Eufy video doorbells all have a 160-degree field of view, HD live streaming, motion detection, and two-way communication.
And Nest Hello costs more than most doorbell cameras, even without the Nest Aware subscription. But if you believe that “you get what you pay for,” then the Nest Hello, its features, and Nest Aware are worth your consideration.
Nest Hello: Tech and Equipment
Despite Nest Hello’s futuristic design, it works the same as a traditional doorbell. When visitors approach your doorstep, they’ll press the Nest Hello’s button.
Here’s what differentiates Nest Hello—it sends live video of whoever’s at the door straight to your phone. So whether it’s the delivery driver with a package or Girl Scouts taking cookie orders, you’ll be able to see and talk to them.
What’s in the Box
Nest Hello video doorbell
Masonry drill bit
Quick start guide
Nest Hello’s Video
This Nest cam packs a lot of power in a small package. Its video quality stays consistent thanks to its 2K color sensor and HDR video. These features keep color and light stable, making it easier to see visitors in both low and bright lighting.
But while the Nest Hello works well in daylight, its night vision lacks power unless you keep the porch light on. If you live in a rural or dimly lit area without a front porch light, it will be hard to see visitors clearly at night. The Nest doorbell camera uses infrared lighting comparable to other cameras like Ring.
Nest Hello Audio
Two-way communication on the Nest Hello comes through clearly on both sides. The speakers and mic have noise and echo cancellation, a feature that makes conversations through the doorbell clearer .
And if you aren’t home or able to answer your phone’s notification when someone is at the door, you can leave prerecorded messages to greet visitors.
Nest Hello Extra Features
The app is where most of the action happens for Nest Hello owners. When a visitor arrives, you’ll quickly get a notification on your phone telling you someone’s there. From the mobile app, you can stream the encrypted live video to see who it is.
The Nest cam’s motion detection feature comes standard to let you know when someone’s on your porch or nearby. Just beware, it can be sensitive enough to trigger false alarms like passing cars and neighbors walking by.
Nest Hello Smart Home Compatibility
The Nest Hello is packed with the same smart home abilities as the Nest Secure system and the rest of the Nest family. Through the app, you can pair the doorbell to your Google Home, so your Google Home announces that someone’s at the door.
If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you can name frequent visitors through the facial recognition feature. When you label familiar faces, your Google Home will learn to announce their name when they arrive on your doorstep. The Nest can also talk to your Google Chromecast and send the live stream to your TV.
If you prefer Amazon products, don’t fret. The Hello works with Amazon Echo Show or Echo Spot. Nest needs a hub with a screen like these to show live video feed from your front door. It can also stream through later generations of Amazon Fire Sticks.
Nest Hello Installation
Before getting a Nest Hello, make sure your home’s wiring is compatible. The Hello video doorbell needs to be hardwired, so it also helps if you have an existing doorbell. We watched the Nest’s instructional video and talked to Nest users to learn more about the installation process.
Installing the mobile app is the first (and maybe most important) step. Once you’ve signed in to your Nest account, add your new device. Then, the app will walk you through the process.
One Nest user we spoke to said the process took her about 10 minutes and noted that you might need some help holding your phone while wiring the doorbell. She also mentioned that she had a hard time taking it with her to a new home, so she bought a second doorbell.
Another Nest user we talked to had a different experience. He said installation took a couple hours, due to wiring issues in his home. He recommends opting for professional installation because the wiring in his home required some rerouting.
Overall, the Nest’s installation is straightforward. And you can find tons of helpful resources to get you through the process. If all else fails, Nest can connect you with local installers to do the job for you.
It’s hard to talk about any Nest product without mentioning the Aware subscription service. While the Nest Hello doorbell works without the subscription, Nest Aware makes the investment worthwhile.
The biggest draw to subscribing is all the extra features, including video backlogging. If someone vandalizes your home, steals your packages, or acts suspicious, you have records of what happened at your front door.
Data effective 12/09/19. Offers and availability subject to change.
Heads Up: Changes are coming in early 2020 to Google’s Nest Aware. We’ll keep this review updated as we learn more.
Nest Hello FAQs
Does Nest Hello work with older houses? Sure! As long as your doorbell wiring is compatible with Nest and you have a secure Wi-Fi connection, you should be able to install the Nest Hello.
But if you’re unsure, you can opt for professional installation. One of the users we spoke with needed some extra help because of the wiring in his home.
Can the Nest Hello be stolen? Unfortunately, yes. Google has a few tips, but your best bet for catching thieves is a recording of the incident.
Is there a monthly fee for Nest Hello? The Nest Hello video doorbell is a one-time purchase unless you want extra features like recorded video, facial recognition, and activity zones. Those require a monthly subscription to Nest Aware.
Does Nest Hello need a Nest Aware subscription? No, but Nest Aware adds a lot of value to the Nest Hello doorbell. If you want a Nest Hello, we recommend coupling it with the subscription to enjoy the full range of what the Nest Hello can do.
Does Nest Hello work with Alexa? Yes, but only if your Alexa device has a screen. The Echo Show and Echo Spot can support video footage from your Nest Hello so you can see who’s at the door without pulling out your phone.
Is my home compatible with Nest?
Use Nest’s compatibility checker to see if your doorbell’s make and model is compatible.
Nest Is Best (with a Subscription)
The Nest Hello is a quality doorbell camera, but it’s better when paired with Nest Aware’s extra features. The subscription allows you to save video footage, build a database of visitors, and watch your front door with time-lapses and close-ups.
The Nest Hello is an excellent choice if you’re looking to upgrade your current doorbell camera. But if you’re new to smart tech or want to save money, we recommend starting with a doorbell like Ring or one of our other favorite video doorbells.
How We Reviewed the Nest Hello
To get a better picture of the Nest Hello, we interviewed Nest Hello users about their first-hand experiences. One user uses the Nest Hello for her home-run small business while another user told us about his experience (and difficulty) with the installation process.
In addition to these sources, we scoured the internet for other customer reviews, tech reviews, and videos to put all the device’s specs into context. To learn more about how we get our information, including the Nest Hello doorbell review, read our full methodology.
Since 2013, Katie has written marketing copy, long-form posts, reviews, and blogs. She began her career as a writer and reviewer with the mission to recommend only the best products for her readers. She’s designed tests, evaluated products, and written reviews on a range of subjects such as appliances, power tools, and software. Today, she applies these research and writing skills on the SafeWise team to explore the world of home, auto, and internet security. Learn more