A doorbell never used to be something that we paid much attention to. Though comparing modern technology from brands like Nest and Ring to old-fashioned door buzzers, is like comparing a landline to a smartphone. There really is no comparison. Modern doorbells do so much more than let you know someone is at the door.
Few will argue that Nest and Ring dominate the market for smart doorbells that integrate with the modern need for interactive communication and home automation.
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This review is going to compare the two brands. Popular opinion seems to suggest that the Nest Hello is the top choice for homeowners, with the Ring Pro coming a close second. But is it really that simple? Which is the better doorbell?
By providing you with an in depth comparative review, I’ll supply you with the facts and you allow to make your own, informed, decision. As with any comparative review, we need to have comparable products. So, it’s best to distinguish what these two brands have to offer.
Nest have only one doorbell offering in their lineup of home security and video surveillance products. Ring, on the other hand, have a number of doorbells to choose from. These range from very affordable, albeit somewhat limited, products to the range topping Ring Pro.
If you’re on a tight budget, and looking for a basic, high-quality doorbell, you may want to consider some of the cheaper options that Ring has to offer. Nest has gone only for top of the line features in one model, Nest Hello.
If we’re comparing price and features between Nest and Ring, there can only be one fair challenge. This would be by comparing the Nest Hello with the top of the range Ring Pro doorbell. You’ll find reviews for the cheaper Ring Video doorbell, and Ring Video 2 doorbell elsewhere. For a fair comparative review, we can only consider the Ring Pro as a viable competitor to the Nest Hello.
Lets Compare the 2 Doorbells
When it comes to installation, there is no difference between Nest Hello and Ring Pro 2. Both require a hardwired installation and this means installing a power supply unit if you don’t have one for your existing doorbell. Both have a stylish modern design. But the Ring Pro might have more practical dimensions, it is slightly slimmer and is not as tall as the Nest Hello. Dimensions for the Ring Pro are 4.5 X 1.85 X 0.8 inches vs 4.6 X 1.7 X 1 inch for the Nest Hello. An inch and half less in width, may make the Nest a little better if you have a narrow door frame.
Video quality differs slightly between the two, each with their own pros and cons. Both have a 160-degree angle, but the Nest has a greater length for the image. This basically means that you get a full body view, rather than just the upper body. Though, I don’t quite see the advantage in this. While the Ring Pro has a better resolution, 1920 X 1080 P vs 1600 X 1200 for the Nest, the Nest camera has HDR. This makes the Nest image better when lighting conditions cause bad contrast, like when there is bright sunlight behind the person at your door.
The Nest Hello video doorbell, records video footage 24/7, whereas the Ring Pro only records when activated. Though continuous recording only comes as part of the Nest Aware subscription deal. I’ll compare the Nest and Ring subscription plans later in the review. You should also be aware that continuous video recording requires quite a lot of bandwidth, you can reduce this by lowering the resolution of the video image. They both offer cloud storage with varying limits on how long the footage can be stored. This will depend on the subscription plan that you choose.
The Nest Hello and Ring Pro video doorbells allow you to communicate remotely with the person at your door. They both have microphones and speakers. Two-way communication is nothing new, but both manufacturers have improved their communication with noise reduction. The Nest Hello has additional benefits, in that they provide echo cancellation and the ability to use a pre-recorded voice message for visitors.
Designed for the Smart Home
Both Ring and Nest use smartphone apps so you can view your video footage and communicate with visitors from anywhere. They are also compatible with smart home management systems. So you can integrate your doorbell with other smart home functions, like lights.
As part of the modern way, these doorbells can also be integrated with Alexa. You can use your Nest or Ring doorbell with Fire TV or Echo Smart. Ring is owned by Amazon and, because of corporate politics, there’s no love lost between Google and Amazon. For this reason, only Nest can be used in conjunction with Google devices.
You can get enhanced features for both Nest and Ring doorbells by activating one of their subscription plans. Nest definitely offer more benefits, but costs more. If longer cloud storage is what you’re after, the Ring subscription plans offer you much longer storage for a lot less cash.
Ring Protection Plans have a free service for every stand-alone camera or video doorbell, as well as two monthly or yearly (cheaper) subscription plans. The free service includes motion and doorbell alerts, live video feed, two way communication from anywhere, and a 1-year warranty. Ring also include customizable activity zones for free, Nest only offer this feature as part of a paid subscription.
There’s a really cheap monthly subscription ($3 at the time of writing this) and this can be even cheaper if you pay yearly. This offers cloud storage for up to 60-days and the ability to review or share Ring videos. This, cheaper option is only for a single Ring video doorbell or camera. A more expensive subscription plan offers you the same features, but this will include all the Ring cameras around your home and your Ring doorbell.
Nest Aware offers three subscription plans starting from $5 per monthly. They also offer discounted subscription if you pay yearly. All Nest doorbells and cameras come with the same free stuff – instant alerts, two-way communication from any smart device, and instant video feed from anywhere. All the Nest Aware subscription plans provide the following additional features: continuous (24/7) video recording, intelligent alerts, time lapses and clips, and activity zones.
Nest Hello doorbells and their premium cameras also offer person and face recognition with any of the subscription plans. The only difference between the subscription plans is amount of cloud storage time that they offer. This can be either 5, 10, or 30 days – depending on your choice of Nest Aware plan.
While the Nest subscription plans offer quite a bit more, they come at an extra cost. Ring may offer a long cloud storage facility for a very low price and a free zone activity function, you don’t get much more than this.