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Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera Review

Written by | Updated June 1, 2020

Bottom line: The Nest Cam IQ delivers intelligent surveillance

Nest Cam IQ takes smart, DIY home security to the next level. Not only does it let you know what’s going on when you’re not at home, it also attempts to make sense of what’s happening. Sharp, zoomed-in pictures, elegant design, 24/7 live video, and the ability to recognize faces all make the Nest Cam IQ the most intelligent surveillance camera in its class. Best of all, you’re not required to sign up for a large home security system or commit to a lengthy contract. With Nest Cam IQ, you control the level of security and how much it’s going to cost you.

 

How Nest Cam IQ works

The Nest Cam IQ is a stand-alone home security camera designed for indoor use. Using Wi-Fi to connect to the Nest app and your home network, it gives you 24/7 live video streaming and mobile alerts. Like the original Nest Cam, the IQ works seamlessly with the Nest platform, as well as Google Home and Amazon Echo, to provide smart, simple DIY home security.

Nest now requires two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a security measure you've probably already used for online services. Instead of logging into your Nest account with a single password and username, 2FA requires a verification code from your email or phone number. If someone tries to log in who doesn't belong, you'll know quickly.

While you'll need to go through the 2FA process each time you log into your Nest account, it's worth it for the extra layer of security.

Nest IQ Indoor Cam vs Nest Indoor Cam

Price
Monthly Fees
Key Features
Specs
Video
Cloud Storage
Learn More
Nest IQ Indoor Cam Nest Indoor Cam
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Nest Indoor Camera
$299.99 $129.99
$10 or $30/mo. for optional Nest Aware subscription ($100 or $300/yr.) $10 or $30/mo. for optional Nest Aware subscription ($100 or $300/yr.)
Facial detection
Facial recognition (with subscription)
4K sensor
Two-way audio with noise cancellation and echo suppression
Night vision
Facial detection
Two-way audio
Night vision
1/2.5-inch, 8-megapixel (4K) color sensor with 12x digital zoom and enhance 1/3-inch, 3-megapixel sensor with 8x digital zoom
Up to 1080p at 30 frames/sec.
HDR
24/7 live video streaming
24/7 recording (with subscription)
Up to 1080p at 30 frames/sec.
24/7 live video streaming
24/7 recording (with subscription)
Snapshots are free
Cloud storage requires subscription
Snapshots are free
Cloud storage requires subscription
View on Kohl's View on Kohl's

Data as of 06/01/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Nest Cam IQ features

The new Supersight feature is the Nest Cam IQ’s security superpower. If the camera catches sight of a person, it can automatically zoom in and track their movements. But Nest added a few extra bells and whistles to help this self-monitoring indoor security camera set new standards for image resolution and two-way audio as well.  

Pros

  • Facial recognition
  • Bigger, better two-way audio
  • High-resolution images
  • Close-up tracking view

Cons

  • Nest Aware subscription required

Our assessment

Supersight is definitely the most exciting feature and the biggest factor that sets the Nest Cam IQ apart from other home security cameras. Not only does the camera let you see what’s going on when you’re away, it also does its best to make sense of the action it captures.

We love the added security and convenience of the facial recognition feature and familiar face alerts; however, it’s frustrating that you need to sign up for an extra service to take full advantage of it. Without Nest Aware, the camera can detect the difference between a person and a thing, but it won’t tell you who it is.

Design

Nest is known for sleek, elegant design, and the Nest Cam IQ is no exception. The IQ is also designed to integrate with other smart products and systems, including Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Smart home integration

Cons

  • Limited colors
  • No built-in mount

Our assessment

Overall, the Nest Cam IQ is an attractive, well-built security camera that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. The only real drawbacks are the limited color selection and the need to purchase a separate mount if you want to use the camera somewhere other than a shelf or table.

Ease of use 

The Nest Cam IQ is intuitive and easy to use. From setup to day-to-day use, this is one of the simplest indoor security cameras to operate.

