The brand Nest is, of course, one of the most prominent names in the smart home industry. Being a subsidiary of Google, best known for their smart thermostat products, Nest has also been popular in the smart camera market after their acquisition of DropCam in 2014. Both the Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor have been really popular as two of the best smart indoor cameras available, and now their successor, the Nest Cam IQ has just arrived.
In this Nest Cam IQ Review, we will discuss how it fares against its predecessors, especially to the Nest Cam Indoor since the IQ is technically an indoor camera.
Key Upgrades From The Nest Cam Indoor
- First things first, there is no weatherproofing feature present on the Nest Cam IQ, so you will most likely unable to use it as an outdoor camera. So, the comparison to the Nest Cam Outdoor in unnecessary, since they technically fill different purposes.
- The biggest upgrade over the Nest Cam Indoor is the (significantly) improved camera sensor. The Nest Cam IQ boasts an excellent 4K/HDR camera sensor (we will discuss this further below). The field of vision is 130-degree wide, similar to Nest Cam Indoor, but the night vision is improved with 940nm infrared LEDs.
- Audio performance has also been improved significantly. The Nest Cam IQ features three microphones to eliminate background noise. The built-in speakers are also seven times more powerful compared to the Nest Cam Indoor.
- Design-wise, there are several noticeable changes. First, there is a very nice ring-shaped light around the front side of the camera. This light will illuminate in different colors to indicate the camera’s state. Green ring indicates that the camera is currently operational and watching the room. In a future firmware update promised by Nest, blue will indicate two-way communication.
- The physical base is heavier and wider compared to the Nest Cam Indoor, so the IQ will remain steady at all times. A common problem with the Nest Cam Indoor is that the camera won’t stay steady during wide motion, but the Nest Cam IQ is still stable even during the maximum 180-degree horizontal motion and 160-degree vertical.
Let us continue the Nest Camera IQ review by discussing the technical specs and key features.
Key Features of The Nest Cam IQ
4K Camera Sensor, 1080p Video Quality
The Nest Cam IQ’s biggest selling point is the 4K camera sensor. The Cam IQ is one of the first smart cameras utilizing this feature, and the quality is excellent. The video feed, however, is ‘only’ 1080 p quality. We will discuss this feature again further below.
The ‘IQ’ in the name shows how Nest wants to brand this camera as intelligent, and it’s backed up by a plethora of nice features. The Nest Cam IQ has a very nice facial recognition technology, not just person detection to differentiate a human from pets or other animals. Simply tag several photos of your family members, and the Nest Cam IQ can instantly recognize them.
The 4K camera sensor allows an impressive 12x digital zoom, among the best available in the market today. Pair that with the intelligent recognition feature we have discussed above, and we get the superb tracking ability Nest called the ‘supersight’. If there’s any intruder in the IQ’s field of vision, the Nest Cam IQ can zoom and track them with the very wide 130-degree field of vision. With the excellent video feed quality, you can easily use the footage as police evidence, when necessary.
Regarding the 4k Features
When we began this Nest Security Cam IQ review above, we have discussed how it is nicely equipped with a 4K/HDR camera sensor.
However, the 4K function might not be what you expect, so we will discuss it further.
To clear the confusion, while the camera sensor is indeed 4K-capable, it will NOT produce a 4K video feed. The video feed that is backed to the cloud storage and then viewable on your smartphone app will be ‘only’ 1080p.
However, the 4K sensor will indeed translate to better 1080p video feeds, so we can’t say that it is a waste. The 4K camera sensor will also allow 12x digital zoom without any major image degradation, so it is still a nice feature to have.
Nest explained that enabling 4K video feeds will severely strain the user’s bandwidth. It is understandable, since our home internets’ upload speeds are relatively low compared to the download speed, and the reliance of Nest Cam IQ (and any other smart security cameras) to cloud uploading will be a major problem for 4K feeds.
Nevertheless, the camera sensor of the Nest Cam IQ is still excellent, one of, if not the best among competitors. The automatic zoom is very intelligent, thanks to the new supersight functionality discussed above.Pros and Cons of the Nest Cam IQ
Pros and Cons of the Nest Cam IQ
After we have discussed the key features, differences from previous versions, and the unique 4K camera sensor capability, here are what we liked and disliked from the Nest Cam IQ.
- Impressive 4K/HDR camera sensor
- Very smooth 1080p video feed
- Great, ergonomics design, very stable base-12x Digital Zoom, 130-degree field of view
- Supersight capability to track intruders with high-quality video feed
- Free cloud storage for 10-days worth of footage
- One of the most expensive smart camera products available today
- The Nest Aware subscription can be expensive in the long run, and there are some features only available with the subscription
Bottom Line and Verdict
Let us end the Nest Security Camera IQ review with a verdict. The Nest Cam IQ is a worthy successor of the Nest Cam Indoor with the new, impressive camera sensor with 4K/HDR capability. Nest’s choice to use 1080p video feed instead of Ultra HD 4K video is actually a good choice since 4K video feed will cripple our current Wi-FI network speed.
However, the Nest Cam IQ is currently quite expensive. To make the most of the Nest Cam IQ, you will also need a Nest Aware subscription for $10/month or discounted $100/year. Without the Nest Aware, you will be limited to only snapshots instead of full audio-video feed when the IQ senses motion or sound.
However, if you are okay with the price tag, the Nest Cam IQ is worth every penny. One of the most advanced smart security cameras available today.