Nest Cam offers you flexible, smart next-generation security

Magnetic-mounted, battery-powered Google camera covers activity zones with free alerts

Google Nest Cam: The video quality is good, even at night when it switches over to night vision.

Product name: Google Nest Cam (battery)

Price: €200.0

Where to buy: store.google.com

Website: store.google.com

Thu, Sep 2, 2021, 05:50

   

Google Nest Cam (€200)

How easy is it to set up your own home security? Pretty simple, actually, thanks to the latest round of security cameras and sensors that you can install yourself.

One of those is the new Google Nest Cam. Google has updated the range for 2021, with extra features and functions, making the cameras smarter than ever.

First out of the gate is the Nest Cam. The next generation of battery-powered Nest Cam includes some onboard intelligence that brings free smart alerts and activity zones thanks to the built-in machine-learning chip.

That has practical applications. Not only does it make your footage more secure – it is no longer being sent to the cloud for processing – but you no longer need to shell out for a Nest Aware subscription to get alerts about people, packages or moving vehicles in your camera’s vision. Even more importantly, you can cut down on the number of notifications currently melting your phone by limiting it to the ones you want to hear about. Don’t care about the neighbour’s cat wandering across the garden at 6am? Disable the animals notifications. Too many false alerts triggered by moving vehicles outside your door? Tell Google you only want to hear about people and packages at your gate.

It’s a solution of sorts for notification overload.

But first, the camera itself. The Nest Cam has exactly what you would expect from a next-generation security camera. It has a resolution of up to 1080p at 30 frames per second, night vision with HDR, and live view around the clock. It has two-way audio with noise cancellation, so you can talk to anyone in your house or standing outside your door, no matter where you are. The video quality is good, even at night when it switches over to the night vision.

Optional accessories

In the box, you get the camera, mounting ring and power cable to charge it. It has a very “Google” look, with a white case and ring to mount it on your wall. There is a powerful magnet inside the mounting ring that grabs the camera, so you can angle it to almost any point you need, bar a 90 degree angle. Optional accessories include the Nest camera stand, which turns it into an indoor security camera you can place on a table, shelf or windowsill, and it also charges it.

The rechargeable battery makes the camera even more flexible. You don’t need to place it somewhere in reach of a power outlet, or mess about with wiring; simply take it down every few weeks, fully charge it and pop it back on the ring.

How long the battery lasts depends on a number of factors: how often the video fires up, how many notifications you get, the outside temperature and so on, but Google estimates between a month and a half and seven months on a full charge.

You can see the remaining battery percentage in the Google Home app, along with all the history of video alerts and clips. It’s easy to scroll through and you can filter the results for different types of alerts, from sound to people.

The good

The new Nest camera is not only flexible but it is also smart. The battery means you can install it anywhere – indoors or out – and it is easy enough to put up yourself. It’s also IP54 rated, which means it is relatively weatherproof.

Adding the on-device processing makes the camera a better investment than before. You don’t need to take out a subscription for the basic alerts, and still get useful alerts such as person alerts or packages.

If you are using the magnetic mount outside, it is robust enough to withstand a battering from the wind, with the strong magnet taking a strong tug to remove it. If you are using it as an outdoor camera though, it might be worth investing in the anti-theft cable Google offers.

The not so good

It’s quite large and a little on the heavy side, compared to other cameras. But that’s the trade-off for the battery and extra smart technology on board.

You only get three hours of free event clips before you have to pay up for a Nest subscription. That’s not a problem in itself, but it requires you to be on the ball and remember to save the important footage.

The rest

The Nest Cam needs a good wifi connection, so think carefully about placement before you start work. If it loses wifi connection, it will record to the device for a limited time – about an hour – so you have time to get your connection back up and running.

The magnetic wall mount can also work if you want to stick the camera to a metal surface and mount it without screwing it to the wall. But the accessories also make it flexible; the Nest Cam stand costs from €35 and gives you the option to put your Nest Cam on a shelf or table.

The verdict

Nest Cam works well, but has tough competition out there.

store.google.com