​Hive View v Nest Cam IQ indoor: Two top smart cameras face off

We help you choose between these two eyes in the sky

​Hive View vs Nest Cam IQ indoor
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Two giants of the smart home, Nest and Hive, made their names in the connected thermostat game – but the two are now leading the way in smart security cameras too.

The Nest Cam IQ indoor and Next Cam IQ outdoor represent the pinnacles for its camera line-up, while Hive has just upgraded its selection with the Hive View. But which is best for those looking for a smart camera to keep an eye on their home? We’ve spent time with both cameras.

Hive View vs Nest Cam IQ: Two top smart cameras face off
Hive View is extremely versatile

Nest Cam IQ indoor v Hive View: Design

When it comes to design, it’s hard to work past the Hive View. The company has hired tech designer Yves Behar’s magic crayons and he’s worked wonders. It’s one of the best looking smart home devices on the market, and looks right at home in our living room.

The square camera can detach from its magnetic curved bracket for an hour of totally wireless recording, and comes with screws and plugs to be mounted, plus it has a magnetic base. Thanks to the design that twists not only on the cradle, but 360 degrees on its base, it can pretty much be positioned anywhere.

The Nest Cam IQ indoor isn’t a bad looking camera – but doesn’t quite muster the same allure. It looks like one of Wall-E’s eyes has detached in a terrible accident, and the result is that in the home it commands attention. “We are watching you,” it seems to say. You also don’t get mounting options in the box, so you’ll need to find a shelf or flat surface for it to live on.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Hive View vs Nest Cam IQ: Two top smart cameras face off
Nest Cam IQ is one of the most feature-packed smart security cameras

Nest Cam IQ indoor v Hive View: Specs

However, while Hive View reigns in the looks department, in terms of specs it lags behind Nest. Hive View features 1080p, 30fps recording and monitoring over a 130-degree field of view, which is a tad narrower than most security cams.

Once set up, Hive View will alert you to motion and sound and automatically record a clip. You can also have the notification emailed to you. There’s person recognition, which means you can avoid having your dog trigger the motion unless you specifically want that, but there’s currently no facial recognition, which means you’ll get false positives of family members constantly walking past the camera. You can, however, set up a schedule, so the camera is off during the evening, and re-arms at bed time.

However, the Hive is more about what’s not included. Two-way audio doesn’t make the cut, so you can’t shout at children or dogs back at home. You can’t zoom or take stills – you basically get a feed, plus 24 hours of stored video. If you want those features, you’ll have to go for the (cheaper) Hive Camera.

Essential reading: Essential guide to the Hive ecosystem

The Nest Cam IQ indoor, on the other hand, is massive on features. Like the Hive View it boasts 1080p recording at 30fps, but that’s the end of the similarities. You can capture still images at 4K resolution and speak using two-way audio. The Nest Cam IQ also has an LED ring to act as a spotlight.

There's not much to pick between the two in terms of footage quality, and both perform extremely well in both full and low light. The differences between these two cameras is much more evident around the extras – how they deal and display footage and the app experience. And that's where Nest Cam IQ starts to edge things.

Unlike Hive View, the Nest Cam IQ indoor has person recognition and will determine faces, which means that with a little training, you can eliminate false positives from your home and have alerts running 24/7. Alternatively, if you want the camera to let you know when people come home, the children from school for example, you can have it alert you to specific faces. However, all that comes as part of a paid-for subscription, which will cost you at least $10 per month – more on that later.

Hive View vs Nest Cam IQ: Two top smart cameras face off

Hive View detaches from the stand for an hour of wireless capture

Nest Cam IQ v Hive View: Integrations

While Hive as a system plays nicely with Alexa and Google Assistant, those integrations haven’t made their way over to the Hive View. There’s no ability to check the feed on video supporting smart speakers – which is a real shame.

Nest, on the other hand, is bustling with smart integrations. Naturally, it plays nicely in the Works with Nest ecosystem, which means it can work out when you’re not home and turn off the Nest thermostat, but you can also summon the video feed onto devices such as Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Echo Spot and Google Assistant smart display devices.

Hive View
Hive View

Hive View vs Nest Cam IQ: Two top smart cameras face off
A lot of Nest Cam IQ's best features come under a subscription cost

Nest Cam IQ v Hive View: Data and costs

One of the big considerations when buying a smart security camera is how you deal with the footage – and both these devices take a different tack. And although there’s a big difference in the features available for subscription payers, there’s a massive gulf in cost, too.

Hive View will enable you to view captured footage from motion alerts for 24 hours, before they disappear. If you want access for longer, you can upgrade your account to get 30 days of storage for $5.99 per month, with no contract. However, you won’t be able to use continuous recording and capture is just tied to motion or noise alerts.

With Nest Cam IQ, things get expensive quickly. $10 per month gets you 10-day video history, intelligent alerts (facial recognition), continuous video (yes, 24/7 video is recorded for you to scrub through) and priority zones. $30 per month gets you all that for 30 days.

Nest Cam IQ v Hive View: Price & Verdict

The Hive View is available in black and copper as well as white and gold – both cost $199. The Nest Cam IQ indoor is a substantially more expensive $299. It should be noted that you can pick up the more basic Hive Camera for $149 and there’s a substantially cheaper (and older) Nest Cam Indoor for $199.99, but this eschews the facial recognition features and close-up tracking.

There’s no doubt that the Nest Cam IQ indoor is the technically superior camera, and the addition of facial recognition makes the whole system far more useful. However, it comes at a cost. Not only is the Nest Cam IQ a full 100 more than the better-looking Hive View, the best features come behind an $10 a month paywall, while conceivably, Hive is usable without any monthly costs at all.

In effect, this makes the two an easy choice. If you want those extra features fork out for Nest Cam IQ indoor, the best and priciest on the market. If you’re just looking to keep an eye on your home while you’re away, Hive will do the trick.

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