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In recent years we’ve seen the rise of the connected home. The “internet of things” is one way of putting it – whereby home devices are part of a larger network, usually connected to the web, and are devised to make your life a whole lot easier.
Google Nest is one example of this and has risen to prominence by offering a now-bewildering array of devices that respond to your input and your voice, assist around the home and monitor things like temperature, audio and who’s knocking on the door.
Of course, operating 24 hours a day means a lot of data can be collected, so users can spot trends and identify solutions to problems before they happen.
In this review, we’ll look more closely at Google’s nest cam IQ indoor. We tested the Google Nest in a range of settings and locations over the course of a couple of weeks of normal household comings and goings. We tested both the Google Assistant and Alexa functions, as well as audio quality through the two-way talk ability.
Audio and video were big factors, so we were looking for clear audio with no delay or breaks, and visual quality that allowed us to determine faces and movement clearly. We also looked at ease of use and set up, as well as how easily the device plugged into the existing Google infrastructure.
Google Nest cam IQ indoor
Buy now Johnlewis.com, £181.30
Audio: Speaker, microphone
Camera: 1080p at 30fps
Field of view: 130 diagonal
Night vision: Yes – high-power infrared LEDs
The Nest cam IQ indoor is an updated version of the original Nest cam indoor, which impressed with the quality of its camera and all-round usability. The IQ indoor adds better wifi connectivity, a vastly improved audio setup and better person recognition – essentially, it’s a smarter device.
Straight out the of box we were faced with a sleek looking and fairly minimal package – it ships with the camera itself and a power adaptor, as well as plasterboard anchors and wall mounts with cable ties should you wish to get it straight up onto the wall. We found it was actually a bit more convenient to put it on a sideboard or on a table, however, and the stand feels sturdy enough. Overall, it’s a good-looking package and we feel it’d hide out of the way in most homes.
With the norm when it comes to home security devices being 1080p in terms of resolution, it’s no surprise the Nest cam IQ indoor has this – and the quality during daylight hours is good. It has 12 times digital zoom capability too, which as far as we’re aware is industry-leading, so should make life all the easier should you need to identify someone. With 16 infrared lights powering its night vision, we were also really impressed with the footage captured in the dark while remained incognito.
One area Google is keen to stress has been improved is the audio, and we found this to be true. Crystal clear, and with no discernible noise or echo, we found it really easy to pick up what people were saying and also had no trouble with Google Assistant hearing us when we made a request.
Face recognition and smart-platform integration
The Nest cam IQ integrates with Google’s Assistant ecosystem, so you can speak to it as you would any other Google Nest or Amazon Alexa device to check up on lists, add stuff to notes, check the weather and the news. It also integrates with the Phillips hue lightbulbs if you have those, so you can speak to it to dim the lighting or change its colour.
Buy now Johnlewis.com, £181.30
What really impressed us, however, was the smart-platform integration and general artificial intelligence. With six cores of processing power, Google has made a big thing of how powerful this camera is, and this is clear when it comes to person recognition. It might sound straightforward, but you’d be surprised how many cameras can’t tell the difference between a person and a bin. No such trouble here, and if you’re part of the Google Nest Aware subscription package, you also get face recognition too.
Prices and subscriptions
This brings us neatly on to price and subscriptions. It’s not the cheapest device out there – but we’ve found deals ranging from £140 to £250.
Of course, as with many home-security setups, you don’t get the full package unless you subscribe to Nest Aware, which starts from about £5 per month. This is primarily for cloud storage – three hours are free but you get around 30 hours a month for the basic Aware package. There are a few nice extras here too though – including activity zones (which allows you to mark off important areas of interest for the camera), 24/7 continuous recording, facial recognition and the ability to record and store time-lapses. All of this is available through the fairly intuitive app that’s required to use the camera, and you can get face recognition notifications through here, as well as operate the camera using the two-way audio feature.
The verdict: Google nest cam IQ indoor
If you’re already part of the Google infrastructure, we’d highly recommend the Google nest cam IQ indoor. It’s a great piece of tech, pushing the boundaries of what security cameras can do with genuinely useful features and a number of simple things done well.
We found the quality of the video to be good, the audio and two-way conversation feature to be excellent and the stress-free set up a real bonus.
There are, however, a couple of downsides worth considering – it’s quite expensive, and we’re not sold on the subscription model as we would have liked to have seen the option of local footage storage too. However, that being said, we still think this is one of the smartest, best-looking and easiest to use indoor home security cameras out there.
Buy now £181.30, Johnlewis.com
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