Google’s Nest Cam with Battery is a home security camera from Google that provides an innovative portable outdoor/indoor security solution with advanced features at an entry-level price of $179.99.
Now, with a product bundle from smart home accessories brand Wasserstein, the Nest Cam can be paired with a new 3.5-watt premium solar panel that costs $79.99.
This Nest Cam battery-included model has a unique design that makes it a multi-purpose safety device. The video cam is a white sphere with a metal base plate and a strong magnet. Depending on where you install it, you can attach the magnetic part of the sphere to a metal surface or to the included mounting plate.
Then plug in the power cable or solar connection, and the installation is finished. If needed, wall anchors and mounting plates make for a simple setup.
For indoor use, you can easily attach the round camera to a wall or ceiling. The scene is easy to adjust by controlling the magnetic viscosity of the sphere.
The second option lets you move the video camera to different rooms and place it on a flat surface. The assistant is holding the screw in a waiting threaded area.
That combination of permanent or portable installation options makes this video device easy to use anywhere, indoors or outdoors. While it does the job well, it doesn’t come with a helpful user’s manual beyond a quick start guide.
As a result, you’ll have to click through the configuration settings to find out how to get this product your way. To get an explanation of its potential capabilities, you’ll need to follow some of the links included in the guide to a URL containing technical support and other user details.
A better solution would be a downloadable PDF file. But then most things Google has little or no guidelines readily available.
pros, cons, questions
It’s a primarily battery-powered video device with options for using solar to recharge the battery or bypassing a hardwire connection. Its advantage is when permanent electrical power is not available due to weather or other events.
If you use this model to monitor rooms or entrances around your property, be prepared to accept some compromises. But its portability and power options may give it an edge over competing products.
So far, Google has not been transparent about the wireless security safeguards of devices. Nor is the company coming out about key usability questions.
The biggest question I have is how long will the product last due to the non-replaceable battery. Another important issue to consider is low usability if you choose not to pay for ongoing cloud storage from a third-party Google partner.
theory and conjecture
Google estimates the battery to last between 1.5 and seven months, depending on how you use the device. There are a number of options that will affect battery durability. For example, if you run it on household current, will it waste recharge cycles on the battery?
Running this Nest Cam with a solar panel keeps the battery fully charged. But it will depend on the exposure of the solar panel to the sun. According to the manufacturer, the solar panel will operate in cloud-covered conditions at low charging capacity.
So in theory, the life cycle of the battery should be extended somewhat by using a solar panel. If you do not connect a permanent power supply, the solar panel will keep the security cam working through the outage.
But in maybe one to two years of use, you’ll probably need to replace the Nest Cam with this battery.
Good Home Security, Suspicious Privacy
A third use option is to use this Nest Cam indoors to monitor entryways through a nearby window, or as a room monitor for young children or household pets. This option lets you plug the cam into a nearby power outlet.
The device comes with a charging cable and power plug like other electronic gear use. But that doesn’t eliminate the question I raised earlier about the effect of a static power supply overriding the durability of the internal battery.
The camera can be hidden inside or kept out of reach. It cannot prevent hidden personal risks.
If you hold the camera too high off the ground outside, it can limit your view. Very close to the ground, a passerby can easily capture the detachable camera field, which is only magnetically attached to a metal plate.
Another concern is data privacy. Google has said that it will not share personally identifiable information such as names or email addresses with other entities. Nevertheless, the company will not tell users anything more about how it uses your data.
Hey, this is Google we’re talking about here. The company makes most of its money by monetizing personal data.
It takes about five hours to fully charge a nearly drained battery using the provided 7.5W AC adapter and charge cable. Again, the battery power consumption is determined by how you configure the setup. If you use this Nest Cam without a site subscription, your live and recorded performance is very different.
Even if the Nest Cam uses Wi-Fi from your home or office Internet connection, you cannot offload storage to your computer system. On-board storage is limited with no removable or expandable storage slots. So, there are some drawbacks to using this portable security video camera without a third-party service.
For example, a Power-connected Nest Cam with a 24/7 video history subscription will record live continuously for approximately eight minutes before switching to event recording. Unlike other Nest Cam products, you cannot save live stream recordings locally with this product.
Without a subscription, your convenience options are less useful. You cannot record to the Nest-Aware cloud without a subscription or any other cloud.
You can record motion detection or event-based video to the camera’s internal storage without a subscription. However, those videos will be removed after three hours.
Other Nest Cam products work with the Nest application. But this is not a new battery model. It is not compatible with the Nest app or services available on Nest.com.
The Home app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Even so, this camera can and is only accessible through the Google Home app. No Lets you record to your local PC storage.
The Nest Cam battery model has enough internal memory to store up to an hour of recorded events when offline. Google says its internal memory is not accessible for security reasons. There is no doubt that it is also not available to force you to pay a long term subscription fee.
Compared to the less expensive Ring owned by Amazon, the Google-owned Nest has higher video quality, offers professional installation and a longer trial period before requiring a subscription to continue with some features.
For comparison, both Ring and Nest have night vision and noise cancellation features. The Nest lacks a 180-degree range of motion.
what’s in the box
Nest Cam Outdoor/Indoor/Battery Includes:
- nest cam camera
- magnetic base
- wall plate
- two wall anchors
- two wall screws
- A charging cable and power adapter
- quick start Guide
Weserstein Premium Solar Panels include:
- One premium solar panel (11″ x 5″)
- A mounting bracket with three screws and three wall anchors
- 13-foot power cable
- user manual
The solar panel is sold separately, but it makes sense to buy one if you plan to use the Nest Cam outdoors. Wasserstein offers bundles for less than $250.
Artificial intelligence is an unusual addition to this new battery-included Nest Cam. AI creates possible alerts for people, packages, animals and vehicles. You can pick and choose which combination of alerts you want.
Equally useful are motion or activity zones. You can configure which areas you want the round camera to monitor and which areas you want to ignore. This can be quite valuable for reducing or eliminating a lot of unnecessary warnings.
The smart home connects with Google’s voice assistant network that lets you control the Nest Cam from a smartphone using voice commands. If you already have other Google Home products with the Google Home app, pairing this new device is easy.
It connects to your existing Wi-Fi. If not, the Home app is easy to set up. Enter your Wi-Fi credentials and click the “Add New Device” button to connect immediately.