We’ve been using Google’s Nest cameras for a while, and we’ve always been big fans of these cute little home security devices. They’re super easy to use, come with a variety of features, and the great video quality means you can keep an eye on your property even as the sun goes down.
But despite our unwavering enthusiasm, there has always been a problem when you wanted to install one of these internet connected devices outside of your home as they all need to be plugged in to power and receive them.
That means you have to start by drilling holes in walls or installing an outdoor dowel that isn’t cheap or easy. Thankfully, that has all changed now that Google is launching a Nest Cam that has a battery inside.
So you can simply charge it and immediately see the garden behind the house on your smartphone.
Now you might be wondering if this idea really works and how Google came up with a camera that doesn’t require you to climb a ladder every night to recharge it?
Express.co.uk has put the Nest Cam (battery) through its paces and our opinion on it.
One thing to keep in mind: it is definitely worth paying attention to proper placement before hammering any screws into your home. As soon as this bracket is attached, you can start and the camera is simply attached to it with a very strong magnet.
Not only does this make it easy to remove and refill, it also allows you to rotate and slide for the perfect viewing angle. Now you might think that you have to climb a ladder every day to fill up the camera, but this is where it gets smart.
This Nest device only turns on when it detects something or you physically turn on the live feed from your phone.
We’ve had ours bolted to the wall for three weeks and it’s still over 30 percent in the tank – that means you can expect at least a month of use before you have to unplug it.
It’s worth noting that the more the camera is turned on, the faster the battery drains.
So if you live on a busy street and the device is watching over the front door, it will need to be refilled faster than a back garden, which is often empty.
If the Nest Cam sees anything, you will be notified immediately and a recording will also be saved through the app.
Google isn’t that Scrooge this year and unlike previous cameras, owners now get three hours of footage.
It’s better than nothing, but to get the most out of these devices you need to sign up for Google’s Nest Aware plan, which costs £ 5 a month. Well worth it because this subscription is for all of your cams and offers 7 days of recording.
Of course this is a camera so what is the video quality like? Google promises up to 1080p at 30 FPS resolution, which sounds pretty impressive.
In reality, the quality is fine with clear pictures and a good level of detail. We’ve definitely seen better, however, and things can get a little skewed, especially when you’re trying to zoom in on an area of the footage. Night mode is also just good enough for watching the foxes rummage through your garbage cans and wreak havoc on the patio.
Image quality could definitely be improved, but this is still a brilliantly simple and effective way to monitor the outside of your property.
One final feature worth mentioning is the “event” notifications, which can be customized to include facial recognition and specific activity zones. This way, you can get a message when the camera detects your kids coming home from school, but also stop endless warnings when there are no people around your property. Pets and cars can also be added which really helps reduce warnings that appear on your phone that simply become an obstacle rather than an aid.
So these are all the good things, but it’s all that should make you look elsewhere. The simple answer is yes, since the app is one of our biggest bogeymen.
In the past, all video footage was available through the great Nest app. For some ridiculous reason, these new cameras don’t work with this top notch application as it prompts users to switch to the Google Home app instead.
Although this means that everything, such as For example, if Google branded smart speakers and cameras are in one place, the Home app just isn’t that easy to use and the overall experience feels pretty clunky.
A good example of this is how quickly the live camera footage loads. Turn on the Nest app and see what’s going on outside right away. However, with the Home app, you’ll have to tap various settings to see what’s going on outside.
For some strange reason, our iPhone always gets really hot when using the Google Home app, and we’ve never seen that happen with the Nest app. Our next edition is the charger as the Google cable has a unique connection at the end.
It’s not the standard USB-C, which means that if you lose it, you’ll have to go to the Google Store to buy a new one.
Oddly enough, the other new product from Google – the Nest Doorbell (battery) – comes with a USB-C port so we have no idea why they made this very strange decision.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the cameras take around 5 hours to charge, so you need to make sure the battery boost is done at a time that is okay with you so that things don’t get recorded.
If you’re looking for an outdoor security solution that doesn’t require expensive installation, the Nest Cam (battery) is now a very good option.
It’s easy to set up and you can screw it to your walls in minutes.
The battery life can last up to a month and there are also many useful features that will ensure that you do not receive endless and very annoying warnings.
Image quality is good, although we’ve seen better, and the neat design ensures it doesn’t look out of place in even the smartest of homes.
Unfortunately, that’s not all good news and we particularly hate the new way of viewing footage from the Home app. We don’t know why Google is giving up the Nest app, but it’s a very strange decision.
Our only other issues with the camera are slow loading times and the lack of USB-C charging – whatever you do, don’t lose that unique cable that comes with it!
While not perfect, this new camera is very good and really offers a simple way to monitor the outside of your home. Burglars watch out!