Google Nest Cam (battery) test: The camera for anywhere in the house
RRP $ 180.00
“The Google Nest Cam (battery) is one of the most versatile cameras out of the box. You even get a free video history. ”
Works both indoors and outdoors
Stores three hours of video history for free
Great contrast with HDR video
Magnetic plate has a strong connection
Details are a little soft
It may be surprising to learn that Google has been in the home security business for quite some time. In fact, the original Nest Cam was first launched in 2014, long before any of us could have guessed that the Google Assistant would become the brains behind running the smart home. That’s quite a long time if you think about it, and the company has released many more cameras – some of which have been well received by users and critics.
However, the latest intelligent surveillance camera is said to be the most ambitious offering to date. The Google Nest Cam (battery) may be the security camera to beat, not just because it works indoors and outdoors, but because it has enough intelligence and power to be the only camera you can rely on, when You work you need it. And, oh yes, you don’t have to sign up for a subscription service to get access to the best features.
That’s not the norm, but I like where it goes.
Setup and installation
Designed to handle both outdoor and indoor situations, I have to admit that I love that you can choose where to place the Google Nest Cam (battery). Thanks to its IP54 protection rating, it can withstand the weather even outdoors. I chose to keep it as an indoor camera for this review, but it’s worth noting that it comes with a wall plate, screws, and anchors if you plan to set it up outdoors. Because it’s battery operated, there’s no need to run annoying cables around the house – unless it needs to be charged.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
While you can buy the optional $ 30 indoor stand that allows the Nest Cam (battery) to stand upright and move around like other indoor cameras, I just put it on the side of a door frame because its magnetic platter is impressively strong. It takes quite a bit of force to remove until you need two hands to remove it from surfaces.
Another interesting change is that the camera is no longer tied to the Nest app. Instead, everything is set up and managed by the Google Home app. After following the instructions in the app, your Nest Cam (battery) was up and running in less than five minutes.
The new model bears no resemblance to the original Nest Cam from 2014. It actually follows Google’s previous line of home surveillance cameras, the Nest Cam IQ series, which has a similarly rounded design with a short connector between the base and the camera body. The Nest Cam (battery) is only available in the snow color, so it would be nice to get at least a few more options. Am i in love with the design? Not really, especially if it’s bulkier than other indoor cameras, but I can still appreciate its modern design.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
Interestingly, I found that if the camera is separated from the magnet base, it will become inoperable. It’s a bit strange that its functionality is tied to the connection to the magnetic disk, but Google says it’s a privacy protection feature when you’re using it outdoors – so it turns off while it’s charging indoors . However, you can turn this off by going to the device information settings in the Google Home app. In this way, it works regardless of whether it is connected to the magnetic disk or not.
I’m also not thrilled that it uses a proprietary power connector. I understand the pin connections help keep it weatherproof outdoors, but the proprietary connection means I just can’t use any other charging cable I might have lying around. Instead, I would have to go straight to Google.
In terms of specs, the Google Nest Cam (battery) is a small step down from the previous Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor. It has a 2-megapixel 1 / 2.8-inch sensor with a 130-degree field of view that can record video at 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). In comparison, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor has a decent zoom function that preserves details thanks to its 8 megapixel 4K sensor. With an outdoor camera, the Nest Cam’s (battery) field of view is narrower than other all-outdoor cameras, so you’ll want to strategically place it in one place to maximize coverage.
Fortunately, the Nest Cam (battery) still offers HDR video, which balances high-contrast scenes well, so the lights and shadows are tinted appropriately to give the entire scene a more neutral contrast. Even so, it doesn’t capture nearly the same level of detail and clarity as the Nest Cam IQ Indoor with 4K sensors. Details are a little softer on the Nest Cam (battery). However, its night vision performance is still impressive.
As already mentioned, the Google Nest Cam (battery) only works with the Google Home app – unlike previous Nest Cams that could still work with the Nest app. I welcome this change as all of my smart home devices are under one roof. There is an events page through the app that lists all of the event triggers, complete with animated preview clips and detection type.
At first I found the app’s navigation a bit confusing as I had to go through other menus to find filter options. Another strange oversight that I noticed while using the app is the ability to quickly take a snapshot or video clip while viewing the video stream live. There are no options for this, which I find quite strange as it is a standard feature on many cameras. I really hope Google will update the camera to enable this basic feature as it comes in handy.
If Google does one thing perfectly with the Nest Cam (battery), it has to be that they take your privacy seriously. As much as I would have liked to see a kind of privacy shutter over the camera lens itself, the camera can be completely switched off via the Google Home app. You’ll find other standard privacy features like motion zones that let you choose which areas the camera should keep an eye on, as well as a green LED on the camera itself to indicate that someone is accessing the live feed.
It’s one of the most feature-rich cameras I’ve come across right out of the box.
Just like the other Nest Cams, I love that you can set up a geofence to turn the Nest Cam (battery) on or off. Using my smartphone’s GPS, the Nest Cam (battery) turns off when I enter my apartment – and turns on again when I leave the geofence and leave.
The Nest Cam (battery) has a rechargeable 3.65 V lithium-ion battery with 6 Ah, which cannot be removed and therefore has to be charged at some point using the charging cable supplied. If you’re using it as an indoor camera, keep in mind that the charging cable is about a meter long – so there’s little wiggle room in how far it can be from a power source. Instead, consider picking up the indoor stand as it has a longer wire.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
Due to the battery power, the camera can of course be used anywhere. In the short time I’ve tested, it’s still over 85% charged after almost a week of use, which makes me optimistic that it will last over a month on a full charge. This of course depends on how active it is.
Many of the features of the previous Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor are locked behind a subscription service. The key feature of Google Nest Cam (battery) is that it gives you up to three hours of event video out-of-the-box – with no subscription required. This is wonderful news because it captures and stores video of events over the past three hours. If you need more coverage, you’ll need to subscribe to Nest Aware for up to 10 days of continuous video recording.
I’m also excited to announce that even in the event of a network failure, the Google Nest Cam (battery) can continue to function normally as it continues to detect events and save clips. I tested this by unplugging my router. This is especially useful as it will not become inoperable if there is a power failure or the Wi-Fi network is interrupted.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
The Nest Cam (battery) will continue to provide intelligent alerts based on what it sees. So far, when it comes to discerning people and pets, it’s pretty much right – and alerting me with a notification on my phone. When used outdoors, it also has the ability to detect vehicles. I like that I can customize the notifications through the app, which helps avoid false positives.
And finally, it includes two-way audio for interacting with people. The internal speaker sounds loud and clear enough when used indoors, but I suspect that ambient noise outside could potentially affect its performance.
While there are some minor inconveniences that could easily be resolved with a software update, the $ 180 Google Nest Cam (battery) is a well-rounded security camera that can be effective anywhere. It’s a very versatile camera that doesn’t hide any advanced features behind a paywall, and one of the most feature-rich cameras I’ve come across right out of the box.
Is there a better alternative?
When it comes to clarity and detail, the Arlo Pro 4 is hard to beat with its sharp graphics, color night vision, and removable battery. You pay a little more for it, but the extra features and powerful performance back it up.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Eufy SoloCam E40 for $ 130. It shares many of the same functions, such as: B. local storage, which eliminates the need to sign up for a subscription service.
How long it will take?
The Google Nest Cam (battery) has a robust construction with a matte outer casing. It is also designed to operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 F. In the event of a malfunction due to a defect. Google offers a one-year limited warranty that covers this.
Should you buy it?
Yes sir. It’s rare that you find a security with so much flexibility and smarts out-of-the-box.