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Hey everyone,

Many of you have been Nest customers for a while and are familiar with our earlier generation products, and some of you are just getting started building your connected home. Our new cameras deliver improved performance and new features to help you keep track of things you care about at home, but we realize the experience and features are a little different from what you’re used to if you have an earlier generation Nest Cam. To make it easier to pick the right camera for your home, we’re taking some time here to break down the key differences.



Nest Cam (battery)

Nest Cam Indoor (1st generation), Nest Cam Outdoor (1st generation), Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Shared features

Mobile App

Built exclusively for the Google Home app

Nest Cam (battery) works with the Google Home app. The Google Home app is made to accommodate event-based and 24/7 continuous video history and to give you visibility into all of your connected home devices  in one place (whether it's a Google Nest device or another brand). Here are some new features:

  • Whole home history: see all of your events across devices
  • Video history: scroll through your events horizontally, rather than vertically, and take a more granular look at your history. Learn more about video history in the Home app.

  • Priority feed: see events that are most important in a dedicated tab

Works with the Nest and Google Home apps - but the experiences are different

If you’re used to the Nest app and give the Google Home app a try, you may notice there are some things you cannot do yet in the Google Home app, including:

  • Set up earlier generation cameras
  • Modify settings 
  • Schedule on/off times (currently, you can use Home & Away Routines)

We’re working on incorporating many of these favorite features from the Nest app into the Google Home app over the next year. Read this post for more.

Both the Google Home and Nest apps allow you to control the earlier generation Nest cameras and doorbell.

From either app, you can do the following:

  • View live video from your cameras and doorbells 
  • Talk and listen to visitors in your home
  • Turn your camera on and off
  • See your cameras and doorbells organized by room
  • Delete video history
  • View device information

Web support

Web based app viewer coming soon

Although Nest Cam (battery) is not compatible with, we’ve been working on rolling out a desktop experience for the Google Home app, so the new Nest cameras and doorbell feeds can be viewed and controlled from there. This will launch in 2022.

View your earlier generation Nest cameras on a web browser on your computer.



Battery or wired

The new Nest Cam (battery) has a built-in rechargeable battery which allows you to install it anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi network, and not only where there’s an available power outlet. You can also wire it for continuous power using a weatherproof cable or stand with built-in power cable (sold separately).

Wired only

All of these devices require hardwired power and must be plugged into a power outlet to work.

Accessories help you customize your setup

Like with our earlier generation devices, we stocked the Google Store with accessories for Nest Cam (battery), including a table top stand, weatherproof cables, and an anti-theft mount.

We also offer accessories for our earlier generation cameras. 

Check out the camera accessories on Google Store.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Can be placed indoor or outdoor - your choice

The Nest Cam (battery) has an IP54 rating so it’s great for outdoor use, but was also designed to function and look great in any room of your home.

Made for one use case

These cameras were built for a specific use case (indoor or outdoor), and therefore you’ll want to decide at time of purchase where you will place them.

Indoor cameras can be damaged by outdoor elements if installed outdoors. Although outdoor cameras can be used indoors, they’re built to withstand outdoor environments — which means they have a larger frame and a longer cable suited for outdoor use. 

Built with quality materials

Your Nest camera is thoughtfully designed, constructed from durable materials, and built to complement your home.


Three types of intelligent alerts, and more included out of the box

The new Nest Cam (battery) offers 3 types of intelligent alerts right out of the box, no subscription required: people, animals, and vehicles. We’ve also included Activity Zones, a feature that has historically been a paid feature requiring a Nest Aware subscription. Thanks to built-in intelligence, these features all come with your camera, no subscription required.

One type of intelligent alert  included, and more available with a subscription

Our earlier generation Nest cameras offer basic alerts (like person or sound) right out of the box, and features like Activity Zones require a Nest Aware subscription. Animal and vehicle alerts are not available on these devices.

Familiar Faces

Across all of our cameras, a Nest Aware subscription will give you access to more video history and familiar face detection where you can train your device to tell the difference between the faces you know and don’t know.  Please note this feature is not available on the first generation Nest Cam (indoor, wired) and Nest Cam (outdoor).

Learn more about Familiar Faces here.

Disclaimer:  Nest’s familiar face detection feature is not available on Nest cameras used in Illinois 

Camera detection

Cutting edge performance

We’ve moved object detection on-device and added a cutting-edge TPU chip, which allows algorithms to run on 2 times more pixels, up to 7.5 times per second. That’s a fancy way of saying that the new Nest Cam (battery) has more accurate, reliable and timely alerts than its predecessors.

Great performance

Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor have advanced intelligence features like Supersight. Our earlier generation cameras used a mix of on-device and cloud processing to detect objects.


Included history

3 hours of event video history (clips) included

Out of the box, you will see a rolling 3 hours of event video history clips. So, if you check your app at 6am, you’ll see the events that happened from 3am onward.

3 hours of still images included

Earlier generation cameras offer 3 hours of still images out of the box. So, if you check your app at 6am, you’ll see pictures of events that happened from 3am onward, but no video.

More video history with Nest Aware

A Nest Aware subscription will give you 30 days of event video history. A Nest Aware Plus subscription will give you 60 days, plus 10 days of 24/7 continuous video history for all wired cameras—including Nest Cam (battery) when connected to a continuous power source.

Camera specs

Camera specs, enhanced with software

Nest Cam (battery) has a 2MP sensor, 6x digital zoom, 130-degree field of view, and 1080p video with HDR that’s optimized for the clearest possible view both day and night. We added software optimization which delivers sharpness, color accuracy and balance and dynamic range without washed out whites.

Camera specs

Our earlier generation cameras have sensors ranging from 3MP (Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor) to 8MP (Nest Cam IQ). Nest Cam Outdoor has 8x digital zoom, while the IQ Indoor and Outdoor have 12x. All of these Nest cameras stream 1080p HD video and do not offer HDR. 

1080p video

All Nest cameras can stream in up to 1080p video.

Local storage fallback

Enhanced reliability

In the case of a power or Wi-Fi outage, our new battery-powered devices have local storage fallback, which means your new Nest Cam (battery) will record up to one hour of local video (up to a week’s worth of events), and upload those clips to the Google Home app once service returns.

To learn more about Storage Fallback

Earlier generation Nest cameras do not offer local storage fallback.


Privacy and Security

Privacy and security

The new Nest Cam (battery) requires a Google account, which comes with benefits like two-factor verification, suspicious activity detection, and password checkup. 

See the “shared features” column

Encryption and transparency

For all Nest cameras, the device’s LED status indicator will always show you when the camera is processing frames or someone is watching the live feed. All Nest Cam footage is encrypted while stored and in transit between devices or a data center.


We hope this table provides a clear breakdown of the differences between the Nest Cam (battery) and our earlier generation cameras. And  that it serves as a helpful guide as you decide which Nest camera is right for you. We know there are features unique to our earlier generation Nest cameras and Nest app that you love and don’t see in the new experience. We’re committed to adding many of them over time, and continuing to add new features that make our cameras more helpful than ever. 


Thanks again for your continued feedback, and as always please share questions and comments here!