Editor's note: Since the launch of Nest Cam IQ, a new entry-level Nest Aware subscription has been launched, and the camera is now assisted by the Google Assistant. These changes make the camera much more valuable and, as a result, we have increased its score.
What is the Nest Cam IQ?
As smart as security cameras have become over the years, there is still the feeling that & # 39; I'm not using all the power available to them. With Nest Cam IQ that changes, and we have what could be said to be the most intelligent security in the world: it has a 4K sensor, can track people automatically and has face recognition incorporated.
Since the launch, a new subscription to Nest Aware in the cloud launched, effectively reducing the monthly cost by half. And, now, Nest has enabled the Google Assistant on the camera, which makes Nest Cam IQ a Google Home. These changes have turned the best quality internal security camera, which was a bit expensive, into a smarter camera that has a better price. And the company now has the same technology (Google Assistant support bar) in the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Nest Cam IQ: design and construction
As with other Nest products, the Cam IQ is beautifully designed and manufactured. If you have seen the Nest Cam Outdoor, the IQ will be instantly familiar, since it uses the same conical design. I have to say that this design looks as good inside the house as it was.
Internally, the requirements are a bit different, so Nest has built a completely new support that allows 160 degree grade and tilt rotation without the need for support. And, even pointing down, the IQ of the camera feels completely stable, and is unlikely to fall to its doom. Impressively, you can adjust the camera by hand without screws or other annoyances.
A standard tripod screw is attached to the bracket, so you can wall mount this camera if you wish, although assembly is not provided in the box. Nest feeds the Cam IQ with a USB-C cable. The connector has been molded to fit flush in the support, giving a neat finish.
Nest Cam IQ – Features
Making the camera work means using the Nest app, which also controls your other cameras and the Nest Thermostat. I ran my camera in a matter of minutes and the camera connected without problems to my Wi-Fi 802.11ac 5 GHz. Switch to AC is a good option, because it provides the camera with much more bandwidth than previous cameras of Nest of only 2.4 GHz.
The great addition to this camera is a 4K image sensor. Although the footage is only recorded at 1080p, having the additional resolution confers some benefits and allows some new and smart features. First, the Nest Cam IQ can use its Supersight technology to track an intruder around the room, making a 1080p panorama around the 4K sensor. With 4K that gives it four times the resolution of 1080p, it also has a zoom four times built-in, although with digital zoom, Nest Cam IQ provides a zoom of up to 12x from its fixed lens.
A six-core processor means that more can be done in the camera. While Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam Indoor can detect people when you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription, with Nest Cam IQ, people detection is built-in. Subscribe to Nest Aware, and that changes to facial recognition, allowing the Cam IQ to distinguish between friend or foe.
From the application, you can control when the camera can record and when not. This is particularly important with an indoor camera, since you probably do not want to disturb your home and record yourself walking. Nest supports calendars, but there is built-in geofencing for Cam IQ to turn on when you leave and when you get home.
It's a bit annoying that you can not use both at the same time; rather, you can activate both, but the two options can conflict and give unpredictable results. I would like them both to play very well together, so that the camera always turns on with the schedule (for example, recording at night), but that the schedule can not turn off the camera when you are away; and, when returning home, the camera should not be turned off if a schedule has activated it. This is a problem shared on all Nest cameras, and I hope that an update of the application in the future will solve it.
Nest Cam IQ: Performance and Nest Aware
Although the Nest Cam IQ can do more things than its predecessors in an instant, you still want a subscription to Nest Aware if you want to keep the recorded material and get the most advanced functions. While Nest Aware used to be expensive, starting with £ 8 a month, a new and cheaper subscription was launched. Now, the service starts at £ 4 a month (or £ 40 if paid annually), and includes the five-day video history.
If you want more video history, there are two other plans: £ 8 per month for 10 day video storage, or £ 24 per month for 30 day video storage, even if you subscribe for 12 months and get everything for the price of 10. If you have several cameras, be prepared to pay more, since each additional camera costs £ 3 per month for five days of history, £ 4 per month for 10 days of history or £ 12 per month for 30 days of history, with the same annual discounts available.
With Nest Aware enabled, the most obvious benefit is that the system can record up to 24 hours a day, keeping every bit of footage; something that rival cloud services do not offer. The Nest app is amazing, which allows you to move smoothly through the images. The thumbnails show you the areas of interest, such as the movement detected. A calendar view allows you to quickly jump to the previous day; the previous versions of the Nest app made you move manually for all the footage. And you can switch to a notification view so you can quickly scroll through the alerts.
To better control when motion detection is activated, you can set Activity Zones. A novelty in the Nest application (and available in all cameras, not just the IQ) is the automatic detection of doors: once the camera believes that a door is recognized, it will draw a zone of activity around it. You can manually configure your own zones, although the application does not yet support this feature and you must use the website instead.
