The Nest Cam and iON the Home are similar cameras that come from not so similar companies. Nest, the creator of Nest Cam, is focused on home automation with their products such as Nest Learning Thermostat and programs such as Nest Protect and Works With Nest. iON is focused on cameras - mainly action cameras and POV wearable cams.
Nest has just released their newest home security camera, the Nest Cam. It is a child of both Nest and DropCam, which Nest acquired last year. It is like its predecessor the Dropcam Pro but revamped with new features.
iON The Home is the first home surveillance camera for iON. Nest Cam and iON The Home share some similar features, but one is better than the other.
Nest Cam has one of the best video qualities of home security cameras we've reviewed. iON The Home’s 720p at 30fps is no match for Nest Cam’s 1080p at 30fps, but of course, there is more to video quality than just the resolution and frame rate.
Both Nest Cam and iON The Home offer a wide-angle field of view. Nest Cam offers a 130⁰ viewing angle while iON has 120⁰. When placed strategically, a viewing angle like that can cover a whole room.
Nest Cam has an 8x digital zoom which is useful for remote viewing. iON cannot zoom.
Winner: Nest Cam
iON The Home is good, but Nest Cam is better. Nest Cam has a higher resolution, wider viewing angle, and it has digital zoom.
Nest Cam and iON both offer night vision. There’s nothing special about iON’s night vision camera, it sees in the dark; that’s all. Nest Cam, on the brighter side, uses improved infrared LEDs for better night vision. It also uses algorithms that help discern natural light from artificial light, so it doesn’t get confused and change to day mode when artificial light is flashed in front of its camera.
Winner: Nest Cam
Again, iON isn’t bad but Nest Cam's improved night vision is superior.
Motion Sensor and Alerts
Motion sensors and alerts are keys to successful home monitoring. iON and Nest Cam both have motion sensors, but they behave differently when there’s motion. When motion is detected, iON immediately starts recording and the clips are saved to the cloud. The recorded clips can be reviewed using the iON app or through the browser. The downside, it doesn’t notify users through email, text or whatsoever, so users won’t know in real time that something is going on in their homes. iON lived up to its slogan “Keep an iON your home, baby, pets, and business”, but it didn’t say it has to be 24/7.
On the contrary, Nest Cam sends alerts when motion or sound is detected, and you can view your home live through the mobile app or the web app. It can send one alert every 30 minutes, which is okay but not great. Say, you accidentally triggered the alarm on your way out, and after 5 minutes someone breaks into your house, there’s no way for Nest Cam to send you another alarm. Just like iON, Nest Cam gives users the option to make it record automatically when alerts are triggered, but it isn’t free. More on that later.
Winner: Nest Cam
Nest Cam notifies users when motion is detected. Nest Cam is not as good as Piper and other security cameras but it is better than not getting notifications at all. iON promises to improve their app which may soon send notifications, but for now, we are left waiting.
There’s endless uses for two-way voice and both iON the Home and Nest Cam offer this feature. You can use it to listen to your home, or you can use it to talk to someone on the other end. Both Nest Cam and iON have a two-way voice feature controllable using the app, and both have push-to-talk to speak directly to the camera.
I’ve mentioned that both can record videos to the cloud, and cloud storage usually comes with a fee. How much? iON offers free cloud recording. That’s right, free. iON free cloud storage plan gives users 24 hours of cloud recording where motion clips or personal recordings are saved. In case 24 hours of video is not enough for you, iON also lets you expand to either 7 days or 30 days of video. The 7-day video plan costs $10 a month or $120 a year. The 30-day plan costs $30 a month or $120 a year also.
Nest Cam also offers a free subscription that entitles users access to snapshots from the past 3 hours using Sightline. Sightline is a smart feature that pulls out thumbnails of what Nest Cam thinks to be important (e.g. delivery man dropping by, your kids getting home, etc.) so you can go back and watch them when you have time.
If you want more, you need Nest Aware. With Nest Aware, users will get cloud storage with video history, alert summary, and an organized storage of clips. Added to those features are the ability to create activity zones and a timelapse video from the recorded videos. It also enables you to receive "person alerts". With it, notifications will be sent to you letting you know Nest detected a person or even if it "thinks" it detected a person. The full features of Sightline are available as well. In addition to seeing thumbnails, you will be able to click on them and watch event footage. Users have two options with Nest Aware, a 10-day plan or 30-day. The 10-day video subscription costs $10 a month for the first camera and an additional $5 a month for the other cameras. It can also be paid yearly, $100 for the first and $50 for additional cameras. The 30-day video subscription costs $30 for the first and $15 for the others (per month). If you pay yearly, it will be $300 for the first and $50 for the additional cameras.
Nest Cam offers more features with their paid plan, but iON offers a free cloud plan. The winner here depends on what's important to you.
Both cameras are self-installed. Just plug them in, download their respective apps, customize, and you're good to go.
iON the home can stand on the table or any flat surface or it can be mounted to the wall. The neck is adjustable up to 180⁰ for users to get the best view. Nest Cam can also be mounted on a wall using its brackets, stand on a flat surface, mount on a tripod, or it can stick to any metal surface using the built-in magnet.
Winner: Nest Cam
Users get more mounting options.
For users who want the best for their homes, Nest Cam is the one for you. It offers excellent video quality; it sends notifications when motion is detected, and Nest Aware is a great plan if you are willing to pay. Also, Nest Cam is from Nest and can connect to other Nest products as well as integrate into other smart home products like Samsung's SmartThings hub and IFTTT.
For users who want simplicity and free cloud storage, there are other options besides iON that offer better performance.