Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery: which Google device should you choose?

With the announcement of the Nest Video Doorbell Wired (Gen 2), we take a look at how Google's devices compare

Nest Video Doorbell Wired
(Image credit: Google)

Google recently announced its slate of new and updated devices, with a second-generation wired video doorbell chief among them. With a similarly stylish look to the wireless model released in 2021, the Nest Doorbell Wired is a more budget-friendly proposition with similar features but with a significantly cheaper price tag than the Nest Hello.

Theoretically, the first-gen wired model will now be phased out as the Nest Doorbell Battery steps in but for now, all three devices are available to buy.

Here we will break down what each has to offer and who they might suit. Read on to see the details, or head over to our guide to the best video doorbells for more. If you're set on a battery-powered device, we have also ranked the best wireless doorbells for your home.

Nest Doorbell Wired mounted to teal door with man pressing the button

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery: design & colors

As we said in our Nest Video Doorbell Wireless review, the design and visual flair of the newer Google doorbell made it one of the best-looking smart home devices we've come across. The second-generation wired version carries on this commitment to aesthetics and is available in the same four variations - Ash (grey), Ivy (green), Linen (beige), and Snow (white).

This is a fantastic update when compared to the Nest Hello, which was only available to buy in black.

The Wired version is slightly squatter than its wireless counterpart, however, measuring in at 5.15-inches tall compared to the 6.29-inches of the Nest Doorbell Wireless. It's also wider, at 1.6-inches compared to 0.94-inches, but shallower with a 1.1-inch depth compared to 1.81-inches. Such slight changes are practically invisible to the naked eye unless you have both models lined up beside each other.

For context, the first generation Nest Wired was 4.6-inches tall, 1.7-inches wide, and 1-inch deep.

Winner: it's a tie between the Nest Doorbell Wireless and the Nest Doorbell Wired (Gen 2).

caroline preece author image
Caroline Preece

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor at Livingetc, spending her days testing out and reviewing the very best technology for the home. She's enthusiastic about anything that can make life a little easier and more seamless, and her decade of experience in technology journalism means that she can tell the difference between an overhyped gadget and something genuinely useful. Video doorbells are high on the latter list.

Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery: video quality

One area where the Nest Doorbell Wired (2nd Gen) has actually downgraded is its video resolution, which has been knocked down to 1080p Full HD. The first-generation doorbell offered 2K resolution, and there could be a few reasons for this change. Even brand new, the second-generation model costs less than the Nest Hello, for example, and both are currently still available to purchase.

Similarly, the Nest Hello has a 160-degree field of view, which lets you see more of your front porch. The second-generation model and the wireless version both sport 145 degrees, which is lower but will still give you a good look at what's happening.

Winner: the original Nest Hello wins here, with a 2K video resolution and 160-degree field of view.

Nest Doorbell Wired

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery: storage & history

If you're using your smart doorbell as a security device, then you will want a service that stores video history to look back on later. A lot of the time, this can be hidden behind a subscription paywall, and it's becoming less common for video doorbells to come with local storage as standard.

For Nest doorbells, the service is called Nest Aware, and subscriptions start at $8/month or $80/year. This basic package gets you 30 days of video history, intelligent alerts (e.g., familiar faces), and the ability to call emergency services while you're away from home.

The next package will cost $16/month or $160/year and will add 60 days of video history and up to 10 days of 24/7 history. However, 24/7 recording is not available with the Nest Doorbell Wireless, even if it's hardwired.

Winner: the Nest Doorbell Wired and Nest Hello are tied here, as recording is more limited with the Wireless model.

Nest Hello Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery: pricing

Nest Hello: $299.99
Nest Doorbell Battery:
$179.99
Nest Doorbell Wired (2nd Gen):
$179.99

As explained earlier in this article, there are a few features that the original Nest Hello has that aren't present in Google's other doorbells. That said, it is significantly more expensive and will set you back around double what you'd spend on one of the new-gen models. If crisp 2K resolution and a slightly wider field of view aren't on your priorities list, then it may not be worth it.

The Nest Hello also has an older design that isn't nearly as slick as the newer versions, which adds to their appeal.

Winner: As the Nest Doorbell Battery includes the option to hardwire it, we would say it has the edge here.

Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell Wired vs. Battery: which should you choose?

The Google Nest doorbell you choose will depend on your preferences, but some key factors should help you decide.

If you want or need a wireless option that can be easily installed and removed when you move, then the choice is clear. The Nest Doorbell Wireless is a fantastic smart doorbell that received almost full marks in our review. It was only let down by the fact that the entire device had to be taken down to charge and that a subscription was required for video history.

If you want the best features that Nest has to offer, then the Nest Hello still has the edge over the second-generation model. Still, $180 is a significant premium for just a few benefits. Be aware, though, that the older model may be abandoned by Google soon.

If you want a more cost-effective solution, already have doorbell wiring, and aren't fussed about installing your new doorbell, then we recommend choosing the Nest Doorbell Wired. It'll save you a significant amount of money upfront, looks far more stylish and has the convenience of never needing to be recharged.

Overall winner: the new kid on the block - the Nest Doorbell Wired - is our overall winner for now, but only by a hair.