Nest Cam Outdoor vs Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: What’s the difference?

Source: Pocket-Lint added 13th May 2021

  • nest-cam-outdoor-vs-nest-cam-iq-outdoor:-what’s-the-difference?

(Pocket-lint) – When Google-owned Nest announced a redesigned smart home security camera in the form of the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, it saw the power and intelligence of its Nest Cam IQ Indoor moving outside.

The newer model improves upon its predecessor, the Nest Cam Outdoor, with a number of design and feature changes that offer a better, tighter and more effective smart home security experience. 

But what are the differences and do these upgrades make the newer version worth a purchase?


Design changes and enhancements

  • Both have 7.5m power cables
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers cable security installation option
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is twice the size
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor features LED ring to highlight when it’s being used
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is IP66 rated with -40C to +45C operational temperature
  • Nest Cam Outdoor is IP65 rated with -20C to +40C operational temperature

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor features a similar design to the original Nest Cam Outdoor – only the updated camera is bigger, better and bolder. 

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is twice the size of the original Nest Cam Outdoor, with a larger, more robust and more weatherproof body.

The newer model is quite a bit larger than its predecessor, measuring 93mm in diameter and 128mm in depth compared to the original Outdoor camera that is just 72mm in diameter and 89mm in depth. Bigger is a good thing in the case of the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor though.

The IQ Outdoor camera is IP66 rated meaning it’s dust-tight and resistant to even powerful jets of water. The original Nest Cam outdoor is IP65 rated, so this is certainly an improvement. The IQ is also capable of resisting a greater range of weather conditions, withstanding lower temperatures while still being able to function.

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Like the Nest Cam Outdoor, the newer camera requires outdoor installation but the focus of the IQ device is on security. There are two installation options with the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, one of which is to install the power cable through the backplate behind the camera which means cables are invisible and inaccessible from outside the house. 

Both versions of Nest’s outdoor cameras come with a 7.5-meter power cable, giving you enough length to pass through the wall of your house or reach outdoor power outlets. 

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor includes a secure mounting option which requires a special tool and prevents unwanted tampering. 


Hardware and specification improvements

  • 4K, 8MP sensor with 12x digital zoom and HDR on Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
  • 1080P, 3MP sensor with 8x digital zoom on Nest Cam Outdoor
  • Both offer 1080p recording and 130-degree field of view
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has three microphones and 15 x more powerful speaker
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi compatibility 

The original Nest Cam Outdoor offers 1080P video playback and continuous recording using a 3MP sensor with 8x digital zoom. The improved Nest Cam IQ Outdoor uses an upgraded 4K, 8MP sensor with 1080P video and a 12x digital zoom. 

Both cameras have a 130-degree lens and capture 1080p video at 30fps, but the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers HDR capture too for enhanced picture quality. 

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has three microphones which allow for noise cancellation and suppression. This will help with two-way communication but also the monitoring of important sounds around outside your home.

The upgraded Nest Cam IQ Outdoor includes a speaker which Nest claims is 15x more powerful than that on the older camera.

The original Nest Cam Outdoor has a half-duplex audio system, which means that you have to press the button to speak to someone and hold it while you talk in a walkie-talkie fashion. The newer Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera meanwhile, uses a full-duplex system instead – so a single button press allows you to have a full conversation as if you’re making a phone call. 

The newer design also includes a large RGB light ring which lights up when the two-way communication is in use so visitors can see where they’re being addressed from. 

Both these cameras have similar Wi-Fi connectivity but the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor includes 2×2 MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) transmitters meaning it should be capable of maintaining a better signal than its predecessor. 

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Features and capabilities

  • Both offer 24/7 live video with motion detection
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has person detection alerts without subscription
  • Both have night vision mode
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers Philips Hue Lighting, Wemo plugs, TP-Link and Lifx compatibility
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has Supersight for automatic zoom and tracking 

Both Nest cameras offer 24/7 live video capture accessible via the Nest app, website or Google Home app. Both these cameras also offer night-vision mode for capturing footage day or night. 

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has Supersight for automatic zoom and tracking of people moving about within its sight. This camera also includes person alerts as standard, out of the box, without the need for a Nest Aware subscription – something you’d need to pay extra for with the original Nest Cam Outdoor. 

  • What is Nest Aware, how much is it and what does it offer?

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers Philips Hue Lighting, Wemo plugs, TP-Link and Lifx compatibility. This means you can set up smart home pairing so your lights will turn on when the camera detects movement outside to give the illusion of someone being at home when they aren’t. 

Additionally, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor works with both Google Assistant and Chromecast, meaning you can use your phone or Google Home device to cast live Nest Cam footage to your TV. If you have the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, you can also ask Google Assistant to show you your Nest Cam IQ Outdoor footage on that.


Pricing and subscription costs

  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is more expensive to buy
  • Nest Aware subscription price changes and discounts available
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers familiar faces alerts with a subscription

Without Nest Aware subscription, both cameras record will send you alerts when motion or sound is detected, but there is no recording. With a subscription, you can get up to 60-days of event history and up to 10-days of video history, depending on the package you choose.

Nest Aware subscription also allows for the setup of activity zones within the camera’s line of sight which allows you to set areas you do or don’t want notifications from. This means you could stop getting notifications of people walking by, but get important alerts about someone trying to open your door. 

Like the indoor version, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera also has a “familiar faces” feature which is accessible under the Nest Aware subscription. This allows you to set the camera to recognise family and friends as it notices them. This learning ability should prevent unnecessary notifications about people the camera notices over time. 

If you own a Nest Cam IQ and already have familiar faces setup then these settings will carry across to the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor too.  

Nest Aware also allows for the creation of clips and timelapses on captured footage that can be used to share with family or the authorities depending on your needs. 

The two subscription costs for both cameras are:

  • £5/$6 a month for 30-days event history but no video history
  • £10/$12 a month for 60-days event history and 10-days video history

These subscriptions cover all Nest devices you have though so you no longer pay extra per camera like you did when Nest Aware first launched.



The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers various improvements over the original Nest Cam Outdoor, even without a Nest Aware subscription.

The specs mean you’ll get better video recordings, a better audio experience as well as person alerts and the ability to see a close-up tracking too. 

Opt for the Nest Aware subscription and you’ll also get familiar faces alerts with the newer camera, which will help reduce unnecessary notifications and improve your experience. 

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is quite a bit more money than the original but also offers better security solutions with the secure fitting options and ties in nicely with your other smart home devices too. 

Now why not check out: Best outdoor smart home cameras: See outside your home anytime

Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Britta O’Boyle.

Read the full article at Pocket-Lint

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