Home security cameras are getting smaller, smarter and easier than ever to install. That’s the promise of the next generation of Google’s Nest cameras. The new Nest Cam Indoor/outdoor Battery offers wire-free installation and enhanced smart alerts and recognition capabilities, all in a sleek design. I recently got a sample of the new 2021 Nest Cam to install in my home and test out. I’ll tell you all about what it can do and how some of its unique features work.
New 2021 Google Nest Cam Battery review
2021 Nest Cam Battery is a small wireless home security camera that can be used indoors or out. It’s designed to seamlessly integrate with other Nest products you might already own or your Nest Home Hub, and quickly connects to the Google Home app. The camera has night vision, intelligent alerts and facial recognition make the new Nest Cam even smarter and to help eliminate unnecessary alerts.
What’s New in the 2021 Nest Cam Battery?
The latest 2021 Nest Cam is the first Nest camera suitable for use both indoors and outdoors, making it a versatile addition to any home. The new wire-free magnetic mount installs quickly, then the camera snaps into the magnetic base making it easy to position or adjust your camera to your preferred monitoring angle.
As noted, the Nest Cam has a rechargeable battery, which means your home is never left unwatched when there is a power outage. The device can store hours’ worth of events while using battery power, which will automatically be uploaded once power or connection is restored.
Recharging the battery does mean removing the camera from its magnetic mount and recharge using the included special cable.
Key Features: Google Nest Cam 2021
Multiple installation options
While this iteration of Nest Cam has a wire-free design it can still can be wired though, using the included cable. With that said, the three foot length will be pretty much useless for most applications. You can buy longer and weatherproof versions separately of course.
The 2021 Nest Cam can be mounted almost anywhere, or you can just place it on a table or surface.
I first placed it on a stool in my kitchen, then I also mounted it under the eaves by our door. The mounting plate makes it easy with just two screws, and the strong magnets seem to hold it firmly in place and it’s stading up to wind and weather well so far. I do wonder if this would be easy to grab and run off with since it’s just up there with a magnet… though Nest will replace it if it is stolen.
Setting up new 2021 Nest Cam Battery indoor/outdoor
Getting this device set up is super easy. Once it’s fully charged, you can open the Google Home app, and it’s very likely the app will already see the camera and make it ready to set up for you. If this is your first Google home device, you might have a few extra steps such as connecting to your Wi-Fi network and adjusting preferences. But if you have even one existing Google home device already, you’ll be set up in seconds, as I was.
Accessing Nest Cam footage: Google Home app
In order to view your Nest Cam footage and be able to download it, you need the Google Home app. When you set it up, you’ll assign it to a room or space and that’s how you’ll find it with all your other devices. By clicking on your camera inside the app, you can view battery life, a list of events or even take a live look at what’s happening. The app is easy enough to navigate and the events are even broken down by People, Animals, Vehicles or Motion. You can dial this recognition in even further with person, pet or package recognition.
With that said, if you do go looking for some of the more detailed and specific settings, it can be a bit of a treasure hunt, since the labels and how to find things isn’t intuitive, and if you’ve got lots of devices it can be a bit of a slog. My workaround for this is to Google what I’m looking to do, and just follow the instructions that come up, usually from Google’s own website.
View on Google Nest Hub
Of course since you’re probably by now living in a smart home ecosystem, you won’t be surprised to learn that you can also get a view of any of your cameras on your Google Nest device with a viewing screen. If someone rings the doorbell for example, the camera will pop right up on your screen. If you want to get a look at other cameras anytime you want, you can just ask Google to show it to you.
Intelligent recognition & motion zones
The Nest Cam also offers upgraded intelligent recognition. This means you get more detailed information when events are detected, since the camera can differentiate between people, vehicles, animals and even familiar faces (available with the Nest Aware service) and Nest Cam is smart enough to know whether it’s detecting a human, an animal, or just sensing motion (like a tree branch waving in the wind).
You can also customize your monitoring areas within the app, so you can skip the alerts from a busy sidewalk next to your house, but get them if someone approaches your door.
As noted, the Nest Cam can learn familiar faces. To set this up you must be a subscriber of Nest Aware.
To use this feature:
- Go to the main screen in the Google Home app and choose the + symbol at top left.
- Choose Nest Aware.
- Select Familiar Face Detection
- View your Face Library
The camera will show you its (often unflattering) snaps of faces its seen. You can choose whether you know the person or not, and if you do, you can assign them a name. That way when you go into your event history you can see at a glance who’s been around.
