Nest Cam Indoor Review
Nest's original indoor camera is a great option for those who want the high-quality of Nest for a lower price tag.
The Nest Cam Indoor is Nest’s original indoor camera, currently priced at $199. For users on a budget, it’s certainly not the cheapest camera around, but it is a good price considering the features. Let’s get started with the original Nest indoor camera review now.
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Philips Hue lightbulbs
- Person detection available with Nest Aware subscription
- 1080p HD video, infrared night vision and two-way audio
The Nest Cam Indoor may be better for some people more than others.
Who We’d recommend
- Someone in the Amazon or Google smart home ecosystems
- Anyone that wants affordable cloud storage
- A person that wants 1080p HD video, two-way audio, and excellent infrared night vision
Who We Wouldn’t Recommend
- Someone who wants person detection included
- Anyone who wants a price under $200
Our video review of the Nest Cam Indoor shows users exactly what the camera footage looks like during the day and at night, as well as detailing audio, smart platform integrations, installation and more.
Like we do all security cameras, we put the Nest Cam Indoor through our Necessary Features Test.
The Nest Cam Indoor has 1080p HD video, the industry standard, plus a wide, 130-degree field of view. Users will be able to zoom in optically eight times for the smaller details, which is impressive.
The Nest Cam Indoor has two-way audio via a speaker and microphone. This means the users can actually speak through the Nest Cam Indoor through the Nest app remotely, useful for stopping intrusions as they’re occurring or simply communicating with a family member.
The Nest Cam Indoor has infrared night vision from eight LED sensors, making for very clear vision at night.
One drawback of the Nest Cam Indoor is it’s lack of local storage. While there’s no slot for a micro-SD card, Nest gives users three hours of cloud storage on the house. Beyond that, they’ll have to pay $6 a month or $60 a year for 30 days of cloud storage or $12 a month or $120 a year for 60 days.
Smart Platform Integrations
Given that Google owns Nest, it’s no surprise that the Nest Cam Indoor works with Google Assistant, the company’s voice assistant. But it also works with Alexa as well as smart light bulbs from Philips Hue, allowing for automated actions like having the living room lights turn off when the Nest Cam Indoor is armed. Let’s see exactly how users can control the Nest Cam Indoor with their voices alone.
Users will be able to show footage from the Nest Cam Indoor on their Echo Show, Echo Spot and Fire TV. Here are some sample commands:
- Alexa, show the living room camera.
- Alexa, hide the bedroom camera.
Those in the Google smart home ecosystem will be pleased to be able to play their Nest Cam footage on Google’s smart displays like the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, as well as cast it to smart TVs through Chromecast. Here are the commands that can be used with the Nest Cam Indoor:
- Hey Google, play the living room camera on the kitchen TV
- Hey Google, cast my bedroom camera to the Nest Hub Max
While the Nest Cam Indoor doesn’t come with any artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, users can buy person detection through Nest Aware. Person detection means that the camera doesn’t just alert users of any motion that their Nest Cam Indoors capture. Rather, they’ll only be notified if the Nest Cam Indoor detects a person, making for notifications that matter more.
Nest Aware takes it a step further with familiar face alerts. Over time, the camera will begin to recognize certain faces, which the user can name in the Nest app. Users can also receive dog-barking alerts and person speaking alerts, making for a smart camera that’s truly intelligent.
Now that we’ve gone over the Nest Cam Indoor’s features, let’s talk a bit more about its design.
The Nest Cam Indoor must be plugged into power, which shouldn’t be a problem as it’s an indoor camera. However, some people may prefer wireless cameras, making the Nest Cam Indoor a poor choice.
The Nest Cam Indoor should be connected to home Wi-Fi. If not, users won’t be able to use the Nest app to livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, and generally control and monitor it. However, if the user buys professional monitoring, they’ll still be able to use the Nest app even if the Wi-Fi fails, as it includes cellular backup.
How It Performs
Our experts tested out the Nest Cam Indoor, so let’s see how well it worked and how easy it was to set up.
How to Set Up Instructions
Nest has instructions on how to set up their cameras and connect them to the Nest app on their website. Here are the first few steps:
- Download the Nest app and create an account, if not already done.
- Scan the QR code on the bottom of the Nest Cam Indoor and name it in the Nest app by its location.
- Plug in the Nest Cam Indoor and add it to the home WiFi.
