Google Nest Cam Indoor Review

Sleek design with super-smart features

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

4.2

Google Nest Cam Indoor

Google Nest Cam Indoor

Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

What We Like

  • High-quality camera

  • Five-minute setup

  • Great modern design

  • Smart motion detection

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy

  • Expensive, plus you need a subscription

  • Needs to be plugged in at all times

Bottom Line

Simple to set up anywhere in your home, the Google Nest Cam Indoor gives you instant access to 24/7 live video in stunning HD—even in the dark. With two-way audio and an easy-to-navigate app, you can’t go wrong with this sleek camera for complete indoor home security.

4.2

Google Nest Cam Indoor

Google Nest Cam Indoor

Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

In recent years, the peace of mind that comes with home security has become a priority for many households. With reliable do-it-yourself security cameras like the Google Nest Cam Indoor, you can get all the features you want (and more) at a relatively fair price with barely any setup. The Nest Cam Indoor, in particular, is designed to fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and make it easy for you to monitor the day-to-day activities in your home (like package delivery, a child napping, or the arrival of your dog walker) but that’s not to say it’s any less qualified to help you protect your home while you’re out of town.

With two-way audio, 24/7 live video, and smart push notifications, you can be alerted to home break-ins instantly no matter where you are. We tested the Nest Cam in our own home for over two weeks, first in our son’s play area and then in our front entryway, evaluating motion and sound sensitivity, microphone quality, app features, storage, and camera quality.

Google Nest Cam Indoor
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Setup Process: Couldn’t be easier

Out of the box, the Nest Cam Indoor is very easy to set up. To start, we downloaded the Nest app and created a Nest account. When we did, we received a 30-day free trial of Nest Aware, Nest’s storage subscription service. The Nest app is available on iOS and Android devices and has a web-based console for PC users. We then plugged in our Nest Cam to a power outlet. To connect the two, we followed the prompts on the app and scanned the camera via a QR on the back. Once the camera was connected, we could easily see live video of our doorway and were able to use the two-way audio. Like I said, setup was very easy.

We really felt like we didn’t miss anything happening in our home and at the same time, didn’t have to sort through a ton of ‘nothing’ clips to get to the action.

The camera itself is attractive and well-designed. The sleek black camera clicks into a sturdy, brushed metal base which connects magnetically to the mount (or to something metallic). If not mounted, the camera and base looks great free-standing on a shelf or piece of furniture and could also connect to a tripod.

The base is heavy enough that it won’t tilt over, no matter how you angle the camera. However, this could be viewed as a negative feature since it could pose a danger to a child if it fell from the mount. Aside from that, we loved how much flexibility you get with this camera in terms of positioning. The entire thing rotates and tilts in any direction, so you can really customize your setup. It plugs in (and stays plugged in) with a 10-foot-long soft white USB cord.

Google Nest Cam Indoor
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Compatibility: Seamlessly connects to an aesthetically pleasing app

Connecting our camera to the Nest app was simple, and the app itself is beautifully designed and easy to use. In fact, the Nest app is probably one of the biggest reasons we loved this security camera so much. The app works with all the devices in the Nest home lineup, which makes things easy if you have the complete system or want to add other products.

From the app, you can view live video at any time, zoom in, use the two-way audio, and control settings like when and where you want to receive notifications. It’s also where we could control our Nest Aware subscription. With Nest Aware, we were able to view and store video from a certain number of past days, as determined by the user. Nest Aware also gave our Nest Cam a few extra features like advanced motion and sound detection and activity zones. 

The super-intuitive Nest app is probably one of the biggest reasons we loved this security camera so much.

With its smart detection and pre-determined activity zones, the Nest camera can accurately decipher movement and triggers and is able to tell if it was a person, object, or sound. With Nest Aware, you get fewer false triggers and more information about what’s happening in your home. While we were testing the Nest Cam, we liked that we didn’t receive a notification for every little movement, since it could tell the difference between a sound and a person walking. Of course, we still had easy access to every trigger (big or small) that had happened in the last three hours via the app. We used the smart “Activity Zones” when testing the camera in our front foyer so that we would only be alerted to any action at the door. 

We could easily view the recorded video clips by scrolling through a list of the day’s “events” and download the ones we wanted to keep. It was also easy to share clips or compile them into a timelapse. We could save clips to the camera roll on our phones or share via a link. The Nest App also offers amazing Home and Away settings. By toggling to the Away setting (or allowing the app to use your location to decide when you are away), you can set your system up so that your camera and other devices turn on only when no one is at home. 

There are also plenty of non-Nest products that work with the Nest app and cam, like Fitbit, Google Home, or Yale Keyless Entry System. You can see the full list here. We connected our Philips smart lightbulbs and set them to turn off when we left the house.

