Nest has announced a competitor to the Ring video doorbell in the form of the Nest Hello. The new doorbell, which will be available in 2018 in the US and Canada, is claimed to be the first doorbell able to detect a person and offer facial recognition.

Offering a lovely slim design and packed full of features, like Quick Responses for the delivery man, here are our first impressions of the Nest Hello video doorbell.

  • Slim, sleek design
  • Premium finish
  • Uses existing doorbell wires

The Nest Hello video doorbell features a slim, sleek design with a black shiny face and a plastic white body, keeping in line with the rest of the Nest product line up, such as the recently launched Nest Cam IQ

It's larger than the average doorbell but still small enough that it can be positioned to the side of your door without standing out too much. Although exact measurements have not been revealed, it is roughly 30mm in width, 120mm in height and around 12mm in thickness.

Nest Hello video doorbell preview shots image 2

Overall, the design is simple but sophisticated with a premium finish, as you would expect from Nest. At the bottom of the oval-shaped doorbell is the main button, which features an LED ring around it that lights up blue when pushed, while a glass-covered camera lens is positioned at the top and there is a small Nest logo in the middle of the device. 

There is a small status LED light right at the top of the device, like there is on the Nest Cam IQ, while a speaker is positioned at the bottom of the Nest Hello, below the button. There is also a microphone in the centre of the device, just above the Nest logo.

Nest Hello video doorbell preview shots image 4

The Nest Hello can be wired using the existing wires used for your current doorbell so in terms of installation, it should be reasonably easy with no need to worry about any batteries running out.

  • 160-degree HD camera with night vision and HDR imaging
  • Person and facial recognition
  • HD Talk and Listen plus Quick Responses

The Nest Hello features a HD camera with a 160-degree field of view and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Nest has yet to reveal the resolution of the camera but it has said it offers the same night vision capabilities as the Nest Cam IQ and it also offers HDR imaging.

The camera allows you to see anyone approaching your door or ringing your doorbell from head to toe, 24/7, rather than just their face and it will also allow you to see a wide-angle view too. In the demo we had of the Hello doorbell, we were able to see ourselves in the shot, as well as the demonstration guy and several people to the left and right of us, giving us a clear view of the room. There was a very slight lag between when we moved and it appearing on the video, but nothing to be concerned about.

Nest Hello video doorbell preview shots image 3

As we mentioned in the intro, the Nest Hello is claimed to be the first video doorbell to offer person detection and facial recognition, though the latter will only be available with the Nest Aware subscription, as it is on the cameras. If you have the subscription, Nest Hello will tell you when grandma is coming up to the door for example, as well as if a stranger is at your door or if the Hello detects any suspicious activity like a go barking or people chatting.

The Nest Hello also offers HD Talk and Listen, which will allow you to answer whoever is at your door whether you are actually home or not by tapping on the microphone button in the app - more on that in a minute. Nest will also offer a feature called Quick Responses at launch that will play a pre-recorded voice message for visitors with a tap of your finger within the app, though we weren't able to see this in action during our demo.

Nest Hello video doorbell preview shots image 6

The Quick Responses button was present in the Nest app in the bottom right corner, though the responses themselves weren't built in as yet. The responses will be things such as "You can leave it. Thanks", when the device launches next year.

Naturally, as you would expect from a smart home device, the Nest Hello will send a notification to the Nest app when someone either approaches the doorbell or rings it, but there is also a feature called Nap Time coming to the device. This feature will allow users to schedule a sort of do not disturb time frame whereby you'll only get a notification on the app when the doorbell is pushed, rather than the chime too. It's not a new feature as we've seen it on other video doorbells in the past but it is a useful feature to have.

  • Connects to Nest app
  • Notification when person approaches or rings Hello
  • Sightline feature shows activity history

The Nest Hello video doorbell connects to the Nest app, as you would expect. You'll get a notification and a snapshot on your device when activity is recognised from the doorbell, as we mentioned previously, and a tap on the notification will open the app and allow you to see a video of the person at your front door.

Nest Hello video doorbell preview shots image 5

You can tap on the video in order to make it larger, as well span the image to see a wider angle. Below the video, you'll also be able to see the history of activity thanks to a feature called Sightline, enabling you to tap on any of the videos to see who came to the door and when.

Below the Sightline timeline is a microphone button, as we briefly mentioned previously, which will allow you to talk to the person at your door through the app, while to the left of the microphone button is an ignore button for the times when the person ringing your doorbell isn't someone you fancy talking to.

Price when reviewed:

First Impressions

The Nest Hello video doorbell is a lovely looking device as far as doorbells go. It is slim, sleek, sophisticated and it offers a premium finish that most people would be happy enough to have welcoming visitors to their front door. 

Offering facial recognition, even if only through subscription, is a great feature to have, while the other functionalities like talk and listen and Quick Responses have the potential to make accepting deliveries much easier.

Pricing has yet to be announced but we're excited to test the Nest Hello properly to see what it's really capable of in the real world. Bring on 2018 and fingers crossed it won't be too pricey.