Nest Hello review
NEST HELLO REVIEW • £229
- FOR – Nice design • Customisable alerts • Great HD video quality • Offers a good way to monitor your front door
- AGAINST – Very expensive • Hard to fit yourself • Needs Nest Aware for best features and that’s £4 per month!
Spending £229 on a doorbell may sound exceptionally extravagant but bear with us as despite the Nest Hello’s huge price there’s plenty of reasons to like this eagle-eyed gadget.
This latest device adds to the US firm’s ever-growing list of smart home products with this feature-packed video bell aimed at keeping a close watch on what’s happening right on your doorstep.
Express.co.uk has been testing the Nest Hello for the past few weeks and, if you’ve been tempted by this new connected device, here’s our full review.
GETTING THE NEST INSTALLED
Unlike many of Nest’s other cameras, which plug straight into a socket, the Nest Hello is a little more tricky to install.
If you don’t already have a doorbell this device will probably need to be fitted by a pro and even if you do have a button on the outside of your house it’s worth considering some help.
For our test, we had a complete installation which included fitting the doorbell on the outside of the house and a chime on the inside.
The Nest Hello offers the ability to watch over the front of your home
With a connection having to be made to the mains, plus numerous holes drilled into the wall, the whole process took two experts around an hour to fit.
If you’ve got some knowledge of electrics and consider yourself a DIY master then you may get away with a self-installation but otherwise, you’ll need to be aware of the extra cost.
Nest charges £100 to get the Hello fitted which takes the total for buying one to over £320.
Another thing to remember before you even begin piercing your walls with a drill is that the Nest needs a good connection to your Wi-Fi – so make sure the signal is strong where you are about to attach it.
A good way to do test your signal is to take your smartphone or tablet outside the front of your home and see if there’s still a fast internet connection.
If this isnt’t the case you may also need to invest in a wireless booster to increase the signal strength.
The Nest Hello beams footage straight to your smartphone
DESIGN AND FEATURES
Although the installation may not be a breeze the set-up is thankfully much is more simple.
Like other Nest products, the Hello works via an excellent app with a quick scan of a QR code instantly finding the camera and connecting it to your Wi-Fi.
Nest has made this whole process so easy it take seconds before you see full HD live video from the camera beamed straight to your phone.
Along with the excellent video quality Nest has also been clever by adding wide angle technology which means you get a much bigger 160-degree view of the front of your home.
Once connected the Hello watches over your pad 24-hours a day and, as long as you have a Nest Aware subscription (we’ll come on to that later), everything it spots is instantly stored on the Cloud.
There’s a bunch of settings for the camera which include being able to alert you to all movement or just people and there’s even a nice way of setting zones so the camera doesn’t continually alert you to passing cars and pedestrians.
Other useful additions include being able to schedule the camera to switch on or off at certain times and you can silence the actual doorbell chime inside your home if you don’t want young children to be disturbed when someone is at the door.
There are so many options it’s really hard to find fault with the Hello with the user getting full control over how they want this device to interact with their daily lives.
Alerts are sent to your phone once the button is pressed
ANSWER THE DOOR WHEN YOU’RE NOT THERE
When the Nest Hello is pressed the chime inside the house lets out a ring like a normal doorbell.
Where things get impressive is that your phone will also get an instant alert to tell you that someone is outside.
As long as your smartphone is connected to the web you’ll get these alerts anywhere in the world.
But that’s not all as with that camera, microphone and speaker tucked inside you can see and talk to the person who’s pressed the bell.
During our test, we had a cold call after just landing in Amsterdam with us easily able to see who it was and explain that we were not interested in their double glazing offer.
There is of course a more serious side to the Hello as it’s well known that criminals often knock or ring the door to see if anyone’s home before attempting to break in.
It’s a huge reassurance knowing if anyone comes near your house a full HD video will be recorded and stored.
The loudspeaker inside the bell can also announce a pre-recorded message so they know they’ve been spotted.
As long as you pay for a Nest Aware subscription all footage is stored in the Cloud
THE EXTRA COST OF OWNING THE NEST
The Nest Hello may already seem pretty pricey but there’s more expense to come if you want the best from this camera.
Nest Aware is the firm’s subscription service which stores recordings from the device straight to the cloud.
Without this activated you only get a tiny snapshot of what the camera has spotted plus there are other features including facial recognition and Activity Zones that won’t work without Aware.
Once you’ve tried the camera with this added service activated it’s unlikely you’ll go back as it greatly improves the experience.
The problem is that this privilege will cost you £4 per month.
It’s not a huge sum but when the camera has already cost a possible £329 with fitting, it does grate slightly especially as some other rivals offer Cloud recordings for free.
The Nest Hello costs £229 but there’s another £100 to pay to fit it
THE BAD STUFF
Other than the price and that annoying £4 per month subscription there’s very little wrong with the Nest Hello.
If we had one complaint it would be that doesn’t instantly look like a doorbell and despite the button glowing blue when people approach we’ve had a number of visitors still knock on the door rather than press this hi-tech gadget.
The only other thing to note is that recordings are constantly pushed to the Cloud and, if you’ve set the camera to full HD mode, this will eat into your monthly broadband data allowance.
This is clearly fine if your broadband is unlimited but it’s worth remembering if you have a capped deal.
NEST HELLO THE VERDICT
Having been pretty sceptical about the Nest Hello we’ve actually been left hugely impressed.
This doorbell not only lets you know someone is outside but also keeps a constant watch over one of the most vulnerable parts of your home.
Its design is also smart and it won’t look out of place attached to even the grandest of houses.
The fact you can dig deep into the settings and customise it to how best suits you is also a huge added bonus and the ability to see and talk to whoever has just come to the door should add plenty of peace of mind when you are away.
Our only main concern about the Hello is its astonishingly high price.
Hello costs £329 fitted and it’s almost pointless having unless you then pay the extra £4 per month subscription – that makes it one seriously expensive doorbell.
That said, if you want an easy way to monitor the outside of your home the Nest Hello is a brilliant device that’s very hard to knock.