With its glossy black face and matte white enclosure with rounded corners, the Nest Doorbell is minimalist and attractive. At 4.6 by 1.7 by 1.0 inches (HWD), it’s just a hair bigger than the Ring Pro (4.5 by 1.8 by 0.8 inches) and will easily fit on most door frames. That said, the Vivint Doorbell (4.5 by 1.5 by 1.0) remains the slimmest device we’ve seen, if only by a hair. The front of the doorbell has a large ring button on the bottom that glows white when somebody approaches and blue when it is pressed. An internal chime then sounds (as well as the chime inside of your house) and a notification is sent to your phone. The app will display a full-screen live view from the camera with buttons for Talk, Ignore, and Responses. Tapping the Responses button lets you deliver one of three pre-recorded messages including, “You can leave it,” “We’ll be right there,” and, “No one can come to the door. At the top of the doorbell is a 1,600-by-1,200 camera with HDR (High Dynamic Range) that is always recording. It uses a line of very small (850nm) infrared LEDS for night vision and has a 160-degree field of view and an 8X digital zoom. The enclosure has an IPX4 weatherproof rating and contains a speaker, a microphone, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi circuitry, and a Bluetooth radio. The doorbell can be installed and accessed using the same mobile (availble for Android and iOS) and web-based apps used for all Nest devices. The app opens to a home screen with a list of all installed Nest devices by name and their current status. Tapping the doorbell launches a window with a live video stream and a Sightline timeline of events. You can swipe up or down to fast forward or rewind through the recorded video to find a specific point in time, create a clip from it, and share or save it to your camera roll. To change the Sightline list to an Events list with the time and cause of the event, tap the three-bar icon at the top of the Sightline list. To view the live stream in full-screen mode, turn your phone sideways.
There are five buttons at the bottom of the screen for viewing video history by date, filtering what types of events you’ll see (Sound, Motion, Talking, Person, Familiar Face), activating two-way audio, saving and sharing a selected video, and identifying and adding new people to the face database. Tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner takes you to the settings screen where you can turn the camera on and off; enable Quiet Time, which turns off your indoor chime; enable Home/Away Assist, which uses your phone’s location services to arm or disarm the doorbell and other Nest devices; create an automatic On/Off schedule; and configure push and email notifications.
The Familiar Faces library displays recognized faces and names and lets you identify new faces, give them a name, and add them to the database. On the Visitor Announcements screen you can configure your Google Assistant device to announce when a visitor rings the doorbell and announce the person’s name if they are in your Familiar Faces library.
Other settings allow you to configure chime duration, adjust video quality, share the camera with friends and family, configure Wi-Fi settings, and turn the microphone and audio recording on and off. You can also have quick Responses delivered in English, Spanish, or French. Video from the doorbell can be streamed to a screen-equipped Amazon Alexa device (like the Echo Show) or a Chromecast device using Google Assistant voice commands. The doorbell also works with IFTTT applets and will interact with other Nest products and devices that support the Works with Nest initiative.