I was always very interested in the original Nest Protect. I always loved the idea, but didn't feel the cost was justified given the negative reviews and early issues. Although they have been able to gradually improve the Nest Protect through software updates, I figured if I was patient enough, I could wait until they released a whole new hardware refresh. I'm glad I waited!
Compared to the Nest Protect 1st gen, this one has an improved smoke chamber (fewer false alarms), smaller physical footprint, App Silence feature (silence alarm through app via Bluetooth), and other hardware improvements that extend the stated lifespan to ten years (up from seven)! All very good improvements.
But does it work? Well, my house hasn't done the ultimate test of becoming engulfed in flames yet, but I did do some basic false alarm testing. Steam from a nearby bathroom, and light smoke from a candle, both failed to trip the alarm. So it seems their claims of fewer false alarms are true thus far.
Getting this set up was very easy. You can really tell they put a lot of work into the presentation and setup. The box is easy to open, and very welcoming with its simplistic and well-designed instructions. Everything in the manual is accompanied by very good pictures to help you along the way.
Basically, the steps are:
1) Download app (Android and iOS compatible) and create a free account
2) Open Nest Protect box and remove hardware
3) With app ready to pair device, pull plastic tab from Nest Protect unit to power it on
4) Unit goes through some brief testing where you will be left with absolutely no doubt the alarm works (LOUD!)
5) Unit will pair with your phone so you can enter in wifi network info, after which it will connect to wifi
6) Remove old smoke detector and mounting plate
7) Disconnect old smoke detector wires and reconnect new wires included with Nest Protect
8) Screw in Newst Protect mounting plate and snap in other end of new wires to unit
9) Twist in unit to new mounting plate
10) Finish with another test and make final configuration changes via app. Done!
This was the first time I had ever replaced a smoke detector, and I found it very easy.
The app is very well-designed and works well on both my phone and tablet. It also integrates with a ton of other home automation gadgets, which is really cool (Nest Thermostat obviously, Philips Hue bulbs, Skydrop sprinkler controller, and many others). Here's some of the things you can do from the app:
- Change mode between Home and Away (not really relevant to CO detector, but good for other devices)
- Iniitiate Nest Protect sound test, checkup
- Silence alarm
- Change Protect location (family room, bedroom, etc, for accurate communication)
- Adjust Nest Sense:
- - Toggle Pathlight to light your way when you are under Protect at night
- - Nightly Promise (Unit self-tests and gives green "OK" light each night)
- - Steam Check (reduce false alarms on steam, good for units near bathrooms)
- - Heads Up (less loud & annoying pre-alarm warning when rising CO levels detected)
- Adjust unit LED brightness (low, medium, high)
- Change language (English, English (UK), Spanish, French, French (CA), Netherlands)
- View unit status (model, serial, software version, battery status, replace date, last update time, wifi MAC/IP addresses)
- Add/remove devices to your account
- What To Do (advice on preparing for CO/fire alerts)
- Device History (logs on alarms and updates)
So overall, the Nest Protect is an expertly-designed device and I love it so far. It has everything I could expect from a smoke/CO detector. Although it would be awesome if it could double as a wireless access point or security camera! I will definitely update this as I get more time with my Nest Protect 2nd gen units, especially if I get false positives, or actual positives. But so far I am loving my Nest Protect.