Google’s new Nest cameras and doorbell have cheaper prices and more intelligence


Google has unveiled a new line of home security cameras and a video watch under the Nest brand. New models with only indoor camera, indoor / outdoor camera, floodlight and video doorbell replace old Nest IQ cameras and Nest Hello doorbell. The main themes of the new devices are a unified design language and easier pricing – each model costs less than the camera it replaces and adds features.

The design of the new cameras is familiar to anyone who has seen other Nest products released in the last couple of years, such as the latest Nest thermostat, Nest WiFi, or Nest Audio smart speaker. The company has moved toward softer edges and muted color palettes, and the new cameras follow this with color options designed to blend rather than stand out.

Google is also adding a bit of intelligence to cameras thanks to advances in machine learning for devices. The new models can identify people, animals, packages, and vehicles and give each of them specific alerts without cloud processing (or associated subscription costs). (The Familiar Faces feature, which uses cloud-based face recognition, still requires a paid plan.) Behind it all is the idea of ​​reducing the noise caused by continuous motion notification, a common complaint with home security cameras and video doorbells.

Google says the new cameras ’Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) allows algorithms to run at twice the number of pixels and at twice the speed of previous Nest cameras, providing more reliable event detection and alerts in the same way as TPU’s. upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone features. The cameras also include a three-hour event history without a subscription, and have internal storage for up to an hour of event clips (roughly equivalent to the week’s events) in the event of a Wi-Fi outage.

Finally, Google offers versatility with this configuration, as both the doorbell and the new Nest Cam can be used either battery-powered or wired. A variety of accessories are also available for wall or table mounting or for mounting the camera indoors or outdoors.

What you don’t see highlighted in the new models is 4K resolution or technical racing hardware developments. Google says the trade-off required for 4K video – higher bandwidth consumption and high cloud storage costs – outweighs the benefits. In addition, Google believes that things like HDR processing and smarter notifications are more useful than just increasing the resolution.

Google Nest Cam

The new Nest Cam can be used indoors or outdoors and is weatherproof.
Image: Google

The centerpiece of the range is the new $ 179.99 Nest Cam, which can be used indoors or outdoors. (Sophie Le Guen, chief product manager for Google Home and Nest products, tells me that outdoors, the most attention is paid to the growth of security cameras.) It has an internal battery that the company claims will last up to three months in typical use. It can also be connected to permanent electricity; an optional weatherproof power cord or solar panel is available for outdoor installation.

Nest Cam’s soft, rounded design is partly made of recycled plastic, but has IP54 weather resistance. Google says its magnetic mounting stand has been tested to withstand storm winds and has an anti-theft bracket to ensure the camera is not stolen.

The Nest Cam’s magnetic base makes it easy to mount on a wall or place on a shelf.

The camera records 16: 9 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second through a 130-degree field of view. You can zoom up to 6 times digitally in the Google Home app while viewing a feed or saved clip. If you need more than three hours of event history (clips of events from the last three hours) for free, you can pay for a Nest Aware or Aware Plus subscription that offers up to 10 days of 24/7 recording and 60 days of Event History.

The new Nest Cam is available in white and can be pre-ordered today, August 5th. Shipments are expected to begin on August 24th.

Google Nest Cam and Floodlight

Google Nest Cam and Floodlight
Image: Google

The $ 279.99 Nest Cam with Floodlight is Google’s first combined floodlight camera and fills a gap in the lineup that other companies have been addressing for some time. In practice, it is a Nest Cam attached to a 2400 lumens floodlight. It requires constant power – no battery option – and has an IP65 weather rating.

Unlike standard floodlights that trigger all kinds of movements, the Nest Cam and floodlight can use the same intelligence as other cameras to activate only when it detects a person or vehicle. This sets it apart from other floodlight cameras, such as the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, which launches and records a clip of the motion it detects.

According to Google, Nest Cam with Floodlight will be available later.

Google Nest Cam Indoor

The Nest Cam Indoor is much smaller than a regular Nest Cam and comes in four colors to better suit your interior.
Image: Google

The simplest and cheapest new camera in the series is the $ 99.99 Nest Cam Indoor. The internal model, which is much smaller than a standard Nest Cam, does not have the battery and weather resistance of the more expensive model, but it retains the same camera data and smart features.

Nest Cam Indoor is available in four colors (white, pink, beige or green) to better suit your decor or other Nest products in your home. An optional wooden stand is also available, and the camera can be placed on a table or mounted on a wall.

Nest Cam Indoor is expected to be available later.

Google Nest doorbell

The Nest Doorbell is Google’s first battery-powered video doorbell.
Image: Google

The $ 179.99 Google Nest Doorbell is the company’s first video doorbell that runs on either battery or wired power. (The $ 229.99 Nest Hello doorbell from 2018 was limited to wired configurations only.) It is compatible with most homes than Nest’s previous doorbell, and is available in four colors (white, beige, green, or gray) to better fit your entrance decor. According to Google, the typical battery life is about two and a half months between charges, but it is affected by the rush and environment of your doorway.

Nest Doorbell has an aspect ratio of 3: 4, similar to the old Nest Hello, which Google says allows you to see visitors from head to toe and packages that are up to eight inches from the door. The vertical field of view reaches 145 degrees, although it is not clear how wide the horizontal field of view is. (The box has a mounting wedge that adjusts its viewing angle for different entrances.) The Nest doorbell can record 960 x 1280 pixel video at up to 30 frames per second and has both night vision and HDR features.

The Nest doorbell is available in four different colors: white, beige, gray or green.
Image: Google

Like the new Nest Cam, the Nest Doorbell includes up to three hours of event video history from its packaging, but you can subscribe to a paid plan for longer storage (however, you won’t get 24/7 video history on the doorbell). One of the biggest advantages of the original Nest Hello was how quickly it delivered notifications or live feed on the Nest Hub smart display after the clock rang compared to other video doorbells – we need to see if Nest Doorbell maintains this performance. when using battery power.

The Nest doorbell can be pre-ordered today, August 5, and deliveries are expected to begin August 24.

The new cameras fill some obvious gaps in Google’s smart home configuration and make it more competitive with Ring and others who have had floodlights and battery-powered doorbells for years. Cheaper prices also make the cameras even more accessible, although they are nowhere near as affordable as the cameras from Wyzen and other smaller brands.

But if you have a smart home centered around Google Assistant, cheaper budget cameras or Ring products won’t work as well for you, and you certainly won’t have as unified an experience as Google’s own devices. We’ll see how good this experience is when we get a chance to look at new cameras in the near future.

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