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. Though we've already gone hands-on with Nest Cam Indoor, we decided to also go hands-on with Nest Cam Outdoor to see if the same features that make Indoor a success, also work outdoors.
- App Supports Indoor & Outdoor Cameras & Other Nest Products
- Records in FHD
- IP65 Rating (weatherproof)
- Premium Features Require a Subscription
- Lacks Battery Backup
- Massive Power Cord
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 asecurecam.com 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.
However, in reality, we had issues with Nest Cam capturing images in situations where both dark and light were present, especially at night. Of course, we tested the camera outside, but we also tested it inside. During one test, we placed the camera near a dim lamp facing complete darkness. During this test, we couldn't see activity occurring within the dark area of the frame.
Beyond WDR, the Outdoor Nest Cam also records in FHD at 30 frames per second and uses H.264 encoding. The picture is every bit as clear as its indoor counterpart. Outdoor uses eight infrared LEDs (850nm) with an IR cut filter to provide night vision. This is somewhat lackluster when compared to Canary and Piper, both indoor cameras which offer 12 IR LEDs. Though an outdoor camera should be more powerful than an indoor camera, Outdoor's night vision still allowed us to see about 20 feet at night.
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 can be wall-mounted. That said, placement is a feature that sets Nest Cam Outdoor apart from other outdoor cameras. The camera ships with a giant 25-foot power cord. The cord itself is weatherproof so you can either plug it in and leave it for a more straightforward installation or you can drill to try to hide the wire. The camera itself has a magnetic surface which again lends itself to a drill-free installation. If you don't have a magnetic surface available for mounting, you will need to drill the camera mount in place.
- Night Vision
- 3-megapixel sensor
- 130° diagonal Field of View
- IP65 rating (weatherproof)
Nest Cam Outdoor for Home Security
One of the biggest advantages to 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, Nest Cam IQs, the Nest Thermostat, Nest Secure, Nest Hello, and 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 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 already have a Nest Aware subscription, you can tack the Outdoor camera onto the plan for a discount. Otherwise, be prepared to pay at least $10 per month.
|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
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 can connect the camera to even more products and services like Amazon Echo and Dot. While Nest Cam Outdoor can't work with Echo and Dot directly, it does integrate with Amazon Echo Show and Spot. Show and Spot are Echo devices with a screen. You can ask both devices to display your camera's feed on-demand.
As a Nest Cam indoor user, I was somewhat intrigued, somewhat not intrigued by the Outdoor version. I'm fed up with paying monthly for service. I want a battery. And I don't like the bulky power cord.
On the other hand, I know that including advanced features like motion zones and person detection require a cloud presence, and that isn't cheap, so I understand why a monthly fee is necessary. I enjoyed the camera's clear resolution, the app, its smooth web portal, and more of all I enjoyed person detection. As you can choose only to receive alerts when the camera sees a human, you can almost eliminate false alarms. Finally, Nest Cam Outdoor is one of the few outdoor cameras that offers the option to record continuous video.
You can purchase your own Nest Cam Outdoor for $199.