Skip to main content

Nest Cam Indoor review

The Nest Cam Indoor is a security camera for smart home fans

Nest Cam Indoor
(Image: © Nest)

Our Verdict

Nest Cam Indoor has a mostly painless setup process, a helpful mobile app and a reliable WiFi connection. It has excellent daytime video quality but if you want to store video for longer than 24 hours it's going to cost you.

For

  • Excellent 1080p video quality
  • Easy setup
  • Can sync with Nest home heating

Against

  • Expensive subscription plans

The Nest Cam Indoor is a security camera for the smart home crowd. It works with a variety of devices to streamline your home. Its video quality is among the best in our reviews, though it doesn't quite match that of some other security cameras we tested, including the 4K Nest Cam IQ Indoor

You can install the Nest Cam almost anywhere in your home, though setup takes a little longer than it does for similar products. Nest's customer support is the best in our security camera reviews so that's something to bear in mind too.

For those already running a Nest device, like the Learning Thermostat, this camera makes sense as all the systems can be controlled from a single app. Features like 1080p quality video, night vision mode and two-way talk functionality all add to the appeal of the Indoor Cam. But with 4K alternatives out there now, does this older camera, that started smart home camera popularity, still stand its ground?

Features

  • Full HD video
  • Night vision mode
  • Nest app

The Nest Cam Indoor has a high-definition video resolution of 1080p meaning you can pick out fine detail in the image. This makes it ideal for spotting faces, which is perfect if you're using this device as a home security measure. The night vision mode, which uses an array of infrared LED lights, means you can check in on your home day or night and still get a clear image. With this system the depth can be limited as those lights will only go so far – but this is super bright so even large rooms will be pretty clearly lit, albeit in black and white.

Key specifications

Resolution: 1080p (3-megapixel sensor)
Camera lens: 130-degree
Night vision: 8x 850nm IR LEDs
Recording options: Cloud via Nest Aware subscription
Two-way talk: Yes
WiFi: 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n

This WiFi security camera has a 130-degree field of view, which is average for the cameras in our review. While this shows less of a room than human peripheral vision does, it is wide enough to show most of what's going on in a room, especially if you mount the camera in a corner. The Nest Cam Indoor also has a digital zoom that can enlarge a part of the video up to eight times. 

The camera's two-way audio lets you use your smartphone to speak with people using the camera. A nice feature not only to ward off anyone you might need to but also to talk with your pet if it's climbing the couch when it's not supposed to – if it listens or not is another matter.

Like every camera in our review, the Nest Cam Indoor has motion detection, which sends you an alert when something moves within the camera's field of view. There was some lag between motion in real time and when it showed up on the video feed in our tests, but it didn't cause any problems with the camera's performance.

Video is stored in the cloud for 24-hours but if you want to go back further you'll need to pay out for a subscription service that gives you more storage capacity.

Design and build

  • Solid metallic build
  • Easy installation without lots of wires
  • Small and attractive

The camera unit is solid, strong and sturdy thanks to its metal build. Even the mechanism that allows the camera to tilt feels strong and stays in place no matter the angle you leave it at. Minimalism is not only great for looks here but also helpful for setup where all you need is a single included power cable to have this up and running.

The camera features a multi-coloured LED light. This lights up when the camera is on allowing anyone in the room to see that it is on. The speaker and microphone that allow two-way talk are totally hidden into the build where, to look at it, you'd never know this camera was capable of this feature.

The stand is easy to install and the mounting system allows you to place this upside down or in the corner of a room making installation super versatile. 

Performance

  • Great app performance
  • Excellent daytime video quality
  • Bright night time infrared LEDs

Video from this camera is clear enough for you to differentiate people and objects. Our tests revealed that the Nest Cam Indoor works best in low light or indirect daylight coming in through a window. With additional lights in our daytime test location, the video quality was still very good, but not as good as the top 1080p security cameras we tested: the Flir FX, the D-Link DCS-2630L and the Arlo Q. Obviously it wasn't as good as the 4K cameras either but that's not fair to compare as they're considerably more expensive.

During our total-darkness testing at night, the Nest Cam Indoor didn't provide as much clarity as other top-performing cameras. Its infrared LEDs are very bright, which has the effect of washing out objects that are closer to the camera. This also made it harder to distinguish objects at 15 feet. The flip of that is you get longer range viewing, so this could be a positive for those with larger rooms.

For the most part, the mobile app is easy to use. You can use it to set up the camera, view videos and change settings. During setup, the mobile app provides a QR code that you show to the camera to add it to your home network. In our tests, the QR code worked well, but it took the camera a little longer to recognize it than other cameras using a similar setup style did.

As a Nest product, this security camera works in tandem with other Nest devices and third-party products in the Works with Nest certification program. The program includes notable products such as the August Smart Lock, IFTTT, Philips Hue and Scout Alarm.

Like all the best wireless security cameras, the Nest Cam Indoor doesn't require a paid subscription for basic features. You can use the app to view live video, get sound alerts and motion alerts, and use two-way voice for free. With a paid Nest Aware subscription, you can record video nonstop, download clips and create time-lapse videos.

The Nest Cam Indoor also includes location detection. This lets the mobile app use your phone's GPS to activate certain features and alerts when you leave your home. The camera also has 5GHz Wi-Fi, which has less signal interference than the standard 2.4GHz Wi-Fi on home security cameras.

Verdict

Nest is one of the few companies in our 1080p reviews to feature everything we looked for in terms of customer support. In contrast to the one-year warranty on the majority of wireless security cameras, the Nest Cam Indoor has a two-year warranty. This is a great advantage which very few of the competitors offer.

Problems are going to be rare thanks to the build quality of the camera and the simplicity of the app but should they occur you're covered. You can visit the Nest support site to find tutorials and FAQs for most common problems. For direct customer support, you can contact the company via telephone, email, live chat and a dedicated Twitter account.

The Nest Cam Indoor is an exceptional security camera, especially in low-light environments. It has location detection and can integrate with a wide variety of smart home equipment, making it one of the most versatile security cameras in our review. While it doesn't have the same ease of use as our highest-ranked security camera, it is more than capable of meeting your home security needs.