Google Nest Cam Indoor
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Range: Not a factor

Since the Nest Cam Indoor is only one camera, after the initial setup we didn’t really have to worry about range or Wi-Fi connectivity. If both your Wi-Fi router and Nest Cam are in the same house, it should work perfectly. Ours did. With the Nest app, we could easily adjust and view the camera’s settings while we were out of the house or out of our Wi-Fi range. We could even set a schedule based on our normal activity (which we did).

Google Nest Cam Indoor
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack

Camera, Video, and Sound Quality: Super-smart with high-tech features 

You can record and view video from the Nest Cam Indoor at three different settings: 360, 720, and 1080 HD, and it’s consistent at all three. It also has a 130-degree wide-angle view and enhanced night vision. The camera quality overall is really stunning, and we found it just as clear in well-lit areas as in low-light areas or at night. 

The wide angle view was a great feature since it allowed us to see what was happening at the edges of the camera just as well as in the center. To take a closer look at a certain person, object, or area, we could use the 8X zoom by simply pinching our fingers on the screen on our app. If you prefer, you can lock the camera zoomed into a certain area with a mode called Enhance. 

Since we used this camera to interact with our child while we are away, we loved the high quality of the video and sound.

The two-way audio and sound quality on this camera are pretty clear, albeit not very loud. If you’re communicating often, you might opt for a better speaker system, but we found the Nest useful for our needs and had back and forth conversations with both our nanny and dog walker. 

Again, the Nest app is the star of the show when it comes to this system’s camera and video because it’s so easy to change the settings and view the recorded clips in a simple timeline view. We really felt like we didn’t miss anything happening in our home and at the same time, didn’t have to sort through a ton of ‘nothing’ clips to get to the action. The motion detection has a slight delay, which we expected, but it didn’t affect our usage.

Since we used this camera to interact with our child while we are away, we loved the high quality of the video and sound. It didn’t feel like a chore to use the camera and app throughout the day to see and say hello to our child and dog. Both my husband and I had access to the app (with different notification settings) and it was easy for us to share any fun or adorable clips with family and friends.

Google Nest Cam Indoor
Verywell Family / Deanna McCormack 

Power: Stays plugged in

The Nest Cam Indoor stays plugged in at all times, so we never had to worry about battery life. The cord definitely limits the placement and mounting options for this camera, and we didn’t love that it was white instead of black like the rest of the camera and mount. We would definitely prefer a wireless camera since it gives more flexibility in terms of where to put it, but we didn’t mind too much. Of course, having the camera plugged in at all times is what allows it to record 24/7 live video in such high quality.

Price: Expensive and requires a monthly subscription

The upfront cost of the Nest Cam Indoor is pretty high considering it’s not extremely versatile and you can get some of the same features from other cameras at a lower price. You’re definitely paying for the Nest brand name and the app’s ability to control other smart devices. We did, however, like how sleek and upscale the device looked in our home. 

In order to use the Nest Cam, you also need to purchase a Nest Aware subscription, which is billed monthly. There are three options at three price points, depending on what level of storage you want. The monthly fee makes this camera pretty costly, but if you plan to regularly communicate and check in on people coming in and out of your home or office, it may be worth it.

Competition: Slight differences, fewer annual costs

Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor: For almost double the price of the regular Nest Cam, you can upgrade to the IQ. It has better zoom, facial recognition for smarter motion alerts, and built-in speaker and may be worth the upfront investment if you plan to pay for the monthly fee for a while anyway.

Arlo Q: Arlo Q has a similarly priced 24/7 indoor monitoring camera with most if not all of the same features. The one thing it has that Nest doesn’t? A free option for storage that eliminates the monthly cost of Nest Aware.

Amazon Cloud Cam: At a slightly cheaper price point with similar specs, the Amazon Cloud Cam might be your choice if cost is your main concern and you don’t mind sacrificing a few features on the camera and in the app.

Final Verdict

Go for it!

The Google Nest Cam Indoor (which takes less than five minutes to set up and pair with the intuitive, easy-to-use Nest app) is a high-quality indoor camera that will make you feel safe, protected, and connected. While the costly subscription plan is a bit of a turn-off, the device offers the option for 24/7 continuous recording, night vision, and two-way audio—not to mention the ability to connect to other smart devices around your home.

Specs

  • Product Name Nest Cam Indoor
  • Product Brand Google
  • Price $199.00
  • Weight 7.1 oz.
  • Product Dimensions 2.8 x 2.8 x 4.5 in.
  • Color Black
  • Weather Indoor Use Only
  • Input 100–240V AC 0.2A
  • DC-Output 5VDC 2.0A
  • Camera Input 5VDC 1.0A
  • Camera ⅓-in. 3-megapixel sensor with millions of colors and 8X digital zoom
  • Video H.264 encoding, up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames/sec
  • Field of View 130° diagonal
  • Night Vision 8 high-power infrared LEDs (850 nm) with IR cut filter
  • What’s Included 1 Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor camera, 1 power cable + adapter and 1 Quick Start Guide.
  • Warranty 2 years, limited
Was this page helpful?