Nest Doorbell (Wired, 2nd Gen) Review

Google’s latest $179 Nest Doorbell (wired) takes what we liked about last year’s battery-powered Nest Doorbell and gets rid of nearly everything we didn’t like about it. For starters, it’s much smaller and does continuous recording with a Nest Aware subscription.

I’ve been using the new Nest Doorbell for a few weeks now, and it’s clear to me that it’s the Nest Doorbell for people who live in the ecosystem of Google products.

Google Doorbell Gets

The wired Nest Doorbell is perfect for those in Google’s smart home ecosystem, offering free smart alarms, 24/7 recording, and a sleeker design than its wireless counterpart.

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The Nest Doorbell (Wired) has an almost identical design to its battery-powered predecessor, but with one big change — it’s much smaller. The Nest Doorbell (battery) remains one of the biggest video doorbells I’ve tested. It measures 6.3 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.95 inches, while the new wired model is more manageable at 5.2 inches by 1.7 inches by 1.1 inches.

The size reduction is likely due to Google removing the battery and all accompanying hardware. That’s a welcome change, since the battery-powered version is ridiculously large and takes up a lot of space on the outside of your home. For someone who doesn’t have much space for a video doorbell, the battery model’s overall footprint may mean it’s not even an option.

The hardwired version of the doorbell has the same design, even though it’s smaller in size. At the top of the housing is a black circle that houses the camera and a small LED that lights up when the camera is recording or someone is watching live. Near the bottom of the case is a large button surrounded by a light ring that lights up when motion is detected, letting visitors know where to press to ring the doorbell. Once the button is pressed, the light ring rotates to indicate that the doorbell is waiting for a response.

For those who want to add a little personal touch outside of their home, you can get the Nest Doorbell (wired) in four different color options: snow, linen, ash, or ivy.

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The main promise of a video doorbell is peace of mind. By installing the equivalent of a security camera next to your front door, you can keep an eye on what or who is on your property. Even if it means you have to go back and watch footage after something happened, knowing what happened and who did it will still give you peace of mind.

But with last year’s Nest Doorbell (battery), continuous recording was impossible, even if you were using it in a wired configuration. However, the 2022 wired version adds continuous recording. The amount of history available on your account depends on the Nest Aware subscription plan you’re signed up for. If you don’t sign up for a subscription, you’ll get three hours of video history of the event.The standard $6 Nest Aware plan gets you 30 days of event video history, while the $12-per-month plan gets you 60 days of event history and 10 days of 24/7 continuous recording.

Event history means you only have access to clips that were captured when the camera detected motion or objects. For example, if a dog walks in front of the camera’s field of view, this will be saved as an event in the camera’s video history. However, continuous recording means it’s actually recording and saving 24/7, allowing you to browse footage of events even when it’s not triggering the camera’s motion sensor.

It’s unfortunate that Google keeps the functionality behind the Nest Aware subscription, but that makes sense, since storing all those lenses is sure to add to Google’s bill.

The good news is that the Nest Aware plan covers all the Google or Nest cameras on your account, so even if you have five cameras in your home, you’ll only pay $6 or $12 a month.

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Speaking of hidden features behind subscriptions, Google used to do this with its Smart Alerts feature, which lets you know when a camera like the Nest Doorbell detects a person, package, animal or vehicle. But last year, Google moved those alerts out of the subscription, making them free to all Nest Doorbell and camera owners.

It’s easy to set up event alerts in the Google Home app. You can even customize which categories you get notified about, and which categories are logged but you don’t get alerted about.

If you have animal events enabled, you’ll notice that the alerts you receive even include whether the camera thinks it saw a dog or cat. In my tests, with two dogs constantly passing through the doorbell’s field of view, the alarm was accurate. I don’t own a cat, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the cat alert.

However, on a few occasions I have been reminded that the package has been delivered. The only problem is, I’m testing the doorbell in my backyard where packages never get delivered. What I think is happening is that motion will be detected, maybe a hare (I do have those!) running across my yard, or leaves falling, and the camera will mistake an item on my patio table for just the left. However, those false alarms are rare.

Another type of alert that Google does need a Nest Aware subscription for, and that’s familiar faces.When the Nest Doorbell sees people you tag in the app, it will alert you, letting you not only know someone is at your door, but Who at your door.

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The Nest Doorbell (wired) has the same camera setup as its battery-operated counterpart. That means you’ll get a 145-degree field of view, a 3:4 aspect ratio (height greater than width), a resolution of 960 x 1280, and a maximum frame rate of 30 frames per second.

For the most part, the quality of the live and recorded clips is excellent. In some cases, I think it works better than what I get with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. However, sometimes the frame rate is low and the video becomes a bit choppy. Admittedly, I’m being picky here.

As for the Nest Doorbell (wired) Night Sight recording, it looks like your typical Night Sight recording. You can see motion, whether it’s animals or people, but it’s not as sharp as what I’ve seen with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.

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The Home app you use to manage all your Google Home-connected smart devices and view video clips or live streams from your Nest Doorbell is a mess. It’s been a while. The good news, however, is that Google knows it’s a mess and is actively testing a redesign that looks like it’s going to be a big improvement.

I signed up for the preview as soon as possible, but so far I have not been accepted.

In addition to the upcoming redesign, Google is also introducing a way to view camera livestreams through the browser. You won’t be alerted to someone ringing the doorbell or a motion alarm via the browser integration, but you can at least pull up the video feed and watch what’s going on.

Nest doorbell wired product card cnnu

nest doorbell product card

Ring Video Doorbell 4 Product Card



wired or battery


video quality





Diagonal 145 degrees

Diagonal 145 degrees

160 degrees by 84 degrees

Smart Alert Type

Includes motion, people, packages, animals, and vehicles; familiar faces require a Nest Aware subscription

Includes motion, people, packages, animals, and vehicles; familiar faces require a Nest Aware subscription

movement, person, package

Smart Home Support

Alexa or Google Assistant

Alexa or Google Assistant

Alexa or Google Assistant

subscription fee

$6 or $12 per month

$6 or $12 per month

$3, $10 or $20 per month


5.2 x 1.7 x 1.1 inches

6.3 x 1.8 x 0.95 inches

5.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches





The Nest Doorbell (wired) is well designed, and at $180, it’s not that expensive. Smart alerts are something you don’t usually get with free video doorbells, and while the video quality could be better, it should be perfect for most users.

The Nest Doorbell (battery) is currently our top pick for the best wireless video doorbell camera, and the wired version uses much of the same DNA. But the advanced motion detection and video quality of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, along with the low price and variety of controls of the Arlo wired video doorbell, are enough to keep the Nest Doorbell (wired) away from top picks. But only barely.

If you already have a lot of Google Assistant-compatible devices, and maybe a Nest camera or two, it’s easy to recommend the Nest Doorbell (Wired) — as long as you have the necessary wiring. Even if you don’t, you can always buy a power adapter and pair it with a Nest speaker to act as a chime.

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