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Google Nest Cam Outdoor or Indoor Battery Security Camera Review

A durable, well-built and versatile security camera for smart homes powered by Google Assistant.

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Overall Rating:
7
10

What makes a good outdoor smart home security camera? Good question. Some will say it's the camera's field of view (FOV) while others might say it's the camera's video resolution (i.e. 1080p or 4K). For us, it's all these features and more. We look for security cameras that have these features as well as custom motion detection, two-way talk, easy setup, long battery life and good connectivity outside your home. Recently, we tested a smart home security camera that had all these features and more. It was the new Google Nest Cam battery, Google's newest smart outdoor security camera and it checked many of our boxes. See what we found while testing this outdoor security camera on a real home.

Google nest cam unboxed on a countertop Google Nest Cam unboxedGearBrain

What is the new Google Nest Cam?

Google's new Nest Cam is a smart security camera which you can use either inside or out. Its battery powered and works on a Wi-Fi connection. It comes with 1080p video quality, night vision and HDR, a nice feature to have in an outdoor camera since it will help you see in the bright sunlight or middle of the night.

Regarding video storage, Google Nest Cam can store up to 3 hours of event video history in the cloud for free and an hour's worth of events if your Internet goes down. Since many smart security cameras make you pay a monthly fee for cloud storage, 3 hours for free is not bad. If you want to upgrade to a cloud plan, you can add a Nest Aware plan which will provide 30 days of event video history. If you want more, Google offers a Nest Aware Plus plan which gives you 60 days of event video history and up to 10 days of 24/7 continuous video history is the Nest Cam is wired to power. Both plans also come with face detection, Google's facial recognition feature and links in the Google Home app to call emergency services when needed.

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Another good feature in the new Google Nest Cam is custom Activity Zones using the Google Home app. In the Google Home app, you will be able to select the areas you want in view to monitor for motion. Tip: you should first set up face detection and then the activity zones. This way, when one of your familiar faces is detected, you will get an alert they are in the camera's view and not send false alerts.

Speaking of alerts, Google Net Cam comes with intelligent alerts which is also in Google's Nest Doorbell and other Nest smart cams. It can detect if the object in view is a person, animal, vehicle or familiar face. Use the Google Home app to set up Zones and push notifications, away-only notifications, alerts for events outside of a zone. This is easy to do and will help you get the right alerts at the right time.

Google Home app for setting up zones and custom motion detection Setup custom motion detection and alerts in Google Home app for your Google Nest CamGearBrain

How to setup your Google Nest Cam

One thing we experienced with setting up the new Google Nest Cam was how quick and easy it was to install on our test house. It is a wire-free installation, and you will spend more time trying to find the best location outside your home with good Wi-Fi signal than installing this smart outdoor battery powered security camera. Just follow the instructions in the Google Home app for adding a device. The app has easy to follow instructions and tips for installation. If you need help, Google has a very good How-to Setup and Install Google Nest Cam video for you to use. Once your cam's battery is fully charged and you know where you plan to install the Nest Cam, it will take only a few minutes to secure the mounting bracket and attach your camera.

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The mounting bracket for the Nest Cam is very strong and durable. It's well designed and can withstand those harsh winters and scorching summer days. And since it is magnetic, you can easily find the perfect viewing angle for your Nest Cam. There are no wires to inhibit the placement of the camera on the bracket.

Google Nest Cam installed on the side of a house. Google Nest Cam comes with strong magnetic mounting bracket.GearBrain

Smart Home Integrations

If your home is a Google Assistant home, you are in good hands. If you are using Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit, this is the not the security camera for you. The new Nest Cam is compatible with Google Assistant enabled devices. Once its connected to the Google Home app, you will be able to use voice commands to start recording videos on Google Assistant enabled smart speakers or view live video from your Nest Cam on a Google Assistant enabled smart display, like Nest Hub (2nd Gen).

If you have a smart home security system, the Google Nest Cam will not work with it. However, you can build your own DIY smart home security system with this Nest Cam and other Nest security cameras. You will just need to subscribe to Nest Aware Plus plan to get the professional monitoring service and video cloud storage for your videos. This is a good option for first time homeowners to consider.

A google assistant smart display showing live video from Google Nest Cam at night time. Use Google Assistant smart displays to view live video from your Google Nest Cam day or night.GearBrain

Cost of Google Nest Cam

The Google Nest Cam retails for $179.99 and comes in one color, Snow. You can also get a Nest Cam 2-Pack for $329.99 or a 4-Pack for $596. All are available on Google Store, Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart.

If you want to turn your battery powered Nest Cam into a wired powered security camera, you can with the purchase of a power cable accessory. If you do, you can purchase a Nest Aware Plus subscription to get 24/7 continuous video history. The Nest Cam weatherproof cable comes in 5 meters ($17.50) and 10 meters ($20.00).

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Google Nest Cam Weatherproof Cable for Nest Cam (Battery) Only - Snow - 10m

Performance

The Google Nest Cam performed as we it expected. We found the setup and installation to be easy on our test home. We had no connectivity issues and setting up the alerts were quick as well. We did find the battery life to be exceptional when compared to other smart security cameras we have tested in the past. According to Google, the Nest Cam's battery typically lasts about 3 months on a single charge. This is based on a 9-12 recorded events per day. If your camera has less than 9 recorded events per day, the battery will last longer. On our test house, we had fewer than 9 events per day and it is looking like we will get almost 6 months battery life before we need to recharge the battery. This is excellent.

Regarding the video quality and night vision, all are good. FOV is 130 degrees which is less than other good security cameras we have tested. But we could see up to 20 feet in darkness and the customized motion detection zones worked as advertised.

daytime view from Google Nest Cam in Google Home app Google Nest Cam has exceptional video resolution in Google Home app.GearBrain

Summary

The Google Nest Cam is a solid, durable, easy to use outdoor or indoor smart home security camera. It is a little pricey at $179.99 but versatile. You can easily turn this battery powered camera in a wired power cam in seconds. And if you purchase a Nest Aware Plus plan, you will be able to get 24/7 continuous recorded events.

Who should buy the Google Nest Cam? This Nest Cam is perfect for the Google Assistant user who is looking for a good outdoor or indoor smart home battery powered security camera to work in tandem with their Google Assistant smart speakers and displays. If you have any Google Assistant smart devices and want to start building your own DIY installed and monitored smart home security system, the new Nest Cam is a good start too. If you already have Nest Cams and want to add more, the new Google Nest Cam is a great addition because it provides all the security features you need to help protect the inside or outside of your smart home or even a small business.

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Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Well-built with strong magnetic mounting bracket
  • Long battery life
  • Works indoor or outdoor

Cons

  • Price
  • Does not work with Amazon Alexa or other smart home ecosystems
  • No integrations with smart home security systems

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

How to Find Products in The GearBrain, Our Compatibility Find Engine for Smart Devices www.youtube.com

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