Nest has two optional subscriptions available: Nest Aware and professional monitoring from Brinks Home Security. Nest Aware includes additional cloud storage and, for the Nest Cam Indoor, person detection, facial recognition, and activity zones. We are pleased to see that Nest recently lowered the pricing for Nest Aware significantly, as this was a major drawback previously.
Professional monitoring, on the other hand, is a separate cost. It also comes with cellular backup, which will keep the Nest Cam Indoor on in the event of a power outage.
What exactly is professional monitoring? Well, in addition to self-monitoring through the Nest app, professional monitoring means that a team of people will be alerted, 24/7, if the camera detects motion or a person when it’s armed. If the user doesn’t respond to a notification or phone call, the team will check in with the livestream and, if there is an emergency, contact the proper services, be it the police, hospital or even the fire department. Especially for users with the Nest Secure security system, we recommend paying extra for professional monitoring.
Price and Contracts
Currently, users can purchase Nest Aware by the amount of cloud storage they’ll receive: 30 days of cloud storage for $6 a month or $60 a year, or 60 days of cloud storage for $12 a month or $120 a year. Users can choose from monthly, flexible contracting that can be cancelled anytime, or annual contracting, which can save users $12 or $24 a year.
Professional monitoring costs either $19 a month if the user wants to sign up for a three-year contract, or $29 a month if the customer wants month-to-month contracting. Like we said, this includes cellular backup.
The Nest App
To get the most out of the Nest Cam Indoor, downloading the iOS or Android Nest app is a necessity.
Through the Nest app, users will be able to livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, receive notifications, view cloud storage, set up smart platform integrations, and more.
Google Play Store Rating
Currently, the Nest app has a rating of 4.2 on the Google Play store, which is nearly perfect.
Apple Store Rating
We tested out the Nest Cam Indoor using the Nest app for iOS, which has an even better 4.7 star rating. This is much improved from the last time we tested out the camera and its app, so we’re glad to see that Nest has been improving it, and we agree with the high rating, as this app is very easy to use.
In this section, we’re comparing the Nest Cam Indoor to the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, the Nest Cam Outdoor and the Arlo Pro 2.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam IQ Indoor
The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is basically a more advanced version of the Nest Cam Indoor, costing $299 in comparison to $199. The cameras both have 1080p HD video, 130-degree fields of view, and the same storage options and smart platform integrations. However, the IQ has twice the amount of LED sensors than the Nest Cam Indoor, making the infrared night vision twice as impressive, plus the ability to zoom in 12 times as opposed to eight. And with a speaker seven times more powerful, the IQ also has improved two-way audio.
Finally, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor includes person detection, unlike the Nest Cam Indoor, and it can be wireless or plugged in, while the Nest Cam Indoor is plug-in only. We’d recommend the Nest Cam IQ Indoor to users that want the improved video, night vision, audio, and AI features, but the Nest Cam Indoor to users more concerned with saving the extra $100. To learn more, read our full Nest Cam IQ Indoor review.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Nest Cam Outdoor
The Nest Cam Outdoor is the original outdoor camera from Nest. Unlike the Nest Cam Indoor, it has an IP rating of 65, meaning it’s weatherproof and can be used in temperatures from negative four to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. But in terms of features, it’s pretty similar to the Nest Cam Indoor, with the exact same video, audio, night vision, storage options, smart platform integrations and AI. Both cameras plug in, which could be an issue for some users that want a wireless outdoor camera. For more information, read our review of the Nest Cam Outdoor.
Nest Cam Indoor vs. Arlo Pro 2
Unlike the Nest Cam Indoor, the Arlo Pro 2 can be used outside in temperatures from negative four to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant in addition to IFTTT, Stringify and Apple HomeKit. The Arlo Pro 2 also has local storage and seven days of free cloud storage, while Nest only gives users three hours for free.
Both cameras have 1080p HD video, eight times zoom, 130-degree fields of view, and infrared night vision, although we weren’t super impressed with the Arlo Pro 2’s night vision, two-way audio, and person detection available for an extra cost. The Arlo Pro 2 is wireless with a battery life of three to six months, while the Nest Cam Indoor only plugs in.
Finally, the Arlo Pro 2 has a built-in siren that’s over 100 decibels, all for a cost of $219.99. Overall, we’d recommend the Arlo Pro 2 for outdoor use, but the Nest Cam Indoor for indoor use. Want to know more? Read our full comparison of the Nest Cam Indoor vs. Arlo Pro 2.
