The Nest Cam IQ Review: Should You Buy It?

Nest has been busy at work adding products under its belt. One of the product lines the company added to its impressive Nest Learning Thermostats is a range of security cameras, including the Nest Cam IQ cameras.

There are two Nest Cam IQ models: Outdoor and Indoor.

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor was designed by Nest to be the first line of defense you have against possible break-ins. You install the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor to monitor the outside of your home and it will stand watch for any suspicious movements.

When somebody is moving around your yard, for example, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera will alert you about it on your smartphone and even send you a snapshot of the person. In the past, having this kind of system can keep you safe, but it can also become a nuisance what with all the false alerts. But Nest has built-in smarts that allows the camera to detect a person moving within 50 feet. With the Person Alerts feature, you only cut down on the number of alerts you get.

What’s more, if you subscribe to Nest Aware, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor will also be able to detect a familiar face.

Another thing that you would love about the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is the fact that it offers you clear and sharp images. You have a 4k camera sensor with HDR capabilities. The imaging software is also top-notch, helping you get 1080 pixel high-definition images and videos that allow you to see every detail.

Other camera-related features you would like about Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Additionally, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor’s camera has the following features:

  • Close-up tracking view. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera can detect when a person comes into view and then zooms in on the action, even following the person as it moves across your property. This means that not only will the camera know when it is seeing a person, it will also let you see the person’s place up close and then train its sight on them so they never go out of view. All that without you doing anything.
  • 12 x digital zoom. You can zoom into any of your feeds. This is because the camera uses a 4k sensor, allowing you to get the best resolutions. With Nest IQ, you do not have to worry about pixelated images when you zoom in because the camera enhances the zoomed-in image.
  • Daytime HDR. The Daytime HDR will tell your camera to process a number of 4K images to come up with a high-definition image that allows you to see details in an even clearer way.

More features for the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Aside from its features-filled camera, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor also offers:

  • Strong Wi-Fi connectivity. The Nest Cam IQ uses a 2×2 MIMO chip that gives you more reliable and stronger Wi-Fi connections.
  • IP66 rating. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can withstand whatever the weather can throw at it. The camera is rated IP66, which means that dust cannot get into the camera and even powerful jets of water will not damage it.
  • Clear night vision. The camera uses high-power 850 nm infrared LEDs enabling it to see things at night.
  • Secure mount, flexible hinge. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a locked mount that hides the plug used to power it. That means that it will be difficult to tamper with this camera as you cannot just cut wires or unplug it to render it useless. The camera also rests on a flexible hinge, which allows it to pivot and rotate to just about anywhere.
  • Two-way audio. The IQ Outdoor has a built-in speaker and microphone that allow you to talk to whoever is outside your house. It also comes with noise cancellation and echo suppression technology to make sounds crisp and clear.

What’s in the box

  • Nest Cam IQ outdoor camera
  • Wall plate
  • Outdoor power cable
  • Indoor power adapter
  • Hex key
  • Screws
  • Cable clips
  • Wall anchors
  • Installation Guide

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

If you think that the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is a great camera to keep watch over the outdoor areas of your house, then you would definitely love the indoor version, too. Aptly and simply called the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, it has the same camera features as the outdoor version. The same HD camera, with two-way communication, night vision, and yes, even the same security protocols.

The indoor version, however, has more smarts. Nest has given the indoor version a six-core processor, making it one of the most powerful indoor security cameras when it comes to processing speed. Plus, it has Google Assistant built in, which allows it to help around the house. For instance, you can dictate things to your Nest Cam IQ Indoor, such as adding items to your shopping list or turning up the heat in your room.

What’s in the box?

  • Nest Cam IQ indoor camera
  • Power adapter
  • Power cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Side-by-side comparison

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor have the same cameras that give you photos with a resolution of eight megapixels, as well as 1080 pixels of full high-definition videos. Both cameras offer 12x digital zoom and close-up tracking view.

Moreover, both cameras have a status light and light ring, as well as the same hardware for two-way communication: a high-quality speaker and a three-microphone array.

Your feeds are securely transmitted through the 128-bit AES with TLS/SSL encryption used by both cameras. They also feature Bluetooth Low Energy and dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity.

