Nest Cam may be a leader in home security cameras, but that doesn't mean they're resting on their success. In September, the company launched a slew of new products including a home security system called Nest Secure, a smart doorbell called Nest Hello, and an outdoor version of Nest Cam IQ.
If you've already read our hands-on review of Nest Cam IQ, find a comfy place to sit down because this review isn't going to be much different. In fact, there are just two differences between Nest Cam IQ indoor and outdoor. First is the fact that outdoor is IP66 rated and can be used outside. The second difference is that the installation process is more complicated with IQ Outdoor. Other than that, these two cameras are twins.
Installing Nest Cam IQ and Video Quality
As installation might be a deal killer for some, that’s where we’re going to start. Nest sells two outdoor cameras including the Nest Cam Outdoor and, of course, the IQ. One of the major selling features for Nest Cam Outdoor is an easy installation. The camera is weatherproof and so is its power cord making the camera plug and play. By contrast, Nest Cam IQ's cord is not weatherproof and requires drilling.
Nest Cam IQ ships with a tamperproof mount. The mount offers a couple of benefits over the original Nest Cam. First of all, it helps protect the camera from theft. Second, drilling into your walls not only protects the cameras from thieves but from nature. Where Nest Cam Outdoor is limited to working in temperatures ranging from –4° to 104°F, Nest Cam IQ can work in temperatures ranging from –40° to 113°F (–40° to 45°C). And of course, IQ is rated IP66 where Nest Cam outdoor is rated IP65 rating.
The disadvantage to the mount is that IQ's wires are designed to thread through the mount's opening. This means that you must either route the power cord through an existing opening in your home's exterior or you'll need to drill through your exterior wall to place the 25-foot cable. Of course, if you plan to install your IQ in a waterproof area, like on a porch, you can probably get away with plugging it into an outlet directly, though this is my opinion and not an official Nest recommendation. That said, you might not want to play Russian Roulette with a camera that's going to set you back $350.
So what do you get for $350? There are some distinct advantages to buying Nest Cam IQ over the $200 Nest Cam Outdoor. First of all, resolution. Nest Cam IQ ships with a 1/2.5-inch, 8-megapixel (4K) color sensor. Now that doesn't mean the camera streams in 4K. In fact, it streams using the same 1080p resolution as Outdoor. The 4K image sensor kicks in when using IQ's unique Supersight feature.
Where Outdoor offers facial detection, IQ offers facial recognition, if you're willing to pay for a Nest Aware subscription. If IQ sees a person, regardless of whether or not it recognizes that person, it will track the individual's face using a 12X digital zoom. Typically, the more you zoom, the more detail you lose, but IQ uses its 4K image sensor to help maintain image quality even when it's closely tracking a face.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor also offers night vision using two powerful 980nm IR LEDs and provides a 130° field of view. It also offers High Dynamic Range (HDR) which allows for better visibility in high and low light situations. All-in-all, IQ provides a beautiful FHD picture and clear night vision, but the result isn't that much better than the original Nest Cam Outdoor.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor Security Features
Besides a 4K image sensor, Supersight, and facial recognition, there are other features that set IQ apart from Outdoor. The primary feature is a beefed up speaker. IQ includes an array of microphones with echo cancellation and noise suppression. The result is a sound that is seven times more powerful than that of Nest Cam. In testing, we found this to be true. The two-way audio sound was crisp and clear.
Second, IQ offers person alerts for free. Even without a Nest Aware subscription, IQ can recognize the difference between something unimportant and an actual human being. You can even set the camera only to notify you if it sees a person, which will drastically cut down on false alarms. If you choose to add Nest Aware, person detection becomes facial recognition which adds familiar face alerts, something Outdoor can't do.
Adding Nest Aware
|Plan:||Free||10 Day||30 Day|
|Price per Month:||$0|| $10|| $30
|Amount of storage:||3 Hours of Snapshots||10 Days of Video||30 Days of Video|
|Cost For Additional Cameras:||$0||$5/month/camera||$15/month/camera|
|Zoom, Talk, and Listen||YES||YES||YES
|Activity Alerts to Smartphone||YES||YES||YES
|Plan:||Free||10 Day||30 Day|
|Advanced Motion Alerts including Person Detection:||Nest IQ Only||YES||YES
|Person Recognition||NO||Nest IQ Only||Nest IQ Only
|Access to Video History||NO||YES||YES
|Create and Share Video Clips:||NO||YES||YES
|Discounts for Paying Yearly:||NO||YES||YES
|Intelligent Sound Detection||NO||YES||YES
So you already know that Nest Aware adds facial recognition, but it also adds other features including motion zones and cloud storage. For free, Nest Cam IQ outdoor will store 3-hours of event snapshots. If you want access to full videos with a greater amount of storage, you'll need to pay. Nest has two plans including a 10-day plan for $10 per month and a 30-day plan for $30 per month.
In addition to the features already discussed, Nest Aware adds Intelligent Audio Detection. While IQ offers sound detection for free, Intelligent Audio Detection adds the ability to distinguish one sound from another. Nest Cam IQ can tell you if it hears your dog barking or if it hears people talking. In testing Nest Cam IQ indoor, we found the feature to be unreliable, but Nest has had some time to make improvements.
Finally, adding Nest Aware makes finding and sorting footage a simple process. You can use the app to quickly scroll through a day's worth of footage, and you can access a timeline feature via the web portal where you can see a color-coded view of events. The different colors on the timeline correspond to both people events and motion zone events. For example, you can create a purple zone for your driveway and an orange zone for the street. On the timeline, you will be able to see red circles for people alerts, purple circles for motion that occurred along your driveway, and orange circles marking any activity on your street.
Nest Cam IQ Works With Others
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Works with Nest, which means that the camera uses the same Nest App as Dropcam, Nest Cam, Nest Hello, Nest Secure, Nest Thermostat, and Nest Protect. It also works with select third-party party devices through the program. The number of compatible third-party devices is expanded via IFTTT.
Through IFTTT, you can connect IQ to hundreds of other devices and services including self-monitored security systems. For example, you can say, "If my iSmartAlarm detects motion, trigger an IQ recording," or, "If Nest Cam IQ detects motion, call my phone."
Finally, Nest Cam IQ works with Amazon Echo Show. Using your voice, you can ask Show to stream footage from your Nest Cam IQ. That said, while the indoor Nest Cam IQ includes a built-in Google Assistant, we do not think the same feature will be added to Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Price and Availability
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is shipping this month to all those who preordered the device. It is available for purchase for $349. If you want to save a few dollars, you can purchase a two pack for $598.
In summary, the major benefits of purchasing Nest Cam IQ Outdoor over the Nest Cam Outdoor include the addition of the 4K Image Sensor, Facial Recognition, Facial Tracking, and the improved IP rating. Wheather or not these features are worth an additional $150 is entirely up to you.