Google Nest Cams (indoor and outdoor) review: easy to install home security kit

Google recently updated its array of home cameras and I’ve been testing its Nest Cam (indoor, wired) and Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery). One of the reasons I like using the Nest cameras is the affordability of the Nest Aware subscription compared to some competitors. You can get 30 days of event video history for every camera in your house or business premises for just EUR5 per month. (You can also get up to 60 days event history and 10 days of 24/7 history for EUR10 per month with a Nest Aware Plus subscription.)

On these new models, Google also includes three hours of free event video history which may be enough for some users. But bear in mind that if something happens in the middle of the night, more than three hours before you wake up then you won’t have a clip of the incident.

Google’s waterproof outdoor Nest Cam

Both cameras include local storage so that if your electricity fails, video will still get captured and uploaded to the internet when a Wi-Fi connection is restored.

How they work

Nest Cam (indoor) uses a 2MP colour sensor that captures HDR video at up to full FD resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). The indoor camera has a 135-degree field of view while the outdoor camera has a 130-degree field of view.

Video footage from both units is of pleasing quality and the devices also have Night Vision and decent speakers, microphones and a two-way audio system with noise cancellation. Both use motion sensors that activate the camera capture once movement is detected. On the outdoor camera this works at up to 7.5 metres away within a 110-degree field of view.

The Nest Cam devices are all compatible with Google products such as this Nest hub display

The indoor/outdoor Nest Cam works with a battery which makes installation simple but obviously you will need to place it in a convenient location to take it down for recharging with the supplied charging cable.

I opted for wired use outdoors and for this you need weatherproof cables which are sold separately in 5 metre and 10 metre options. You can also use this camera indoors and will need a camera stand sold separately.

Features

One neat feature is the ability of both Nest Cams to recognise familiar faces and distinguish between people, animals and cars. This is done securely on-device and allows you to limit recordings and/or notifications only to the types of events you want to see.

Another plus is the flexibility of the motion zones you can create within the outdoor camera’s view. You can isolate the areas you want to get notifications for, so you are not alerted about every passer-by.

Google Nest Cams (indoor and outdoor) review: easy to install home security kitNest Cam (indoor, wired)

To set up alerts, you just enable push notifications and choose which events you want to be pinged about. Getting both Nest Cams up and running on your phone takes mere minutes.

The machines connect directly to your home Wi-Fi over the 2.4GHz frequency band. You need a Google account and the Google Home app which contains all of the options and settings for all of your installed Google Home compatible devices including the cameras. I liked using the original Nest app, but it is incompatible with the new range of devices.

The cameras integrate well with other Google products such as Nest Hub, but there is no support for either Alexa or Siri.

Google Nest Cams (indoor and outdoor) review: easy to install home security kitThe outdoor Nest Cam can be battery operated or hard wired with a waterproof extension cable sold separately

I found it daft that the QR setup code isn’t printed on the camera itself. Instead, it’s on a sticker in the box that Google tells you to attach to the rear page of the instruction manual. Try find that in 18 months.

I took a photo of it and tested whether that would work before saving it in a notes app.

These cameras are top quality home security cameras with superb audio and video quality, not to mention decent object and people detection and a relatively inexpensive cloud storage service.

I’ll review the Nest Doorbell and Nest Cam with floodlight separately in the coming weeks.

Pricing

Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired) costs EUR99 ad Nest Cam (Outdoor/Indoor, Battery) costs EUR199 from Google.

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