Nest Outdoor

Nest Cam Outdoor

Hardware Criteria8.9
Software Criteria8.2
Video Storage8.8
IP Rating / Weatherproofing10
Hands-on Authority and User Reviews8.4
8.9
Reader Rating: (3 Rates)4.8

If I wanted to be efficient and save time, I'd simply copy our indoor Nest Cam review, paste it here, change a few words, and call it a day. What's the difference between the indoor and outdoor Nest Cam? Nest Cam is weatherproof and can work outside. Yes, that is the only difference.

GOOD

  • App Supports Indoor & Outdoor Cameras & Other Nest Products
  • Records in FHD
  • IP65 rating (weatherproof)

BAD

  • Premium Features Require a Subscription
  • Lacks Battery Backup
  • Requires Drilling

Outdoor Image & Video Quality

The Nest Cam Outdoor has one important feature that many outdoor cameras do not, WDR. WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) is vitally important in an outdoor camera. To quote a previous A Secure Cam article,

When lighting is very bright and very dark in the same frame, cameras without WDR can’t capture details in both areas...With WDR, you can make out the smallest details in the whole frame, bright and dark alike.

This feature is especially important if you plan to place the camera on a covered porch, where it is shaded but facing the sun.

Beyond WDR, the Outdoor camera also records in FHD at 30 frames per second and uses H.264 encoding. It uses 8 infrared LEDs (850nm) with an IR cut filter to provide night vision. This is somewhat lackluster when compared to Canary and Piper, which both offer 12 IR LEDs, but should be sufficient enough to see a distance of 20 feet at night. It's extra lackluster when you consider that Canary and Piper are both indoor cameras and an outdoor camera should have more power.

In regards to placement, it should be relatively simple to capture a good view. The camera has a 130° diagonal field of view, and it is set up to be wall-mounted. One downside is that installation does require drilling for most customers. However, if you have a magnetic surface available, you can skip the drill and use Nest's magnetic base. Another downside is that the camera does require a power source, so you will need to place it accordingly and you will also need to place it in an area where you have a Wi-Fi connection. One unique feature of Nest Cam Outdoor is that the power cord is weatherproof. While you may not want a cord hanging off of your house, it's possible and makes installation simpler.

  • 1080p
  • Night Vision
  • 3-megapixel sensor
  • 130° diagonal Field of View
  • IP65 rating (weatherproof)

Nest Cam Outdoor for Home Security

One of the biggest advantages of using the Nest Cam Outdoor for home security is that it uses the Nest app. This is the same app used by the Nest Cam Indoor, the Nest Thermostat, and the Nest Protect. From one interface, you can control multiple cameras and devices aimed at improving your home's security.

But what if you only want one camera? Will it still protect your home? Outdoor has several features that will enhance your home's security. Some of the features are free, some of them are not. First of all, the camera has two-way audio. Not a rare feature, but nice to have. Using two-way audio, you can hear what's going on outside and speak to whomever your camera has caught.

Second, the camera includes both a motion and sound detector, which will send an alert to your phone or to your email when activity is detected. You can use these two sensors in their most basic form for free, but advanced motion and sound detection will come at a cost. More on that later.

Third, you can live stream 24/7.

Though it has several great features, the camera does lack two features that would have improved its home security game even more: a siren and battery backup.

Nest Cam Outdoor Nest Aware and Video Storage

The best home security features are reserved for those willing to subscribe to Nest Aware. If you have a Nest Aware plan already, you can tack the Outdoor camera on to the plan for a discount. Otherwise, be prepared to pay at least $10 per month.

Plan:Free10 Day 30 Day
Price per Month:$0 $10

$30

Amount of storage:3 Hours of Snapshots10 Days of Video30 Days of Video
Cost For Additional Cameras:$0$5/month/camera$15/month/camera
Live StreamingYES
YES
YES
Zoom, Talk, and ListenYES
YES
YES
Activity Alerts to SmartphoneYES
YES
YES
Plan:Free10 Day 30 Day
Motion DetectionYES
YES
YES
Advanced Motion Alerts including Person Detection:Nest IQ Only
YES
YES
Person Recognition NO
Nest IQ Only
Nest IQ Only
Access to Video HistoryNO
YES
YES
Create and Share Video Clips:NO
YES
YES
Create Timelapses:NO
YES
YES
Activity Zones:NO
YES
YES
Discounts for Paying Yearly:NO
YES
YES
Home/Away AssistYES
YES
YES
Intelligent Sound DetectionNO
YES
YES

Nest Aware Features

With Nest Aware, you will gain access to several important features, including video storage, clip creation, person detection, and advanced motion and sound detection.

There are technically two Nest Aware packages. The only difference between the two is the amount of video storage you will receive. With the 10-day/$10 per month plan, you will be able to access 10-days of video history and 100+ GB of rolling cloud storage. With the 30-day/$30 per month plan, you will receive 30-days of video history and 300+ GB of rolling cloud storage.

In addition to storage, they both offer access to video history as well as activity zones. Activity zones allow you to set areas of interest, which is particularly important in an outdoor camera. Basically, within the camera's field of view, you will use the web portal to create different virtual zones. The zones tell the camera what to monitor and what to ignore. For example, you might want to monitor your driveway, and you might want to monitor and receive alerts for activity on your porch while ignoring everything that happens on the street.

Nest Aware will also add advanced algorithms to your motion sensor and the ability for the camera to decipher between human and non-human forms, both aimed at reducing false alarms. The service also adds the ability to create and share video clips. Finally, you will have access to a time-lapse feature that turns hours of video into minutes of video. In fact, you can even timelapse 30 days of footage.

Works with Nest and More

We've already touched on Nest Cam Outdoor's ability to work with other Nest devices, but it can also work with third-party devices through the Works with Nest program. It can work with LIFX, SkyBell, Philips Hue, August Home, MyQ, simplehuman, Scout, and more.

Nest Cam Outdoor also works with IFTTT. Through IFTTT, you will be able to connect the camera to even more products and services. Finally, it works with Amazon Echo Show. Echo Show can display your camera's feed on-demand.

Final Thoughts

As a Nest Cam indoor user, I am somewhat intrigued, somewhat not by the Outdoor version. I'm fed-up with paying monthly for service, I want a battery, I can't use a power drill to save my life, and I'm still skeptical about false alarms. On the other hand, I know that the features built-in to reduce false alarms aren't cheap, so I understand why a monthly fee is necessary. I also know that Nest creates a killer image and I like using the app and their smooth web portal.

If you want to purchase Nest Cam Outdoor, you will have to wait. Nest is currently pre-selling the camera for $199 and they promise to deliver in 12 weeks.