Before you dive into this article, keep in mind that you don’t have to pay for cloud recording to automatically record videos of visitors at your door. You can still view and communicate with someone through a video doorbell device and record their visits with a free cloud service and a mini SD card backup. If you’re not interested in paying a monthly cloud service fee to view the recorded videos from a doorbell and you would like a barebone device with a few essential features as the ones below then view our alternative to these cloud recording devices here.
For this article, we are going to be looking at the Nest Hello, Ring 2, Ring Pro and August video doorbells. Before we really dive into the differences between these devices, there are some things all these video doorbells do that you should know about. First off, obviously they are designed to act as a doorbell so they’re going to make a chime when someone arrives at your door. They all record video and show people who are outside your door and along with that, they provide audio so they can allow you to talk with the person on the other side of the door. They also allow you to store videos outside your door in the Cloud. They do not store it specifically on the device although these video doorbells do record footage at night.
As a heads up, the August video doorbell is not quite as effective as the other options. Each doorbell device alert you when there is some type of motion outside your door although the brands do vary on how sensitive they are to some motion and along with that, they do stream that video to you to your phone through Wi-Fi although some can tap into both the 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz Wi-Fi.
When it comes to working as they are intended to, Wi-Fi does need to have at least a 2 megabits per second upload speed but above 5 megabits is ideal. These video doorbells all have a wide-angle lens, although, August can’t see quite as far as both Ring and Nest video doorbells.
Keep in mind that when you’re making your decision about what video doorbell to choose you’re not just getting a doorbell you’re choosing a brand so chances are that if you get the Ring doorbell, for example, you’re going to end up with other Ring products. Same thing with Nest and August. Nest Hello is a relative newcomer to the video doorbell market and with an MSRP of $230 out of the box, it is more expensive than Ring 2 or August but it does have some really unique and interesting features that we think make this one a real contender. This is the only device with the option to record and display video in HDR to help you get a better look at the person outside your door so if it’s really bright behind the person at your door, a camera would normally darken the person in front of the harsh bright light. HDR would brighten that person’s face standing outside your front door but during testing, we didn’t find the video shot on a Hello doorbell to be significantly better than the video shot on the Ring video doorbell.
Nest Hello does have continuous Cloud recording while Ring and August only record when someone shows up outside your door. Do know, you will pay a little extra for Nest’s Hello Cloud service. Nest plan starts at $5 a month per device for just 5 days of cloud storage video and for that same price or less you get 30 to 60 days of storage for the other doorbell devices. Again, no other doorbell record continuously so you want to know what’s happening at all times outside your home you’re going to want to go with Nest. Ring and August only record when someone shows up outside your door. We call this event-based recording and it starts at $5 a month.
Nest’s Hello video doorbell is also the only option that uses facial-recognition to see who’s outside your door That means that if your child gets home from school or your in-laws decide to drop by, you’ll at least have a heads up. But this is not perfect developers are still working on perfecting Face Recognition so you know who’s showing up at your door.
Wi-Fi speeds heavily influenced video quality and two-way audio. It includes quiet zone scheduling and it does operate on multiple Wi-Fi channels so you can use both the 2.4 gigahertz and the 5 gigahertz channels on your router and as I mentioned earlier, that can be extraordinarily important because the speed of your Wi-Fi can influence your ability to communicate with the person outside the door or even just see who’s there immediately.
The Nest Hello video doorbell is not as hardy as Ring or August so we would not recommend this for extremely cold climates. It only operates between 14 degrees and 120 degrees Fahrenheit while the August doorbell works from -13 to 122 degrees.
Ring 2, which is owned by Amazon, is significantly more budget-friendly than the Ring Pro and it starts with an MSRP of $200 instead of $250 but Amazon is always playing with their prices.
The Ring and Ring 2 are the only video doorbells that can be hardwired in but it also has the option to use its removable rechargeable battery so this makes it ideal if you live in a place without a hardwired doorbell or if you want to use this doorbell on an external building such as a detached garage or a full house. They’re both a little bigger than the Ring Pro which means that it might be slightly over the edge of your door jam.
Both Ring 2 and Nest Hello shoot at a full 1080p. August is only 1280 by 920. The Ring 2 also has a wide-angle lens that is able to see all across your front yard. It can shoot at 160 degrees which is the same range as the Ring Pro and the Nest Hello. August can only shoot a hundred and twenty degrees and that can make a difference if you’re trying to cover surveillance for an entire front yard. With all of these doorbell devices, you can also adjust the sensitivity of the alerts apply a schedule and create different motion zones to make sure you are not receiving notifications from cars driving by or trees moving in the wind.
With the Ring Pro, we don’t actually see a lot of advantages over the Ring 2, especially because it comes with a bigger price tag. It starts at $250 MSRP. However, like the Nest Hello, it does allow you to connect to both 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz Wi-Fi and it’s also a little smaller than the Ring 2. We find Ring Pro design to be a little bit sleeker and you won’t have to worry about it extending over the edge of your door jam. It doesn’t have the removable battery that the Ring 2 has so it will need to be wired in and if you don’t already have an existing doorbell you will need to hire someone Professionally to install it for you. Other than that, it has the same wide-angle lens weatherproofing and video quality which is not an option in August video doorbell but one thing that really sets August doorbell apart is that it directly links into a smart lock system so if that’s what you’re looking for this is the doorbell for you. It’s also one of the more budget-friendly options that start with an MSRP of $200.
August is great If you’re on a strict budget because it’s the only video doorbell that stores video up to 24 hours at absolutely no cost. However, if you want to store the video data for a longer, there’s a subscription plan that starts at five bucks a month which does get you 30 days in video storage. It is built to pair with a Smart Lock which means that even if you’re not home you can let people into your house remotely. You should know that the August video doorbell does not have night vision like both Nest Hello and Ring. It has what they call a floodlight system which essentially is a little light that’s been built into the camera and it’s supposed to show you the people who are coming up to your door in full color instead of infrared vision. However, during testing, we found that it’s not actually as effective at identifying people coming up to your door, so the floodlight is really limited to lighting conditions of your porch light.
August doorbell does have some other limitations with motion sensitivity but again, if you want to go and add that August Smart Lock or you already have the Smart Lock, this is a great option for you. So it really all boils down to what you’re looking for in a video doorbell.
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, we recommend the Nest Hello. You got full HD continuous recording with a sleek design and preset messages but if you’re looking to spend a little less money but still want all the convenience that a video doorbell offers we recommend the Ring. It has that removable battery which no other video doorbell offers at a lower monthly fee. The Nest Hello is nearly identical to the Ring Pro except with fewer wi-fi options and a slightly larger design.