May 18, 2022 9:24 am

Three months with the Nest Doorbell: Google’s doorbell that identifies animals and packages



We’ve been testing Google Nest security cameras for three months, and the standout, hands down, has been the Google Nest Doorbell, a WIFI doorbell with built-in camera. A very popular type of product in the United States, but less known in Spain. The function of the device is twofold, on the one hand it digitizes a widely used component of the home that has not changed in decades, on the other add extra security by adding a camera to the front door. The technology company has launched several models on the market. We have tested the one that has a built-in battery, which greatly simplifies its installation by not needing a power outlet.

Let’s start with the installation process, which is precisely what will concern users the most.

In the case of the battery model it is quite simple. First you have to make sure that the WiFi reaches the entrance door correctly. Without a stable connection we will not achieve anything: neither live video, nor notifications on the mobile. The best way to do this is to try calling the doorbell from where you want to install it, and establish a video connection to check if it is stable.

If it doesn’t work, a good option is to use a WiFi extender. Once the connection is functional, the next step is to calculate the correct height and angle, especially to give the camera the best possible view. Google includes a wedge to give the doorbell a greater inclination that can come in handy, especially if the space is narrow.

After calculating the position where the camera offers the best view of the entrance, you just have to install a metal plate with two screws fixed to the wall. The hole and the two screws are unfortunately unavoidable if we don’t want the doorbell to come out easily. The doorbell is then magnetically fixed to the plate. Although a magnetic closure may seem flimsy, it is not possible to separate it from the plate by force, it is necessary to use some tool to do so.

Proper functioning

The operation as a doorbell is correct. It may not be as immediate as a traditional ring, i.e. has a delay of a few seconds from when someone touches it until it finally sounds. The good thing is that we can customize the sound and the message. Another point to keep in mind is that it is essential to have smart speakers distributed throughout the home, which are, after all, the ones that give the warning, that is, they make the doorbell ring. Obviously we will also get a notice on the mobile through Google Home, but it is always more interesting to have the speakers.

HD camera has a good resolution and is able to identify packages, dogs and people, even in total darkness. You can also adjust the space where the detection is going to be carried out, something highly recommended, so as not to have false positives of people passing in front of the camera. The image has a good quality and it broadcasts in HD, that is, 1080P, more than enough for the doorbell, although with a fisheye effect, similar to looking through the peephole of the door, also understandable due to the space they have to cover .

El Nest Doorbell charges via USB-C and the battery life will depend on its use, from practically twelve weeks to six. If we are not at home, the camera has an autonomy of three months with some random ‘visit’, on the other hand, if we are at home the constant entrances and exits will reduce it to six weeks.

Not all options are free

There are some functions, such as the storage of recordings from the second day or artificial intelligence to detect people, which are paid, with Nest Aware. Others, such as the detection of packages or animals, work by default without the need to pay extra. Nest Aware is interesting if we are going to use the Nest Doorbell camera as a security camera, because it allows long-term storage of recordings.

One of the most useful functions of the Nest Doorbell is the intercom, that is, being able to talk to the person at the door. Even if you are not at home, you can communicate with a delivery person or with a neighbor who rings the doorbell remotely using Google Home.

The security aspect is simple, every time someone shows up at the door, the device will record a video and we will receive a notification. It is also very useful if what we need is to control access to the house, either by children or a dependent person. Everything integrates seamlessly with Google Home, one of the great benefits of using Google products.

Not very functional for flats

The ringer makes a lot of sense if you live in a house where people can access the door directly. On one floor, a little less, since visitors have to go through the portal before reaching the door, and this first barrier will probably be the one that stops them from reaching the Nest Doorbell.

Another important issue to consider is the data protection law if we are going to record people inside the building or on the street, we must indicate it correctly.

Google Nest complements the security set, with two WIFI outdoor cameras, one wired and the other battery-powered, the most interesting, for its flexibility, as it does not require a light point. The behavior of the cameras is adequate, the exterior cameras are considerably more expensive than the interior ones, because they have to withstand inclement weather, from rain to snow.

In addition, Google has included several supports, to accommodate them in different places, even an interior base to put the camera in a room, but, as we have mentioned, the objective of an exterior camera is to use it outside, since it is much more expensive than an interior one. The cameras are not mechanical, so they cannot be reoriented or moved remotely, which is normal since external cameras are usually fixed. The angle of vision and the quality are correct, but what is interesting is in the software, and as in the Nest Doorbell, in the integration with Google Home, and in the artificial intelligence software, which is capable of detecting people, objects, pets or vehicles.

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