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Intuitive app

Cons

  • Limited scope

Our assessment

Tech devices don’t get much easier to set up than the Nest Cam IQ. Using and accessing the app is simple, and the ability to set up extra accounts for the same camera provides expanded functionality that isn’t usually available. The only real downside is the need for multiple devices if you want to monitor more than one zone in your home.

Alerts 

If the Nest Cam IQ picks up someone talking or walking across the room, you’ll automatically get an alert sent to your smartphone or computer via email or push notification.

Pros

  • Intelligent alerts

Cons

  • Still working out the bugs

Our assessment

It’s hard to judge the effectiveness of a system that’s still so new; however, when you’re relying on a security camera to let you know if your home and loved ones are safe, you want the alerts to be accurate. We definitely expect these bugs to get worked out pretty quickly. Nest has already indicated that it has received a lot of feedback about buggy alerts and is planning to release an update soon.

Costs 

Because the Nest Cam IQ is ahead of the pack when it comes to security camera features and functionality, it comes with a higher price tag than most stand-alone indoor surveillance cameras. In addition, to take full advantage of the camera’s coolest features, you’ll need a monthly subscription on top of the initial investment for the device.

Pros

  • No contracts
  • Free 30-day trial

Cons

  • More expensive equipment
  • Extra Nest Aware subscription

Our assessment

You don’t need the Nest Aware subscription to benefit from adding the Nest Cam IQ to your security setup, but without it you miss out on the facial recognition features. When you consider that the initial equipment cost is already at the top of the market, the additional monthly cost may be difficult for some customers to manage. One compromise is to subscribe to Nest Aware only when you need extra security, such as during vacations.

Price
Monthly Fees
Key Features
Video
Alerts
Cloud Storage
Learn More
Nest Cam IQ Canary Flex Reolink Argus 2
Nest Cam IQ Indoor canary flex camera
$299.99 $64.98 $89.99
$10 or $30/mo. for optional Nest Aware subscription ($100 or $300/yr.) $99/yr. for optional Canary Membership $0-$104/yr. based on cloud storage capacity
Facial detection
Facial recognition (with subscription)
4K Sensor
Two-way audio with noise cancellation and echo suppression
Night vision
Automatic night vision
Two-way talk (with subscription)
Environmental sensors
Learning algorithms
Siren
Night vision
Rechargeable battery or solar power
Easy Installation
Up to 1080p at 30 frames/sec.
HDR
24/7 live video streaming
12x digital zoom
Up to 1080p at 30 frames/sec.
Desktop streaming with subscription
1080p HD resolution at 15 frames/sec
Free video playback via Reolink app
Push notification
Email
Push notification Push notification
Email
Snapshots free
Cloud storage requires subscription
24 hours of video storage
Upgrades available with subscription
Free cloud storage with basic plan
View on Kohl's View on Amazon View on Amazon

Our approach

SafeWise examined online reviews, expert ratings, and customer feedback to evaluate the Nest Cam IQ. We also analyzed the camera’s specs and compared how the Nest Cam IQ fared in comparison to other stand-alone, DIY security cameras.

The verdict

Nest Cam IQ is the first of what could be a new generation of indoor home security cameras. Its powerful camera and facial recognition capabilities have exciting implications for people who care about security. It also makes the reassurance of 24/7 surveillance accessible to almost anyone, no matter their living situation. Apartment dwellers and even students living in dorms can easily set up intelligent home security using Nest Cam IQ. If there’s a reliable Wi-Fi connection, this smart security camera can get the job done.

Whether you’re a home security aficionado, or just getting started, Nest Cam IQ is a great way to upgrade your security and start turning your house into a smart home. Its simple design, intuitive functionality, and advanced features make Nest Cam IQ an intelligent home security choice. Check out our review on the entire Nest camera suite to learn more about these cameras. 

Disclaimer

Google, Google Nest Secure, Google Nest Cam IQ, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more

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