Doorbells have come a long way since the days of a simple button connected to a bell. Modern doorbells add additional security to your home through the use of live video, so that you can see who’s at your door no matter where you are. Plus, these smart doorbells are designed to integrate with other devices in your smart home.
Two of the best-selling smart doorbells out there are the Ring Pro and the Nest Hello. But with similar pricing and comparable features, how do you know which one to choose? Well, read on and get informed on what each of these doorbells has to offer.
Behind The Curtain
Ring is a well-established company in the home security sector. They’ve been around for years, pumping out solid products that have made them a market leader. So much so, in fact, that Amazon acquired the company in early 2018 for $1 billion. What this means from a customer perspective is that Ring has the backing of Amazon, and should integrate perfectly with an Alexa smart home system.
Nest is the new kid on the block. But with Google behind it, Nest has been able to steal a significant amount of market share and create a great product. So if you’re looking for a doorbell to integrate with your smart home system, it’s good to know who’s behind these two systems.
Both the Ring Pro and the Nest Hello are feature-packed doorbells, and so they will need to be supplied with power in order to function. If you don’t already have a doorbell wired into your home’s electrical supply, you’ll need to get that done first. Both doorbells require a 16V-24V AC supply, but the Nest model also requires a transformer.
As two of the top video doorbells on the market, you’d expect to get good results from these two contenders. And it’s true that both offer a high-quality camera so that you can see who’s at the door. That doesn’t mean they’re the same, though.
The Ring has a resolution of 1920×1080, whereas the Nest offers 1600×1200. This gives the Nest a taller image which is useful when people are standing at the front door. Both cameras have night vision, but the Nest uses HDR, which automatically adjusts the contrast to make dark areas more visible. As a result, the Nest offers far better visibility at night.
The Ring’s resolution is lower, but this can actually be a good thing. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, the lower resolution can help to reduce image lag. Some users even go as far as to adjust the resolution on the Nest downwards to deal with a laggy image.
It’s also worth noting that the Nest has a faster camera at 30 frames per second, whereas the Ring only has 15fps. The faster frame rate can help to make movement look smoother and more natural, giving you a better idea of what’s going on outside your home.
If you live in a temperate climate, this may not matter to you. But for those who experience extremes of weather, it’s good to know that the Nest has an operating temperature of 14 to 104 F. The Ring, on the other hand, can handle – 5 to 120, which makes it much more durable and resistant to both heat and cold. If you live in Texas or Alaska, you may need to think about the extremes of temperature your doorbell will be subjected to.
If you’re going to call yourself a smart doorbell, you need to do more than just stick a webcam onto a regular doorbell. Both the Nest and the Ring offer a variety of advanced features, and this is where a straight comparison gets a little tricky. Both doorbells offer motion detection, but the Nest also has sound detection. And unlike the Ring, you can turn the Nest’s microphone on and off, which can be useful if you find that you’re getting alerts caused by ambient noise such as fireworks or pets.
On the other hand, the Nest offers facial recognition technology that the Ring doesn’t. This is a relatively new feature that doesn’t work as well as you might hope, but it can let you know if the person at your door is a known visitor or not.
One of the most important features affecting the usability of a smart doorbell is the alerts you receive.
Let’s look at Nest first. Without a subscription, someone ringing your bell will cause a push notification to be sent to your phone with a snapshot from the camera. If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you’ll also get a short video summary. You’ll also have the option to respond with three preprogrammed responses. Note that all of this can be done without opening the app.
Ring can also send push notifications, but if you want to see who’s at the door, you’ll need to open the app itself. It’s not a big deal, but it does take a little more time, so it’s something worth thinking about before you make a decision.
Smart Home Compatibility
Given that Google and Amazon are at the forefront of smart home technology, you’d expect both of these doorbells to sync with other smart devices. It’s good to know that Ring and Nest will both work with Google Home and Alexa screened devices. It’s worth noting, though, that while apps for either doorbell work on iOS and Android, only the Nest will stream to Apple TV.
When choosing a smart doorbell, no one device fits everyone’s needs better than another. The Nest scores highly for quick responses. And while its facial recognition technology is far from perfect, it’s a cool feature with a lot of potential. The Nest also has far better night vision. Then again, the Ring has a far greater range of operating temperatures. It’s a more durable device, and its lower video resolution can actually be a good thing since it cuts down on lag during video calls. All in all, the Nest will be the better choice for most users. But if long-term durability is a factor and you live in an extreme climate, you’ll find the Ring is the better way to go.