Nest Cam Outdoor review

A good quality camera with a great app, but it’s pricey

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We liked

This camera feels quite rugged and well-constructed enough to survive the worst weather without leaking. The robust 25-foot cable adds installation flexibility and the strong magnetic bracket is a neat way to fix it to a wall. 

Picture quality is excellent in both 1080p and 720p modes with very good night vision too. 

The main advantages with Nest, though, are its strong software support, available on iOS, Android and via a web portal, and its unrivalled integration with a whole ecosystem of smart home devices.

We disliked

It must be said that the USB cable looks rather odd, emerging from the chin of the camera and not out through the bracket, which also leaves it vulnerable to burglars, who might like to steal the camera itself. It is rather expensive and fixed to the wall only by a magnet, after all.

We had some trouble getting our camera to recognise certain routers, despite help from the excellent companion app. Our main concern, however, is the price. The initial outlay seems fair, but you really need to take out a subscription to benefit from all of the features available, and Nest Aware is the most expensive service we have come across – you pay £8/$10 per month (around AU$13) to keep 10 days of video history for a single camera.

Final verdict

Nest’s stylish camera is backed up by the most user-friendly companion app of all the security cameras we’ve seen and its Nest Aware service, which stores up to 30 days of footage in the cloud, is the most reliable and accessible. The only problem is that it’s also the most expensive and without paying for a subscription, you cannot access all of the camera’s features. 

The camera itself is very well specified, so we suspect that its integration with other Nest products, like the brand’s smart thermostat, is what gives this device an advantage over the rest.

Jim Hill

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.