Dropcam vs. Nest Cam vs. Dropcam Pro — What’s the Difference?

Dropcam vs Nest Cam vs Dropcam Pro

Dropcam vs. Nest Cam vs. Dropcam Pro: how big is the difference among the three cameras? At a glance, it looks like there’s virtually no difference except for the style and price. Since Nest bought Dropcam, these three cameras run on the same app, making them have a lot in common. You can still use the Dropcam app, however Nest insistently recommends you switching to the Nest app.

Now, for a little backstory on the two companies; for anyone who doesn’t know, Dropcam sold their company to Nest, and the Dropcam CEO really regrets doing this. Why? Well, Dropcam was a great competitor, probably the strongest competitor to Nest and the company had the right mindset and product to succeed. Anyway, now that Dropcam is owned by Nest, we can only look at the difference in products now, because soon it’ll probably only be Nest branded cameras. So let’s look at the difference between the Dropcam, Nest Cam, and Dropcam Pro!

  • Difference #1: Mounting – All three cameras have nearly identical mounting. You can use them on a desk or table. The Nest Cam also comes with a magnetic plate. You can stick the magnetic plate to a metal surface and place the Nest Cam on it. Or, you can also install the magnetic plate and mount your Nest Cam on a wall, ceiling or any non-magnetic surface.

    The Dropcam and the Dropcam Pro don’t have magnetic plates. Yet, they still have wall mounting hardware. Plus, if you want to have more mounting options, they offer a universal mount magnetic and suction cup. It’s a wonderful, versatile addition to your smart camera. Just a heads-up: the universal mount kit is only compatible with the Dropcam Pro and Nest Cam. So, if you still have the standard Dropcam, it might be the time to upgrade it.

  • Difference #2: Size and Weight – The Nest Cam is slightly thinner. The Nest Cam is 4.5”H x 2.9”W x 2.9”D. Whereas, the Dropcam standard and Pro are 4.5”H x 3.15”W x 3.15”D. So, yes, Nest Cam, you win this one. Yet, the Nest Cam is slightly heavier than the Dropcams. So, if you plan on carrying the camera out on the town, I guess it’d be closer to a tie.

  • Difference #3: Video Quality – Both the Dropcam standard and Pro top out at 720p at 30 FPS. The Nest Cam provides 1080p video at 30 FPS. This is where it gets interesting: since Nest bought Dropcam, your Dropcam Pro can now stream 1080p Full HD video with the Nest app. Isn’t that amazing? So, I guess there are a few perks to that Dropcam acquisition.The standard Dropcam does not support this feature — so we’d recommend upgrading to the Dropcam Pro. Also, the Dropcam Pro and Nest Cam both have a 130-degree-wide angle lens, whereas the Dropcam is 107 degrees. To get a better idea of the differences, check out our chart below.


Dropcam vs. Nest Cam vs. Dropcam Pro — Full chart of features

DropcamNest CamDropcam Pro
Camera lens⅓-inch, 1-megapixel sensor⅓-inch, 3–megapixel sensor⅓-inch, 3-megapixel sensor
VideoUp to 720p (1280 x 720) at up to 30 frames/sec, H.264 encodingUp to 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames/sec, H.264 encodingUp to 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames/sec, H.264 encoding
Field of view107° diagonal field of view130° diagonal field of view130° diagonal field of view
Night VisionV6 (Late model) or 12 (Early model) High-power infrared LEDs8 high–power infrared LEDs8 high–power infrared LEDs
Size and weightHeight: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Width: 3.15 inches (8.0 cm)
Depth: 3.15 inches (8.0 cm)
Weight = 5.5 oz (156g)
Height: 4.5 inches (11.4cm)
Width: 2.9 inches (7.3cm)
Depth: 2.9 inches (7.3cm)
Weight: 7.5 oz (213g)
Height: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Width: 3.15 inches (8.0 cm)
Depth: 3.15 inches (8.0 cm)
Weight: 5.7 oz (162g)
Depth of zoom4x8x8x
Audio and lightsSpeaker and microphone
Talk and Listen
Speaker and microphone
Talk and Listen
RGB LED status light
Speaker and microphone
Talk and Listen
Network frequencies2.4 GHz2.4 and 5 GHz2.4 and 5 GHz
Power usage5VDC, 1.0A5VDC, 1.0A5VDC, 1.0A
PriceCheck on Amazon$153.28Check on Amazon

Dropcam vs. Nest Cam vs. Dropcam Pro — The Bottom Line

Dropcam vs. Nest Cam

All three cameras are great, but, with the 1080p upgrade with the Nest app, we’d recommend upgrading from the standard Dropcam to the Dropcam Pro or Nest Cam. Know that the Dropcam Pro and Nest Cam are almost the same, so you’re basically picking the brand you’d prefer rather than the differences in specifications. If you already have the Dropcam Pro, don’t even bother upgrading to the Nest Cam — The money you spend for an upgrade is just not worth the new features you’ll get.

If you don’t have a home security camera and are choosing between Dropcam Pro vs Nest Cam — get the Nest Cam. The Dropcam Pro might be slightly cheaper, but it’ll probably be fully-replaced with the Nest Cam in the near future anyway. Plus, if you’re starting out new, you might as well start with the latest model.

Have you seen their storage pricing? For the 1st camera in your home (Dropcam, Nest Cam, or Dropcam Pro), you’ll be paying $100 a year for 10 days of video history. And for every additional subscription for cameras in the same home is $50 a year. Honestly, we think that’s insane. Plus, to make it even worse, there’s no local storage.

Before choosing between Dropcam vs. Nest Cam vs. Dropcam Pro, consider checking other smart home cameras as well. For example, Arlo Pro cameras. Unlike Nest, they offer a free plan for up to 5 cameras. The Arlo storage keeps last 7 days of your recording for free. Seriously, check it out.

Read more about Arlo vs. Arlo Pro: What’s the Difference?



3 Comments

  1. Esther Peterson October 31, 2017
    • Joseph V. October 31, 2017
  2. Andrew November 28, 2017

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