Nest is perhaps one of the most recognizable brands when it comes to smart products, with their Nest Learning Thermostat making them a force to be reckoned with within the industry. However, their expansion into security and video monitoring has also been well received, and the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam IQ are two incredibly popular products. Ultimately, we do feel that the Nest Cam IQ is the better product from a technical standpoint, but it’s also significantly more expensive. In most situations, the regular Nest Cam Indoor will get the job done just fine.
The main attraction with the Nest Cam IQ is the inclusion of Google Assistant in the device itself, and there’s no denying that that’s a useful feature. However, for those who already have a Google Home or are looking to purchase a standalone model in the future, it’s difficult to justify the extra expense. The Nest Cam Indoor has pretty much everything we look for in a security camera — all for a much more affordable price.
Below we break down the details in a comprehensive comparison of Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ. Read on for a full overview, or jump directly to the section that interests you most using our navigation bar.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ — Things in Common
Video Quality – Both cameras feature the same excellent video quality, with a 1080pHD, 30 FPS picture. They also stream in an H.264 Video Format that compresses the stream to ensure that most any home network can support three or four cameras without putting a significant strain on the bandwidth.
Live View – With either model, you’ll have access to on-demand live view whenever you please through the Nest app. You can also access the Record Live View feature with the Nest Aware subscription.
Field of View – The Nest Cam’s all-glass lens has a pretty impressive 130 degree diagonal field of view without the need to pan or zoom, although zoom is also available for those situations where you need a closer look.
Power – Both cameras are powered via AC, and plug directly into a standard outlet. While this lacks the flexibility power of a battery powered camera like the Arlo Pro 2, the consistent power source allows the Nest Cams to provide more features and better tech overall.
WiFi – The Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam IQ use both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi, which allows them to street full 1080p video without causing congestion on your network.
24/7 Recording – Both models give you access to continuous video recording in three options: 5-Day, 10-day, and 30-day.
All Nest Aware conscription come with the 24/7 recording, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapses, and the ability to set activity zones.
The different plan names refer to the amount of video storage offered. 5-day is available for $5 per month or $50 per year, 10-day is $10 per month or $100 per year, and 30-day is $30 per month or $300 per year.
Cloud Storage – For no additional charge, you’ll receive a 3-hour snapshot history with your Nest Cam Indoor or Nest Cam IQ. Alternatively, you could opt for the CVR with Nest Aware.
App Support – Both models are easy to access at any time using the Android, iOS, or Web app.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ — Differences
Difference #1: Zoom – The first difference when comparing the Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ is their digital zoom. While both models offer the feature, the IQ offers an impressive 12x zoom while the Indoor only has 8x. Additionally, the IQ can enhance the zoomed image with the Close-up tracking view.
This tracking is known as Supersight, and allows the camera to zoom in and track a person to allow you to more easily identify them. This zoomed view will be shown as a picture-in-picture format within the Nest app, and has the same 130 degree view of the default feed.
This feature is available by default and will activate when your camera detects a person. This is useful for getting more information of people approaching your home and can make it a lot easier to identify trespassers or home intruders.
Difference #2: Two-Way Audio – The Nest Cam Indoor has standard two-way audio that allows you to listen in and talk back using the Nest app. When the camera defects that someone is about to talk, it will chime to get your attention.
The IQ has improved two-way audio with better volume and a bit microphone. It’s great for scaring off intruders from afar, and the noise cancellation and echo suppression allows you to hear them with crystal clarity.
Difference #3: Motion Detection – Motion detection comes standard with both cameras, although they offer different levels of feature.
With the Nest Cam Indoor and a Nest Aware subscription, you can create motion zones to reduce the incidence of false alarms in high traffic areas as well as enable person detection.
The Nest Cam IQ offers person detection for free, but you do need a subscription to enable motion zones. Nest Aware also offers facial recognition with this model, so you’ll get a notification when the camera detects a familiar face or a stranger. Just keep in mind that this particular feature isn’t available to be used in Illinois due to state laws.
Simply put, the Nest Cam IQ does a better job with motion detection.
Difference #4: Night Vision – invisible infrared LEDs will illuminate the whole room and an IR cut-off filter ensures that you’ll get a clear picture, day or night. However, the Nest Cam IQ has 940 nm lights that do a much better job of giving a bright picture when compared to the 850 nm LEDs on the Nest Cam Indoor.
