Nest Hello vs. Ring

Which video doorbell is right for you?

Delivery person ringing doorbell as seen from a Nest Hello or Ring video doorbell

urbazon / Getty Images

Connected doorbells such as Google's Nest Hello and Ring offer an array of security and smart home features to bring your front door into the 21st century. Nest Hello and Ring are two of the most popular smart doorbells, so we compared their capabilities and features to help you decide which is the best option for your home.

Overall Findings

Nest Hello

  • Connects to the mobile app via Wi-Fi.

  • Two-way communication for talking to who is at your door.

  • HDR video improves what you see at night.

  • Captures video 24/7.

  • Has facial recognition via optional Nest Aware feature.

  • Must be hardwired into existing doorbell wiring.

  • Only one model currently for sale.

Ring

  • Has video camera, Wi-Fi, motion detector, and 2-way audio.

  • Smartphone notifications when someone rings the bell.

  • Respond to visitors whether you're in the house or away.

  • It only records when the bell is rung or it detects motion.

  • Ring Protect Plan saves videos to the cloud for later perusal.

  • Can be installed on a door without doorbell wiring.

  • Various models to choose from.

Nest Hello and Ring both offer basic smart doorbell features, such as video and two-way communication. Each has some unique features, as well. For example, Nest Hello's HDR video is helpful for night vision, while its facial recognition feature is like caller-ID for your front door.

The Ring smart doorbell can be installed on a door without doorbell wiring, which is essential for many apartments and condo homes. Ring also has the benefit of being easily integrated into Google's smart home universe. Whichever smart doorbell you choose may come down to preference or a feature you just can't live without.

We are using the Ring Video Doorbell 2 in these comparisons with the Nest Hello, since that’s the most commonly purchased version of the Ring.

Basic Smart Doorbell Features: Both Function Well

Nest Hello

  • 1600x1200 camera resolution.

  • Power is hardwired only.

  • Recordings stored online for 30 days.

  • Measures 4.6 x 1.7 inches.

  • Requires house chime.

  • Two-year warranty.

Ring

  • 1920x1080 camera resolution.

  • Power source can be hardwired or a rechargeable battery.

  • Recordings stored online for 60 days.

  • Measures 5 x 2.5 inches.

  • Has a built-in chime.

  • One-year warranty.

Nest Hello connects to a mobile app via Wi-Fi and includes two-way communication for talking to whoever is at your front door. Unlike the more established Ring, there’s just a single model of Nest Hello currently for sale. Its camera shoots HD video at 1600x1200 up to 30 frames per second. There’s no rechargeable battery, so to install a Nest Hello, you need to hardwire it to existing doorbell wiring.

Like Nest Hello, Ring doorbells are equipped with a video camera, Wi-Fi, motion detector, and two-way audio. Ring can send notifications to your smartphone to let you know when someone rings the bell or, optionally, when someone enters Ring’s field of view. Ring allows you to talk to visitors even when you’re away from home since the Ring app works like a video chat app with someone at your door.

Extended Features: Nest Has the Edge

Nest Hello

  • Has continuous recording.

  • Facial recognition feature tells you who's there.

  • Package recognition feature tells you what's arrived.

  • Ring has embraced community, and has comprehensive crime reporting for your neighborhood in the app.

  • With subscription it records 24/7.

  • The HDR recording makes faces much easier to see at night.

Ring

  • Connect the Ring to your home’s doorbell wiring or use the rechargeable battery.

  • It has a built-in chime if you don’t wire it into your home; position an optional wireless chime elsewhere in your home.

  • Protect Plan lets you store videos for up to 60 days in the cloud.

  • Review, share, and save ring videos.

  • Snapshot Capture lets you see what's happening around your home.

Nest's optional Nest Aware cloud subscription service gives you a few advanced features, such as facial recognition and package detection. The facial recognition feature allows the Nest to learn the identity of people who come over often and identify them by name. Other Nest Aware features include better alerts for motion and sound, the ability to set four "activity zones" to monitor, 24/7 continuous video stream recording saved to the cloud, the ability to save video clips if Nest has captured something special, and more.

Ring offers a Basic Protect Plan and Protect Plan Plus that unlock additional features. Both plans let you access Ring doorbell videos for up to 60 days, meaning you can review videos afterward to see why a motion alert went off or who rang your doorbell. You can also review, share and save Ring videos. The Snapshot Capture feature gives you a good overview of what's happening around your home between notifications.

Every new Ring comes with a free 30-day trial to the Ring Protect Plan. If you don’t subscribe, the Ring continues to work just fine, except you can only see video as it’s happening; no videos are stored for later.

Price and Model Options: Ring Has More Options

Nest Hello

  • One model only.

  • Retails for $229.

  • Nest Aware subscriptions are $5 or $10 monthly.

Ring

  • Has three models retailing for $99, $199, and $249.

  • Protect Plans are $3 or $10 a month.

Nest Hello has only one model, which retails for $229. To get the most out of the smart doorbell, you'll need to subscribe to Nest Aware. The basic plan is $5 a month (or $50 a year), while the next level is $10 a month.

Ring has three models: the Ring Video Doorbell, which retails for $99; Ring Video Doorbell 2, which retails for $199; and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, which retails for $249. Ring's Basic Protect Plan and Protect Plan Plus are $3 and $10 a month, respectively.

Ring has more options and the most inexpensive model, but Nest may get the edge here, as its Nest Aware adds so many great features for the price.

Final Verdict

Ring is a pioneer in the smart doorbell arena, and its doorbells would be a great choice for anyone seeking good, basic connected doorbell functionality. If you can't hardwire a doorbell to your door, then Ring is a no-brainer.

Google's Nest Hello, however, has some compelling features that might make it the best choice for some, especially when you factor in the Nest Aware add-ons, such as 24/7 video capture and facial recognition.