Here’s the information on how to get in touch with Nest’s customer support team.
Call Nest at 1-855-469-6378 to get support over the phone.
While Nest support lacks a direct email, users can reach out via Twitter and Facebook Messenger.
Online Help Center
The best way to reach out to Nest is to look at their online support center, which has really detailed guidelines on each product as well as a community forum. Most questions can be answered through the online help center, in our experience.
For the quickest answers, ask support questions over the live chat option on their website.
Our Experience Contacting Support
When we couldn’t find our answers on Nest’s online support center, we were forced to use either live chat or the phone line. Unfortunately, the phone support was pretty poor. Our representative didn’t seem to be very knowledgeable about the Nest products in general and knew about as much as was on the website, defeating the purpose of the phone line itself.
The Nest Cam Indoor currently has a 4.1 out of five star rating on Amazon, which is really good. However, when we searched “customer support,” we found that the majority of the reviews were one star. One user complained of the phone line specifically,
“Over the course of the last 5 days, I’ve called Nest support 3 times by phone and have been on hold for a total of 3 hours and never got through. I contacted them on Twitter but they told me I had to call by phone. Their support department does not have an email address – or if they do, they don’t advertise it…”
Unfortunately, this matched our experience with Nest’s phone line, which should only be used as a last resort after the online options.
That’s all there is to know about the Nest Cam Indoor, but here is more information about the company itself as well as its policies.
Originally called Nest Labs, the company now called Google Nest was founded in 2010 by former engineers at Apple. Their first product was the Nest Learning Thermostat, a WiFi-connected thermostat that learns people’s schedules within a few days. After acquiring Dropcam in 2014, the company introduced the Nest Cam Indoor the next year. In 2014, Google bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, rebranding it as Google Nest in 2019.
Where to Purchase
Users can purchase the Nest Cam Indoor on Amazon, on Best Buy or on the Nest website.
To contact Nest, call 1-855-469-6378 or get in touch with a support representative on Twitter, Facebook, or through the Nest website through live chat.
Nest offers a two-year warranty for the Nest Cam Indoor.
To return the Nest Cam Indoor, contact Nest support within 30 days of purchase to get a Return Materials Authorization. Then, the user has 14 days to return the product, which will be refunded within 30 days of Nest receiving it. However, this only applies if the Nest Cam Indoor was purchased on the Nest website, and the return policy may differ if purchased on Amazon or Best Buy.
The Nest Cam Indoor is one of the best security cameras of 2020. It hits our standards in terms of video, audio, night vision, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence. However, it’s not the cheapest option around and it’s not a great choice for users that want local storage. That being said, we would definitely recommend the Nest Cam Indoor for home security.
Nest Cam Indoor FAQs
- Is there a monthly fee for Nest Cam?
There is no required monthly fee for the Nest Cam. However, if you buy Nest Aware, you’ll get additional cloud storage plus person detection, dog barking alerts, person speaking alerts, facial recognition, and activity zones. 30 days of cloud storage costs $6 a month or $60 a year, while 60 days costs $12 a month or $120 a year, adding on 24/7 video history to boot.
- Is the Nest indoor camera wireless?
The Nest Cam Indoor is not wireless. Rather, it needs to be plugged into power to work. However, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor can be either wireless or plug-in.
- How much is a Nest indoor camera?
The Nest Cam Indoor, Nest’s original indoor camera, costs $199. The Nest Cam IQ Indoor, the latest version of their indoor camera, costs $299. There are also separate, optional costs for storage, advanced artificial intelligence features and professional monitoring.
- Where should I put my Nest camera indoors?
Nest cameras should be placed in a central area on the ground level or homes, like a main hallway or living room. Make sure they’re placed near a power outlet, as the Nest Cam Indoor must be plugged in. They should also be in an area with a strong Internet connection.
- Can I use the Nest camera without a subscription?
The Nest cameras can be used without a subscription. The user will still be able to livestream footage, check the statuses of, receive notifications of and control their Nest cameras remotely through the Nest app. However, users will only get three hours of cloud storage without a subscription.
- Is a Nest worth the money?
Nest cameras are worth the money. They are at the top of their game in terms of video, audio, night vision, smart platform integrations and artificial intelligence. But for a user on a budget, the original Nest cameras, the Nest Cam Indoor and the Nest Cam Outdoor, are a better option than the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.