Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor — What’s the Difference?

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Nest Cam Outdoor are two quality products that promise a comprehensive smart camera experience. Although there are some major differences between the two models, which we’ll get into below, there’s also a good amount of similarities. Before we dive into what makes these cameras different, let’s start with what makes them the same.


Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor — Common Features

Both the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Nest Cam Outdoor feature 24/7 Live Streaming in 1080p HD resolution with a 130° Field of view. Additionally, both cameras can detect motion and sound, and have night-vision capability in the form of high-power 850 nm infrared LEDs.

Each device is also protected by a 2-year warranty, ensuring that your investment is covered for the years to come.

The cameras may seem to be pretty similar, but there are some aspects in which they differ, too. Let’s take a look at a comprehensive comparison between the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs Nest Cam Outdoor so that you’ll have a better sense of which model will work best for you.


Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor — Differences

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

  • Difference 1: HD Talk and Listen – Both cameras feature two way audio, allowing you to listen and respond using your smart camera. The Cam Outdoor has Talk and Listen with a built-in speaker and mic. The IQ Outdoor’s audio capabilities are a little more technologically advanced, with HD Talk and Listen that features a powerful built-in speaker and mic, with noise and echo suppression.

  • Difference 2: Person Alerts & Familiar Face – Both cameras feature nifty functionality that allows the device to recognize that a person’s in the room — and even remember familiar faces!

    The Nest Cam Outdoor’s Person Alerts and Familiar Face are only available with a Nest Aware subscription.

    The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can detect a person from up to 50 feet away, and alert you with a photo of who is there. These Person Alerts are available free without a subscription, but Familiar Face alerts do require a Nest Aware subscription.

    Keep in mind that Nest Aware features video streaming, video recording, and mobile notifications that only work with reliable internet and Wi-Fi. Familiar face alerts are not available to customers in Illinois.

  • Difference 3: Sensor, tracking view, and zoom – Both models have sensors and the ability to zoom, giving you greater control over your camera’s vision when it matters most.

    The Nest Cam Outdoor has a 3-megapixel sensor with 8x zoom. The IQ Outdoor features an 8-megapixel 4K sensor, HDR, a 12x zoom, and a close up tracking view that automatically zooms and follows when it detects a person.

    While both cameras offer support for sensors and zoom, it’s clear that the new IQ Outdoor is a more polished in this area.

  • Difference 4: Wiring – The two models also differ in how they handle camera wires. Nest Cam Outdoor wires should be secured to the wall, as detailed here.

    Wiring for the IQ Outdoor is handled through the mount itself. You can either route the power cord through an existing opening, or drill through your exterior wall. If you’re unsure of which option will work best for you, consider leaving your installation to a Nest Pro.

  • Difference 5: Weather resistance – The two cameras differ pretty significantly in their weather resistance.

    The Nest Cam Outdoor has an IP65 rating, meaning that it’s “dust tight” and protected against water projected from a nozzle. It functions in a temperature range of –4° to 104°F (–20° to 40°C).

    The Outdoor IQ has an IP66 rating, making it “dust tight” and projected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water. Additionally, it functions in a wider range of temperatures, ranging from –40° to 113°F (–40° to 45°C).

    If you live in a harsh environment, it’s clear that the Outdoor IQ has better specifications when it comes to resisting the elements.

  • Difference 6: Price – It may seem like the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera outclasses the regular Cam Outdoor in pretty much every way, but it’s also much more expensive. At $349.00 versus the more basic model at $199.00, there’s a significant price difference that brings into question whether or not the IQ is worth the extra cost.

    The Nest Cam Outdoor has a lot of great features and definitely gets the job done, but if you’d like a more premium experience, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is the one to go for.


What about a Nest Cam without subscription?

nest camera without subscription

Although we discussed subscriptions briefly above, it’s helpful to devote a little more discussion to the different subscription options in its own section. After all, paying a monthly fee can quickly make a reasonable investment pretty expensive. Is it worth it? Let’s take a look at what subscription plans offer for the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Without a subscription, you’ll only have access to the livestream: there is no storage. However, you do get snapshots of movement sent to you. But, basically, the Nest Cam becomes little more than a glorified photo device. A workaround people have found is that they can livestream the camera on their computer, and then record that livestream with a desktop recording software. Again, without a Nest Aware subscription, the camera becomes pretty useless.

The main subscription that we’ll be talking about is Nest Aware Basic, a more comprehensive security add-on to your smart camera that’s available for $10/month or $100/yr. The Nest Aware Extended offers more cloud storage is also available for $30/mo or $300/yr.

These plans give you access to 24/7 cloud video recording, with storage of up to 10 days with the Basic plan, and 30 with the Extended. Turn any part of your video history into a clip or time lapse that you can share with family, friends, or the police.

Another great feature of the Nest Aware subscription is the ability to create Activity Zones. These zones allow you to monitor important areas like cribs or windows, and get special alerts when something happens there. Alternatively, you can let Nest do the zoning itself if it detects a door.

If the nearly-required Nest Aware has you running for the hills, we’d recommend checking out our article on Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Arlo Pro, as Arlo’s a fantastic competitor to Nest and their subscription is only required if you’d like to have more than 7-days of free storage or more than 5 cameras.


Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor — Comparison Chart

Nest Cam OutdoorNest Cam IQ Outdoor
Video QualityUp to 1080p (1920 x 1080)Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080)
EncodingH.264 encodingH.264 encoding, HDR
Sensor1/3-inch, 3-megapixel1/2.5-inch, 8-megapixel (4K)
Digital Zoom8x12x
Operating temperature–4° to 104°F (–20° to 40°C)–40° to 113°F (–40° to 45°C)
Person alertsWith Nest Aware SubscriptionYes
Talk and ListenYesYes, HD
AudioMicrophone3-microphone array
TrackingNoYes
Local StorageNoNo
PowerHardwired
external cable
Hardwired
through camera & wall
Field of view130°, Diagonal130°, Diagonal
Night Vision850 nm LEDs850 nm LEDs
Weather ResistanceIP65IP66
Dimension2.8in x 2.8in x 3.5in5in x 3.7in x 3.7in
Weight11 oz (313 g)20 oz (568 g)
Warranty2 years2 years
Price$199.00$349.00

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor — Our Thought

Nest Cam Outdoor

Overall, it’s clear that these models are intended for two different types of consumer customers. While the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has many more features than the regular Nest Cam Outdoor, it’s also much more expensive.

We feel that the Nest Cam Outdoor is more than sufficient for the vast majority of people’s needs, but for those who want to take their smart surveillance systems up a notch, the IQ Outdoor is ready and waiting.


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