I don’t know anyone who casually opens their home’s door when someone is knocking. Maybe a few years (or a few decades) ago, a doorbell ring didn’t immediately instill that ominous “I wonder who’s out there” feeling, but it definitely does for me. Even when I lived in the middle of a city and had neighbors surrounding me, I still wondered who could possibly be at my door. Most of the time I didn’t answer it, especially at night.
I’ve been living on a farm for the past few years, so it’s even stranger when someone comes to the door now. They have to pass through a gate and get beyond my dog to do it, so when that doorbell rings, it’s a bit jarring.
I wondered if I was alone in my doorbell anxiety, so when I was sent the Nest Hello Doorbell Camera and the Nest X Yale Door Lock to test out, I asked a few people what they thought about their doorbell ringing. Even the men in the crowd said they didn’t like answering the door without seeing who it was.
One friend said that she and the kids all go silent when it rings, and she will sneak up on the door and take a long, quiet look through the peep hole before they’ll either answer it or pretend they aren’t home. I can remember doing that a few times myself, and we both agreed that we weren’t fans of having the kids inherit our fear of having the doorbell ring or someone unexpectedly knocking.
I can now do everything from answer the door remotely and see and hear exactly who’s on my doorstep, to unlocking the door when my kids come home from school. Read on to find out exactly why I’m such a huge Nest Hello Doorbell Camera and Nest X Yale Door Lock fan.
Appearance and features of the Nest Hello Doorbell Camera and Nest X Yale Door Lock
It wouldn’t be a Nest product if it wasn’t sleek and smart. The Nest Hello Doorbell Camera isn’t much bigger than a standard doorbell, but it has a lot of tech packed into that tiny package.
Gives you a live view of your doorbell and surrounding area, with 160 degree field of view and 4:3 aspect ratio
1600x1200p HD video with HDR imaging and night vision
HD Talk and Listen lets you talk to whomever is at the door from wherever you are
Facial recognition technology learns who your family members are and lets you know exactly who is at the door
Quick Response feature lets you tap for a pre-recorded message
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth lets you connect to your doorbell camera and answer the door from anywhere you are
Nest Aware cloud storage lets you store your video clips for 5, 10, or 30 days at a time, and you can download them and save them to your phone or computer any time
Installs onto your existing, wired doorbell
If you’ve never seen a Nest x Yale Door Lock, you’re in for a treat. It’s a Wi-Fi keyless deadbolt that lets you lock and unlock your door via the Nest App or the touchscreen keypad. When paired with the Nest Hello Doorbell Camera, you can pop open your door for whomever you decide to.
Create different passcodes for anyone you want to give access to
Schedule entry via the Nest App, so if you don’t want to give someone access 24/7 (or just want them to access once), you can do so
Receive alerts on your phone when someone locks or unlocks your door
Secure and tamper-proof design. If someone tries to tamper with it, it will send you a notification
You can set it to automatically lock or unlock your door after a certain period of time
One touch locking feature lets you just swipe your hand over the screen to lock
Available in satin nickel—with polished brass and oil rubbed bronze available for pre-order
Installing Nest Hello Doorbell Camera
Nest Hello Doorbell Camera requires a wired doorbell and chime. It must have 16V AC to 24V AC power and a 10VA transformer. That means if you have a wireless doorbell, you won’t be able to install Nest Hello. If you visit the Nest website, or you already have the Nest App, you can do a little quiz to check your compatibility.
I had to upgrade my doorbell to a wired system so it was compatible. The doorbell kit only cost $20, so it’s worth a look into if you’re interested in Nest Hello.
The installation process requires you to remove your existing doorbell button and attach the Nest Hello Doorbell camera. Everything you need, including a drill bit, is included in the Nest Hello box. Once you’ve removed and installed the doorbell itself, you’ll move inside and attach the Nest Hello hardware to your transformer. You can see how we did it in my Nest Hello video, but if you are struggling, you can call Geek Squad (as they do Nest Hello installations).
We didn’t struggle with this install. I was actually kind of shocked it was so easy. I was definitely expecting to have some sort of issue, but if we had a question, the Nest App walked us right through each and every step. Everything is clearly laid out in photos, and it took about 20 minutes till we were up and running.
One thing to note that I really loved: there are two base plates for the doorbell. One plate is flat, and the other is angled. If you need a better view of your door area, you can use the angled plate and aim the camera toward another area.
Using Nest Hello Doorbell Camera
It wouldn’t be a Nest product if there weren’t options to spare on this doorbell camera, and although I’m a bit of a home security camera snob, the Nest Hello impressed me from the moment I began viewing a live stream. It’s hard not to love a camera when the picture is so crisp, the field of view is so wide, and the sound is so clear.
Answer the door from wherever you are
Nest Hello is designed to alert you to any sound or motion at your door. If someone presses the doorbell, you’ll receive a notification. You can view a live stream or only open the app when someone rings your doorbell.
The load time between when you tap to answer your doorbell and when the view pops up on your screen is really quick. I only experienced delays if I was somewhere I didn’t get great carrier service, and it streamed really well via LTE.
When you answer the door, you can interact with whomever is there. I found that I couldn’t quite hear the pre-recorded responses on my phone when I was answering the doorbell, but the person on the other side is able to hear them very clearly. You can choose a pre-recorded response or just talk to whoever is there, and the two-way talk feature is really clear. The only issue was when we were both talking at once. That caused some delay and a slight pause in the playback.
Sound and motion alerts work really well with the Nest Hello, and even if someone doesn’t ring your doorbell, you’ll still receive those alerts. The field of view is quite wide, so even my chickens would trigger a motion alert. Having that field of view makes Nest Hello extremely useful as a security camera too.
