Nest Cam IQ Review: ‘4K’ Security in Your Home

5 min read

Every year the smart home becomes more common, and the devices we keep inside our homes become more and more precious. We’ve seen normal security cameras, budget ones, and even multiple outside ones, but the Nest Cam IQ may be the most detailed smart security camera around. Among the smart features that the Nest Cam has, it boasts 4K HD recording technology. Does it actually record in 4K though?

Before we get into all the pixel-y details, let’s go over what’s in the box. Once you open it you’re presented with the Cam IQ, underneath are some guides, then the AC adapter and charge cable. I was a little surprised that there wasn’t any mounting gear as was included with the normal Nest cams, but I suppose this is more aim to sit on its stand. Also confused as to why Nest thought it’d be ok to use USB C on the adapter, but use Micro USB on the actual IQ — that’s more just a personal annoyance.

The camera has a very elegant, sleek, modern design to it. So much so that I placed it on my dresser, surrounded by my Electric Family bracelet collection, and it was out of sight to everyone who entered my room. It just naturally blends into the background, almost effortlessly. The base is strong enough to hold the camera at any angle without toppling over. The charging cord is also long enough that you should able to place it anywhere and have it close to an outlet — it’s 10ft long!

Here comes the question about real quality, is the Nest Cam IQ truly 4K? Yes, but the IQ does not constantly record in 4K at all times. That would be power and bandwidth intensive. What the IQ does instead is constantly record/stream in 1080p, but it allows you to zoom in up to 4x with that same 1080p quality. Of course, zooming in further than that result in some quality loss as to be expected. I never really NEEDED to zoom in further than that to pick up a subject, but if you want to properly identify something small and unknown, the zoom may be necessary.

Otherwise, the picture when viewing a saved video or streaming is crystal clear. Being able to pop in anytime and not having to worry about cloudy/fuzzy footage or seeing an alert and not being able to identify an object was of no concern. The Nest Cam IQ nail video quality very well.

Then comes the app. The Nest app not only handles the IQ interface but also all of Nest’s other products. Having multiple products handled by one app can be confusing and efficient all at the same time. Nest has little trouble with this. Immediately on the start screen, you can see the status of your home, along with snapshots of any and all your Nest devices. Then you can jump into to the IQ’s portion to get a live stream and a timeline of past events. There’s also a huge list of settings you can change with your camera including scheduling, notifications, video quality, and hardware options.

Some other features of the Nest Cam IQ you should know include the fact that it can be mountable, the parts just aren’t included. Night vision works just as well as normal light recording, having a smart bulb though can help with this. Lastly, the camera can recognize faces and not only show/not show notifications for some people but can tell you who the specific person is. You’ll have to set this up manually for each face. I also recommend not having your camera on while a TV is in view as the IQ may think people on the TV are in your space.

You’ll have to look into Nest’s Nest Aware subscription as well. This subscription extends the recorded history of your camera from 3 hours up to 30 days. Nest Aware also includes the ability to set activity zones where you can tell the IQ to either hyperfocus on certain areas or ignore them. Nest Aware is $10 a month but every Nest product comes with a 30-day free trial.

The Nest Cam IQ is available from many places at $299. One of these places includes Verizon, which is where I got mine from. Getting the IQ from Verizon allows you to add the payment to your bill and extend the time to pay a bit or even split up the payments. Verizon also sells other Nest products if you’re looking to bundle and expand your smart home.

All in all, the Nest Cam IQ is a superb looking and performing smart security camera, and it should be at its premium. Instead of getting those other cameras of lesser quality in one way or another, take a look at the Nest Cam IQ. Not only will it look after your valuables, it can connect with your other smart home accessories and it will look nice among your furniture.

Order from Nest Order from Verizon Wireless

Thanks Verizon for allowing us to review this product!