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HOME / Smart Home / Nest Hello vs Ring vs August Video Doorbell – Review & Comparison
Nest Hello vs Ring vs August Video Doorbell – Review & Comparison
Video doorbells are a clever, but practical way to protect your house from burglars. Not only do the cameras act as a deterrent simply by existing (and being overtly obvious that they’re cameras), but in the event that a thief doesn’t notice them, you’ll get it all on video. They’re also the perfect solution for, among other things, keeping an eye out for packages—I’m sure you can tell that we order a lot of Amazon. In this post, we’re going to cover the major advantages of each of these doorbells, starting with Nest Hello, which is Nest’s first video doorbell. Also, since Ring has so many doorbells [see on Amazon], rather than focus on all of them, we’re going to hone in on Ring 2 and Ring Pro.
You should also know that these cameras have a lot in common (i.e. there’s plenty of overlap in terms of features). We’ve included a spec table at the bottom of this section that runs through some of the details that you should know. For now, however, here’s the gist of what ALL of these video doorbells will do for you:
– Record videos: Obviously.
– Act as a Functioning Doorbell: Obviously.
– 2-Way Audio: You can speak in real-time to the person that’s in front of your doorbell.
– Ring Alerts: When someone rings the doorbell, you’ll get real-time alerts.
– Night Vision: All of them record footage at night, though August does a pretty poor job here.
– Wide Angle Field of View: August only has a 120° FOV, but Ring and Nest has 160° FOV, which are plenty in terms of spanning your entire yard.
– Motion Detection Alerts: You can setup alerts for when the camera senses motion (warning: these can get annoying if you leave the sensitivity on high).
– Wi-Fi Access: All of them stream via Wi-Fi. Some use 2.4 GHz and others also support 5.0 GHz, which can definitely be faster. You need a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection for all of these doorbells—if you don’t, you’ll hate them.
– Cloud-Based Video Storage: All of them store your video footage in the cloud where you can access it from anywhere. None of them, however, offer local storage, as you’ll get with the Reolink Argus, for example.
– No Built-In Alarms: While all three work with various different smart products (some of which are alarm systems), none of them have a built-in alarm, as you’ll see with Arlo Pro 2 and Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, for example.
Why It Wins – Nest Hello vs Ring & August
Ok, so knowing the stuff above, why would Nest get the edge over Ring and August? Nest is pretty late to the doorbell game so you’d think that there’s no real chance for them to attract customers away from existing players such as Ring (which is now owned by Amazon).
Existing Nest Customers
The first reason to get Nest is if you already have Nest cameras and hardware throughout your house. For example, if you already have the Nest Alarm System [see at Walmart] or Nest Video Cameras, you can manage everything within one app rather than having to deal with multiple apps from various brands.
One app for all Nest devices.
Nest Hello Offers Continuous Recording
Nest is one of very few doorbell cams that record video continuously rather than only when an event occurs (i.e. motion or doorbell ring). Nest, however, does require that you get a monthly subscription plan in order to get the continuous recording, amongst other things. The most affordable plan is $5 per month per camera for 5 days worth of continuous footage.
Here’s a look at footage from Nest Hello. It’s more pixelated here because it’s a GIF, but typically the footage looks quite clear. You can also see that the subject is dark because the background is so light. It’s hard for these cameras to react to poor lighting conditions such as these.
Continuous recording with Nest Hello.
Here’s another example, but from the video feed.
Nest Hello video feed.
You can see that Nest (like Ring) categorizes your alerts. There are motion alerts and doorbell ring alerts so that you can easily sift through your footage.
Nest Works With 5GHz Wi-Fi
Nest Hello and Ring Pro are the only two on this list that work with 5GHz Wi-Fi, which offers faster data rates than standard 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. This can actually make a big difference when it comes to streaming HD video remotely. The quicker your Wi-Fi, the quicker you’ll be able to access the footage remotely.
Nest Hello Can Recognize Different Faces
With a subscription plan, you can have Nest Hello actually learn different faces to alert you of when a specific person shows up at your house. The easiest example is an alert when your teenager gets home from school. But you can have it learn other faces as well.
Prerecorded Responses with Nest Hello
This is something that’s unique to Nest, but that others should definitely implement. You can actually send prerecorded messages to someone that shows up to your doorstep rather than always having to answer the ring. This also helps out a lot if you don’t have a particularly strong Wi-Fi signal.
