While there are tons of popular wireless cameras available today, all of them somehow find themselves compared to Google’s Nest Cam Indoor. As an improved iteration of the popular Dropcam Pro, the Nest Cam established itself as the home security camera to beat over the years for its good performance.
Released in 2015, the Nest Cam pretty much set the standard for today’s IP cameras. Its features may not sound so groundbreaking today but at the time it was released, it was one of the few with the most solid specifications. So much so that years later, lots of manufacturers still use the capabilities of the Nest Cam as a benchmark for their creations.
With these said, you might also want to get to know this product better. If you’re after the best camera for your home, you should certainly read our review for this Google product.
Nest Cam Indoor Review: A Close Look
Design and Features
The Nest Cam starts strong as its physical design stands out from the crowd. While most manufacturers create pod-shaped cameras, the Nest sports a sleek and minimalist look that gives it an ultra-modern and expensive appearance.
It has a black and gunmetal color scheme which is a stark contrast to the white and beige that other brands go for. The shape of this camera is also very contemporary. Its large circular head is offset by its slim body, then, everything is balanced out by its large and flat base. It looks like what a fancy modern camera should look like which is exactly what it is.
It’s also safe to say that this device is well designed. With its sturdy magnetized base, you don’t need to swap it out for another base. It can stick to a wall without a hitch. Its body has a joint that will let you adjust its angle, so if you wish to, you can have it sit flush against a wall. The only alternative accessory for its base is a tripod which will let you securely attach it to poles and bars.
What can be a bit off-putting is its white USB power cord. Since this item is a plug-in camera, you will need to use the cord to power your device. It’s rather jarring as the design of the unit itself is very sleek.
Setup and Usage
One major reason why the Nest Indoor Cam is so popular is its easy installation. You just need to plug it in then download the app and you’re pretty much set. The app will help you connect it to your wireless network and that’s it.
You also won’t break a sweat when putting the unit together. As mentioned above, its power cord is attached through a micro USB slot, so you just need to pop the cable in and you’re all set.
And since this item is a plug and play device, you also don’t need to fuss with buttons and controls to get it ready to record. Once it’s connected to your app and wireless network, it’s ready to start capturing the movements inside your home.
Lots of users also love the Nest Cam Indoor for its video quality. While most security cameras now have 1080p resolution, this product still takes the cake for its crisp and clear picture. You can easily see what’s happening in front of the camera. It also has a 130-degree angle, so you can already cover a lot of ground with just a single camera.
But it’s really the Nest Indoor Cam’s night vision that made waves upon its release. With 8 infrared LEDs, it’s capable of recording bright and clear pictures even in its night mode. Even in larger rooms, this camera was able to provide bright and clear footage.
Track and Zoom
This item doesn’t have a tracking feature but it has an 8x digital zoom. Combined with its high-resolution images, you can easily try to look at the details of your videos up close without losing a lot of quality. As the app also has an ‘Enhance’ function, you can get the small details in the videos you’ve recorded.
Equipped with a mic and speaker, the Nest Cam will also let you record and transmit sounds. The audio in its recordings and live stream is decent and easy to understand. It also performs well as a communication device as its sounds are clear and crisp. Both the mic and speaker sound good so you can use it to talk to the person or animal in front of the camera.
Motion and Sound Detection
Even if the Nest Indoor Cam records continuously, it still has responsive sound and motion sensors that will help alert you in case they get tripped. You can easily opt out of that, though, in case you’re always monitoring the camera anyway. By leaving the alerts on, however, you’ll be sent a message with a snapshot of the area your camera is facing.
Further boosting this functionality is the subscription to Nest Aware, the brand’s cloud service. Additional advanced features for motion and sound detection are made available with the plans, so you can get more out of them if you wanted to.
Cloud Storage Costs
To be very honest, the cloud subscription of the Nest Cam is one of its main weaknesses. While the brand is quite transparent with what you’ll get with the camera, it’s still a bit disappointing that you’ll pretty much won’t be able to use the camera without a Nest Aware subscription.
If you don’t got for this service, you’ll only be able to access clips recorded up to 3 hours ago. You also won’t be able to use the app for live streaming or view the clips you’ve saved.
If you’re willing to spend extra on the cloud service, there are two subscription plans available. The basic Nest Aware plan costs $6 per month or $60 annually and will give you 30 days worth of storage. The Nest Aware Plus plan costs $12 monthly or $120 annually and will give you 60 days worth of storage with an additional 10 days of 24/7 video history.
Smart Home Compatibility
Since this item is made by Google, you can expect it to be compatible with smart home environments. You can certainly use it with the Google Assistant and Alexa and it’s also compatible with the Phillips-Hue and Chromecast. Those with Fire TV and Android TV can also stream their Nest cam automatically.
Mobile Apps and Web Portals
The Nest Indoor Cam can be accessed through the Nest app (Google Play and App Store) and website. The Nest app has always been lauded for its well-designed, user-friendly interface, so you don’t have to fret about its usability. The website is also very easy to navigate so you will always have quick access to your clips and other Nest devices.
Does the Nest indoor camera have audio?
Yes, the Nest Indoor Cam comes with a built-in mic. You can also adjust its settings easily.
How long does Nest record for free?
If you’re not subscribed to the Nest Aware subscription, you can only view the clips your camera recorded in the past 3 hours. You also will not be able to stream the live feed of the camera or access the clips that you have downloaded in the Nest app.
It doesn’t have local storage, however. So if you’re thinking of not shelling out for the subscription plans, you might want to reconsider as you won’t really be able to use this camera at its full potential that way.
Can the Nest cam record continuously?
Yes, this camera can record and stream footage continuously. This is why it’s also popularly used as an alternative for webcams for live streaming.
While the Nest Cam Indoor has its own shortcomings and can fall lean towards being more of a webcam than a security cam on some points, its performance is still unparalleled when pitted against other IP cameras in the market today.
Sure, it’s not the latest tech but it was a trailblazer and years after its release it continues to be relevant and at the top of its game. That really says a lot about how much of a reliable product this camera is. It’s just a shame that it has very limited functionalities without a cloud subscription.