Nest Video Doorbell Battery (2021 edition)

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Erin Lawrence

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021If you’ve ever missed a delivery because the driver didn’t ring the doorbell, or missed a friend popping by because you weren’t home, you’ve probably considered a video doorbell. Video doorbells can ensure it looks like you’re always home to accept a delivery, answer the door or just to keep an eye on who’s on your doorstep. Google has recently launched its new 2021 Google Nest Video Doorbell (battery) which is meant to make some improvements to the previous generation.

Nest Video Doorbell Battery (2021 edition) review

I recently received a sample of the 2021 Google Nest Doorbell to test out and try for myself. In this review I’ll look at what it’s like to install, how it works and what’s new in this version, as well as the special features it offers including person, and package recognition.

What is Google Nest Video Doorbell battery?

This version of a video doorbell employs an HD video camera with microphones that enable two-way communications. Someone pushes the doorbell and you get an alert to your smartphone or to your google device. There’s also motion detection meaning you can get alerts if someone is on your doorstep, not just if they ring the bell.

What’s new with the 2021 Nest Video Doorbell (battery)?

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021Battery-power

The biggest draw of the new Nest Doorbell is that Google has now introduced a battery-powered option, where the previous version was wired-only. This is great for people who are daunted by the slightly more complicated setup of the traditional wired model. It basically gives you a choice: you can go for battery-only and simply mount the unit on your door for quick installation, meaning you’ll hear the “ring” of the doorbell via your Google Assistant-enabled speakers or displays and get an alert on your mobile devices. Or, you can go for the wired installation and connect the doorbell to your existing doorbell wires, meaning you’ll get a real “ring” when someone chimes, as well as a notification on your devices. Going for the wired option doesn’t eliminate the battery-powered route, though – it just means you have a fallback.

Manage everything through Google Home

Google has been integrating all its smart devices to run through the Google Home app and the new Nest Doorbell is no exception. Inside the app you can view events like rings or motion alerts, adjust settings and check battery life.

Setting up 2021 Nest Doorbell

Much like many Google and Nest smart devices, setting this video doorbell up is quick and easy. First you want to make sure it has a full charge, so plug it in using the included cable and let it get enough juice.

Next, get things set up inside the Google app. If the app doesn’t ‘see’ your doorbell, just go to the + to add a new device and follow the steps. This part is easy and takes just minutes.

Next, head outside for installation and mounting. The screws and mounting brackets are inside the package; all you need is a screwdriver and/or drill.

I was set up and installed in about 15 minutes.

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021Wired installation and chime option

If you choose the optional wired installation for your Nest Doorbell (battery) by connecting it to your existing doorbell wires (8 to 24 VAC, 10 VA, 50/60 Hz transformer), your existing wired doorbell chime can ring when someone presses the button.

How Nest Doorbell works

Whenever someone rings the bell, the Google home app will send you a push notification. You can also set up the doorbell to send you alerts if motion is detected but the bell doesn’t ring. This is a good passive security system so you can keep eyes on what’s going on out front.

The doorbell will also send an audible alert to your Google smart speaker or, if you have one with a screen, it will alert you there too and show a live shot of the door.

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021I will say the alerts on the Nest Hub aren’t super loud and they’re easy to miss. So far I haven’t found a way to turn them up louder or otherwise make them more prominent.

If your Wi-Fi goes down or there’s a power outage, Nest Doorbell will automatically store up to one hour of recorded events in its local memory. When things are up and running again, you’ll be able to see exactly what happened.

Free delivery notifications

With the 2021 Nest Video Doorbell battery, you can access a lot more features without the need for a paid subscription to Nest Aware. With Google’s first video doorbell, Nest Hello, you needed to pay for Nest Aware in order to get the really cool smart notifications but now, a lot of these are included as standard.

Smart Alerts/Nest Aware

There are loads of smart alerts already built-in to the new Nest Video Doorbell, meaning you no longer need a Nest Aware subscription to be able to create activity zones, enable smart notifications and even record up to three hours of events.

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021Smart notifications

Smart notifications allow your doorbell to recognize common activity and interactions and to flag that for you. For example, if a person brings your doorbell, it will let you know. If motion is detected but it’s an animal, the doorbell can label it as such. The new 2021 nest video doorbell also has the ability to recognize parcels and vehicles, so if the UPS guy dropped something off for you you’ll get flagged. Those type of smart notifications are included without a paid subscription. If you want to go a step further however and enable facial recognition for family or frequent visitors, you will need a Nest Aware subscription.

