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Nest Cam review: This Dropcam Pro successor delivers top-shelf security

Michael Ansaldo | Nov. 10, 2015
While probably not worth the upgrade for Dropcam Pro owners, Nest's first security camera is great option for first-time home monitors.

I found the app could be a bit buggy at times. Frequently when switching back to the live feed from from another screen, it wouldn’t show an image or I’d get a message saying the camera wasn’t connected, even though it was. Each time the issue resolved itself within several seconds, but it could be disconcerting if you get notified of a real-life event and just want to see what’s going on at home as quickly as possible.

More potentially troubling is the 30-minute delay between notifications. Nest says this is by design, to prevent customers from being overwhelmed. While I certainly appreciated not being bombarded with alerts every time my dog or cat walked in front of the camera, it did raise the question of what would happen if, say, pet movement triggered a notification, and then moments later someone broke in to the house. Admittedly, this is a pretty unlikely scenario, but still it seems like notification intervals of every 10 to 15 minutes would be more prudent, if only for peace of mind.

Bottom line

If you’re already using Dropcam Pro, Nest Cam’s improvements probably aren’t significant enough to warrant an upgrade. Viewed on a smartphone screen or on the web, the difference between 720p and 1080p is barely noticeable, particularly on surveillance footage. If you’re looking to buy your first Wi-Fi security camera, however, Nest Cam’s sleek, sturdy design; impressive video quality; and easy-to-use app place it near the top of the heap.

If you also own a Nest Learning Thermostat and a Nest Protect smoke and carbon-monoxide detector, deploying a Nest Cam lets you integrate all three devices. The Nest Cam can relay a message to the thermostat that you’ve arrived home before you walk past the thermostat’s motion detector, for instance. And if the smoke alarm goes off, it can trigger the camera to snap a picture that might identify the source of the flames.

Just bear in mind that without the features a Nest Aware subscription brings, the Nest Cam is little more than a webcam. The subscription adds substantially to the cost of ownership, but it’s a worthy investment if you’re serious about home security.

 

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