Facial recognition works brilliantly. Once a new face has been recognized, a pop-up window appears in the application, so you can say whether you recognize it or not. If you do, you can add a name for future references. As Nest uses face detection from Google (the same technology as in Google Photos), the detection rate is impressive. Whether I wore glasses or not, and from virtually any angle, the Nest Cam IQ picked me up correctly.
You get different notifications depending on whether the camera detected a familiar person or not. Known persons are named, while the warning for strangers only indicates that an unidentified person was detected. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell the camera to only warn you about unidentified people.
Nest SuperSight technology is amazing, it zooms and tracks anyone who sees. Intelligently, you get two 1080p transmissions: the enlarged version and the panoramic view of the entire room. It's easy to switch between the two views, so you do not lose anything when you turn on Supersight.
Three microphones pick up the audio clearly, which adds to the recording. Through the application you can talk to an intruder (or friend, for that matter), with audio transmitted clearly from the integrated Nest Cam IQ speaker. With the microphone, the Nest Cam IQ can also detect the difference between a barking dog and a talking person, and warn you of both, with a high degree of accuracy.
To help control alerts, Nest has improved its granularity of notifications. For audio, you can choose which sounds you want to be warned: Person that speaks, Dog barking or All other sounds. For movement, you can control alerts by area, choosing if you want to be notified about People, All other movements or both.
Nest Cam IQ – Video Quality
Video quality is exceptional. Although that 4K resolution is reduced to Full HD, the reduced high resolution video looks better than the 1080p. On top of that, Nest Cam IQ has built-in HDR, taking out all the details in one image. No security camera I've tested can match the image quality of the Nest Cam IQ. With a 130-degree lens, the camera captures virtually an entire room, no matter where you place it. When approaching an image, it extracts additional details in a way that is not possible with rival cameras. You will have to get a Full HD camera with a zoom lens to get closer.
Nest has used 940nm infrared LEDs for its night vision mode. These are designed to provide better coverage, while the light is less visible to the human eye, so you will not get the same red brightness from this camera as with other models. I am pleased to say that the IR LEDs work well, illuminating the entire room cleanly.
The resolution of the image can no longer be set, with the camera selecting the quality setting automatically. However, there is an option to choose quality and bandwidth, starting at Low (around 100 GB per month) and High (around 400 GB per month).
Nest Cam IQ – IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant and Works with Nest
Nest has an IFTTT channel for the Cam IQ. There are no actions, only triggers (motion or audio detection). It is a pity that the channel has not expanded to add actions depending on who was detected, for example, turn on the Philips Hue lights to a different configuration, depending on who enters the room. This is something that the rival Netatmo Welcome can do.
Alexa support is good to see, with the ability to transmit footage from the camera to an Echo Show or Echo Spot. A similar Google Home action allows you to send the footage to a Chromecast. Although none of the options allows you to do much, the ability to see live streams quickly can sometimes be useful.
Nest Cam IQ – Google Home
More recently, Nest has sent an update that allows you to activate the Google Assistant for the Nest Cam IQ. This basically turns your camera into a Google Home, with the IQ camera capable of answering, "Hey Google". You can do everything you expect from a regular Google Home, such as getting weather updates, calendar appointments, and controlling other smart home devices. However, some functions are not yet compatible: you can not play music (although there are few reasons to do so) and you can not make voice calls.
The sound quality is a bit delayed Google Home Mini, but the voice responses are clear and, thanks to the sensitive set of microphones, I have not had problems with the camera clearly capturing my answers. It is important to note that enabling Google Home on a device like this only helps extend Google Home control through your home without the need to buy additional hardware.
Related: How to make hands-free calls with Google Home  Should I buy Nest Cam IQ?
In terms of pure image quality, Nest Cam IQ is the best security camera I've tested. It is also one of the easiest to configure and has the most flexible and easy-to-use support. Face detection is excellent to see here, especially considering how fast and accurate it is. In addition, Nest Aware is simply the best security cloud subscription service, which provides an easy way to navigate your security images.
That said, it seems that Nest Cam IQ is not as flexible as it could be. I'd love to see more control over when the camera turns on and off, and there should be an option to only let you know when you see unfamiliar faces.
The big disadvantage used to be the cost of a subscription to Nest Aware. , but the new five-day video history option effectively reduces the price by half, while providing more than enough storage. Add support with the Google Assistant and Nest Cam IQ is the best indoor camera you can buy with the best image quality. If you do not mind losing face detection, the old Nest Cam Indoor is still a big buy. Alternatively, Netatmo Welcome has face detection and a smarter IFTTT channel, and it is considerably cheaper.
A very elegant camera, with exceptional image quality and some smart features, and the new subscription option makes it more economical as well.