Best video doorbell: Nest vs. Ring vs. August

Video doorbells are a clever, but practical way to protect your house from burglars. Not only do the cameras act as a deterrent simply by existing (and being overtly obvious that they’re cameras), but in the event that a thief doesn’t notice them, you’ll get it all on video. They’re also the perfect solution for, among other things, keeping an eye out for packages—I’m sure you can tell that we order a lot of Amazon. In this post, we’re going to cover the major advantages of each of these doorbells, starting with Nest Hello, which is Nest’s first video doorbell. Also, since Ring has so many doorbells.

You should also know that these cameras have a lot in common (i.e. there’s plenty of overlap in terms of features). We’ve included a spec table at the bottom of this section that runs through some of the details that you should know. For now, however, here’s the gist of what ALL of these video doorbells will do for you:

Best video doorbell: Nest vs. Ring vs. August
Photo Credit: YouTube

– Record videos: Obviously.
– Act as a Functioning Doorbell: Obviously.
– 2-Way Audio: You can speak in real-time to the person that’s in front of your doorbell.
– Ring Alerts: When someone rings the doorbell, you’ll get real-time alerts.
– Night Vision: All of them record footage at night, though August does a pretty poor job here.
– Wide Angle Field of View: August only has a 120° FOV, but Ring and Nest has 160° FOV, which are plenty in terms of spanning your entire yard.
– Motion Detection Alerts: You can setup alerts for when the camera senses motion (warning: these can get annoying if you leave the sensitivity on high).
– Wi-Fi Access: All of them stream via Wi-Fi. Some use 2.4 GHz and others also support 5.0 GHz, which can definitely be faster. You need a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection for all of these doorbells—if you don’t, you’ll hate them.
– Cloud-Based Video Storage: All of them store your video footage in the cloud where you can access it from anywhere. None of them, however, offer local storage, as you’ll get with the Reolink Argus, for example.
– No Built-In Alarms: While all three work with various different smart products (some of which are alarm systems), none of them have a built-in alarm, as you’ll see with Arlo Pro 2 and Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, for example.

Why It Wins – Nest Hello vs Ring & August

Ok, so knowing the stuff above, why would Nest get the edge over Ring and August? Nest is pretty late to the doorbell game so you’d think that there’s no real chance for them to attract customers away from existing players such as Ring.

Existing Nest Customers

The first reason to get Nest is if you already have Nest cameras and hardware throughout your house. For example, if you already have the Nest Alarm System or Nest Video Cameras, you can manage everything within one app rather than having to deal with multiple apps from various brands.

Nest Hello Offers Continuous Recording

Nest is one of very few doorbell cams that record video continuously rather than only when an event occurs (i.e. motion or doorbell ring). Nest, however, does require that you get a monthly subscription plan in order to get the continuous recording, amongst other things. The most affordable plan is $5 per month per camera for 5 days worth of continuous footage.

Here’s a look at footage from Nest Hello. It’s more pixelated here because it’s a GIF, but typically the footage looks quite clear. You can also see that the subject is dark because the background is so light. It’s hard for these cameras to react to poor lighting conditions such as these.

Nest Works With 5GHz Wi-Fi

Nest Hello and Ring Pro are the only two on this list that work with 5GHz Wi-Fi, which offers faster data rates than standard 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. This can actually make a big difference when it comes to streaming HD video remotely. The quicker your Wi-Fi, the quicker you’ll be able to access the footage remotely.

Nest Hello Can Recognize Different Faces

With a subscription plan, you can have Nest Hello actually learn different faces to alert you of when a specific person shows up at your house. The easiest example is an alert when your teenager gets home from school. But you can have it learn other faces as well.

Prerecorded Responses with Nest Hello

This is something that’s unique to Nest, but that others should definitely implement. You can actually send prerecorded messages to someone that shows up to your doorstep rather than always having to answer the ring. This also helps out a lot if you don’t have a particularly strong Wi-Fi signal.

Best video doorbell: Nest vs. Ring vs. August
Photo Credit: HowToGeek

Full HD Video at 1080p With Ring Doorbells

As you can see in the chart above, Nest Hello records HD video at 1600 x 1200 and the August Doorbell Cam Pro shoots video at 1280 x 920. Neither of those are full 1920 x 1080 HD video like you get with both Ring doorbells. Nest Hello does have HDR, which supposedly creates a cleaner image even when your subject is shaded and the background is blown out. It works, but not all that much better than Ring (you can see this in the first GIF above).

And if your signal is strong, Ring does have the most crisp, clear video. It’s just hard to beat full HD 1080p footage. With regard to August, 1280 x 920 is nearly 720p, which makes it quite a downgrade from 1080p. It’s still clear enough to see a subject’s face, but there’s a major drop in overall clarity.

Swappable Face Plates

Ring is the only company of the three that offers additional face plates and colors for your doorbell. With Nest, you’re stuck with black. August is black and silver. Ring offers brown and silver for the Ring 2 and brown, silvery, bronze, and gold for the Ring Pro.

That way you can get the color that best fits your house. We should point out that both August and Nest look just fine on most houses. You need to be picky in order to get caught up on this point.