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(Pocket-lint) - Say hello to the Nest Hello (wired) - a competitor to the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and the wired video doorbell option in Google's portfolio, sitting alongside the newer Nest Battery Doorbell model.

When the Nest Hello launched in 2018, Nest said Hello was the first video doorbell able to both detect people and offer facial recognition, but its features aren't limited to just letting you know when grandma is at the door: there's also two-way communication, quick responses for the delivery man and compatibility with Google Assistant-enabled speakers, among other things.

Can Nest Hello walk the walk as well as talk the talk though and is it the better option compared the battery-operated Nest Battery Doorbell? We've had the Nest Hello (wired) video doorbell installed on our front door since 2018 to see if it is the best top buy in the connected doorbell market.

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Our quick take

Nest Hello is the one of the most advanced video doorbells you can buy at the moment. Not only is its smaller-scale and more premium design more appealing than its competitors, it also brings a wider and more powerful feature set with it: great facial recognition and video quality, all wrapped into an ace user interface and app package.

It isn't perfect though, with its biggest downfall being the potential cost. The doorbell is a pricey bit of kit on its own, but even more so when you consider the cost of installation (£100 when bought through Nest) and the Nest Aware subscription. Even at the base subscription level you'll need to add an extra £60 a year to get some of the best features. It's also now competing with the battery-operated Nest Battery Doorbell, which is not only cheaper, but offers an easier install.

All things considered though, Nest Hello might have been a bit late to the video doorbell party back in 2018 - but it's still the guest we were waiting to see and it continues to be an excellent video doorbell that we would highly recommend.

Google Nest Hello (wired) review: Still a great video doorbell?

Google Nest Hello (wired)

4.0 stars
For
  • Excellent video and image quality
  • Facial recognition works well
  • Google Assistant speaker feature is useful
  • Integration with Google Smart Displays is great
  • Strong feature set including two-way communication and quiet time
Against
  • Expensive purchase with installation
  • Wired install will be hassle for some
  • Nest Aware subscription required for best features adds yet more expense

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Design and installation

  • Requires 16V AC-24V AC, 8VA transformer, chime and a wired doorbell
  • Uses existing doorbell wires
  • 430 x 117 x 26mm; 120g
  • IPX4 weather rated

The Nest Hello (wired) video doorbell has a slim, sleek and sophisticated design with a black shiny face and a plastic white body, keeping in line with the rest of Nest products. Hello is larger than the average doorbell, but significantly smaller and more discreet than the likes of the Ring 4

The Nest (wired) doorbell can be installed on the side of a door using the included wedge or on the door itself - just like the Nest Battery Doorbell. We originally opted for the centre of our door to give us the best possible view from its camera, but after replacing our front door, we moved the Hello to the side of the door on the brickwork with the wedge. Both positions were great and we rather like its standout glossy finish, even if this element hasn't aged well.

At the bottom of the oval-shaped doorbell is the main button, which has an LED ring around it that lights up blue when pressed, while a glass-covered camera lens is positioned at the top with an LED status light above it. This is the same layout as the Nest Battery Doorbell, though the latter is much larger and has a white, matte finish, which makes the camera part stand out more.

Nest Hello is a wired device so there is no need to worry about recharging any batteries, but if there isn't currently a wired doorbell available from which to steal existing wires, things are a little complicated when it comes to installation. We didn't have a wired doorbell previous to having Nest Hello, but we did have a power socket close to the door that the installer was able to use.

Installation in our case took around two hours and resulted in a wire originally running from the centre of the inside door to three wall-mounted boxes. Since changing doors, the wires now run on the inside wall, making for a neater finish. These boxes are for powering the doorbell, an electronic chime, and the transformer. Thankfully these boxes are covered by a piece of furniture in our home, but it's worth noting that while everything looks fabulous from the front, behind the door is less pretty, depending on your circumstances.

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