Google Nest Doorbell (battery) review (Image: GOOGLE)
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We’ve always been massive fans of Google’s Nest home devices – with a trusty Hello Doorbell guarding the front of our home for the past few years. The Nest gadgets offer a great security solution, thanks to the high-quality video footage that captures anyone or anything lurking outside day or night. Not only that, but they offer a helping hand too, thanks to the two-way microphone that lets you speak to delivery drivers and the endless stream of double-glazing salespeople when you’re away from home.
Google’s new Nest Doorbell Battery offers an easy way to watch over your home with instant alerts sent straight to your smartphone.
The Nest Doorbell is a top-rated device, but it’s always had one problem – it needs to be connected to the mains to work.
Unless you’re a DIY God, that means you’ll need help with the installation to thread the power cable to the outside of your front door, which can end up making this device pretty pricey. The camera itself costs £229 and you can expect at least £100 more for someone to fit it to your home.
It’s a big reason many people might choose to opt for other devices, such as Amazon’s popular Ring camera as these use a rechargeable battery making them easy peasy to fit.
Google was clearly aware that it was losing ground to its rivals and is now trying to fix this problem with the launch of its new Nest Doorbell (battery). As the name reveals, this camera doesn’t need a wired connection making it simple to screw to your front door no matter how bad your DIY skills are. So, is it any good? Express.co.uk has been putting it to the test and here’s our full review.
It’s very easy to fit the new Google Nest Doorbell (Image: GOOGLE)
If putting up a shelf or hanging a picture sends shivers down your spine – don’t fret. Google’s new Nest Doorbell (battery) is incredibly simple to install and can be popped onto the front of your home without expensive tools or a degree in DIY. The first thing you have to do is connect this new camera to your phone with a simple scan of QR code making this process super simple.
Once your Doorbell is hooked up to your iPhone or Android device via your home Wi-Fi network you’ll then need to screw it to your home which we found pretty easy. If you’re struggling, Google has even provided video instructions that take you through each step of the process.
It’s a huge difference from the wired doorbell, which needs cables trailed through your home and holes drills right through the brickwork.
One thing to note: it’s definitely worth making sure the placement is correct before hammering in the screws as the last thing you want is a view of the neighbour’s tree, rather than your front gate. You can use the app to preview the video feed from the camera before committing to a certain position.
Once your new doorbell is installed, you’ll begin getting alerts each time it spots someone – or something – passing by.
The Nest Doorbell offers up to a month of battery life (Image: GOOGLE)
This is where you’ll need to spend some time digging into the Settings of the app, especially if you live on a busy street. Google offers plenty of options to set zones around your home designed to stop these endless (and pretty annoying) alerts popping up on your phone screen.
Not only will this stop a constant stream of pings! as your phone notifies you about every passing car or quiver from your neighbours’ bush in the wind, but this will also extend your battery life as the doorbell only switches on when it spots something you want to hear about.
If the doorbell constantly sees things all-day and all-night, the battery runs out at a pretty rapid rate which isn’t ideal.
Once we’d set our alert zones, we started to see a significant battery saving. The camera, on average, lasted between three to four weeks on a single charge.
Once it runs out you simply use the supplied tool to unlock the camera from its base for a refill. It’s all very easy although it does take around four hours to boost from flat to 100 percent battery, which is a long time to be without your doorbell and it’s a shame Google hasn’t come up with a fast-charging solution.
Footage from the camera is good but don’t expect pin-sharp 4K quality (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)
Of course, this is a camera so what is the video quality like? Google promises HD at 960 x 1280 pixels with a 30 FPS resolution which is fine for keeping an eye on what’s going on but don’t expect pin-sharp 4K footage of your street.
Along with a day mode, the camera can also record at night with things just about good enough to watch the foxes as they rummage through your bins and make a mess on your path.
One good thing about the recordings is that Google isn’t being such a scrooge this year and, unlike previous cameras, owners now get three hours of recordings for free. It’s better than nothing, but to get the most out of these devices you will need to sign up to Google’s Nest Aware plan which costs £5 per month. It’s well worth it as this subscription is for all of your cams and features 7-days of recordings.
The Nest Doorbell can be set up to only alert certain zones (Image: GOOGLE)
Other neat features include facial alerts, which will let you know when your kids have arrived home safely from school and there’s an in-built microphone allowing you to chat with whoever is outside your home.
Finally, we must talk about the design as it’s a bit like Marmite. Some people will love the long, sleek modern look whilst others might be left totally baffled by what is actually stuck to the front door. It almost feels as though Google has been a bit too keen on making the Nest look futuristic and not focused on the fact that it’s supposed to be a doorbell.
There is a light that glows around the ring button but we have a feeling some people will end knocking on the door.
A night mode will catch things when the sun sets (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)
But our biggest bug-bear with the new Nest Doorbell is the app. In the past, all video footage was available to view via the excellent standalone Nest app. However, for some ridiculous reason, these new cameras don’t work with this first-class application and instead users are asked to switch to the Google Home app instead.
Although this means everything, including any Google-branded smart speakers and thermostats, Sonos speakers, robot vacuum cleaners and smart lightbulbs in your home can be controlled from a single app …the Home app is not as user friendly as the Nest app.
A good example of this is how quickly the live camera footage loads. Power up the now-defunct Nest app, you’ll instantly see what is going on outside. However, with the Home app you have to tap on two or three icons to find the same timeline of video clips. It’s fine, but it’s extra faff that we didn’t need. And if the Nest Doorbell is your only smart home kit, it’s unnecessary to bundle it into this one-stop-shop app.
Google’s Nest Doorbell has a sleek design although it might not suit all homes (Image: GOOGLE )
Next up, there’s the problem when someone actually rings the bell. The wired Nest Doorbell can be hooked up to a standard chime meaning the whole home knows when someone is outside.
Sadly that’s not the case with the battery model. This device will send an alert through to your phone, which isn’t ideal if you are out but the family are waiting for friends to arrive.
You can link the Doorbell to a Nest-branded smart speaker or smart display, which does help. However, there is a slight delay between the bell being pressed and the alert going off. It also means you’ll need to spend more on a Nest Mini or Nest Hub Max if you want to know when someone is waiting outside.
Google Nest Doorbell (battery) review: Final Verdict
If you want a cheaper and hassle-free connected doorbell, this all-new model from Nest is a solid option. It’s easy to fit to the outside of your home, looks incredibly modern, and has a pretty decent battery life that can last up to a month with the right settings.
The video quality is good and Google includes three hours of free recordings to store in the cloud with no need to sign-up to a monthly subscription.
Sadly, despite our love of these Nest devices, the new battery doorbell isn’t perfect. The Google Home app is annoying, it can’t link to an internal chime, the Doorbell takes an age to recharge, and its futuristic appearance means some people might not realise it’s a doorbell.
At a £179.99, it’s good value for money and will help keep watch over your home. Just consider its downfalls before hitting the buy button and check out some of its rivals. Amazon is about to launch its new Blink doorbell which costs just £50.
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Google Nest Doorbell battery review: A great home security fix but not without its flaws have 1813 words, post on www.express.co.uk at October 5, 2021. This is cached page on WP Discuss. If you want remove this page, please contact us.