When it comes to picking out a smart camera for your home, it’s incredibly difficult to find all the information you need. Finding all the information about features and tech specs can take forever. What we’ve tried to do is compile all the information you’d need in order to make the decision between the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Arlo Pro. There’re a lot of differences between the two models, so we’ll start with what they have in common.
Both Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and Arlo Pro cameras feature a 130-degree field view, 850 nm LEDs for night vision, and talk-and-listen capability.
And with that said, let’s take a look at some of the main differences between the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera and the Arlo Pro.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Arlo Pro — Differences
Difference #1: Video quality – Both cameras have high-quality video output, but they do differ in their video resolution.
The Nest Cam IQ records up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames/sec. It also features H.264 encoding which is a top quality compression system that will shrink the video size while retaining great image fidelity. The camera features Daytime HDR that combines multiple 4K images to even out challenging lighting conditions. No matter your environment, the details of your images won’t get blown out or lost in the shadow.
The Arlo Pro features configurable resolution up to 1280 x 720, which is a lower resolution than the Nest Cam IQ – but still very respectable and sufficient for most applications.
Difference #2: Digital zoom – Digital zoom can be a nice perk, ensuring that you’re able to see the action even at a distance.
The Nest Cam IQ has a 12x digital zoom and enhancement with a close-up tracking view.
The Arlo Pro features an 8x digital zoom: while it’s not quite as impressive as the Nest model, will still serve the majority of users just fine.
Difference #3: Operating temperature – If you live in a cold climate, you may be better off with the Nest Cam IQ, featuring a temperature range of –40° to 113°F (–40° to 45°C). Keep in mind, however, that we haven’t had a chance to test the model in these frigid conditions. If their claims are correct, the support for lower temperatures is awesome! Just take these specifications with a grain of salt until there’s more concrete evidence that the Nest can truly perform in freezing weather.
The Arlo Pro operates at -4° to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C) which is more of a standard configuration when it comes to smart cameras.
Difference #4: Person alerts – Having a camera that’s truly “smart” means looking for a model that can recognize human activity.
For the Nest Cam IQ, good insight starts with incredible sight. This model can detect a person up to 50 feet away, and alert you with a photo of said person. Using Nest Aware, the camera can even recognize a familiar face. Just keep in mind that video streaming, video recordings, and mobile notifications require working internet and Wi-Fi. Familiar face alerts with Nest Aware are also not available in Illinois.
Not only does the Nest Cam IQ recognize faces – it’ll activate a close-up tracking view feature. If Nest Cam IQ sees a person, special algorithms automatically zoom in and follow the action.
The Arlo Pro currently doesn’t recognize faces, but it does seem like face recognition is a software feature. Could we see an update soon with support for this recognition? Who knows? All we can say at this point is that it currently doesn’t include the feature.
Difference #5: Talk and Listen – The Nest Cam IQ features an HD Talk and Listen feature with noise and echo suppression, so you can speak through your device and listen to responses when you can’t be there physically.
The Arlo Pro also features a pretty powerful mic and speaker. The sound is not HD, but it certainly gets the job done effectively.
Difference #6: Siren – An effective siren is an important inclusion when it comes to a smart camera, as oftentimes simple monitoring may not be enough.
You can currently pre-order the Nest Guard for your Nest Cam IQ. This add-on is part of Nest’s new alarm system. Not only does the Nest Guard feature am 85dB siren, but also motion sensing (90° field of view to 10 ft), proximity sensing (wake on approach), and tamper detection (movement, jamming). These features combined can easily replace a standard security system.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to purchase it separately from your camera, which may be a pricey investment. Nest offers the Nest Secure Starter Pack which includes 1 Nest Guard, 2 Nest Detects, and 2 Nest tags. This pricing is in addition to the smart camera, so you may be looking at paying a pretty penny to get everything all set up.
The Arlo Pro requires an Arlo Pro Base station to function, and each base station can support up to 15 cameras. Any Arlo Pro Starter Kit comes with the base included, so all you’d have to do is buy additional cameras if you’d like increased coverage. The base station features a loud 100+ dB siren, which makes sure you’re alerted to unexpected motion, and helps scare off intruders.
The Nest’s siren and security setup offers increased functionality, but it’s much more expensive than the Arlo Pro’s included base station. Whether those additional features are worth the price is going to be up to you.