Ring 2 is one of the best selling video doorbells given the affordable price point [check current price on Amazon] and myriad features, including full HD video, night vision, 2-way audio, and the list goes on, as you can see in the table above. But what specifically sets Ring 2 apart from the others?
Ring Doorbell 2 Has a Battery!
The other three doorbells on this list have to be hardwired with the existing doorbell wiring at your house. Ring 2 can do that as well, although it also comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can power the camera in lieu of actual wires. This makes it far more convenient—and indeed your only option on this list—if you want to use it where doorbell wiring doesn’t currently reside. Great for pool houses, detached garages, etc..
Rechargeable, removable battery on Ring 2.
For the record, the original Ring Video Doorbell [see on Amazon] had a rechargeable battery, but it wasn’t removable so charging the camera was annoying and cumbersome.
Full HD Video at 1080p With Ring Doorbells
As you can see in the chart above, Nest Hello records HD video at 1600 x 1200 and the August Doorbell Cam Pro shoots video at 1280 x 920. Neither of those are full 1920 x 1080 HD video like you get with both Ring doorbells. Nest Hello does have HDR, which supposedly creates a cleaner image even when your subject is shaded and the background is blown out. It works, but not all that much better than Ring (you can see this in the first GIF above).
Recorded from Ring.
And if your signal is strong, Ring does have the most crisp, clear video. It’s just hard to beat full HD 1080p footage. With regard to August, 1280 x 920 is nearly 720p, which makes it quite a downgrade from 1080p. It’s still clear enough to see a subject’s face, but there’s a major drop in overall clarity.
Affordable Subscription Plans
Simple dollars and cents here. Ring has a plan for $3 per month per camera that gives you 60 days of event-based footage (i.e. it records if someone rings the doorbell, if you view the live stream, and if it senses motion). We’ve found the event-based footage to be more than sufficient and it really might be overkill getting continuous footage. Ring does a great job of recording entire events. This is all true of the Ring Pro as well.
Swappable Face Plates
Ring is the only company of the three that offers additional face plates and colors for your doorbell. With Nest, you’re stuck with black. August is black and silver. Ring offers brown and silver for the Ring 2 and brown, silvery, bronze, and gold for the Ring Pro.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 with silver face plate.
That way you can get the color that best fits your house. We should point out that both August and Nest look just fine on most houses. You need to be picky in order to get caught up on this point.
So the Ring 2 sounds pretty darn compelling, all things considered. So why get the Ring Pro instead?
Ring Pro supports 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, whereas Ring 2 only supports 2.4GHz, which legitimately can be noticeably slower, especially when streaming HD video.
Small Size of Ring Pro
Take a look at the comparison chart above. Ring Pro is quite a bit smaller than Ring 2, although it’s about the same size as Nest Hello. And for the record, Ring Pro is only hardwired, there is no battery option.
Why get the August Doorbell Cam Pro if Ring and Nest are so good then? Glad you asked because I was going to explain regardless.
The August Door Locks are Important
August started out by making smart door locks. Therefore, the Doorbell Cam is a bit of a secondary product for them. As such, you’re probably mostly interested in this doorbell camera because you’ve come across (or currently use) an August Smart Lock. If you have an August lock the Doorbell Cam Pro replaces the need for a Wi-Fi bridge.
If you’re not up to speed on this, essentially the August locks can only be used via Bluetooth, unless you have a bridge that grants them access to Wi-Fi, which allows you to control the lock remotely—so much better than just Bluetooth! You can use either the Wi-Fi Bridge or the Doorbell Cam Pro to be able to control the lock remotely. Hopefully that’s clear, but if it isn’t, just read some of our other August Reviews.
Free Storage Plan
Unlike the other two brands, August offers a free plan that includes 24 hours of cloud storage. That means you can access the prior 24 hours worth of footage on your smartphone, for free. If you want 30 days of storage, that will cost you $5 per month.
Shot on August Doorbell Cam.
I’m somewhat splitting hairs here, but August does technically work down to -13°F and up to 122°F, which is a bit “tougher” (for lack of a better term) than the other doorbells on this list. Not a major point, but if you live in Minnesota or Phoenix this might move the needle for you.
Notifications and Night Vision
Two major downsides with August are (1) the fact that you cannot setup a schedule where motion notifications are turned off/on and (2) night vision sucks compared to Nest and Ring. On the first point, you cannot create a schedule where motion notifications are off while you’re home, for example, and on while you’re away from home. This feature is available with Nest and Ring. As for night vision, it does technically have a light on it and is supposed to record video at night, but it’s hugely disappointing from what we’ve seen in terms of clarity.