With the introduction of the Nest Cam IQ last year, Nest began to evolve the Dropcam platform it had acquired several years earlier. That camera’s hardware and software upgrades appear to be the blueprint for Nest cameras going forward judging by the fact they’ve been ported wholesale to the new Outdoor IQ.

Nest already offers an estimable outdoor camera in the Nest Cam Outdoor, and the all-new IQ Outdoor shares many traits with it, including a 130-degree field of view, up to 1080p video, and a similar sturdily built cup-style design. But in every other way, the IQ Outdoor is a leap forward thanks to features cribbed from the indoor IQ camera.

The most impressive of these is “Supersight,” which leverages a 4K color sensor, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and person detection. If the IQ Outdoor sees a human, it will zoom in up to 12x without any loss in clarity and follow the person’s movements. It will also balance lighting conditions so that details aren’t blown out in highlights or lost in deep shadows.

cam iq outdoor5 Nest Labs

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor features many of the same upgrades as the IQ indoor camera.

IQ Outdoor also improves audio—it’s 15x more powerful than the original Outdoor, according to Nest—courtesy of a more robust speaker and a three-microphone array with echo cancellation and noise suppression.

Weatherproofing has been upgraded as well. The IQ Outdoor boasts an IP66 rating (a bump from Nest Cam Outdoor’s IP65), meaning its dust tight and protected from blasts of water, and iy has a greater operating temperature range (–40 degrees to 113 degrees F compared to the Nest Cam Outdoor’s –4 degrees to 104 degrees F).

Another welcome change: Person alerts come free with the purchase of the IQ Outdoor; they required a paid Nest Aware subscription with Nest’s original outdoor camera. A paid subscription, however, will transform person alerts into facial recognition and enable Familiar Face Alerts, a feature Nest introduced with the indoor IQ that lets you to train the camera to distinguish between people you know and strangers. It also unlocks Intelligent Audio Alerts, which differentiate between speaking, barking, and other triggering sounds. And a subscription is required to use Supersight.

img 0301 1 Michael Ansaldo/IDG

Intelligent alerts distinguish between human and non-human sounds.

Nest offers a pair of Nest Aware plans: Basic stores 10 days of video for $10 a month or $100 per year, and Extended saves video for 30 days for $30 a month or $300 per year.

Setup and usage

One of the most attractive features of the original Nest Outdoor is its plug-and-play installation. With its magnetic mount and weatherproof power cable, you could stick the camera on a metal eave or rain gutter, plug it into an outside electrical outlet, and be up and running.

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