Difference #7: Local storage – Local storage is a nice feature for a smart camera, and an advantage that the Arlo Pro has over the Nest Cam IQ. While the IQ features no support for local storage, the Arlo Pro supports a large amount of storage via USB device connected to its base. In case of an Internet failure, you’ll have the Arlo Pro recording to a local USB drive, as long as the camera and base station stay powered. Additionally, you’ll always have access to the most recent recordings, as the base will automatically overwrite old content when your USB storage is running out of space.
Difference #8: Power & mounting – The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Arlo Pro also differ in the way that they’re powered and mounted.
The IQ is hardwired and sits in a locked mount. The power cord is hidden for 24/7 security, but it’s also the only way to keep your device charged and recording.
The Arlo Pro, on the other hand, is 100% wire-free. Place it anywhere you desire, without any cords or wiring hassles. The camera also features support for flexible power options. Use it wire-free or plugged in, or even use the Arlo Solar Panel for a greener approach that keeps the rechargeable batteries at full charge.
Difference #9: Subscriptions – Each device offers a subscription model, but neither requires it by default.
With the Nest Cam IQ, features like 24/7 cloud video recording, clip sharing and time lapses, activity zones, and familiar face alerts are locked behind a subscription. If you don’t want to pay for Nest Aware, you’ll only have access to view snapshots that are taken whenever Nest Cam detects motion. The snapshots are only kept for up to three hours. It’s really upsetting to know that your camera is capable of so many things but you need to pay extra to unlock them. The Nest Aware subscription is pretty much a must after a 30-day free trial that you get with purchasing a Nest Cam.
So, how much does it actually cost to use Nest Cameras? Nest Aware has two types of subscriptions: basic ($10 per month/$100 per year) and extended ($30 per month/$300 per year). Any additional Nest Cam costs $5 per month (or $50 per year) and $15 per month (or $150 per year), with respect to the two plans previously mentioned. And you’ll need to multiply that by the number of years you’re looking to use the Nest System.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Arlo Pro subscription model works a bit differently. No features are gated behind subscriptions, but you’ll need to pay monthly if you’re looking to set up more than 5 cameras and have access to more cloud storage.
By default, Arlo Pro supports 5 cameras and 7 days of cloud recording for free. From there, if you’re looking to install more cameras and get more cloud space, you can upgrade to 30 days of cloud recordings and support for 10 cameras for just $9.99 a month. Check out all the plans here.
We think Arlo’s subscription style is one that should be an industry standard: more cameras & storage. The idea of unlocking features that are built into the camera with a subscription is a path we don’t want to see smart home security cameras go down.
Difference #10: Cost – One final difference between the Nest Cam IQ and the Arlo Pro is the price. While the IQ has more features when compared to the Arlo Pro, those features come at a price: initial cost and subscription.
The Nest Cam IQ is now on “pre-order” for $349. Also, as mentioned above, you’ll be paying extra for unlocking the built-in functionality of the camera and a siren that’s part of Nest Secure Alarm System.
The Arlo Pro is less expensive for a one camera starter kit. Whether or not the additional features of the Nest are worth an additional $100 is going to be an individual decision based on the needs of you and your home.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Arlo Pro — Comparison Chart
|Nest Cam IQ Outdoor||Arlo Pro|
|Video Quality||Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080)||up 720p to 1280 x 720|
|Operating temperature||–40° to 113°F (–40° to 45°C)||-4° to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C)|
|Talk and Listen||Yes, HD||Yes|
(Nest Guard sold separately)
(Arlo Pro Base Station)
|Local Storage||No||USB via Arlo Pro Base|
Wireless or wired
|Field of view||130°||130°|
|Night Vision||850 nm LEDs||850 nm LEDs|
|Dimension||5 in x 3.7 in x 3.7 in||3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in|
|Weight||20 oz (568 g)||4.8oz (136 g)|
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Arlo Pro — Our Thoughts
We hope that this comparison between the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Arlo Pro has given you a better sense of what each camera has to offer. Both models offer a quality security service. The Arlo Pro offers a basic but polished smart camera, while the Nest Cam IQ packs in more features with a more expensive price tag.
It should be noted that earlier this year, Nest released the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. The indoor version suffered a lot of criticism on some selling platforms. But hopefully with this new model, the company has righted their criticism.
Whichever smart camera system you decide to go with, rest assured that your home will be safer with high-quality video monitoring. For more information on other great devices, check out our comprehensive smart camera list.
Last update on 2020-01-19 at 18:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API