Google Nest Cam (battery) evaluate: The digital camera for wherever across the house

MSRP $180.00

“The Google Nest Cam (battery) is among the most versatile cameras proper out of the field. You even get free video historical past.”

Professionals

Works each indoors and out

Shops three hours of video historical past without spending a dime

Nice distinction with HDR video

Magnetic plate has a robust connection

Cons

Cumbersome design

Particulars are a bit delicate

It might be shocking to study that Google has been within the house safety enterprise for fairly a while. In reality, the unique Nest Cam was first launched in 2014, lengthy earlier than any of us had an inkling that Google Assistant would turn out to be the brains behind the operation of the sensible house. That’s a reasonably very long time when you concentrate on it, and the corporate has gone on to launch many extra cameras — a few of which have been well-received by customers and critics.

Nevertheless, its newest sensible safety digital camera goals to be its most formidable providing up to now. The Google Nest Cam (battery) would be the safety digital camera to beat, not solely due to the truth that it could actually work indoors and out, however as a result of it might provide sufficient intelligence and efficiency to be the one digital camera you may depend on to work whenever you want it. And, oh yeah, it doesn’t require you to signal on to a subscription service to have entry to its finest options.

This isn’t the norm, however I like the place it’s going.

Setup and set up

Designed to deal with each outside and indoor conditions, I’ve to confess that I really like you could select the place to position the Google Nest Cam (battery). Due to its IP54 ranking, it’s capable of endure the climate if positioned exterior. I selected to maintain it as an indoor digital camera for this evaluate, however it’s value mentioning that it comes with a wall plate, screws, and anchors if you happen to select to place it outside. Because it’s battery-powered, there aren’t any pesky wires to run by means of the house — that’s until it must be charged.

John Velasco / Digital Traits

Whereas you should buy the elective $30 indoor stand that enables the Nest Cam (battery) to face upright and articulate like different indoor cams, I ended up simply plopping it on the aspect of a door body as a result of its magnetic plate is impressively sturdy. It requires a good quantity of pressure to take away, to the purpose that you just’ll want two palms to take away it off from surfaces.

One other fascinating change right here is that the digital camera is now not tied to the Nest app. As a substitute, all the things is about up and managed by the Google House app. After following the directions within the app, the Nest Cam (battery) was able to rock and roll in beneath 5 minutes.

Design

Th new mannequin bears no resemblance to the unique Nest Cam from 2014. It truly takes after Google’s earlier line of house safety cameras, the Nest Cam IQ sequence, sporting an analogous rounded design with a brief base-to-camera-housing connector. The Nest Cam (battery) is barely obtainable within the snow colour possibility, so it will’ve good to get a minimum of a pair extra choices. Am I in love with the design? Probably not, particularly when it’s bulkier than different indoor cameras, however I can nonetheless recognize its trendy styling.

John Velasco / Digital Traits

Curiously sufficient, I discovered that the digital camera turns into inoperable when it’s disconnected from the magnetic base. It’s a bit odd that it’s performance is tied to being related to the magnetic plate, however Google says that it’s a privacy-preserving function if you happen to use it outside — in order that it turns off whereas it’s charging inside. Nevertheless, you may disable this by going beneath the gadget info settings within the Google House app. That means, it’ll work regardless if it’s related to the magnetic plate or not.

I’m additionally not thrilled that it makes use of a proprietary energy connection. I perceive that the pin connectors assist to maintain it weather-sealed towards the weather outside, however the proprietary connection signifies that I simply can’t use one other charging cable I’ll have mendacity round. As a substitute, I’d must go to Google straight.

Digicam

Specs-wise, the Google Nest Cam (battery) is a slight step down from the earlier Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor. It encompasses a 2-megapixel, half of.Eight-inch sensor with a 130-degree discipline of view that’s able to taking pictures video at 1080p decision at 30 frames per second (fps). Compared, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor had a neat zooming function that preserved particulars because of its Eight-megapixel 4K sensor. For an outside digital camera, the sector of view of the Nest Cam (battery) is narrower than different outdoor-only cams, so that you’ll need to strategically place it someplace to maximise its protection.

Fortunately, the Nest Cam (battery) nonetheless options HDR video, which does properly to even out high-contrast scenes in order that the highlights and shadows are toned appropriately to offer the whole scene a extra impartial distinction. However regardless of this, it doesn’t seize practically the identical degree of particulars and readability because the 4K sensor-packing Nest Cam IQ Indoor. Particulars are a bit softer with the Nest Cam (battery). Nevertheless, its night time imaginative and prescient efficiency remains to be spectacular.

