Nest Cam evaluation: An excellent safety cam, indoors or out

With this fully new and battery-powered iteration of the Nest Cam, Google’s sensible house division continues to lift the bar on the subject of safety cameras, setting a regular for usability (particularly throughout setup) that almost all different system producers can solely dream of.

From a {hardware} perspective, the Nest Cam is a radical refresh of the previous teardrop-shaped Nest Cam Indoor, designed with a troublesome, plastic, cup-shaped housing that adheres magnetically to its surface-mountable base (it seems similar to the now-discontinued Nest Cam IQ). It’s moderately climate resistant, carrying an IP54 score (which means its enclosure will hold out sufficient mud to forestall failure and that it’s shielded from water sprayed from a stress washer at an affordable distance), so it may be used indoors or outdoor. (You’ll be able to learn all about IP codes at this hyperlink.)

This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s protection of the perfect house safety cameras, the place you’ll discover critiques of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to contemplate when looking for such a product.
nest cam battery outdoor Google Nest

The 2021 model of the Nest Cam carries an IP score of 54, which means its enclosure will hold out sufficient mud to forestall failure and that it’s shielded from water sprayed from a stress washer at an affordable distance.

The brand new Nest Cam can run on battery energy, and Google says it ought to ship between 1.5 and 7 months of run time earlier than it must be recharged, relying on utilization. Alternatively, it may be used with its proprietary magnetic AC charging cable hooked up 24/7.

Do not miss our our equally in-depth Nest Doorbell evaluation.

Every little thing in regards to the {hardware} feels designed to make issues simple for the house owner. The magnetic mounting system makes placement, aiming, and removing a breeze, and the magnetic charging cable is equally simple to make use of. The cable (which, at a mere 3.3 toes in size, is far too brief) does come on the expense of compatibility after all; with a USB connection it will be simpler and cheaper to run a protracted, generic cable to the system as a substitute of getting to resort to an extension wire or shopping for an extended proprietary one ($35 to $40 from Google).

nest cam app 2 Christopher Null / IDG

The brand new Nest Cam’s wide-angle lens offers a sweeping view of your environment.

One downside with the magnetic mounting system is that it received’t work for tabletop/bookshelf installations; it actually should be mounted to a wall or ceiling to be correctly aimed. A $30 stand-and-charger accent is offered for many who desire a much less everlasting mounting resolution—once more bumping up the whole value.

A wizard system within the Google House app steps you thru software program setup with wonderful ease, which primarily revolves round scanning a QR code that covers the lens whereas it’s within the field, adopted by answering a couple of questions to attach the digicam to your Wi-Fi (with help for each 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks) and configuring some fundamental choices to get recording going. I spent just a few minutes on this a part of the method and by no means encountered any stutters or hiccups of quite a lot of seconds whereas ready for a feed.

Video high quality, at 1080p decision, is on par with many competing safety cameras, and the 130-degree area of view offers a properly extensive view of your environment. Two-way audio can be included. On the entire, I discovered the image to be lots clear, at the least throughout the day. The digicam’s night time imaginative and prescient (infrared/black and white solely) isn’t the perfect; the specs declare 20 toes of visibility, however I used to be unable to realize that in my testing.

Out of the field, the Nest Cam provides stay viewing and three hours of event-based/motion-sensed video historical past (all saved on the cloud, although the system has one hour of on-device storage in case your community dies). This may be upgraded to 60 days of occasion historical past with a Nest Conscious subscription ($6/month or $60/12 months), or enhanced additional by upgrading to Nest Conscious Plus ($12/month or $120/12 months). That choice provides 10 days of 24/7 video recording. Buying a Nest Conscious Plus subscription is the one strategy to allow 24/7 recording, and the digicam should be related to an AC energy supply for that characteristic to function.

nest cam app night vision Christopher Null / IDG

The brand new Nest Cam’s night time imaginative and prescient is strictly black-and-white, and we didn’t expertise the vary Google guarantees for it.

Viewing clips is finished in one in all two methods. The Historical past tab provides you a perpetual timeline into the previous (so long as your subscription permits, anyway), highlighting moments the place occasions are recorded. It’s a handy strategy to scroll via historical past, however it isn’t the quickest, as invariably you might be confronted with hours and hours of time the place nothing is recorded, and there’s no strategy to scroll via this useless house shortly.

Distinction this with Ring’s timeline, which dynamically compresses when nothing’s occurring, although Ring doesn’t present any cloud storage and not using a subscription.

The better strategy to get to your Nest Cam clips is thru the “Full historical past” perform, which offers an animated GIF thumbnail of every recording and tags it with the time it was made and the kind of occasion.

These occasions are categorized through Nest’s on-device machine studying system as both individual, car, animal, or unfamiliar face. (Face detection is offered solely with one of many subscription plans.) Whereas this characteristic is designed to enhance over time, as a result of inherent nature of machine studying, in my few days of testing, nearly each occasion was captured as “individual,” even the sightings of my cat. A piece in progress, maybe.

The Nest Cam has a premium (however not egregious) worth, and its subscription charges and accent prices are on the excessive aspect. Thankfully, its seamless setup and operation plus its in depth characteristic set make it largely definitely worth the cash, and most customers may have no regrets in the event that they go for the system.

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