Nest Cam Outdoor Finally Gets Nest Outside the House

Nest Cam Outdoor 1016So after a real long time, Nest decided to go outdoors.  The Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera was announced in July and is now available.

This is great news for those in love with the Nest application and technology but could only use their Nest Cam Through a Window.  You see, a Nest Cam isn’t waterproof.  Placing your naked Nest Cam outdoors will ruin the camera.

So here we are roughly two years after the release of the indoor Nest Cam.  I always had two gripes with Nest.  First was the pay to play approach to viewing video history.  That was partially addressed with the release of Sightline.  My second gripe was the Nest Cam couldn’t be used outdoors without the use of third party mounts.

Software

You can access the Nest Cam Outdoor camera via their app or on their web site.  If you like the Nest Cam app, you will be happy to know the Nest Cam Outdoor camera uses the same application.  I’m a big fan of the Nest App.  It’s the best out there.  Glad Nest has continued in that direction.

Setup can be done right through the app.  It’s among the easiest setups out there.  You will be up in running within minutes of downloading the application.

The Nest app has a nice zoom and enhance feature.  Zoom into the place that you want a better view of.  It will be blurry.  Click the enhance button beneath the image.  That clears up the fuzzy image very nicely.  Click the zoom-out button when done with the zoom.  No other home security camera that I have tested has anything close to this capability.

Motion and sound detection are provided as is an interesting home and away feature.  it works like this.  When your device (your phone that controls the cameras) is away from home, the cameras can be set to turn on and detect motion.  Saves you a lot of false alerts in terms of motion and sound alarms.

The cloud service is still an issue to me, albeit not as bad as it was.  The Nest Cam Outdoor supports Sightline which provides snapshots of events stored on your phone from servers hosted by Nest.  You can think of Sightline as a light version of their paid subscription which is called Nest Aware.  Nest Aware Service starts at $99 annually and includes activated premium features on your camera plus extended retention of video.

As already mentioned, the Nest Cam Outdoor supports motion alarms.  However. if you want to implement  activity zones, you have to pay for a premium subscription to Nest Aware.  Not a fan of that as most manufacturers include this type of monitoring at no additional charge.

Hardware

The first thing that I noticed about the Nest Cam Outdoor camera was the weight.  It’s a lot heavier than the indoor version.  Weighing in at 11 ounces, it’s much heavier than the indoor version.

I was also surprised by the compact size.  I guess I’m used to bullet cameras outdoors.  The Nest Cam Outdoor measures 2.8 inches across and 3.5 inches deep.  So when it’s attached to a wall, it will project 3.5 inches.

The camera itself is very similar to the current indoor version except it’s now rated to be used outdoors.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an outdoor camera, but the insides appear to be very similar to the current Nest Cam.  That’s a good thing, as the Nest Cam is a well made home security camera that provides a high quality video image with app features that are among the best.

So what makes this an outdoor camera?  It’s rated at IP65.  That means the Nest Cam Outdoor is protected against low pressure water jets from all directions, limited ingress permitted.  That’s the official meaning of IP65.  To me, it says it’s ok to use when attached to a wall on my house.

The Nest Cam Outdoor is also good to use in temperatures from -4 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  That covers most of us fairly well.

Then there are the usual camera specs.  We’re talking about a wide angle 130 degree lens, a 1920 x 1080 HD video experience at 30 frames per second.  Just like the indoor version.

It isn’t a wireless camera in terms of power.  There are two cables.  First is a ten foot cable that is physically attached to the Nest Cam Outdoor.  This isn’t your basic removable micro USB cable.  It’s hardwired onto the camera itself.  That cable then attaches to a second one that is 15 feet long.  The second cable is attached to the A/C outlet.  So in total, you have 25 feet of cable which is excellent for outdoor use.

Connectivity

Couldn’t be much better than this.  The nest Cam Outdoors supports 802.11 a/b/g/n at dual bands of 2.4 and 5 GHz.  I’m suggesting the 2.4 GHz be used.  The 5 GHz band is good for being close to the router.  Most likely, your camera is outdoors, going through walls, maybe over trees.  The 2.4 GHz band is going to work better over longer distances.

Mounts

Can’t believe I’m saying this but – great job on the mount!  It’s a magnetic mount.  Both the back and front are magnetic.  The Nest Cam Outdoor camera is curved on the back like a ball.  The mount is curved like a socket.  Simply hold the camera up to the mount and it’s stuck.  The hold is extremely secure.  More so than any other magnetic mount that I have experienced.

One nice mount feature is the magnetic mount.  You can simply place the back of the mounting base onto most metal surfaces, then stick the camera to the other side and you’re done.  Conversely, for non-magnetic surfaces, there is a metal mounting plate that uses supplied screws for attachment.

Fun and Different

Nest has thought of practically everything.  They include cable clips so your power cable doesn’t flap in the wind.  There is also a a cap to lock the connector in place.  Ok, maybe this isn’t fun, but it’s definitely different.

Summary

Nest really kicked up a notch with the Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera.  Extremely well made, thoroughly thought out and it builds upon their superior software abilities.  The video quality is excellent.  If you are looking for an outdoor camera, this is the first camera that I would currently recommend.  The fact that I can use the same app that I already use for a few of my other cameras is a nice plus too.

Quick Specs:

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

Manufacturer Link:  Nest Cam

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).