Google Nest Cam (wired)
RRP $ 100.00
“This is a surveillance camera that, thanks to its intelligent functions, does not require constant babysitting.”
Cute, compact design
Free three hours of video history
Convenient automatic arming / disarming
Reliable and accurate warnings
Power cord integrated in the camera
Google’s range of security cameras has recently expanded to offer more choice than ever before without compromising too much on functionality. In fact, the introduction of three hours of free video history without a subscription makes this range of Nest Cams much more appealing. However, Google doesn’t make it easy for consumers to differentiate its new cameras – both the cordless and wired models use the Nest Cam name.
On the other hand, while the Google Nest Cam (battery) offers additional versatility as it can be used indoors and outdoors, the Nest Cam (wired) is a true indoor solution that has been improved thanks to a lower cost of $ 100. There are plenty of other indoor cameras in this price range, including models from the Ring, Arlo, and Wyze, making it an uphill battle for Google this time around.
Immediately after unpacking, I am amazed at the smaller design of this camera compared to its outdoor sibling. There is one major difference with the Google Nest Cam (wired). It won’t overwhelm countertops, tables, and other small corners of the house where you might want to install a security camera.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
It’s also smaller than the previous Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor, but maintains the same modern look that makes Google’s cameras cozy and attractive. Consumers will appreciate how it’s made from 45% recycled plastic and comes in four colors (snow, fog, linen and sand). The only complaint I have is the limited posability of the camera – you really can’t tilt it up that much when placed on a low surface.
Installation and setup
Similar to the battery-operated version, the Google Nest Cam (wired) only needs to be set up via the Google Home app – it is no longer tied to the dedicated Nest app. That is wonderful, because everything is controlled and accessed via an app. All of the event history is shown in a handy timeline view, but I also like how you can filter it by cameras if you have several from Google.
Once the camera is connected to my home’s Wi-Fi network, the camera has very little latency when it is turned on, but it takes about five seconds before I can see the live stream. I suppose it’s not that bad, but I can perfectly understand how those five seconds can get critical during an event.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
Although it should rest on surfaces, there is always the option of mounting it on the wall – also thanks to its long cable. The disadvantage is that the wire cannot be removed. It’s built into the camera so if the cable breaks you pretty much have to replace the entire unit.
As for the specification, the camera on the Google Nest Cam (wired) is lukewarm compared to the known cams in space. The 2-megapixel camera sensor records video at 30 frames per second (fps) in 1080p, but there are now cameras that record in 2K and 4K. In general, it produces some reasonable detail, but doesn’t get the clarity I’ve seen with the Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor.
There are some artifacts that are a little distracting and become more noticeable with sudden changes in ambient light. It also tends to saturate colors a little more, making it look unrealistic at times. As night vision goes on, the footage tends to appear low in contrast, which I think is a good thing as it increases the exposure of the shadows.
While the video quality doesn’t overwhelm me, I have to admit that the Google Nest Cam (wired) is spot on when it comes to detection. So far it has been the right thing to tell between people and my cats that are noted in the app.
What I really like about the latest Google Nest Cams is that they can all be turned off based on my phone’s location – allowing them to turn on and off automatically for more privacy. The camera turns off automatically as soon as I get home, but turns on again when I leave the geofenced area around my apartment. There’s no need to manually put the camera in Home or Away mode, so there’s one less thing to worry about.
It’s a simple camera that is effective in recording events.
There is also a green LED light on the camera that turns on when the camera is active. These are just a few of the privacy features I like about Google’s cameras. They also come with up to three hours of free event video history and save those clips for you to review. No subscription is required, but if you want to extend the quota you must subscribe to Nest Aware, which is $ 6 a month and has 10 days of 24/7 video history and 60 days of event video history.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
Even if the internet goes down, you can rest assured that the Nest Cam (wired) will continue to store footage locally. Unfortunately, it can’t do anything if the power goes out – which makes the battery-powered version more attractive.
Viewed across the product category, Google is not trying to blow the competition out of the water with its offer. It is not necessary as it is a simple camera that is effective in capturing events. At $ 100, it’s not overly shoddy as it removes some of the frustrations I have with most security cameras – frequent false positives and manual arming are two of the most glaring points.
Is there a better alternative?
When it comes to indoor cameras, the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera is the closest competitor for the same $ 100 cost. I like it because it actually has a physical privacy shutter that goes over the lens to make sure no one is looking when they shouldn’t, unlike Google’s software-based privacy feature that turns the camera off.
Another alternative is the Wyze Cam V3, which at under $ 40 is still one of the best security camera deals you can get. With its weatherproof construction, it is designed for indoor and outdoor use, and you get the added convenience of local storage with its microSD slot.
If you’re an Alexa user, the Ring Indoor Cam has similar features and performance for $ 60.
How long it will take?
Despite a body made mostly from recycled components, the Google Nest Cam (wired) feels like a well-made, solidly built camera that’s well worth the price. There is a one year limited warranty that covers defects.
Should you buy it?
Yes, even if it’s not the best deal Google has put on the table. While lacking the sharp clarity of other cameras, it does a wonderful job of actually providing meaningful warnings.