You’ve probably heard about the Nest by now, the smart thermostat that everyone seems to be replacing their old thermostats with to save money on their power bills. What you might not know though it that Nest has been rolling out a whole suite of smart home products. Today I’m reviewing the Nest Cam, it’s an indoor security camera that depending on where you place it can do anything from providing added security to your home, letting you know when your UPS package has arrived or even watching your pets play.
Interestingly while the Nest Cam is advertised as a security camera, we ended up reviewing it as a pet camera and were pleasantly surprised. Now it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some pet cameras that can throw treats and keep cats busy with a laser pointer but we found it to be an excellent camera for pets because of how good it is at being a smart camera.
Like other products in the Nest lineup this one has a beautiful design, easy setup, and a great mobile app. The camera does live video with a 130 degree wide-angle view, and night vision. It also lets you look back at footage from hours before (or days if you pay for Nest Aware). The Nest Cam can also give you alerts for when activity is happening, so you can catch your pets if they make it into a room they’re not supposed to be in or if you kids are home playing hooky. Lastly like all the pet cameras we reviewed it has 2 way audio so that you can hear if your pet is barking and also be there to comfort your dog or cat if they look upset, or if you’re just bored.
That all sounds great but Does it Work? We think so but don’t take our word for it, the Nest Cam has 6,275 reviews on Amazon as well with a score of 4.2 out of 5. This product gets tons of praise from users, a lot of whom have multiple Nest Cameras. Despite the awesome praise it gets there have been some pain points with this camera, most of which circle around the app and Nest Aware. The complaints are not with the functionality of either but that Nest doesn’t make it super obvious that Nest Aware is a paid plan. So to unlock features like the ability to look back days ago or remove in app banners you might have to shell out a couple bucks. Some people will be fine with this but to be honest if you’re someone who doesn’t like monthly subscriptions this isn’t the best camera for you unless you’re okay with seeing some banner ads.
Note: Since we originally set out to review this camera as a pet camera you should know that we’re looking at the indoor version but that Nest also makes a weatherproof outdoors camera.
I can personally verify that the picture quality is really good! It’s a true 1080p and I also thought that the quality of the night vision was great. The vast majority of reviews on Amazon would agree with me as well. There are a handful of people who are disappointed with the video quality though so I decided to dive in and see what was causing this pain point. My findings weren’t all that surprising, like with other wifi cameras we’ve reviewed, the strength of single from your wifi router and your home internet speed are going to be a huge factor in the quality of picture you get on your phone. That said make sure you position it close to your router and if you just generally have a poor internet connection you might want to look into a different device that has a dedicated handset. Additionally I wrote a guide for positioning your Wifi router for the best signal, which may help.
What People Think About The Video Quality
Nest Cam App
The Nest Cam App is absolutely the biggest debate in customer reviews, some people love it, some people literally hate it. As I pointed out earlier in the review a lot of the Nest Cam Apps functionality is unlocked by paying for a monthly subscription to Nest Aware. From my findings most the people reviewing it positively were okay with the monthly fee and the value they got from Nest Aware while people who reviewed it negatively were in most cases outraged they had to pay a monthly fee for features they felt should have been included. This is a common debate for most products with monthly services and if you’re in the group that’s against the idea of a subscription then this isn’t for you. Inversely if you’re okay paying to get premium features then I think you’ll really like Nest Aware and the Nest Camera is a great fit for you.
Beyond the functionality of the Camera it’s worth noting that you can use the same app for all your Nest products.
What People Think About The Nest App
Warranty and customer service.
I can’t speak personally to the customer service as I didn’t have any issues but one strike against it is that it only has a 90 day limited warranty. A limited warranty is great for protecting you against getting a lemon or something like that but I know I like to see a company stand behind it’s product a little stronger, especially when it’s a good product like the Nest Cam. But hey, I don’t make the policy.
It looks like customer service is pretty standard customer service from what I’ve read though. They do their job helping people work through problems but if the unit gets damaged or you have a really rare issue, you might be out of luck. At the end of the day, Nest customer service is there but it’s nothing super special.
What People Say About Nest Customer Service
Nest Cam Specifications
Camera sensor: ⅓-inch, 3-megapixel color sensor
Zoom: 8x digital zoom and enhance
Video: Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames/sec, H.264 encoding
Field of view: All–glass lens 130° diagonal wide–angle view
Night Vision: High–power infrared LEDs (850nm)
Filter: IR cut filter
Audio: One microphone, Speaker, Talk and Listen
Lights: Status light
Weather resistance: Indoor use only
Mounting options: Set it on a surface, attach it to a magnetic surface or wall, or attach it to any standard 1/4” 20 tripod base. Stand and mounting bracket included.
Power: Plugs into a standard household power outlet for continuous video streaming and alerts. | AC adapter input: 100–240V AC, 50/60Hz 0.2A | AC adapter output: 5V DC 1.4A | Camera input: 5V DC, 1.0A | Power cable connector: USB micro-B
Cables: Total cable length: 10 feet (3m) | Includes 10 ft (3m) captive cable that plugs into an indoor power adapter
Data security: 128-bit AES with TLS/SSL, 2-factor verification available
In the box: Nest Cam Indoor camera | Stand | Power cable | Power adapter | Wall-mounting plate | Nest screws | Quick Start Guide | Welcome Guide
Size and weight: Mass: 7.5 ounces (213g) | Height: 4.5 inches (11.4cm) | Width: 2.9 inches (7.3cm) | Depth: 2.9 inches (7.3cm) | Total cable length: 10 feet (3m)
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) | 802.11a/n (5GHz) | Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Connectivity requirements: Wi-Fi internet connection, Nest app requirements: Recommended: Phone or tablet running iOS or Android with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Bandwidth usage: For optimal video quality at 1080p, working broadband internet connection with at least 2 Mbps upload speed per camera recommended (DSL may not qualify). Cameras will use more bandwidth to stream video when there is more motion in the scene. If you subscribe to Nest Aware, your camera streams all video to the cloud for secure offsite storage. You can adjust your camera’s video quality to use less bandwidth and monthly data.
Languages: Your camera will use the same language as your Nest app.
Warranty: 90 Day limited warranty
Operation: Ambient temperature: 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C) | Ambient humidity: 10%–90% RH unpackaged and in use. | Ambient pressure: Up to 10,000 ft altitude
Storage: Ambient temperature: -4° F to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C) | Ambient humidity: Up to 80%RH in packaging | Ambient pressure: Up to 15,000 ft altitude
Green: Contains no hazardous substances | RoHS compliant | REACH compliant | Recyclable packaging | Learn more at nest.com/responsibility
130° (diagonal) wide-angle lens
8X digital zoom
Infrared LED night vision
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About This Review
A lot of reviewers like to add a lot of their own personal opinions about a product, so much so that you’re probably reading this saying to yourself, duh that’s the point of a review. Well, I wanted to provide a fresh take on reviews. Instead of one person telling you if it’s good or not, I go out and do my research on people using the product. I thoroughly go through people’s experience using the product to identify things it does great as well as pain points. I feel that by doing it this way, nothing gets left out. Plus wouldn’t you rather know how a thousand people felt about a product instead of just one?