Update: Nest recently lowered its cloud storage prices, reflected in the written portion of the review.
With outdoor security cameras, there are even more factors to consider than with indoor cameras. Besides our necessary features (video, audio, night vision, etc.), we suggest at least two additional assessment categories: durability and power. We define durability as how much rough weather the camera can withstand. Power is more of an issue outdoors because plug-in cameras may have trouble reaching outlets.
In this review, we’ll compare three of our top outdoor security cameras, namely the Arlo Pro 3, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, and the Blink XT2. Which one of these quality cameras will come out on top? Keep reading to find out!
Arlo Pro 3 vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Blink XT2 Design
We began our evaluations by diving into each camera’s design.
Arlo Pro 3 Design
The Arlo Pro 3 works in temperatures from 14 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, so it might not be the best choice for super-cold climates. To use the camera, we needed an Arlo base station, which added to our price. We liked the Arlo Pro 3 because it’s wireless and equipped with a rechargeable battery that lasts three to six months after each three-and-a-half-hour charge.
Another advantage of the Arlo Pro 3 is its spotlight, which we either controlled manually or set to motion-activated. The camera has a magnetic charge cable and mount that snaps into place plus a built-in siren, differentiating it from the other two cameras.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Design
The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is by far the most durable camera of the three. It works in temperatures from -40 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, so it easily endured even the worst of our winters. Plus, with an IP rating of 66, it’s completely protected against all solids and even high-pressure water jets. Basically, as long as we didn’t immerse it in water, the camera held up great.
Our one complaint was our lack of placement options since the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor must be plugged into an indoor power outlet.
Blink XT2 Design
The Blink XT2 has the smallest temperature range of the three cameras at negative four to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s slightly less durable than the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. With an IP rating of 65, it’s protected from all solids and low-pressure water jets. Like the Arlo Pro 3, the Blink XT2 requires a sync module, which costs an extra $50.
Key Similarities of Arlo Pro 3 vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Blink XT2
Now, let’s discuss the commonalities among these cameras.
Infrared Night Vision
The Blink XT2, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, and the Arlo Pro 3 all have infrared night vision, which we prefer over color night vision from a spotlight.
All the cameras have speakers and microphones, enabling two-way audio, which allowed us to speak to whoever was on the camera remotely.
The Blink XT2, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, and the Arlo Pro 3 all work with Amazon Alexa, making them excellent choices for those of us already in the Amazon ecosystem.
The Blink XT2, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, and the Arlo Pro 3 all support activity zones, although they’re only free with the Blink XT2. Activity zones let us divide our space into different areas marked as important or not important. For example, we set our cameras to ignore the street and our neighbor’s property, so we only got alerted about movement in our yard.
Key Differences of Arlo Pro 3 vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Blink XT2
We know it’s the differences between these cameras that will influence our reader’s buying decision the most, so let’s discuss these more thoroughly.
A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part
Dripping water falling vertically
Fingers or similar objects
Dripping water falling from 15 degree tilt
Tools, thick wires, etc.
Most wires, screws, etc.
Water jets 6.3mm & below
Powerful water jets 12.5mm & below
Immersion up to 1m
Immersion over 1m
Like we said before, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is by far the most durable camera of the three in terms of both temperature range and IP rating. Blink XT2 takes second place, and Arlo Pro 3 is third.
The cameras go in this order from most to least impressive video: Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, Arlo Pro 3, and then Blink XT2. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has not only a 1080p HD display but also 4K sensors, which provide twice the amount of pixels, resulting in a clearer picture. The camera also has intelligent imaging with a feature called Supersight. Basically, the camera automatically zooms in on a person up to 12 times for tons of detail! Add in a wide, 130-degree field of view, and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor takes the cake for video.
The other cameras still have impressive video, especially the Arlo Pro 3, with its 2K HDR, 2560p HD resolution, 12 times digital zoom, and 130-degree field of view. While we were pleased that the Blink XT2 had a 1080p HD display, we got frustrated that we could only zoom digitally, and the field of view was so narrow at 110 degrees.
Due to it’s spotlight, the Arlo Pro 3 is the only camera of the three with color night vision. Now, as I said before, I prefer infrared over color night vision, as that spotlight makes your camera super conspicuous (and thus easier to avoid). But I’m fine with this because the Arlo Pro 3 also offers infrared.