Speaking of Nest aware… Pretty much every home security camera wants to get you on a pay plan. While you get access to a few hours of video, live view and notifications without paying, you should really sign up for a subscription. After all, if you miss a big event like tornado, dognapping or a break in, you’re going to regret it.

Nest offers a paid home security service and cloud recording as part of its Nest Aware subscription.  Nest Aware costs about $8USD/month and allows you to use more advanced settings (like that facial detection for familiar people). The paid option also increases your access to event video history from a just being able to view the last three hours, to up to one full month of footage. It will cover all Nest cameras you may have, where some other cameras will charge you that much per camera.

Nest Aware Plus is an upgrade ($16USD/month) which also gives you access to 24/7 video recordings (for 10 days) if you get that set up, and longer access to your saved videos and events; you can go back up to 60 days.

Back to facial recognition… You need to set this up.

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021As noted, the Nest Cam can learn familiar faces. To set this up you must be a subscriber of Nest Aware.

To use this feature:

  • Go to the main screen in the Google Home app and choose the + symbol at top left.
  • Choose Nest Aware.
  • Select Familiar Face Detection
  • View your Face Library

The camera will show you its (often unflattering) snaps of faces its seen. You can choose whether you know the person or not, and if you do, you can assign them a name. That way when you go into your event history you can see at a glance who’s been around.

I found this feature worked very well and was correct the vast majority of the time. Every now and then it was recognizing one of my dogs as a person, but I think she’d be flattered.

Create activity or motion zones

Creating activity zones means you can monitor specific areas for movement and get alerts, helping cut down on unnecessary notifications and allowing you to set an alert for things like arrival of and pick-up of packages.

Head to toe wide angle view, HDR and night vision

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021The next-gen Nest Video Doorbell has a 145-degree vertical field of view, with a 4:3 ratio, meaning you can see people from head-to-toe as well as any packages left as close as 8 inches away from the door. It’s also designed with HDR, helping improve visibility even in super-bright conditions, and night vision, meaning you can still see clearly in low light and darkness. I tested it out in a variety of weather and sunlight conditions and you can see it’s got a good range.

No 24/7 recording

Some of Nest’s newer cameras offer the option of 24/7 video recording. But whether you choose battery or wired installation, the Nest Doorbell (battery) cannot continuously record 24/7 video history. Google Nest offers other cameras and wired doorbells that can record 24/7 video history with a Nest Aware plus subscription.

Battery

The battery feature of the new Nest Doorbell is pretty unique and has a long life. Google estimates a battery life of between one and six months, depending on how busy the area is. The battery takes around five hours to fully charge and can be done by connecting a charger to the USB-C port at the back of the unit. You’ll have to use the special removal tool that comes in the box to pop it off and take it inside.

Why get a video doorbell?

Video doorbells may seem like an extravagant piece of home tech but they can be incredibly convenient. For example, they help assuage any fears about home safety by letting you monitor who is coming to your house and they also act as a deterrent to potential unwanted visitors. What’s more, they make receiving packages a breeze and cut out a lot of the hassle of missing deliveries. If your house is already equipped with a ton of gadgets, a smart doorbell is a great addition as it can communicate with other home tech in your ecosystem, making daily life just that little bit easier!

Google nest, video doorbell, battery, review, 2021Weather resistant but not waterproof

The Doorbell is weather resistant but not waterproof or dustproof, so if you live in an area that sees a lot of weather or storms, it might not be ideal for you . The operating temperature –20°C to 40°C (–4°F to 104°F), which is about standard for an outdoor camera device. I will need to test it outdoors this winter, but Calgary routinely gets well below -20 so I do have some concerns.

Overall review: Nest Video Doorbell Battery (2021 edition)

Overall, the new 2021 nest video doorbell gives you more options than before. You can connect it wired or wireless Lee, and you also get access to a good amount of smarts when it comes to alerts and notifications. This doorbell is super easy to set up, particularly if you already have a Google device. The option of alerts on your smart phone, Google speaker, or Google display also means you should get alerted to any callers at your door. I like the slim, small low profile design a lot, and it’s probably my favourite when it comes to aesthetics.

Downsides? I’ve only had this doorbell up for a couple of weeks, so I’m still investigating its battery longevity. I will have to report back when I’ve had more time with it. We also get some pretty harsh weather here in Calgary, so I am a bit concerned about its ability to withstand the weather. Again, I will have to report back on that after a season.

The 2021 Nest Video Doorbell Battery sells for about $239CAD.

 

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