There’s also very clear night vision on this camera. It automatically adjusts itself depending on your light, and it maintains that clarity as the sun is going down or in pitch black. I also noticed that, unlike other security cameras I have, Nest Hello is not affected by external light sources. You don’t see the glare of a bulb from my overhead light.
Looking at your video clips
When you install Nest Hello in your home, you will receive a free trial of Nest Aware. That’s the Nest cloud service that stores your video clips. If you choose not to sign up for Nest Aware, you’ll be able to view your camera live and answer the doorbell, but you won’t be able to store your clips unless you download them as they are happening.
Nest Aware will continuously record whatever is going on near your front door. That’s 24/7 recording, so you really can’t miss anything if it’s within range of your doorbell. When you scroll through your saved clips, you’ll see a minute by minute account. It’s pretty incredible. A few of my animals escaped from the field, and it recorded them prancing past the front door and down the driveway out onto the street. Without that footage, I would have had no idea.
Nest Aware also lets you tap into Nest Familiar Faces. This facial recognition technology will detect your family’s faces when they come to the door and send you an alert saying: “Shelly is at the door.” If it’s a stranger, it will tell you that someone unknown is there. It can even tell the difference between sounds and non-human noises and movements. That means fewer false alerts to your phone.
Nest just came out with new Nest Aware plans, and I think the cost is more than fair. It’s USD $50 per year for 5 days of video storage, $100 per year for 10 days of storage, and 30 days of storage for $300. I know some cameras don’t have paid storage plans, but given the tech you can access and the security of the doorbell, I had no problem signing up.
Google Assistant Integration with Nest Hello
Google Assistant integration is one of the coolest new features of Nest Hello, so it’s worth a mention. You can pair your Nest Hello Doorbell Camera with your Google Home or Google Home Mini. When you do, your Google Assistant will announce that someone is at the door.
If you also have Chromecast on your TV, you can ask Google Home to cast the video from your doorbell to your TV. I really tried to set that up, but my Google Assistant wouldn’t recognize my LG smart TV. I’ll keep trying, but in the meantime it’s nice to have the assistant let me know when the doorbell is ringing.
Nest Hello is even better when you pair it with the Nest x Yale Door Lock. Here’s how I installed ours.
Installing the Nest x Yale Door Lock
It’s hard to believe that such a simple install process can result in such a difference in my home security. You’ll see exactly how we installed the Nest x Yale Door Lock on our door in my video, and the entire process took less than 10 minutes.
I already had a Yale lock on my door, and I love it. My Yale lock was a bit larger than the Nest x Yale Door Lock, so I actually ended up painting my door after I installed it. I didn’t intentionally choose Nest blue, but that’s what I ended up with, and it looks great.
The Nest x Yale Door Lock comes with a front plate and a back plate. You’ll need to attach the front plate to the back plate via several screws, then connect the power adapter to the back plate. It takes 4 AA batteries to work.
Once your door lock is connected, you’ll be walked through the setup process. The door lock will ask you to plug in Nest Connect, a small range extender that comes bundled with Nest x Yale Door Lock. This connector allows the door lock to connect to your Wi-Fi, and part of the setup process is adding this as a device in the Nest App.
Once your door lock has walked you through the setup process and you’ve added Nest Connect to your Nest App, you’ll be prompted to find and install the door lock in the app. That took a minute or two, and then we were up and running.
Using the Nest x Yale Door Lock
Honestly, there isn’t a door lock out there that’s easier to install and use than the Nest x Yale door lock. Once you’ve installed it, you can set different passcodes for different people within the app, and you can schedule their use too.
You can set the times and days of the week to give people access, so if you only want your delivery person to be able to use their code between the hours of 9 and 10am on Monday, you can set that. Other than that narrow window, the code won’t work. You can also set it to privacy mode both on the back of the lock or in the app. Privacy means no one can open it when it’s in that mode.
Remotely lock your door or use the touchscreen
You can remotely open the door or lock it wherever you are. If you want to use a passcode when you get home, just use the touchscreen. It has a single touch locking mechanism, so it will lock if you just hold your hand over the keypad.
You’ll also receive a history and open/close door alerts if you set that up within the app. By far my favourite feature is auto-door lock. I have it set to lock my door within 5 minutes of us opening it, and that’s such a bonus for peace of mind. I don’t ever have to worry that someone is knocking and I didn’t lock the door, or that I forgot to lock it before I went to bed. It’s default setting is locked, and if I forget I can always open the app and look.
Secure and tamper-proof Wi-Fi door lock
I know—it’s ironic that the devices we use to keep our homes safe and secure can also cause worry about security. With the Nest x Yale Door Lock, you won’t have that concern. It sends you alerts if someone is trying to tamper with it or if the batteries are low.
Overall thoughts on the Nest Hello Doorbell Camera and Nest x Yale Door Lock
If you’re in the market for a doorbell camera or a Wi-Fi door lock, I fully recommend the Nest Hello and Nest x Yale Door Lock. I don’t see a single downside to either of these devices. The video quality is top notch and lag-free, the facial recognition technology makes the camera that much better, and the audio is crystal clear.
I was already a fan of the Yale door lock, but I’m so very impressed by what Nest added to this already great device. It’s just so easy to keep my door secure now, and the added bonus is I always know who is opening the door. Put these two smart home devices together, and you have a strong security system for your door.
It’s true what my friends said about how it’s a bit scary opening a door these days, and I’m just so happy I have these Nest devices on my door to ease that anxiety. You can find your own Nest Hello and Nest x Yale Door Lock on Best Buy right now.