The IQ makes the video feed’s pixels bright and crisp even in pitch black darkness, which can make a big difference when monitoring your home in the dead of night.
Difference #5: Google Assistant – Both cameras interface well with Google Assistant, which is great for checking in on your kids or making sure your dog stays off the sofa. With a simple command like “Hey Google, show me the living room” you can get a clear feed from your camera on the Google Home Hub.
The Nest Cam IQ takes things a step further by integrating Google Assistant directly into the camera itself. This means that it’s simple to speak to your camera and get information, manage your to-do list, and even control your other smart devices through your security camera. Just activate Google Assistant on your Nest App and enjoy the convenience that the voice Assistant has to offer.
Amazon Alexa also works well with both cameras, although it isn’t built into the Nest Cam IQ. With that said, devices like the Echo Spot or Echo Show are great for quickly pulling up your video feed. You can even view your cameras right on your TV if you have an Amazon Fire Stick!
Difference #6: Color – Lastly, there are some differences in color and design. Both cameras are designed with a sleek, modern aesthetic, but the Nest Cam Indoor is black while the Nest Cam IQ is white with a nice blue LED ring around the camera.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ — Comparison Chart
|Nest Cam Indoor||Nest Cam IQ Indoor|
|Video resolution||1080p HD||1080p HD, |
Supersight, Daytime HDR
|Frames per Second||30 FPS||30 FPS|
|On-Demand Live View||Yes||Yes|
|Record Live View||with Nest Aware||with Nest Aware|
|Field of View||130° diagonal||130° diagonal|
|Zoom||8x digital zoom||12x digital zoom and enhance|
Close-up tracking view
|Optional Power Source||N/A||N/A|
|Two-Way Audio||Yes||Yes, HD|
|Motion Zones||with Nest Aware||with Nest Aware|
|Person Detection||with Nest Aware||Yes|
|Night Vision||850 nm LEDs: |
illuminates up to 25 feet
IR cut-off filter
|940 nm LEDs: |
illuminates up to 25 feet
IR cut-off filter
|WiFi||2.4GHz or 5GHz||2.4GHz or 5GHz|
|Requires a Base Station||No||No|
|24/7 Recording||with Nest Aware||with Nest Aware|
|Local Backup Storage||No||No|
|Cloud Storage||3-hour snapshot history |
or with Nest Aware
|3-hour snapshot history |
or with Nest Aware
|Review, Share, & Save||with Nest Aware||with Nest Aware|
|e911 Emergency Call||No||No|
|Instant App Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|App Support||Android, iOS, Web||Android, iOS, Web|
|Rich Notifications||Yes, with a snapshot||Yes, with a snapshot|
|Weather-resistant||Indoor use only||Indoor use only|
|LED Lights||No||LED light ring|
|Amazon Alexa||Echo Show, Echo Spot||Echo Show, Echo Spot|
|Google Home Hub||Yes||Yes|
|Operating Temperature||32° to 104°F||32° to 104°F|
|Dimension||4.5 x 2.8 in.||4.9 x 2.9 in.|
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ — Accessories
The main accessories worth mentioning for the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam IQ are mainly focused on mounting.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ — Our Thoughts
It’s pretty clear when comparing the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam IQ that the IQ is the superior camera. There isn’t really any situation where the regular Nest Cam is better from a features standpoint, but it’s much better in one key area: the price.
Ultimately, while there are minor bumps in features with the Nest Cam IQ, we don’t feel that it’s so superior that it’s worth shelling out a ton extra. You’re mostly paying for features like the tracking and built-in Google Assistant, so unless those are mandatory perks for you, we recommend saving a bit of money and just buying the Nest Cam Indoor.
The main downside to these cameras is that there is no option for local storage, which means you can lose valuable footage of your internet connection drops. For some excellent smart cameras that have that option, we recommend taking a look at the Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2.
- Nest Cam Indoor
- Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Let us know what you think!
Have you noticed other differences between Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ? Feel free to add them or share your experience with the products in the comments section below. Your input can help other people make the right choice!
Last update on 2018-12-13 at 20:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API