Nest Protect: Price, specs and features compared

With commercial-grade hardware and the smarts to monitor its own health, Nest Protect is a smoke alarm unlike any you've seen before.

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What is Nest Protect?

Nest Protect is a Wi-Fi-enabled smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Available in both battery- and AC-powered models, Nest Protect differentiates itself from typical smoke detectors with a variety of smart-home capabilities.

The simplest of these is remote monitoring via the Nest phone app, which allows you to check the status of your house while you're out and about. Even better, if Nest Protect detects an increase in smoke or CO levels, it'll alert you immediately through your phone, giving you a chance to respond to the situation before it's too late.

What features does Nest Protect have?

To justify its premium price, Nest Protect comes with a range of features you won't see in your typical smoke detector. Prime among these is a commercial-grade photoelectric sensor, the first of its kind to make it into a home smoke detector.

This sensor, called a Split-Spectrum sensor, is capable of identifying smoke quicker and more accurately than regular smoke alarms. It can also tell the difference between smoke and steam, which is handy if you're a fan of hot showers.

Another useful feature is Nest Protect's warning system, which alerts you when the device first detects smoke in the vicinity. Instead of blasting out a shrill alarm, it plays a recorded human voice designed to make you sit up and take notice without sending you deaf in the process. This lets you deal with minor issues like burnt toast without waking up the entire neighbourhood.

While we all know we're supposed to test our smoke alarms regularly, very few of us actually get around to it. Nest Protect solves this problem by testing itself. When it detects that nobody is home, it will sound its alarm and use its built-in microphone to ensure everything is working correctly.

Nest Protect also features a multicoloured light ring to provide a visual indicator of its status. When you go to bed, it'll glow green to reassure you that its battery and sensors are all functioning correctly. If you get up during the night and walk past your Nest Protect, it'll glow white to help light your way.

In the event of smoke, a yellow light will pulse in conjunction with a verbal warning. If worst comes to worst, a red light will indicate that smoke or carbon monoxide has reached dangerous levels and Nest Protect will alert you to where the emergency has been detected.

Finally, one feature that cooks are sure to like is the ability to silence Nest Protect from the app on your phone. This is far, far easier than having to pry apart a regular smoke detector to figure out how to shut it up.

What other devices does Nest Protect work with?

Nest Protect is compatible with a wide variety of other smart home devices, both those made by Nest and ones from other manufacturers. For example, Nest Protect will communicate with a Nest Thermostat to shut off heaters and furnaces in the event of a fire, as well as trigger an alarm if it detects motion when your house is set to Auto-Away mode.

Other smart devices Nest Protect works with include Rachio water sprinklers, Rheem water heaters and Scout security systems. It will also be controllable through central hubs like the Google Home speaker.

Is Nest Protect available in Australia?

As of July 2017, Nest has launched Nest Protect here in Australia in partnership with iSelect. Consequently, Nest Protect is currently only available through iSelect's Life Admin Store.

How much does Nest Protect cost?

Nest Protect is available for $189 in either a hard-wired or a battery-pack version. For homes requiring more than just one smoke alarm, a twin pack will cost $353.

Nest Protect specs

134mm x 134mm x 38.5mm
Split-Spectrum sensor
Electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor
Heat sensor
Humidity sensor
Occupancy sensor
Ambient light sensor
Omni-directional microphone
802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4GHz
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
2 Watt speaker

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