Some products show up everywhere: subway ads, Instagram, celeb endorsements. With this series, we’re testing such products to conclude one thing: Does it live up to the hype?
The Google Nest Cam Outdoor is a security camera that lets you monitor the exterior of your house right from your phone. It has a 130-degree, wide-angle view that gets 1080p HD image quality, day or night, so you can see (and hear) anyone or anything near your home. It notifies you when motion or noise is detected, so you’ll never have to wonder, “What was that sound?” ever again.
With technology at our fingertips for nearly every aspect of life, isn’t our safety among the most important places to put it to use? The Google Nest Cam Outdoor has been available for years, and while the brand has developed other versions, this one is under $200.
Google has been at the forefront of making easy-to-use security cameras for the average person. So although it’s not as complicated to use as those found in, let’s say, the Louvre Museum, it’ll make you feel like you’re the Mona Lisa.
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Other product review sites, including The New York Times’ Wirecutter
I’m not sure if it's because there's too much Law & Order: SVU in my life, but I’m constantly aware of my surroundings. When my fiancé and I moved into our new home this past April, we knew we wanted to get a security system for some peace of mind. The Google Nest Cam Outdoor, however, has taken that feeling of safety up another notch.
It’s one thing to be able to hear an alarm to indicate that something is happening outside, but it’s another to be able to see and interact with it. Once you set up the user-friendly Google camera (probably above your front or back door), it’ll begin recording when it detects motion or sound. It links to the Nest app on your phone, so you can get notifications when it senses activity outside of your home, and you can even check in on the camera's live view. Not only that, but the app even allows you to talk to whomever is outside of your door.
A post shared by Google Nest (@googlenest) on Aug 27, 2019 at 10:06am PDT
While we’re perfectly happy with this outdoor camera's most basic features, the video clips that it collects are only accessible for 3 hours. Luckily, there is the option of upgrading to one of the Nest Aware packages, which launched new features in May 2020.
The $6 per month (or $60 annual) price tag for Nest Aware gets you a 30-day video history, so you can rewatch past clips if needed. The $12 per month option (or $120 per year) for Nest Aware Plus provides you 60-day video history and 10-day 24/7 video history. These prices encompass video history for all of your Google Nest cameras, including the Nest Indoor that is built in to the Google Nest Hub. However, you can simply stay with the free version and not pay any additional fees each month.
The notifications feature on the Google Nest Outdoor Cam is the most important one to me — it sends an alert to my phone whenever activity is detected. I also like being able to adjust the sensitivity levels in my settings. The highest level (which is what I have mine set to) notifies me if a dog is barking or the wind is blowing particularly noisily.
When I wake up in the morning, I might have gotten a couple notifications overnight if animals had made their way past the camera. I can’t tell you how many deer and gophers it has caught. You can click on the notification, and it’ll bring you to the clip of the movement or noise in question. It’s like having a second set of eyes for the things you aren’t present for.
With the newly added Nest Aware capabilities, the device now can start recording when a critical sound is detected — such as a smoke alarm or breaking glass. You can even call emergency services right from the Nest app.
Basically, you get to spy on your own space whenever you want. Just call me Captain Olivia Benson! Do I live in a safe town? Yes. However, I believe you can never be too careful. I hope that we never do have to rely on the Google Nest Cam Outdoor if something bad were to happen, but it’s comforting to know that it’s there just in case.
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