Nest and Arlo both have these smart motion detection features to categorize videos and notifications:
- Motion zones: You can tell the camera to send only alerts and make recordings if motion happens in specific, customizable zones.
- People: Get notified of a neighbor dropping by to return the lawnmower they borrowed.
- Animals: Find out when the cat comes back from a night of roaming the neighborhood.
- Vehicles: See when your teen pulls into the driveway after their evening job.
- Packages: While important for thwarting porch pirates, this is also great if there's no package delivery notification from your shipper.
- Smoke and CO alarm sounds: Listen for hazard alarms in your home so you can react faster in an emergency or call for help if nobody's there.
Overall, Nest's motion detection is better because most of its smart alerts work without a paid plan. Only smoke alarm sound detection requires a fee from Nest. Arlo ties all of these features to a subscription.
Oh, and did we mention that Nest offers two smart detection types that Arlo doesn't? Granted, you need to pay for Nest Aware to unlock these, but we love the smarts they add to your Nest cam:
- Glass breaking sound: Nest tells you when a window breaks—whether it's a burglar or stray baseball.
- Familiar faces: You can teach Nest to use facial recognition for family and friends. This is great for seeing when the kids come home and when your cat sitter drops by.
While not every one of Nest's smart detection features works without a subscription, most of the ones that overlap with Arlo do, giving you incredible tools pro bono.
While the Nest camera lineup doesn't have as many options as Arlo's, it covers the four major types of security cameras: indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, and floodlight cameras.