nest protect black
Review of: Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Reviewed by:
On 21st December 2013
Last modified:4th September 2015

We all have smoke detectors in our house (or should do), but I can guarantee that none look quite as good as this! It is Nest’s new product the Protect. You should all be aware that Nest was the company that bought you the incredible Nest Thermostat, which we hope to be reviewing soon. The company was founded by former Apple employees including the iPhone and iPod designer Tony Fadell. We have been lucky enough to get our hands on one of these units to bring you and in-depth review of the redesigned and modernized smoke detector.

First of all this isn’t just a smoke alarm it is also a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Carbon Monoxide is odourless, invisible and also deadly. This alarm with alert you to any high CO levels and tell you which room the danger is in so you can evacuate. The product comes in 2 different versions: Wired 230V and also a battery version (6 AA batteries). For the purpose of this review we have the Wired 230V edition. If you happen to have smoke detectors wired throughout your house already you can just simply replace them with your new Nest backplate and Protect unit. The back-up batteries will kick into action if your power happens to cut out at any time.

[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]What’s in the box?[/x_custom_headline]

  • Nest Protect unit (3 long-life back-up batteries included)
  • User Guide
  • Welcome Guide
  • 4 Screws
  • Backplate
  • Also comes with a 2-year limited hardware warranty (details included)

protect-wave-to-hushThe protect has 6 different sensors: photoelectric smoke, carbon monoxide, heat, 3 activity sensors, ambient light and humidity sensor. I think it would be an understatement to say that this little device is packed with features! No more will you have to stand under your current alarm frantically waving a towel to stop it going off! Now you simply wave. Yes that’s correct, you can silence a false alarm with a wave of your hand. Also before even setting off the alarm Nest Protect, it will give you a heads up telling you where and what the danger is.

If you’ve happened to purchase multiple Nest Protects then they will all work together. If the alarm happens to be triggered you’ll hear the alarm from Nest Protect nearest to you, even if the danger is in a completely different room. Of course this wouldn’t be a Nest product if it wasn’t connected to your home wireless network. It is extremely simple to connect to with a companion app to help you do the whole process. All you need is a free Nest account and you can start receiving notifications on your mobile device including low-battery alerts, Heads-up  and the most important emergency alarm notifications. If an emergency alarm happens to sound there is a ‘What To Do’ feature on the app which will remind you off the recommended actions and give you one-button access to an emergency phone number. Another great feature that I thought was excellent was Pathlight. I’m sure you’ve all left your room in the middle of the night and found yourself feeling the walls so you don’t trip over. With Pathlight, it will detect movement using the activity sensors and activate the LED ring. This will help to light your path and then automatically turn-off when you leave. A great little feature!

nest protect night time

[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]Key Features[/x_custom_headline]

  • High Quality smoke and CO alarm – A multi-criteria detector with heat, CO and smoke sensors that work together to detect danger.
  • Heads-up – If device sees smoke or CO level rising but not yet reached emergency levels, it will give you an early warning to avoid crying wolf.
  • Nest Wave – No need to wave towels or climb on chairs, Nest Protect lets you silence nuisance alarms with a wave of your hand
  • Mobile Notifications – Connect Nest Protect to your free Nest account and you can start receiving notifications + a whole load more options.
  • Nightly Promise – Sleep safe and sound. Before you doze off, Nest Protect shows you its sensors and batteries are working with a quick green glow after you have turned the lights off.
  • Pathlight – This device offers more than just smoke and CO warnings. It’s LED lights can be a night light in your home.
  • Vocal Alarms – According to a study by Victoria University, children can sleep through beeping smoke alarms. So in addition to alarm sounds, Nest Protect uses female voice alarms to help wake sleeping children.
  • Wireless Interconnect – If you have more than one Nest Protect, they connect so you’ll hear alarms from all the devices in your home, even if the danger is only in one.
  • Design – Nest Protect introduces a distinctive square shape with a white sunflower pattern. A black version is available exclusively from
  • Multiple Languages – Nest Protect offers voice alerts in both English and Spanish. Simply select your preferred language during set-up.
  • Better Together – For those of you that have both the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect, your free Nest account allows the devices to work together. If the Protect’s CO alarm goes off. the Nest Thermostat automatically turn off the gas furnace, a possible source of CO leaks. In addition, the Nest Protect activity sensors improve the Auto-Away feature of the Nest Thermostat.

The LED rings on the Protect glow different colours, which all mean separate things:
Blue – When you’re setting up or testing the Nest Protect.
Green – You’re safe and no danger detected.
White – Pathlight is lighting your way.
Yellow – This is a smoke or CO warning before an emergency or Nest Protect has a message for you.
 Red – This is a smoke or CO emergency.

[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]Mobile Application[/x_custom_headline]

A companion app is available free of charge for both Android and iOS mobiles and tables. To use some of the features you must have the app and your free account, these include: wireless connecting of devices, adding room names to Nest Protects, mobile notifications and software updates. It has a nice modern interface which is extremely easy to use and navigate, even for new/novice users.

[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”true”]Verdict[/x_custom_headline]

Overall this sleek and modern smoke/CO alarm is amazing. The build quality is outstanding from the unit itself to the free app and also the packaging. Although the retail price of $129 may put a few people off, after getting to test this I believe it is worth every penny, and I’m sure everybody else who owns one would too. If you would like to purchase one of these nifty little detectors or find out more information then head over to the Nest website to get yours.

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  • Completely packed with features
  • A modern redesign of the boring smoke alarm
  • Free Nest app and account
  • Wireless integration
  • Multiple product integration


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  • A little pricey


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