GOOGLE
CNN —  

Alongside a completely redesigned doorbell, Nest is refreshing its entire line of cameras as well. Here’s your first look at the Nest Cam (indoor/outdoor), Nest Cam With Floodlight and Nest Cam (wired).

The former and the latter are actually two separate products, despite their nearly identical names. The first $179.99 Nest Cam is a battery-powered solution for indoor or outdoor locations. The second Nest Cam retails for $99.99 and is a wired indoor-only camera. The Nest Cam With Floodlight pairs the indoor/outdoor battery variant with two bright lights for an outdoor security solution at $279.99.

We’re about to break them all down, but first, a note about availability. The $179.99 Nest Cam is up for preorder today and is set for an Aug. 24 release date. The Nest Cam wired and the Nest Cam With Floodlight will arrive later — or, as Google put it, “coming soon.” We’ll update this post once we know about preorders and launch.

Nest Cam

GOOGLE

At $179.99, the new Nest Cam is positioned as an indoor or outdoor camera that can really go anywhere. And it looks similar to the Nest Cam or Nest Cam IQ — basically a cylindrical camera that attaches to a base or a mount. Its face is a black front that features the camera and sensor and an indicator LED; the rest of the body is white — or, as Google calls it, Snow. It’s also made out of plastic and built from 47% postconsumer recycled material. And as any outdoor-rated product should be, it carries an IP54 rating against water or snow. This way it can be up year-round.

The star here is a 2-megapixel sensor that captures a wide 130-degree field of view. Like the new Doorbell, the Nest Cam supports HDR footage at up to 1080p HD. This means it should be a clear stream that can handle direct sunlight in a way that won’t wash out the entire image. It also features Night Vision, thanks to some infrared LEDs built in. Google says you’ll be able to see up to 20 feet with night vision engaged on the Nest Cam.

For communication, the Nest Cam supports two-way audio through a speaker and an onboard microphone. You’ll be able to access this functionality within the “live view” in the Google Home App for Android or iOS. And the core features of the Nest Cam — as well as the other models announced — are getting a major improvement.

The Nest Cam will support activity zones and smart detection for people, vehicles and animals out of the box. You won’t need to subscribe to Nest Aware to gain these, and all the video processing happens on the device. Yes, Google’s packed a machine learning (ML) chip inside, which monitors the live feed for a potential object.

GOOGLE

If a dog or a person walks into the frame, it can identify who is in the frame and trigger the right notification to be sent. Nest is promising smarter notifications and differentiating from competitors that send a plethora of notifications. It’s also a win for privacy since everything is processed on the device and not being shipped into the cloud.

You will need to upgrade to Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus for familiar face detection and to increase video storage. All of these new cams ship with three hours of recorded event history. Nest Aware increases that to 60 days of recorded video event history, and Nest Aware Plus delivers continuous video recording for up to 10 days. You’ll also need the Nest Cam plugged into power at all times.

The Nest Cam features a built-in battery that will need to be recharged or continuously plugged in. Nest includes a 3.3-foot cable that’s rated for indoor use. If you want to use the Nest Cam outside and always have it on, you’ll need to use a weatherproof cable or a separate power solution that Google will sell. Battery life will vary here, but Google is offering a few estimates. A Nest Cam that delivers 20 to 25 events a day will last for about a month and a half, while one that delivers nine to 12 events is closer to three months. Those that only deliver two to four events can last for closer to seven months.

Nest Cam With Floodlight

GOOGLE

The Nest Cam With Floodlight is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the same indoor or outdoor Nest Cam described above but with a mount that includes two bright LEDs. You’re paying the extra premium for a durable mount that will securely hold the Nest Cam and the two circular LEDs that sit on either side.

At $279.99, it’s not a cheap floodlight solution and goes up against options from Ring (starting at $179.99) and Arlo’s Floodlight Pro 3 ($249.99). The goal here is that when the Nest Cam detects motion, it can also shine a bright light to increase the video quality and scare someone off potentially. It will feature the same smarts out of the box and offer the same video quality as the core Nest Cam.

Nest Cam: Indoor only and wired

GOOGLE

At $99 the Nest Cam will be the most affordable security camera from the brand and replaces the original Nest Cam. It now has a modern design that resembles the larger Nest Cam and sits as a small circular build with a camera on the front and a wire coming out the back, which sits on a base or is attached to a mount.

It will deliver HDR video quality both in recorded events and when streaming the camera live in the Google Home app. It’s captured through a 135-degree field of view and offers 6x digital zoom as well. And like its bigger siblings, it features an on-device ML chip that will enable smart notifications. We’re especially eager to see how this performs as a pet monitoring solution with the ability to detect animals like a dog or a cat. Out of the box, it will store three hours of recorded events, but you’ll need to upgrade to a Nest Aware plan for a longer storage history.

Last but not least, the Nest Cam will also be available in a wooden color option that pairs a Sand color with a wooden maple base. Yes, it’s made out of real wood. It will also be available in Fog, Linen or Snow. The Nest Cam will be available in the future for $99.99. The wooden base edition will cost a bit more at $119.99 when it launches.

In terms of the competition, we’re intrigued to see how the Nest Cam compares against the Blink Mini ($34.99; amazon.com) and the Ring Indoor Cam ($59.99; amazon.com). Both offer a similar feature set, albeit without these smart notifications. For that drop, though, you still get motion detections and cheaper price tags.

Let’s recap

These three new additions to the Nest Cam line update a product family that was aging and present a few new security cameras to respective buyers. They certainly pack a bit more value by not locking activity zones or smart notifications behind a paywall. The updated design language fits in with the broader Nest and Google family of devices, but the overarching point is the deeper integration with the Google Home app. And if you’re in that ecosystem and have a home with a Nest hub or speaker, these might be your best bet for home monitoring.

The indoor and outdoor Nest Cam is up for preorder now at $179.99, while the Nest Cam With Floodlight and wired Nest Cam will be available in the coming weeks.