Having recently reviewed the Ring Doorbell and loved it, I thought it would be good to compare the options currently available for a smart doorbell. With Nest Hello now being available, there is a bit more competition on the market and it offers some appealing features over the Ring products if you can justify the cost.

Rather than develop a like for like product, it looks like Nest have deliberately made Hello offer some distinctive features over Ring. This primarily comes in the form of it being hardwired only and doing 24/7 recording, making it more of a CCTV camera than just a smart doorbell.

While 24/7 recording sounds amazing, it comes with some massive downsides. At 1600 x 1200, each Nest Hello could use 150 GB to 600 GB of upload bandwidth per month depending on the video quality setting. At 1600 x 1200, Nest Hello requires 800 to 2000 Kbps of upload bandwidth while streaming video.

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So if you are in the UK where our uploads speeds are not great, you are going to have a device that is permanently eating away at your available uploads. At  2000Kbps I would, in theory, lose over 10% of my upload speeds. Thankfully Virgin doesn’t have a traffic management policy so at least I wouldn’t trigger that.

24/7 recording also means the subscription plan costs a lot more, the cheapest option is 5 days and cost £4pcm. Then you will also need to hardwire the device, as batteries would not work with 24/7 recording.

If the above issues are OK with you then the Ring does offer some other great features apart from 24/7 recording. The detection features appear to offer more functionality than Ring with person, motion and sound alerts to detect visitors. You can also set it up to recognise family and friends, and send a special alert.

It is also worth noting that out of the 4 options the Next is the thinnest, being nearly 2cm thinner than the Doorbell 2 and original Doorbell. This makes placement on doorframes easier. The Doorbell Pro is only marginally wider than the Nest, and is a great option sitting between the Hello and Doorbell 2 in terms of functionality and pricing.

Overall, for me at least, Ring offers all the functionality I need, I have CCTV with local 24/7 recording which works out a lot cheaper than Nest without the bandwidth drains.

However, it is great that Nest is providing some competition while offering something a little different.

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 Nest HelloDoorbell ProDoorbell 2Doorbell
Power 16 V AC–24 V AC, 8 VA transformer, chime and a wired doorbellBell wire (16-24V), 8-24 VAC transformer includedRechargeable Battery / Bell wire (8-24V)Rechargeable Battery / Bell wire (8-24V)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 2.4 GHz 2.4GHz and 5GHz2.4GHz2.4GHz
2-way communicationYesYesYesYes
VideoHD UXGA 1600 x 1200, up to 30 frames/sec, H.264 encoding, HDR1080HD incl. Night-View Mode1080HD incl. Night-View Mode720p HD Video + night
Recording24/7 - storage limited by subscription
On motion/ring detections. Approximately 30 second clipsOn motion/ring detections. Approximately 30 second clipsOn motion/ring detections. Approximately 30 second clips
Motion DetectionYes & Sound AlrtsYes, advanced motion dection incl. defining zonesYesYes
Other DetectionPerson, motion and sound. Can recognise family and friends,Object NoNo
Video Angle 160° diagonal160° wide angle160° wide angle180° wide angle
Dimensions 11.7 cm x 4.3 cm x 2.6 cm11.43 x 4.67 x 2.03 cm12,82 x 6,35 x 2,74 cm12.83cm x 6.35cm x 2.74cm
Price£329£228.99£179£89
Subscription Cost5 day 24/7 = £4pcm
20 day 24/7 = £8pcm
30-day 24/7 = £24pcm
£2.50 per month 60 days recording £2.50 per month 60 days recording £2.50 per month 60 days recording

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