Nest Cam IQ Review

This Nest Cam IQ Review will answer all your questions about the device. After Google acquired Dropcam in 2014, the Google Nest Lab engineers have been working on producing a more useful, more intelligent home security camera. Although it took a while, they finally came out with the Nest Cam IQ that combines high-quality imaging, intelligent software, and attractive hardware to produce a premium home monitoring solution. In this Nest Cam IQ Review, we will discuss the indoor camera.

Full Nest Cam IQ Review

The Google Nest Cam IQ is an indoor camera that plugs into a mains socket to watch your home while you are away. When it detects motion or sound the Nest Cam IQ will notify you. You can also schedule it to switch on or off at different times and with a subscription to Nest Aware, you can store and access all your videos in the cloud and utilize familiar face detection.


The Nest Cam IQ is a small camera and like other Google smart home products and devices, it has a minimalist, simple design.

The exterior is matte white plastic with basically the same finish and material used for the other Google Nest smart home devices, like Nest Hub Max and Google Home. The base has a simple circular design with a grippy rubber strip underneath it to ensure it won’t slip and a USB Type-C port in the back.

On the top of the camera, there is a dome-shaped case with a big round speaker grille in the back, the latter is made with multiple individually machined holes and the camera’s face is all black.

There is also one LED on top that flashes when you watch video from the camera and lights up to indicate the camera is on, while the Nest logo is near the bottom.

There is an LED ring surrounding the camera face that lights up when the camera is turned on for the first time. After the camera is connected, the LED light will go off.

To make it more adjustable, the camera head is on top of a ball joint that allows you to tilt the camera up and point it at the ceiling, or down at the floor. Moreover, whatever angle you move it to, it will hold steady.

nest cam iq box


One of the best things about the Nest Cam IQ is that it doesn’t require any installation since the base is already built right in. Just place the Nest Cam IQ on any shelf, mantle, or nightstand and then plug it into the nearest power outlet. Although you don’t have to get it too close to the outlet since the included Type-C cable is a couple of meters long.

After plugging the device in, you will need to download the iPhone or the Nest Android app, then set up an account and add the Nest IQ as your device. You can also host multiple Nest products in the app, such as smoke alarms and smart thermostats.

To add the device either input the serial number manually or scan the QR code using your smartphone camera, which only takes a few seconds. Finally, select the Wi-Fi network and that’s it.

In this Nest Cam IQ review I would also like to add that since Nest has merged with Google, you can use the Google Home app as well, to set up your Nest IQ cam.


By default, the Nest Cam IQ will respond by sending you a phone or email notification when it sees a person’s face or when motion is detected. However, if you don’t want to get an alert every time something moves in front of the camera, you can change the notification alert settings.

You can switch the camera on or off whenever you are home or away or schedule these settings for any time of the day. The schedule feature will override the home or away assist so that your camera will be watching whenever you are asleep or at other times of your choosing.

The familiar faces feature can also be switched on or off, which over time will recognize the people who live at your house or friends who often visit – like the video doorbell featured in the Nest Hello.

You can use the Google Assistant with the Nest Cam IQ and it is very easy to set up or turn off if you no longer want to use it. When it is set up and turned on, you can use the “Hey or Ok Google” hot words and then send your request. When the Google Assistant is activated, the Nest Cam IQ’s blue LED ring will light up.

nest cam IQ on
Photo cred: Slick Deals


The Nest Cam IQ works great, but it’s not perfect. Its facial recognition isn’t perfect either. One of the things it can’t do is distinguish faces from objects. For example, it wouldn’t be able to tell if the face detected is an actual person in the room or just a face on TV. However, this problem is common with most indoor cameras.

Just like with the Nest Hello, when it detects a face, you inform it if the face is familiar and it will create a profile of the face, then all the recorded instances with that person are saved within that profile. The Nest Cam IQ will see people as different and create a new profile if they were to change their look in any way, such as wearing glasses, change their hairstyle, have different facial expressions, etc. But, the worst part is the Nest Cam IQ has a hard time telling two people apart who look alike.

While you can use Nest Cam IQ to ask Google questions and control your smart home devices, it doesn’t support Spotify or Cast so you can’t use it for albums or playlists or any music playback.

Motion sensing is a simple technology and generally works pretty well, but it sometimes can’t tell if the motion that it detects is indoors or outdoors.

Video quality

The Nest Cam IQ captures with Full 1920 x 1080 HD. The 4K sensor isn’t used for 4K output, it is used for 4K motion panning only. The footage quality is decent in the Nest Cam IQ with plenty of color and sharpness in night vision mode and in daylight mode. The only time the resolution will drop slightly is when it goes into the motion tracking mode. In addition, as it crops in, the digital zoom loses detail.

Nest Cam IQ Review Conclusion

Despite a few downfalls, the Nest Cam IQ is still a very reliable and useful indoor security camera. One thing that is great about the Nest Cam IQ is that it has a 4K sensor, but doesn’t really use it for beaming 4K content to a phone; rather it will use the extra resolution to digitally pan and zoom to follow the motion. Another performance element that’s a bit disappointing is the camera stream takes so much time to load that it sometimes buffers and pauses, which can cause some lag.

Buying the Nest Cam IQ

Editors’ Recommendations

Did you enjoy our Nest Cam IQ review? If so, read some of our other reviews to learn how to turn your home into a smart home. 

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