Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor Camera

Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor CameraThe Nest Cam Outdoor is Nest’s solution for outside security camera use.  The folks at Canary decided to take them on by introducing the Canary Flex.  So it’s a good time for our Nest Cam Outdoor versus Canary Flex face off.

We previously wrote detailed reviews on these cameras if you would like to read all about them first:
Nest Cam Outdoor Review
Canary Flex Review

Let’s move on to the comparison.


This category is all about the smartphone app, web app and camera firmware.

Both companies offer excellent and easy to use applications.  You can do a lot more with the Nest Cam Outdoor application.  Put simply, Nest offers more features and customization options versus Canary.  Nest supports access from a web browser but Canary does not.

The ability to deploy motion zones, change the video quality and turn night vision off are basic customization options present in Nest but missing from the Canary software implementation.  These options allow the user to reduce false motion alerts, improve stability and accommodate special monitoring circumstances.

Speaking of false motion events, I find less of them on the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Nest Cam Outdoor has a feature called Home and Away.  It turns the camera off and on depending upon if you are home or away (actually, it’s more based upon if your smartphone is home or away). The Canary Flex has a similar feature that is very effective on turning the camera into private mode when you are home.  An outdoor camera though has different characteristics versus an indoor model.  Many will not want to use these features as you probably want the outdoor camera to be on when you are home for intruder monitoring before they get in the house.

Nest has a large amount of integration possibilities with their line of products.  Some integration is unique to Nest products while others are facilitated by third party services such as IFTTT and Wink.  Canary also has some integration possibilities mostly facilitated with Wink but not as many as the Nest Cam Outdoors.

Both apps are easy to use perhaps equally as so.  However, the lack of important software features such as motion zones, limited third party integration and limited customization options make the Nest Cam Outdoor the winner on software.

Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor:  Nest Cam Outdoor


Connection of either camera is done through your smartphone.  All done through their respective apps.  Both cameras support 802.11 a/b/g/n at dual bands of 2.4 and 5 GHz.  The 5GHz band is going to work best for HD video when close to the router.  I suppose that the 2.4 GHz band will be used most often because the outdoor distance is a bigger challenge versus indoor use.

Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor:  Tie

Video Storage

Both outdoor cameras offer cloud storage and neither provides on-board SD card options.  Both offer a paid cloud subscription plan to retain events up to 30 days.  However, the free 24-hour event cloud storage offered by Canary is superior to what’s available for free on the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor:  Canary Flex


The Canary Flex is smaller than the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Both cameras support 1080p video and have night vision capabilities.

The Nest Cam has a 130 degree wide angle lens.  The 8x zoom works well with the software enabled image focusing function. The Canary Flex provides HD video with a 116 degree field of view.  The Canary Flex zoom is effective but not as effective as the Nest Cam Outdoor software enhancement functionality.

Both cameras have a speaker and microphone however two-way talk isn’t enabled on the Canary Flex yet.  It’s an outdoor camera so you may not use this feature.  Looks like Canary plans to get that working in the near future.

The wider angle lens and better hardware functionality give the Nest Cam Outdoor the win here.

Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor:  Nest Cam Outdoor


The Nest Cam Outdoor has an excellent magnetic mount.  Place the back of the mounting base onto almost ant metal surface, then stick the camera to the other side and you’re done.  The Canary Flex offers a very similar mount.  Also very strong.  Both are very good but it seems like the Canary Flex hold is a bit stronger.

In addition to what is in the box, Canary has introduced an innovative line of alternative mounts.  We previewed several when we discussed how to hide a Canary Flex.

Canary Flex versus Nest Cam Outdoor:  Canary Flex

The Winner

In my opinion, the Nest Cam Outdoor is a better outdoor camera.  The superior app, software capabilities and hardware give the Nest Cam Outdoor the edge.  Don’t forget all the integration possibilities that are available with Nest.

So why choose the Canary Flex?  Those that already own the well received Canary All-in-One Home Security Camera and would prefer a single app to control all their cameras.  As one that has a multitude of apps for home monitoring, I can see the benefit.  The other advantage for the Canary Flex is a smaller footprint and a variety of innovative mounts.

Either of these two outdoor cameras will get the job done very capably but to me, if starting from scratch, prefer the Nest Cam Outdoor.


Quick Specs:

Nest Cam

Nest Cam Outdoor 1016




Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1920x1080130 DegreesYesNoYesYes/YesYesYes

Canary Flex

Canary Flex

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1080p116 Degrees24 hours freeNoYesYes/NoYesNo