Color Night Vision
We prefer infrared over color, but with Arlo Pro 3, color night vision is a helpful addition since Arlo also includes infrared.
Amount of Cloud Storage
Max. Amount of Cameras
1 per add-on subscription
Arlo Smart Premier
Arlo Smart Elite
All Nest devices in 1 location
All Nest devices in 1 location
Nest Aware Plus
All Nest devices in 1 location
All Blink devices in 1 location
Arlo was the only camera with local storage (through the Arlo base station), so we recommend Arlo when local storage is important. It also provides seven days of free cloud storage. For more long-term cloud storage (30 or 60 days), Nest offers the most bang for our buck.
Google Assistant Integrations
Only the Arlo Pro 3 and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor work with Google Assistant, making them ideal for anyone already in the Google smart home ecosystem.
The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is the only camera of the three to include person detection. Arlo offers it under Arlo smart home, while the Blink XT2 lacks any AI capabilities whatsoever. For more features like facial recognition, dog barking alerts, or person speaking alerts, we had to invest in a Nest Aware plan.
Arlo has person, package, vehicle, and animal detection under Arlo Smart Home, but Nest Cam IQ Outdoor still takes the cake when it comes to artificial intelligence.
While the Arlo Pro 3 and the Blink XT2 are wireless, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can be wireless or plug-in. Arlo’s rechargeable battery can last three to six months on one charge. Even more impressive, the Blink XT2 is known for its two-year battery life.
Arlo Pro 3 vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Blink XT2 Installation
All of these cameras are DIY, so we wanted to make sure the process for each one is seamless.
Installing the Arlo Pro 3
Installing our Arlo Pro 3 was a pain, but that’s mostly because we had a faulty Arlo Hub. Once we replaced our hub, we plugged it in via its ethernet and power adapters, charged the camera’s battery, and followed the step-by-step directions in the Arlo app to sync the two together.
Installing the Nest Cam IQ Indoor
The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor was easy to install. After we added it to our Nest app, we simply connected it to power and adjusted the view. Overall, the process was very straightforward and quick.
Installing the Blink XT2
Our installation process for the Blink XT2 started with the sync module. We plugged it into power and added it to the Wi-Fi using the Blink Home app. Then we inserted the two AA batteries into the Blink XT2 and synced it with the module.
Top Camera For Installation
We had the easiest time installing the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Nest vs. Blink vs. Arlo Apps
With any connected device, a user-friendly mobile application is essential. It’s what allows us to live-stream footage, speak through two-way audio, view storage, and more, so it must be well-designed and free of bugs.
The Arlo App
After some significant updates, we’re happy to say that the Arlo app works well for both our iPhones and Androids. The app now has a 3.7 on the Google Play store and a 4.5 from the Apple store.
The Nest App
Unfortunately, the Nest app didn’t fare quite as well. It has a 3.1 on the Google Play store and a 2.4 on the Apple store. An Android user named Haley Kadlec recently wrote in a two-star review,
“This app is extraordinarily bad at telling when I am home and turning off the cameras. It works fine for my boyfriend but for some reason cannot properly turn off when I get home. I have checked the settings recommended in the help articles and everything is set up as it should be.”
The Blink Home App
Finally, the Blink app lands solidly in the middle, with a 3.3 from the Apple store and a 3.8 from the Google Play store. I personally had issues with the app, as it kep asking me if I wanted to continue livestreaming footage every 30 seconds. I also didn’t like that I couldn’t manually record footage; rather, it had to be triggered by motion.
It’s no surprise— Arlo has the best app overall.
Recap of Arlo Pro 3 vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor vs. Blink XT2
Go with the Arlo Pro 3 if you want…
Apple Watch integration: The Arlo Pro 3 is the only option that works with Apple Watch.
Spotlight: Whether it’s manually-operated or motion-activated, the Arlo Pro 3 makes sure that intruders are visible.
Color night vision: With the spotlight comes color night vision, a welcome addition to the camera’s infrared LED sensors.
In terms of quality, Arlo is better than Blink, with superior video, night vision, storage options, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence capabilities. Of course, it’s also much more expensive.
Blink security cameras are good if you’re looking for the basics of smart home security: 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio, and an Alexa integration. However, the cameras are lacking when it comes to artificial intelligence capabilities like person detection, as well as storage.