The built-in Google Assistant is one of this camera’s most unique features. And while it’s not necessary, it’s super handy if you don’t already have a smart speaker or if you’d like to add another to your lineup. I used it to set timers while I was cooking, check the weather when making plans, and ask about traffic before heading to work.
According to Nest, the IQ cam’s speaker is seven times more powerful than the speaker on the original Nest Cam. While I didn’t notice anything dramatic, the sound was sharp, and the speaker worked very well.
The IQ cam also has more microphones than the original Nest Cam. These mics help with noise canceling and echo suppression to make sure you can clearly hear audio when you’re checking your camera feed.
The improved two-way audio makes this camera a smart choice for parents who may be using the Nest IQ to check on older kids who are home alone.
Close-up motion tracking
Once the Nest Cam IQ notices motion, it zooms in on whatever is moving and follows that movement around the room. This makes it easier to see exactly what is going on and get a clear view of who’s moving around in your home.
The Nest IQ is just as easy to set up as the original Nest Cam—download the Nest app, pick a spot for the camera, plug the camera in, and follow the app’s step-by-step instructions. The app also walks you through setting up your Google Assistant.
It took me about 25 minutes to get the camera up and running, but many of those 25 minutes were spent scouring my apartment for a paper clip—I was testing a camera that had been used before and it needed to be reset by pushing the teensy reset button on the base of the camera. Once I reset the camera, everything went smoothly.
There’s no way around it—at about $300, the Nest IQ Cam indoor is expensive. If you’ll use all the high-end features (Google Assistant, two-way audio, person alerts), it’s worth the price.
But if you just need a basic security camera, you’re probably better off getting the original Nest Cam to save money.