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Google’s newest $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. For starters, it’s much smaller, and it has 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 those who live inside Google’s ecosystem of products.

The Google doorbell to get
The wired Nest Doorbell is a perfect fit for those in the Google smart home ecosystem, offering free smart alerts, 24/7 recording and a sleeker design than its wireless counterpart.

What we liked about it

The same design, only smaller

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The design of the Nest Doorbell (wired) remains almost the same as its battery-powered predecessor, with one big change — it’s much, much smaller. The Nest Doorbell (battery) is still one of the largest video doorbells I’ve ever tested. It measures 6.3 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.95 inches, while the new wired model is a much more manageable 5.2 inches by 1.7 inches by 1.1 inches.

The size reduction likely comes from Google removing the battery and all of the hardware that goes with it. It’s a welcomed change, as the battery-powered version is comically big and takes up a lot of space on your home’s exterior. For someone who doesn’t have a lot of room to install a video doorbell, the overall footprint of the battery model could mean that it’s not even an option.

Even with the smaller size, the hardwired version of the doorbell has the same design. 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 viewing a livestream. Near the bottom of the housing is a large button that’s encircled by a light ring that turns on when motion is detected, letting a visitor know where to press to ring your doorbell. Once the button is pressed, the light ring spins to indicate the doorbell is waiting for a response.

For those who want to add a bit of personal flair to the outside of their home, you can get the Nest Doorbell (wired) in four different color options: Snow, Linen, Ash or Ivy.

Continuous recording is back

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A video doorbell’s main promise is peace of mind. By having what amounts to a security camera next to your front door, you’re able to keep tabs on what or who is on your property. Even if that means you have to go back and watch footage after something has happened, it’s still the peace of mind of knowing what happened and who did it.

But with last year’s Nest Doorbell (battery), continuous recording wasn’t possible, even if you used it in a wired configuration. However, the 2022 wired version adds continuous recording. The amount of history your account makes available depends on which Nest Aware subscription plan you sign up for. If you don’t sign up for a subscription, you’ll get three hours of event video history. 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’ worth of 24/7 continuous recording.

Event history means you only have access to clips that were captured when motion or an object was detected by the camera. For instance, if a dog walks in front of the camera’s view, that will be saved as an event in your camera’s video history. Continuous recording, however, means it literally records and saves 24/7, allowing you to scrub through footage for an event, even if it didn’t trigger the camera’s motion sensor.

It’s unfortunate that Google is keeping the feature behind a Nest Aware subscription, but it makes sense, as storing all of that footage is sure to be an added expense on Google’s part.

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

Smart alerts are free

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Speaking of hiding features behind subscriptions, Google used to do that with its smart alerts feature that would let you know when a camera, such as the Nest Doorbell, detected a person, a package, an animal or a vehicle. But last year, Google moved those alerts outside of the subscription, giving them to all Nest Doorbell and camera users free of charge.

Setting up the event alerts is easy in the Google Home app. You can even tailor which of those categories you get notifications for, and those which are recorded but you don’t receive an alert.

And if you have animal events enabled, you’ll notice that the alerts you receive even include if the camera thinks it saw a dog or a cat. In my testing, with two dogs constantly moving across the doorbell’s field of view, the alerts were accurate. I don’t have a cat, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of feline alerts.

There were a few occasions, however, when I received an alert that a package had been delivered. The only problem is, I was testing the doorbell on my back patio, where packages are never delivered. What I think happened is that motion would be detected, maybe by a wild rabbit (I do have those!) running across my yard, or leaves falling, and the camera would mistake one of the items on my patio table as something that was just left. Those errant alerts were few and far between, however.

There is one other alert type for which Google does require a Nest Aware subscription, and that’s Familiar Faces. The Nest Doorbell can alert you when it sees someone you’ve labeled within the app, letting you know not only that someone is at your door but who is at your door.

What we didn’t like about it

Video quality is good, but it could be better

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The Nest Doorbell (wired) has the same camera setup as its battery-powered sibling. That means you get a 145-degree field of view with a 3:4 aspect ratio (taller than it is wide), with a resolution of 960 x 1280 with a max frame rate of 30 frames per second.

And for the most part, the quality of livestreams and recorded clips is perfectly fine. In some cases, I’d argue it’s better than what I get on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. However, there are times when the low frame rate is apparent and the video gets a little choppy. I’m admittedly being nitpicky here.

As for night vision recording of the Nest Doorbell (wired), it looks like typical night vision recordings. You can see motion, be it an animal or person, but there’s not the same level of clarity as what I see on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.

The Google Home app is a mess

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The Home app, which is what you use to manage all of your Google Home connected smart devices and view the video clips or livestream of your Nest Doorbell, is a total mess. It has been for some time. The good news is, however, that Google knows it’s a mess and is actively testing a redesign that looks like it’ll be a big improvement.

I signed up to take part in the preview as soon as it was possible, but so far I haven’t been admitted to it.

In addition to the pending redesign, Google launched a way to view your camera’s livestream via your browser. You won’t get alerts of someone ringing your doorbell or motion alerts through the browser integration, but you can at least pull up the video feed and watch what’s going on.

How it compares



Wired or battery


Video quality

960 x 1280

960 x 1280


Field of view

145 degrees diagonal

145 degrees diagonal

160 degrees by 84 degrees

Smart alert types

Motion, people, packages, animals and vehicles are included; Familiar Faces requires a Nest Aware subscription

Motion, people, packages, animals and vehicles are included; Familiar Faces requires a Nest Aware subscription

Motion, pepple, packages

Smart home support

Alexa or Google Assistant

Alexa or Google Assistant

Alexa or Google Assistant

Subscription cost

$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

Price $180 $120 $220

Bottom line

The Nest Doorbell (wired) is well designed, and at $180 it isn’t overly expensive. The smart alerts are something you don’t normally get with a video doorbell for free, and while the video quality could be better, it should be perfectly fine for most users.

The Nest Doorbell (battery) is currently our top pick for the best wireless video doorbell camera, and the wired version uses most of that same DNA. But the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2’s advanced motion detection and video quality, along with the Arlo Wired Video Doorbell’s low price and multitude of controls, are enough to keep the Nest Doorbell (wired) out of the top picks. But just barely.

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