When you’re looking for a smart video doorbell, two names push firmly to the forefront: Ring and Nest.
Since inventing the video doorbell back in 2013 and starting off on Shark Tank, Ring has become a $1 billion company purchased by Amazon. While continuing to offer multiple variants of the classic doorbell, Ring has expanded to offer all facets of smart home security including a stunning new range of smart lighting.
Nest’s past is equally heady and it's future comparably exciting. Founded by a pair of Apple engineers back in 2010, Nest also began storming the scene in 2011 with Nest Learning Thermostat. Fast forward to 2019 and Nest, having been purchased by Google for $3.2 billion, is now rebranded as Google Nest.
So, when you’re looking for a video doorbell, our first pointer remains the same as always: keep it personal. It’s perfectly fine to seek advice from friends and family. By all means, research thoroughly and note what other consumers are saying. Ultimately, though, you should focus clearly on your own needs rather than chasing down a boilerplate solution that doesn’t exist.
To make your life easier, we’re going to start with a quick snapshot of 3 of the leading Ring models set against Nest Hello. We’ve left Ring Doorbell Elite out since this is intended for commercial use. It wouldn’t really make the most accurate comparison to pit this pro-grade model against Nest Learning.
Ring vs Nest Smart Doorbell by Category
Rather than putting a specific Ring model against Nest Learning, today we’ll offer a more sweeping comparison of the video doorbells so you can assess the whole residential range.
First thing’s first, what do they cost?
If you’re looking for a bargain and you don’t mind slightly scaled-back functionality, you can opt for the original Ring Doorbell at a relatively inexpensive price. We still stand firmly behind the original iteration here at Smarthome. You won’t dip out on too much by the way of performance, but you’ll make significant savings.
If you’re motivated purely by the bottom line or tied to a more restricted budget, Ring comes out the obvious winner here. Considering what you get from Nest Learning, this still doesn’t represent bad overall value, though.
Design is pretty subjective, but the general consensus is that Google Nest Hello video doorbell looks a little sleeker than the Ring line.
Nest Hello also features a much slimmer body meaning it’s much more likely to easily fit onto your door frame.
With Ring, the chunkier video doorbells protrude noticeably and you might need one of the wedges, sold separately, to achieve optimum set-up.
You will get the advantage of interchangeable faceplates with the Ring range so you can mix and match with your décor.
Installation and Set-Up
Designed to replace a traditional existing doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Nest Hello both require a transformer if you don’t already have a wired doorbell.
With the non-Pro Video Doorbell 2 and Video Doorbell Pro, you have the option of a battery-powered doorbell.
Both companies give you the option of professional installation if needed.
Overall, set-up is roughly comparable in terms of ease.
How about the picture quality, though? That’s the metric that really counts with a video doorbell.
While Nest Hello’s 1600 x 1200 resolution might not compete with Video Doorbell 2 or Video Doorbell Pro, HDR support comes in handy when a visitor is shaded and the background brightly lit.
Despite the fact resolution is lower than you’ll get on the 1920 x 1080 Pro, picture quality overall is superior.
While there is very little to choose between these doorbells in terms of image quality, we’d say Google Nest edges ahead.
You’ll be able to use both Alexa and Google Assistant with Google Nest and Ring video doorbells.
With voice control, you’ll be able to display the feed on your Echo Show or Google Nest Hub, but you won’t be able to take a call or speak with your visitor using your voice assistant. With Google Nest Hello, you’ll also be able to cast the video to a Chromecast.
For Alexa fans, Ring video doorbells give you the superior experience. If you’re already invested into Google Assistant, Google Nest Hello understandably makes a neater fit.
One of the key differentiators is the facial recognition on Google Nest Hello. This alerts you when family or friends are visiting and is not available on the Ring line.
You’ll also benefit from continuous recording and a range of extras that require a Nest Aware subscription.
Ring’s major extra is the ability to build out highly customized motion zones.
In most other respects, each of these smart video doorbells gives you everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
Smart Home Interoperability
As we mentioned, both Alexa and Google Assistant are fully supported on both Ring and Google Nest video doorbells.
You’ll also get tight integration with SmartThings and IFTTT on both platforms. Ring arguably makes the best match with Samsung’s SmartThings while If This, Then That responds well with either if you’re more ambitious about creating recipes for advanced automation.
In order to make the most of Ring or Google Nest video doorbells, you’ll need to take out a monthly subscription.
Nest Aware starts at $5 a month, while Ring’s basic plan starts at $3 a month. You can increase access to stored footage and functionality by opting for the pricier $10 a month plans.
Well, as always there’s absolutely not a right or wrong answer to which smart video doorbell is the best. The only thing that counts is getting what works best for you. Hopefully, after today’s blow-by-blow comparison of Ring and Nest doorbells, you can see which would make the most sense for you.
Whichever of these classic smart doorbells you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t forget to bookmark our blog for the latest smart home news.
If you’re tempted to invest in one of these awesome video doorbells why not sign up to our email newsletter first? We’ll give you a full 20% off your first order here at Smarthome, so what are you waiting for?