Remember the old days bickering back and forth between siblings? Fun right? In today’s piece, we will lay the land and provide a better understanding for you to decide which “sibling” you like more. The Nest Protect First Generation or The Second Generation. Let’s face it; we all have a favorite sibling.

Think of the Nest Protect as the iconic smoke and carbon monoxide detector. With Nest Learning Thermostat is now into its third iteration, and Nest re-branded as Google Nest. But what happened to Nest Protect?

Well, also now re-branded as Google Nest Protect, the classic detector is now into its second iteration.

What happened to the original, then?

Google Nest Protect First Generation

The first smoke and carbon monoxide detector sold in impressive numbers.

Available in black or white and with battery or AC power, you could monitor the status of Nest Protect according to the colored ring. Yellow indicated an early warning while displaying a red light at the same time as the alarm goes sounds.

Things went well for this model until it hit a roadblock in April 2014. Sales were down since Nest Protect featured a flaw making it possible to disable the alarm accidentally. Nest made a recall in May of 2014.

Nest then released a software update to eliminate the

By mid-2015, Nest rolled out the second generation, which is still now going strong as Google Nest Protect.

Now, what you’ve been waiting for is the second generation.

Google Nest Protect Second Generation

Although it’s almost five years old, Google Nest Protect is still highly relevant as we approach 2020.

The Nest Connect 2nd Generation now harnesses two wavelengths of smoke.  This ability to deal with both smoldering fires and those that take over more rapidly sets Protect apart from the opposition.

When the Nest Protect detects smoke or carbon monoxide in your home, it will trigger alerts to your smartphone.

And it’s that welcome presence of a CO2 sensor that lets you sleep soundly. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, just like Toby (office reference).


If you are disturbed by a warning, for the first time, you
can silence the alarm in-app.

To keep your home safe, the Nest Protect self-tests multiple
times per day, ensuring battle levels and other housekeeping items are in
synch. Self-testing being an essential feature, you can understand the Nest
Protect is better to have in your home, than not have it at all.

The Nest Nightly Promise

Think of it as reassurance from Google. If you see the soothing green glow, that’s the Google Nest Nightly Promise. A promise that all is running as it should do so you can sleep soundly.

Pathlight is a nice touch. Motion sensors detect movement at night, and the ring of light kicks in to light your way to the kitchen.

With the Safety Rewards partnership, if you have insurance
with Liberty Manual or American Family, you’ll qualify for a rebate on your

Set-up is now even more accessible than ever. You can expect to be up and running right out the box in minutes flat.

Build quality is quite impressive, and the carbon monoxide detector is suitable for a full decade of service.

We’ll glimpse at the main advantages of this retooled Google Nest Protect before we look at the differences between the generations…

Key Benefits

  • The split-spectrum sensor can sniff out both slow and fast-moving fires
  • Silence the alarm in-app on your phone if required
  • Robust carbon monoxide detector rated for 10 years of use

Google Nest Protect: Gen 1 vs Gen 2

So far, so good.

How can you tell these iterations of Google Nest Protect
apart, then?

First up, you’ve got some subtle differences in terms of

Design and Appearance

While they might look superficially similar, Google Nest
Protect second-generation differs in a few small ways on the design front.

  • Backplate: The completely square backplate present on the first-gen Nest Protect is now circular
  • Battery Door: The second-gen Google Nest Protect comes with the battery door missing in the original iteration
  • Edges: The straight edges of the first iteration are now rounded in Google Nest Protect gen 2
  • Serial Number: Serial numbers begin with the digits “05” for first-generation models but “06” for those from the rebooted generation

What else has changed aside from those minor, aesthetic differences, then?


Arguably the main upgrade with Google Nest Protect gen 2 is
the inclusion of a second sensor.

The second-generation model packs a split-spectrum sensor. What does this mean in plain English?

Well, you’ll benefit from a pair of sensors:

  • Ionization Sensor
  • Photoelectric Sensor

What this means is that Protect can detect both slow-burning
fires and those that take effect more rapidly.

It is marked as an upgrade on the first-gen that only features a single photoelectric sensor and more limited protection as a result.

Uprated Smoke Chamber

All smoke alarms have a chamber to prevent dirt and debris from getting inside and clogging up the works. While the original Nest Protect featured a smoke chamber, the design was weak, and it performed poorly.

However, the clog is overhauled on the rebooted model. The basis is so you should notice fewer false positives and an improved lifespan.

Enhanced Control In-App

Take control of your smoke detector in the new and improved app. Sync with Google Assistant or control from your smartphone.

Alarm Silence is a nice extra and you’ll also be able to run
a safety checkup from your phone.

The overall experience in-app is seamless, crucial for any
smart tech.

Self-Testing Feature

While there’s no substitute for manually checking your smoke alarm every few months, Google Nest Protect second-generation performs its checks to keep you safeguarded at all times.

During the testing process, Protect will emit a short beep
and then listen to itself to confirm the speaker and siren are both firing on
all cylinders. Set when you’d like this to happen so it kicks in when you’re at
work rather than sound asleep.

With the second-generation model, you can run this testing
in-app on your phone.

Improved Pathlight

If you get tired of stubbing your toe when you’re stumbling
around in the dark, that won’t happen with Google Nest Protect.

As soon as you approach the device at night, the ring of
light will illuminate, so you’ll be guided across the room.

Don’t see this as a small feature; see it as an extra layer of protection.

Safety Temperature Feature

If you use your smoke detector in combination with Nest Learning Thermostat, software updates mean the thermostat will now power down if it detects Nest Protect going off.

Equally, if your home gets too hot or too cold when you’re
out, you’ll get a notification of system override so you don’t need to concern
yourself with the nightmare of frozen pipes.


Where many revamped models involve little but a minor physical face-lift, we feel Google Nest Protect gen 2 has enough worthwhile tweaks for you to consider an upgrade.

If you don’t have a smoke and carbon monoxide detector at all, this model remains the most reliable option in a crowded sector.

Final Word

Well, whether you’ve still got that Nest original or you’re
now using a second-generation Google Nest Protect, you should be in no element
of doubt as to which model you have.

Think about your smart home for a second. So which generation do you prefer? Let us know on social media! Want even more content? Why not signup for our newsletter? You’ll get 20% off your first order here at Smarthome, so there’s no excuse to leave your home unprotected.

The post The Sibling Rivalry of Nest Protect: Gen 1 vs Gen 2 appeared first on Smarthome Blog.