Smart Home Smackdown: Nest Cam Indoor VS Nest Cam IQ

Overview: Nest Cam Indoor VS Nest Cam IQ

These are Nest’s two indoor cameras right now. For years we have had the Nest Cam (which was originally called the DropCam) and in 2017 we were treated with the new updated version called the Nest Cam IQ. However, both of these cameras still exist. You can consider the Nest Cam IQ as the upgraded premium version. But what are the main differences? Which one is the best choice for you?


Both cameras have a similar set of core features. Both can capture 1080p video footage and send it to the cloud for live viewing or in the cast of Nest Aware subscribers archival viewing for up to 30 days. Both connect to your router via WIFI and utilize the Nest proprietary “Thread” wireless protocol to talk to other Nest products. Both can send push notifications in the event of movement or sound.

But what about the differences? Well, the Nest Cam IQ adds a few new features of note. One is the ability for the camera to zoom in on subjects optically without any degradation in quality. This is made possible by the Nest Cam IQ’s 4K sensor. You won’t be actually viewing footage in 4K though, this 4K sensor is only used to catch details in faces and zoom in on moving objects. Speaking of faces, the other major feature on the Nest Cam IQ is its addition of artificial intelligence. The camera utilizes Google’s excellent AI to be able to recognize faces that are familiar and ones that aren’t.

One last major feature that is coming well after the Nest Cam IQ’s release is the ability to use the camera as a Google Assistant device. This means the camera will function just like a Google Home (minus being able to play music). This is a nice addition which makes Nest finally seem like a company that is affiliated with Google.

Winner: Nest Cam IQ 

Nest Cam IQ


The outside design of the Nest Cam Indoor really turned heads many years ago when it was released. So much so that we saw a tonne of wannabe devices that look almost identical with a slender spindle and a round camera head. It looks good and the build quality is excellent. For the Nest Cam IQ, Nest switched things up quite a bit. The unit features a white soft touch surface that is deeper and perhaps more livingroom friendly. The blue ring around the camera lights up when it is receiving audio and during the setup process. We assume this ring will also be used in the Google Assistant function once it arrives.

Overall its a bit of a toss up in terms of design. I’d say that I like the aesthetics on the Nest Cam IQ just a bit more and it is more in line with Nest’s other outdoor cameras now, so let’s call this a slight win for the Nest Cam IQ.

Winner: Nest Cam IQ

Nest Cam IQ


Compatibility is identical for both cameras. They both integrate IFTTT and Stringify well and of course integrate closely with “Works With Nest” certified products that can leverage Nest’s Home/Away modes for automation. Both cameras also play nicely with Google Home and Amazon Alexa for voice control. There is not proper Homekit support for Apple lovers yet, but this must be on its way. The only strange stand out is the lack of Samsung SmartThings support. But this one is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Nest Cam IQNest Cam Indoor


The cost of the Nest Cam IQ is quite a bit more than the original. So its really up to you whether the extra artificial intelligence, upgraded resolution, white design, and Google Assistant support are enough to justify the price difference. We’d argue that many would be very happy with the quality on the regular Nest Cam Indoor camera. If you have one really important part of your house perhaps consider getting a Nest Cam IQ just for that location and then add normal Nest Cam Indoors in other rooms. But overall the value proposition for the normal Nest Cam Indoor is stronger.

Winner: Nest Cam Indoor

Nest Cam Indoor

Overall Winner

We are suckers for everything new. And we really do like the zoom and facial detection on the Nest Cam IQ. And once the Google Assistant functionality goes live, the Nest Cam IQ will be a really formidable piece of smart home gear. If you have the cash, we recommend you try the Nest Cam IQ at least in high traffic rooms.

Winner: Nest Cam IQ

Nest Cam IQ

Where to buy

Nest Cam Indoor

Nest Cam Indoor security camera, Works with Amazon Alexa

20 used from $116.89
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Last update was on: January 9, 2021 7:57 am
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$179.00 $199.00

Nest Cam IQ


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