Nest Doorbell wired vs battery — what is the difference?

by Brett Decker

When Google Nest launched the Nest Hello Doorbell in 2018, it was one of the most advanced wired doorbells at the time.

With three hours of event video history, 2K video resolution, and two-way audio communication, this wired doorbell was the easy choice for smart home owners.

Three years later in 2021, Nest introduced a battery powered doorbell that offers more flexible mounting options and easier installation compared to the wired version.

Along with the launch of the new Nest Doorbell is the rebranding of the original Nest - it's now called Nest Doorbell Wired.

So how does Google Nest Doorbell Battery compare with the 2nd generation Nest Doorbell Wired?

Differences between Nest Doorbell wired vs battery

There aren't many differenced between the two Nest Doorbells, except for the way they utilize power.

The main advantage of the wired version over the battery powered Nest Doorbell is continuous power.

Nest Doorbell wired

Design and installation

Design-wise, both video doorbells are almost identical, with the battery version being slightly longer to accommodate the rechargeable battery pack.

They share the same flat matte design in four colorways. At the bottom is a big button with light around the edge, and at the top is a prominent lens.

This version connects to your existing doorbell wiring and requires a 16-to-24V AC transformer.

While you can install this wired smart doorbell on your own, you may want to call an electrician to do the job.

Main features and price

The original Nest Doorbell (wired) ran on the Nest App, while the 2nd Gen is now compatible with the Google Home App like Nest's battery-operated doorbell.

It has Wi-Fi connectivity, Talk and Listen, Quick Responses, HD video clips, HDR, Night Vision, Chime, Parcel, and Sound alerts.

And with a Nest Aware subscription, you can activate the Familiar Faces feature, so you can get alerts when a loved one is captured on camera.

It's currently priced at $179.99, similar to the battery version.

Video quality and performance

The device has 60 days of event history with a Nest Aware subscription. You can also customize activity zones and pair it with another Google device like your Nest Hub, so you're alerted every time someone is at your front door.

Its camera has a video resolution of 960 x 1280 pixels at 30 frames per second, with a 1.3-megapixel color sensor and HDR imaging. This ensures you have high-quality video recording even in low-light conditions.

And because it's wired to a power source, you don't have to worry about missing any event on your front porch.

Nest Doorbell battery

Design and installation

The Nest doorbell battery shares a similar design to the wired option.

It comes in a flat matte design with four colorways. At the bottom is a big button with light around the edge, and at the top is a prominent lens.

This version is powered by a rechargeable battery pack with the option to wire (requires 8-24VAC).

Since you won't need any wiring to install this, you can just screw the doorbell onto your wall, connect it to your home Wi-Fi, and you're good to go.

Main features and price

The Nest Doorbell Battery essentially has the same features as the wired version, with a few differences.

While the wired doorbell has 24/7 recording history available, the battery version will encounter downtime when it needs a recharge.

It has three free hours of event history like the wired doorbell, but not the 2-second preview and extended clips feature.

It's priced at $179.99 as of writing.

Video quality and performance

Nest Doorbell Battery has the same HD video quality as the Wired Doorbell. It has a 960 x 1280 resolution, with a 145-degree field of view.

Its 3:4 aspect ratio allows you to see visitors from head to toe, or any packages on your front porch.

Nest Doorbell wired vs battery: which is better?

Since both doorbells share almost identical specifications and features, it will all come down to preference.

If you want continuous surveillance and can't be bothered to recharge your device from time to time, go for Nest Doorbell Wired.

If you want convenience and flexible installation options, get the Nest Doorbell Battery.


How long does the battery last on Nest Doorbell?

The battery life will depend on how much activity is detected by your doorbell. The average with 13-16 recorded events per day should last about 2.5 months.

Does Nest Doorbell work if the power goes out?

Only the Nest Doorbell Battery can work when the power goes out. To ensure continuous power, you can connect it to a solar panel.

Do you need a subscription for the Nest Doorbell battery?

If you want additional features like Familiar Faces and Sound Detection, you will need a subscription. But even without Nest Aware, your Google Nest Doorbell Battery is already powerful as is.

Is it better to have a wired or wireless Doorbell?

It will depend on your preference. If you want continuous surveillance and don't want to take down and recharge your device from time to time, the Nest Doorbell Wired is your best option. If you want convenience and flexible installation options, get the Nest Doorbell Battery.

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