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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.