I found this feature worked very well and was correct the vast majority of the time. Every now and then it was recognizing one of my dogs as a person, but I think she’d be flattered.
Your Nest Cam is smart enough to know if someone is carrying a package and can flag this for you so you can ensure it gets picked up quickly. Again, the recognition was extremely accurate.
Video quality: new 2021 Nest Cam indoor/outdoor
The video quality on the camera is quite good. With 1080p HD video and black and white night vision, you’ll get round the clock recordings and security. The videos are clear and easy to see both on your phone and on a computer. You’ll have no trouble seeing who’s around and what they’re up to.
Two way talk
A common feature in smart home security cameras is the ability to open a two way audio communication. With the new Nest Cam, you can access live events at any time, and turn on a microphone to speak to whoever is there; whether that’s your kids, a delivery person, or you just want to say hey to your pet.
24/7 video recording option
The new Nest Cam has the option of continuous video recording (up to 10 days of 24/7 video history). For this to be enabled you do, however, need Nest Cam to be used plugged in with a continuous power source and you’ll also need the upgraded Nest Aware Plus subscription.
What is Nest Aware? Can I just use a free plan?
Pretty much every home security camera wants to get you on a pay plan. While you get access to a few hours of video, live view and notifications without paying, you should really sign up for a subscription. After all, if you miss a big event like tornado, dognapping or a break in, you’re going to regret it.
Nest offers a paid home security service and cloud recording as part of its Nest Aware subscription. Nest Aware costs about $8USD/month and allows you to use more advanced settings (like that facial detection for familiar people). The paid option also increases your access to event video history from a just being able to view the last three hours, to up to one full month of footage. It will cover all Nest cameras you may have, where some other cameras will charge you that much per camera.
Nest Aware Plus
Nest Aware Plus is an upgrade ($16USD/month) which also gives you access to 24/7 video recordings (for 10 days), and longer access to your saved videos and events; you can go back up to 60 days.
Battery Life & Charging: Nest Cam indoor/outdoor
The Nest Cam is easy enough to charge, but boasts an impressive battery life as well. The anticipated battery life depends on the number of events your camera regularly records—though the app will present you with an approximate battery life at a glance. If your camera records only a few events per day, Google estimates the camera’s battery will last over six months, and if you live in an area where it will record dozens of events per day, the battery will likely last upwards of a month.
Initially for the first three weeks I had it in the busy kitchen where it was recording dozens of events each day. After that 3 week period, it still said it has about 2 more weeks of battery life. I just moved it to a lesser used outdoor area so will have to report back on overall longevity.
Charging happens with a special magnetic cable, and Nest doesn’t say how long it’s supposed to take. I left it plugged in overnight and it was ready to go the next morning, but I trust it actually takes far less time than that.
The addition of a battery, by the way also means you still get recordings if anything happens to your power.
Living in Canada, and particularly in Calgary where the weather can turn arctic in a second, it will be important to know what the expected operating temperatures of the Nest Cam is, particularly if you were going to use it outside.
Google Nest says the Nest Cam should run in temperatures from -20°C to 40°C (-4°F to 104°F). When it comes to water and sleet getting into the camera, it has an IP rating of IP54, meaning it’s protected against dirt, and dust as well water sprays from all directions. In short, it should be able to stand up to a lot of weather situations.
I will need to test it outdoors this winter, but Calgary routinely gets well below -20 so I do have some concerns. But with that said, this does match the range for the most part of other outdoor rated cameras.
Ideal Uses for Nest Cam indoor/outdoor
The Nest Cam is designed to fit into anyone’s home, whether you’re looking to keep an eye on package deliveries in a busy neighborhood or monitor activity near your home in a rural area. The camera offers two-way talk, which allows you to interact with anyone (or anything) your camera detects, perfect for giving delivery instructions or reminding the dog not to dig i. This versatile indoor/outdoor camera can easily be installed and re-installed to fit the changing needs of your family and home, and offers all of the conveniences expected from the Nest line of smart devices. A battery cam also means you still get recordings when the power goes down.
Overall review: 2021 Google Nest Cam Battery indoor/outdoor
Overall the Google Nest Cam 2021 battery seems to be, versatile, and very smart. It can record videos day or night, and with the addition of person recognition, it helps to keep the video event library super organized.
Downsides? I’m a bit concerned about it getting stolen, since the camera only clicks into the mounting plate with magnets. There’s also no colour night vision as you can find on other cameras. And one of the big downsides here might be price, since you can find other wireless camera solutions for a lot less. Google Nest Cam sells for about $179 USD. But having something that integrates seamlessly into your home ecosystem might be worth paying more for.