nest cam iq reviewIf you’ve been considering adding a home security camera to your home but you haven’t been sure what kind you’d like or specifically what you would like it to do, you need to take a good look at the Nest Cam IQ indoor security camera.

The Nest Cam IQ is an easy to install, easy to use, home security camera with a twist. It has facial recognition software built in, so while some home security cameras will give you motion or sound alerts, Nest Cam IQ will actually tell you who’s in the room.

It needs a bit of time to sort out who’s who in your house, but once it does you’ll be amazed at what this camera can do.

Here’s a look at the Nest Cam IQ, how it works, and what I thought of it.

Appearance and features of Nest Cam IQ

nest cam iq review best buyThe Nest Cam IQ is an indoor home security camera. There’s also the Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera available for pre-order right now, and the main difference between the two is that the Nest Cam IQ outdoor camera has a weatherproof rating of IP66 and is designed to be tamper-resistant for outdoor use.

While your Nest Cam IQ indoor camera will not stand up to the elements like the outdoor version, they both have similar, pretty amazing features.

  • Wireless camera can connect to your home network on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. This is a great feature because not every home security camera can work on both
  • Detects sound and motion, and will zoom in on someone’s face and track that person when they are in view of the camera
  • This is an 8MP camera with 4K colour sensor, 12x digital zoom, and HDR image capture up to 1920 x 1080p.
  • 130-degree viewing angle and night vision with 940nm infrared LED
  • Two-way communication that’s signaled through a blue light and a sound alert on the camera
  • Extremely easy set up simply by opening the Nest app and scanning for the camera
  • If you have other Nest devices the camera will receive all Wi-Fi data from your existing device so you don’t have to go through extra set up steps
  • The Nest app gives you live streaming, you can view your day in time lapse, or you can opt for a Nest Aware subscription that gives you video storage
  • Works with Google Home and IFTTT

Seamless set up process

When I say that setting up the Nest Cam IQ is easy, I really mean it. I’ve struggled with a few smart home devices in my time, and the Nest Cam IQ was one of the easiest set ups I’ve ever had.

To set it up all you have to do is plug it in, open the Nest app, and allow the app to detect your camera. I have two Nest Protects in my home and I was sort of amazed that the Nest Protect found the Nest Cam and they communicated with each other to share my Wi-Fi data. It took all of three minutes and the camera was online and working within the Nest app.

Nest Cam IQ gives gorgeous video

Nest App with Nest CamI currently have several indoor home security cameras and several outdoor home security cameras. I like the cameras I have and they do a great job, but the video quality and features you get with the Nest Cam IQ make it a superior camera overall.

This 8MP camera has a built-in 4K colour sensor, 12x digital zoom, and HDR image capture for up to 1920 x 1080p. As you can see in my video, the colours are bright, the night vision is clear, and there is virtually zero lag between what you see on the camera and what’s happening in real life.

I watched on my phone from another room and I could see the room it was recording from where I was standing. It was exactly, to the second, the same view as my phone. That might not sound like a big deal if you’ve never had a home security camera before, but I’ve used many and there’s nothing as satisfying as a true, live stream.

Nest Cam IQ tracks motion and sound

Nest cam iqThe Nest Cam has a flat screen over the camera itself, and while that protects the camera it also hides the fact that this is a camera that tracks and zooms in on whatever motion or sound triggers it.

Just by looking at it you’d never know it was following you, and that’s an amazing feature for one very good reason: if someone were to break into your home, this camera could track that person and zoom in on their face. The clips are stored in your Nest app, and you can download them and share them with the police if you need to.

This camera also has two-way audio, and it is crystal clear and lag-free when you talk through the camera. You can literally be anywhere and you can open the app, go to a live view of your home, and clearly talk to whomever is there.

One great feature that comes with two-way audio is the alert it gives someone when you press talk on the app. The camera lights up blue, there’s a sound alert, and you can start talking back and forth.

Even when you’re not using the two-way audio, the sound quality for camera clips is amazing.

Facial detection software on Nest Cam IQ

Facial detection Nest Cam IQ Face detection Nest Cam IQ Nest cam facial recognition


I’ve talked about quite a few of the great features on the Nest Cam IQ, but by far the coolest feature is the facial detection. This camera has the ability to zoom in on a face, take a screen shot, and save it for you to check out at your leisure. If it’s a family member and you want the Nest Cam to know who it is, you can assign a name and the app will save all instances of facial recognition for that person.

Every time your camera recognizes that person it will send you an alert that says, “Shelly was spotted in the Kitchen,” or “Familiar Face was spotted in the kitchen.”

If it’s not someone you know, you’ll have that face saved right in your app.

Using the Nest app to watch and save video

Nest Aware 10 daysThere are a few ways you can access your video clips via the Nest app.

As soon as your camera is plugged in you have the option of viewing a live stream of video. You can watch that live stream whenever you want to, and while you are watching you can tap the screen to immediately download a clip you’ve just captured to your camera roll.

You’ll also receive snapshots of what your camera saw when it detected sound or motion, but it only saves those snapshots for three hours. If you want to keep the snapshots you have to log in and download the video before it disappears.


When you install a new Nest Cam IQ on your Nest app you automatically get a temporary Nest Aware subscription. Nest Aware is the cloud storage system that Nest uses to keep track of your videos.

With a Nest Aware subscription you get advanced alerts including facial recognition. Your camera will automatically record the video and safely store it in the cloud so you can view it anytime, and you’ll also see a timeline for video captured for that entire day. That free subscription will expire within 10 days, and at that point you can go back to using the quick snapshots or buy your own subscription.

There are two subscription plans for Nest Aware: Basic and Extended. The Basic plan is $10 US per month and gives you 10 days of video storage, while the Extended plan is $30 US per month and gives you 30 days of video storage. If you have more than one Nest Cam IQ in your home, you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription for each camera.

You can set your Nest Cam IQ to only record to the cloud if the camera detects sound, motion, or faces. That way, if you’re concerned about a continual upload eating into your home’s bandwidth, you can restrict how your camera captures.

You can also designate one of your Nest Cams to have a higher priority than the other by selecting one as more important, so one camera will maintain a steady connection if your network can’t keep up.

Nest Cam IQ works with your Google Assistant

I was already impressed with the functionality of this home security camera, but one of the best things about Nest is that they never stop improving. The latest update to the Nest Cam IQ is an exciting one because it adds the ability to use your Google Assistant with your Nest Cam IQ.

Having Google Assistant integrated with your Nest Cam IQ means you can use it to answer questions, control your home, and manage the basic tasks you do every day. All you have to do is say, “Hey Google” and your Nest Cam IQ is ready to help.

You can ask it to change your Nest thermostat or you can view your Nest Cam IQ’s live video on your TV by throwing it to your Chromecast. You can also ask it for the latest weather report or tell it to cast your favourite playlist to a connected speaker in another room.

Overall thoughts on Nest Cam IQ

There are no downsides to the Nest Cam IQ. It gives you beautiful 1080p HD capture, has facial recognition software, and the lag-free, buffer-free live stream is a sight to behold.

This camera also integrates with Google Home and IFTTT. That means you can add extra functionality to it or use voice commands to control it. The fact that it integrates so seamlessly within the Nest app and with other Nest devices is also a huge bonus.

You can find this amazing home security camera on right now. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is available for pre-order with a release date of March 1st, 2018.

Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag


  1. OK…. there’s a 4K sensor… so does all 4K resolution get uploaded to the cloud? Or just a 1080 video goes to the cloud?

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