December 1, 2022

Wired vs. battery-powered Nest Doorbell: Which Google device to choose?

Google recently announced its slate of new and updated devices, with a second-generation wired video doorbell leader among them. Looking just as stylish as 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.

The first-gen wired model will now theoretically be phased out as the Nest Doorbell battery rolls in, but for now all three devices are available to buy.

Here, we’ll break down what each has to offer and who they might be suitable for. Read on to see the details, or head over to our guide to the best video doorbells for more. If you’re using a battery-powered device, we’ve also ranked the best wireless doorbells for your home.

Nest Doorbell Wired mounted on a teal door with a man pushing the button

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell wired vs battery: design and colors

As we said in our Nest Video Doorbell Wireless review, the design and visual style of the new Google Doorbell made it one of the best looking smart home devices we’ve come across. The second generation corded version continues this commitment to aesthetics and is available in the same four variants – Ash (grey), Ivy (green), Linen (beige) and Snow (white).

This is a fantastic upgrade over the Nest Hello, which was only available in black.

The wired version is slightly chunkier than its wireless counterpart, though, measuring 5.15 inches tall compared to the Nest Doorbell Wireless’ 6.29 inches. It’s also wider, at 1.6 inches compared to 0.94 inches, but shallower with a depth of 1.1 inches compared to 1.81 inches. These slight changes are virtually invisible to the naked eye unless you have the two models lined up next to each other.

For context, the first-gen Nest Wired measured 4.6 inches high, 1.7 inches wide, and 1 inch deep.

Winner: it is a link between the Nest Doorbell Wireless and the Nest Doorbell Wired (Gen 2).

Caroline Prece

Caroline is the Smart Home eCommerce Editor at Liveetc, spending his days testing and reviewing the best tech for the home. She’s enthusiastic about anything that can make life a little easier and more transparent, and her decade of experience in tech journalism means she can tell the difference between an overrated gimmick and something truly useful. Video doorbells are high on this latest list.

Wired vs. battery-powered Nest Doorbell: video quality

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

Likewise, the Nest Hello has a 160-degree field of view, allowing you to see more of your porch. The second-gen model and the wireless version both sport 145 degrees, which is lower but will still give you a good overview of what’s going on.

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

Wired Nest Doorbell

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell Wired or battery: storage and history

If you’re using your smart doorbell as a security device, you’ll need a service that stores video history to return to later. Most of the time this can be hidden behind a subscription paywall, and it’s becoming less and 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 gives you 30 days of video history, smart alerts (e.g. familiar faces), and the ability to call emergency services when you’re away from home.

The next plan 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 check-in isn’t available with the Nest Doorbell Wireless, even if it’s wired.

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

Nest Hello video doorbell

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Doorbell wired or battery: price

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

As explained earlier in this article, some features of the original Nest Hello are not present in other Google doorbells. That said, it’s significantly more expensive and will set you back around twice what you’d spend on one of the next-gen models. If crisp 2K resolution and a slightly wider field of view aren’t on your priority list, it might not be worth it.

The Nest Hello also has an older design that isn’t as sleek as newer versions, which adds to their appeal.

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

Nest Doorbell wired or battery

(Image credit: Google)

Wired or battery-powered Nest Doorbell: which one to choose?

Which Google Nest doorbell you choose will depend on your preference, but there are some key factors that should help you decide.

Whether 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. He was only disappointed that the entire device had to be removed to charge and a subscription was needed for video history.

Whether you want the best features that Nest has to offer, then the Nest Hello still has the edge over the second-gen model. Still, $180 is a hefty premium for just a few perks. Be aware, however, that the old model may soon be discontinued by Google.

Whether you want a more cost effective solution, already have doorbell wiring and don’t hesitate to install your new doorbell, we recommend you choose the Nest Doorbell Wired. It will save you a lot of money up front, looks much sleeker, and has the convenience of never needing to be recharged.

Overall winner: the new kid on the block – the Nest Doorbell Wired – is our big winner so far, but only by a hair.