Home security cameras have never been more affordable with consumers now having access to a quality setup without the large installation costs. The visual quality on the cameras has continuously improved and now with the Nest IQ, security cameras have joined the long list of products with a smart assistant built-in. We picked one up to see if it would provide us with a little more peace of mind, and also watch what our pets got up to when we weren’t there.
As the ‘IQ’ in the name implies, the camera is smarter than its competitors and predecessors. Nest has released an update that implements Google Assistant into the IQ, effectively turning the camera into a Google Home as well. Thanks to its excellent microphones it will able to pick up your commands from various distances around the room it’s placed in. It’s great dual functionality that allows you to extend the coverage of an existing Google Home network without needing to fork out for extra hardware.
The Nest IQ also features impressive facial recognition software. The camera is already smart enough to differentiate the movements of your pets from intruders, but you can now set it up so that the movements of your family won’t send notifications to your phone. The facial recognition is accurate and in our testing, the Nest IQ knew who it was looking at the majority of the time, even when we were wearing glasses or facing the camera from different angles. The Nest IQ will send you a notification for any new faces it detects, so it’s a good idea to introduce it to your family early on to prevent false alarms when you’re away. It should be noted that in order to use the facial recognition features you’ll need to purchase a Nest Aware subscription, which starts at just $5 AUD a month.
The sound of any activity that occurs out of frame can still be heard thanks to the camera’s three-microphone array that features noise cancellation and echo suppression. While you’re away from the house, you can use your phone’s microphone to warn off intruders with the surprisingly loud speaker on the back. This works equally well for getting the dog off the couch when you’re not around to do so.
Design and Sensor
We were pleased that Nest hadn’t forgone sleek, minimalist design with the IQ. The build quality is rugged, and the tilt function is free of any fiddley thumb screws when adjusting. It has a universal tripod mount on the bottom if you want to fix it to wall or table, but the weight distribution is even enough that you won’t have to worry about it toppling over and filming your house at a weird angle.
The Nest IQ comes with a 4K sensor with HDR and infrared, so it works well in both day and night scenarios. Although it only records at 1080p, that 4K sensor allows it to zoom in on objects up to four times so you can bring finer details into perspective. It’s so clear you could, from the comfort of the office, zoom in and watch your pets breathe in real time as they sleep.
Nest IQ Review – The Wrap Up
The Nest IQ is one of the best security cameras on the market right now. Others will also offer great visual clarity, but it’s the combination of features, software and the addition of Google Assistant that should have the Nest IQ at near the top of your shopping list.