But because they are meant to be used in different places, there are some very vital differences in their forms and shape factor. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is meant to be mounted outside, so it was made waterproof by Nest. It is also more compact than the Indoor version.

The Nest Indoor Camera, on the other hand, comes with its own stand, making it taller than the outdoor version. It is also not waterproof.

While both have night vision to help you see things in the dark, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor uses high-power 850 nm infrared LEDs while the Nest Cam IQ Indoor uses 940 nm infrared LEDs with IR cut filter.

To make it easier for you to compare these two cameras, here is a detailed comparison table detailing their features and specifications.

  Nest Cam IQ Outdoor  Nest Cam IQ Indoor 
Price  $349.00 (Check out the latest price here!) $299.00 (Check out the latest price here!)
Dimensions (inches, WxHxD)  3.7 x 3.7 x 5.0  2.9 x 4.4 x 2.9 
Weight (grams)  568  357 
Cable length (meters)  7.5  3 
Color  White  White 
Camera  Camera  Camera 
Sensor size  1/2.5-inch  1/2.5-inch 
Resolution  8-megapixel (4K)  8-megapixel (4K) 
Color sensor  Yes  Yes 
Digital zoom and enhance  12x  12x 
Close-up tracking view  Yes  Yes 
Video resolution  1920 x 1080  1920 x 1080 
Frames/sec  30  30 
Format  H.264  H.264 
HDR  Yes  Yes 
Field of view  130° diagonal  130° diagonal 
High-quality speaker  Yes  Yes 
3-microphone array  Yes  Yes 
Status light  Yes  Yes 
RGB light ring  Yes  Yes 
Night Vision  Yes, infrared 850 nm LEDs  Yes, infrared 940 nm LEDs with IR cut filter 
Operating temperature range (°C)  –40° to 45  –40° to 45 
Water resistance  IP66 rating (weatherproof)  Indoor only 
Requires an indoor power outlet  Yes  Yes 
Security  128-bit AES with TLS/SSL  128-bit AES with TLS/SSL 
Dual band Wi-Fi  Yes  Yes 
Bluetooth Low Energy  Yes  Yes 
Google Assistant built-in?  No  Yes 

What you would like about the Nest Cam IQ

The Nest Cam IQ is an upgrade over the original Nest Cam in that it gives you full high-definition videos and photos. You would love how easy it is to set up.

One Nest Cam IQ is enough to cover a wide area in front of it with a field of view of 130 degrees. And it offers everything that other top-of-the-line wireless security cameras are offering.

What makes the Nest Cam IQ stand out, however, is the close-up tracking view feature that takes away the need for you to constantly monitor your camera feeds. It follows any unwelcome person moving around your yard or inside your house, making sure that you get to see everything the intruder does. What’s more, you can see things up close with the 12x digital zoom and enhance.

Unlike other security cameras, the Nest Cam IQ does not bother you too much. It “gets to know” people around you. Once you set it up and it’s running, it will send you an alert each time its facial recognition detects a person. The alert will ask you if you know the person and the next time the camera “sees” that particular individual, it will no longer send you an alert. This means that as you continue to use your Nest Cam IQ, you will only be notified when it detects an unfamiliar face.

What you would not like about the Nest Cam IQ

It has been a long-time complaint of Nest users that the service does not offer more than three hours of free cloud storage. Every time the camera is tripped by movement or sound, it will record the clip and then sends it to the cloud so you could review it at a later time. If you want more than that, or if you want continuous recording, then you will need to subscribe to Nest Aware. The good news is that Nest is now offering a five-day Nest Aware subscription for $50 a year or $5 a month. This is a new plan that gives users a more attractive option than the previous 10-day plan ($100 a year) and 30-day plan ($300 a year). And oh, the facial recognition features are hinged on a Nest Aware subscription, so if you do not plan on spending at least $50 a year, look for another security camera.

Final say

The Nest Cam IQ is a very capable camera with impressive specifications, crisp and clear video and audio, high-definition images, and an awesome facial recognition technology all rolled into one package. If you do not mind the high subscription costs of Nest Aware, you should be very happy with the Nest Cam IQ.