Google Nest Doorbell (battery) adds valuable peace of mind by knowing who’s ringing your doorbell, whether you’re home or not.
You may have noticed the word ‘Nest’. All of Google’s speakers and security devices are now Nest, as smartphones and tablets are Pixels.
But there is an additional feature that you may not have thought of. It is equally useful to know who is coming and who is leaving. Yes, it works both ways.
Now there are quite a few smart doorbells, so we will try to differentiate them.
Google Nest doorbell (battery)
|Country of manufacture||Thailand|
|Company||Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related products and services, including online advertising, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Five US tech companies with Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.|
|Other||CyberShack Google Nest news and reviews|
We used Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations), and Exceeded (exceeds expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. Occasionally we give a Pass (capable) rating that is not as good as it should be and a ‘+’ Pass rating to show that it is good but falls short of Exceed.
You can click on most images to enlarge them.
First Impression: Design cues very much like Google: Pass+
Elegant, sober, white and will combine with most door colors. At the top is the camera eye, and at the bottom, a bright white circular doorbell push button.
Powered by a built-in 3.65V/6A/22W rechargeable battery. Remove the doorbell to recharge it via a 15W or larger USB-C charger (not included).
But we start with a warning: Video Doorbells should not be an impulse purchase.
Setup – Easy Google Home – Pass+
It’s a Wi-Fi device, so your only limitation is the maximum distance from your router. It uses Wi-Fi N 2.4GHz and can theoretically be 30-40m away from a router, but that depends on how many walls and doors (and their construction) the signal passes through.
If distance is an issue, Wi-Fi extenders may work with your current router, or you may need to look into a new mesh system that can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Or just follow Fix Wi-Fi blackspots fast and often for free (guide).
Assembly is simple. It comes with a flat metal base plate (left or right mount) and a 20° shim (left or right mount) to angle the device into oncoming traffic. All screws and templates are sent by inbox. There is a video guide.
Field of View: Tight but Pass
The ideal is to mount it 120 cm from the ground, more or less 30 cm. The field of view is 145° diagonally and about 90° horizontally (ie 9:16). That’s not as wide as some that have 180° fisheye, but the image isn’t as distorted.
Battery life – pretty good – Pass+
It depends on the number of events: doorbell rings or motion activated video. Light users can get six months (2-4 events logged per day), medium users three months (9-12 events), and busy users one month (2-25 events).
The latter is more of a problem if the doorbell is facing the road, and must restrict its sensitivity and field of view.
Better yet is to wire it if you have an existing Friedland ding-dong electric doorbell.
Capture #1 – Incorrect Voltage
Google Nest Doorbell requires 8-24VAC/10VA/50Hz power. That’s it AC power, and your existing doorbell is likely to be 8V/1A DC Energy. You can usually use the same transformer for doorbell wiring, but you need to change the transformer. RJ Turk has a pack of 240V to 16V AC transformer plugs (not wired) used for security alarms for around $50. You can also find suitable transformers at Jaycar.
Then go up to the roof to find the old transformer and replace it. My advice: Hire an electrician to do it because it is illegal to DIY as it involves AC.
Catch #2: A chime because your Friedland ding-dong won’t work: Wrong voltage.
The standard setting sends a notification to your phone and any Google Assistant speakers “There’s someone at the door!” That may be enough.
Or you can buy an AC doorbell and run it on the new transformer using the same wiring. Google can also take a message.
In use – Approved
The Doorbell is only as good as your Wi-Fi signal. So be sure to test it first with the free Network Cell Info Light app on Google Play, testing the signal strength exactly where you want to place the doorbell. It needs a signal strength of -50dBM or less to work properly.
Wi-Fi also induces delay, and the app can test delay in milliseconds (Ms) and data throughput (Mbps). Make sure to turn off mobile data before testing. Go to the Speed tab, and if your Ms delay is greater than 100 Ms and the data throughput (remember upload is vital here) is less than 10 Mbps (to the router), that will induce a video/voice delay of approximately 2 to 4 seconds. difficult time way communication. Google says a minimum of 2 Mbps, don’t try that.
You can respond verbally via smartphone notification or use preset responses.
Image quality: Pass (night) and Pass+ (day)
The camera records at 960 x 1280 (1.3MP) and up to 30 frames per second (fps). Again, depending on the strength of the Wi-Fi signal, it may drop to 15fps when it starts to get jerky and the image breaks up.
In our test location, we got 5Mbps upload, 150ms lag, and visuals were adequate. The voice was impossible.
Night vision is mono, and Google says it has HDR, but it’s just 850nm IR LEDs good up to about the top two three meters.
Voice Quality – Pass (Capable)
Voice quality depends on the strength of the Wi-Fi signal and, as you will normally use a smartphone, the strength of the mobile data signal. Or you can use the Google Assistant when you’re home and your voice quality improves.
It has a microphone and some AI noise cancellation, but overall, it’s adequate at best. If there is wind, you cannot understand the caller.
Weatherproof IP54 – put it indoors – Approved
‘5’ means dust is not completely prevented, but not enough to interfere with the safe operation of the equipment.
‘4’ means that light splashes of water (rain) against the enclosure from any direction should not have any harmful effects.
Still, you have to mount it under the eaves or an awning, as it’s not weatherproof.
A Nest Aware subscription gives more – Approve
You can bypass a subscription and get a basic person, package, vehicle ID, and 3-hour event history; that’s a very short period of time if you’re away.
. Nest Aware’s basic subscription costs A$9 a month and unlocks 30 days of event history, familiar face alerts, smoke and fire alerts and more. The Nest Aware Plus costs $18 per month and adds 24/7 video history (which the doorbell can’t do anyway). Details of each are here. It’s worth it if you have multiple Nest devices.
CyberShack Opinion: Google Nest Doorbell (battery) is a valuable addition to Google Home
There are many of these types of devices: Arlo, Google Nest, Ring, Eufy, and many hardware store brands. Your choice should not be based on budget but on the features you want. At $263, the Google Nest Doorbell (battery) is decent value and has quite a few features.
We remind you of several warnings:
- Wi-Fi signal strength is paramount. try first
- Hook it up if you can, and that’s probably going to cost $150 or more for an electrician, $50 for the transformer, and you’ll need a new ding-dong bell.
- If possible, have a porch light on at night because IR simply doesn’t record the details you may need.
Like just about every other Wi-Fi doorbell, it gets a limited recommendation if you do the other things right. It’s a no-brainer for a Google Assistant-enabled home, but most brands integrate with Google anyway.
Google Nest doorbell (battery)
$329 but $263 until 9/12/22
Performance (strong WI-Fi)
- Google is how Google does it: it’s a valuable addition to a Google Assistant home
- Reasonable image in daylight, but remember that it has a smaller field of view than other
- Well done
- If the Wi-Fi is weak, you will not be happy and will need to upgrade your home Wi-Fi
- Google Assistant can be relatively slow to respond
- Unless you subscribe to Nest Aware, three hours of events is too little
- You need additional night lighting if you want details in the image
- Plug it in to avoid recharging