Nest Cam IQ Indoor review

Nest's flagship smart security camera is still the one to beat

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Nest's flagship security camera went on sale a while back but the Cam IQ Indoor is still, in our opinion, the smart security camera to beat.

Like its IQ Outdoor stablemate, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor adds a wealth of extra tracking features to the home security camera mix, with a focus on recognising and tracking people around your home.

Being a Nest Cam, there's already has a healthy smart home ecosystem (or two) to tap into and, while the price is on the steep side, it still offers a superb route to protecting your home. Here's why…

Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Design

Design wise, the Nest Cam IQ is a bit of a chunky beast and there is only a wired-version available at the present, which uses a USB-C cable. You can't, therefore, simply swap your old Nest Cam out for the newer IQ model and use your existing cable.

It's also not easy to move around your house like the Ring Stick Up Cam, Arlo Pro 2 or other battery-powered rivals are.

On the face is a LED light above the lens, which you can choose to have shining green when it's on, and the rim will even light up a nice deterrent neon blue if you choose to talk through the camera… but more on that in a bit.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor review

Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Features and video quality

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor builds on what came before by adding a 4K sensor and HDR imaging. There's also a new speaker that is seven times more powerful than the non-IQ Nest Cam, as well as three microphones with echo suppression and noise cancellation, which really make a difference – the HD talk and listen feature is easily the best we’ve tested (and it’s subscription-free too, which is a bonus).

The camera on the IQ Indoor has a 1/2.5-inch, 8-megapixel (4K) colour sensor, with 12x digital zoom and enhance, close-up tracking view and a 130° diagonal viewing angle. It's 1080p, at 30 frames/sec, H.264 encoding with HDR and the visuals won't leave you wanting.

Where the Nest IQ ramps things up compared to the older Cam is that 12x digital zoom, courtesy of a 4K image sensor. Like the IQ Outdoor it zooms in and follows people around automatically – that's the Supersight feature. It's brilliant – it's like having your own AI security guard on-point.

In terms of data usage, Nest advises that, with the best video quality, you can expect to use 400GB a month, but that's based on it being on all of the time. You'll need a 4Mbps upload speed to view 1080p footage without stuttering. You can, of course, lower the quality, and everything is dependent on whatever else is using the Wi-Fi in your house

Google Assistant built in too, so your Nest Cam doubles up as a little smart assistant – although there are some restrictions, for example it won't play music. Nest also works with many other smart home hubs and platforms such as IFTTT, so you'll also be able to add plenty of automations based around what your Cam IQ sees on those as well.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Nest Aware and the app

The Nest app is great giving you control over your various Nest devices based on their location in your house. Obviously, the app can ping you notifications as well – such as motion detection.

The Nest Home / Away function is superior to anything else we’ve tested too, as not only can your Nest Cam IQ determine when you’re not around for security reasons, it can also do clever stuff with Nest products as well as those that carry the Works With Nest badge. Think heating being turned down, lights turning off, alarms being activated when you're 'away' – that kind of thing.

The Nest app shows your household and spilts your home by rooms, giving you control over each device based on its location in your abode. You can change the settings for your various devices, add and move devices, see your video streams, silence your alarms… anything your Nest kit can do, you can control in the app.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor review

Your Nest Cam IQ Indoor will just sit alongside all of your other existing Nest Cams (and the Hello Doorbell) and will send you notifications such as motion detection, a person detected or a familiar face.

Within the app – which is on iOS, Android and the browser – you'll be able to tweak the settings, view live streams and recordings, zoom into areas and a whole lot more.

It’s that ecosystem that helps to make Nest one of the most complete smart home security camera options. Sure, many of the alternatives can play nicely with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit (Nest does all but Apple’s platform too, by the way) but the whole Nest in-house system, combined with the expanded Works with Nest portfolio, makes it a superb all-in-one smart home setup.

Top pick: Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Top pick: Nest Cam IQ Indoor

However, on the camera front the best features are reserved for people paying for Nest Aware – and it doesn’t come cheap. It’s $10 a month for Basic (10 days of cloud storage), $30 for Extended (30 days), and you get 12 months for the price of 10 if you pay for a year upfront. But that’s just for your first camera. Subsequent cameras will cost you again – albeit not at full price. For that extra cash you’ll get 24/7 recording, sharing of clips and timelapses, activity zones and more intelligent alerts.


Nest Cam IQ Indoor
The Nest Cam IQ is one of the most sophisticated home security cameras money can buy. Nest has been in the smart home game a long time and it shows – not only does the IQ boast a raft of killer features, but it also ties in brilliantly with your existing smart home system. Added to the fact that Nest is becoming more and more of a genuine Google brand by the day and you can see why it's still a top pick.
PROS
  • Nest ecosystem integration
  • HDR close-up tracking
  • HD two-way audio
CONS
  • Extra features cost more
  • Quite a bulky design
  • Mains only – no battery option

TAGGED   security cameras   nest
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