Software program

As I discussed earlier, the Google Nest Cam (battery) works solely with the Google House app — in contrast to earlier Nest Cams that would nonetheless work with the Nest app. I welcome this alteration as a result of all of my sensible house units are beneath one umbrella. By means of the app, there’s an occasions web page that lists all the occasion triggers, full with animated preview clips and detection sort.

Initially, I discovered the navigation of the app to be a bit complicated, since I needed to undergo different menus with a purpose to discover filtering choices. One other odd omission I discovered utilizing the app is the flexibility to rapidly take a snapshot or video clip whereas viewing the video stream dwell. There aren’t choices for them, which I discover moderately unusual given it’s a typical function in lots of cameras. I actually hope that Google updates the digital camera to permit this fundamental perform as a result of it is useful.

Privateness

If there’s one factor that Google does completely with the Nest Cam (battery), it needs to be that it takes your privateness severely. As a lot as I’d’ve cherished to see some type of privateness shutter over the digital camera lens itself, the digital camera will be turned off utterly by means of the Google House app. You’ll discover different commonplace privateness options resembling movement zones that permit you to select which areas you need the digital camera to regulate, in addition to a inexperienced LED on the digital camera itself to point somebody is accessing the dwell feed.

It’s some of the feature-rich cameras I’ve come throughout proper out of the field.

Similar to the opposite Nest Cams earlier than it, I really like the truth that you may arrange a geofence to set off the Nest Cam (battery) to activate or off. Utilizing my telephone’s GPS, the Nest Cam (battery) turns off after I enter my residence — after which activates after I exit and transfer exterior the geofence.

Battery

The Nest Cam (battery) encompasses a rechargeable 6 Ah, three.65V lithium-ion battery that’s not detachable, which suggests it’ll have to be recharged with the included charging cable sooner or later. For those who’ll be utilizing it as an indoor digital camera, simply keep in mind that the charging cable measures about three ft — so there’s little wiggle room for a way far-off it may be from an influence supply. As a substitute, you’ll need to choose up the indoor stand as a result of it encompasses a longer wire.

John Velasco / Digital Traits

In fact, its battery energy signifies that the digital camera can be utilized nearly wherever. Within the brief time I’ve been testing, it’s nonetheless greater than 85% charged after practically every week of use, which makes me optimistic that it’ll final greater than a month with a full cost. Naturally, it will range relying on how lively it’s.

Options

Most of the options of the earlier Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor are locked behind a subscription service. The Google Nest Cam (battery) is notable for the truth that out of the field, you’ll stand up to 3 hours of occasion video historical past — with out the necessity of any subscription. That’s great information as a result of it captures and shops video footage of occasions throughout the previous three hours. For those who want extra protection than that, you’ll then must subscribe to Nest Conscious for steady video recording for as much as 10 days.

I’m additionally completely happy to report that the Google Nest Cam (battery) can nonetheless perform usually even when the community goes down as a result of it’ll proceed to detect occasions and save clips. I examined this out by unplugging my router. That is particularly helpful as a result of it gained’t be rendered inoperable within the occasion energy goes out, or if the Wi-Fi community is disrupted.

John Velasco / Digital Traits

The Nest Cam (battery) may also nonetheless provide clever alerts based mostly on what it’s seeing. To date, it’s been fairly spot-on by way of discerning folks and pets — and alerting me by means of a notification on my telephone. If it’s used outside, it additionally has the flexibility to detect automobiles. I prefer it that I can customise the notifications by means of the app, which helps to forestall false alarms.

And lastly, it does embody two-way audio to work together with folks. The inner speaker sounds loud and clear sufficient when it’s used indoors, however I believe that ambient noise exterior might doubtlessly diminish its efficiency.

Our take

Though there are some minor nuisances that may very well be simply addressed by a software program replace, the $180 Google Nest Cam (battery) is a well-rounded safety digital camera that may be efficient wherever it’s positioned. It’s a extremely versatile digital camera out of the field that doesn’t conceal superior options behind a paywall, and some of the feature-rich cameras I’ve come throughout proper out of the field.

Is there a greater various?

In relation to readability and element, the Arlo Professional Four is difficult to beat with its sharp visuals, colour night time imaginative and prescient, and swappable battery. You’ll pay a bit bit extra for it, however the added options and robust efficiency again it up.

On the opposite finish of the spectrum, there’s the Eufy SoloCam E40 at $130. It shares lots of the similar options, like native storage that negates the necessity to signal on to a subscription service.

How lengthy will it final?

The Google Nest Cam (battery) has a sturdy development with a matte-like outer casing. It’s additionally designed to work beneath excessive temperatures starting from -Four levels Fahrenheit to 104 F. Within the occasion of a malfunction attributable to a defect. Google gives a one-year restricted guarantee that might cowl it.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. It’s uncommon that you just’ll discover a safety with this a lot flexibility and smarts out of the field.

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