Nest Cam IQ(opens in new tab)
Nest makes some of the best smart home products and the Nest Cam IO is no exception. With Google Assistant built-in and smart features like facial recognition plus Nest Secure integration, it's an amazing camera. But you also can't control it with Alexa and you're spending $100 more.
Nest Cam IQ
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Arlo Q Plus(opens in new tab)
The Arlo Q Plus is a great stand-alone security camera with two features you won't find in many others: Power over Ethernet (PoE) and local storage via an SD card slot. But while it integrates with your home assistant, it doesn't have any smarts of its own.
Arlo Q Plus
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Smarts vs. Hardware features
These are both really great security cameras. It's awesome when we compare two things this good because either is a great product you'll be happy with if you buy one or more. But there are a few major differences that will make one model a better fit than the other — and a $100 price difference is only one of them.
|Nest Cam IO||Arlo Q Plus|
4K sensor for HQ zooming
|24/7 recording||Yes (with Nest Aware)||Yes|
|Smart features||Onboard Google Assisstant|
Google Assistant integration
|Google Assistant integration|
Amazon Alexa integration
Power over Ethernet
|Price (single cam)||$300||$200|
Both cameras are easy to install and stand alone. Using the smartphone app, you simply connect them to your home network and you're finished. You can view the video on the web or through the app, purchase relatively inexpensive cloud storage features if you need more space, or integrate them into your smart home using your voice assistant. But the tiny details make a difference here.
The biggest difference for most people will be in the smart home integration category. The Arlo Q Plus works well with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, allowing you to do things like start recording or stream saved video. However, the Nest Cam IQ takes things to another level with its own set of smart features like facial recognition — it recognizes who should be there and can trigger something like Nest Secure to sound an alarm if its someone who shouldn't be there. It even has Google Assistant built-in with two-way audio.
Arlo's Q Plus brings hardware features to the table that the Nest Cam IQ lacks instead of trying to dazzle with software. First is PoE and that adds two important options. The first, and most important for a lot of us, is that you don't have to have an AC plug nearby to use them. PoE is exactly what it sounds like: you can power small devices over an Ethernet cable. That means no hiring an electrician to add a plug and you'll have a fast connection even in places where your Wi-Fi router won't reach. Onboard storage is also another big plus for anyone who wants to use the Arlo Q Plus as a 24/7 surveillance camera. Add your own local storage and let it go!
Finally, there's the price difference. The hexacore processor in the Nest Cam IQ and fancy software that runs on it makes it cost $100 more for a single camera system. We don't think that's too bad of a deal, but you need to ask yourself if you'll use them before you pay more for them. Or maybe you need PoE or love the idea of having local storage options and the Arlo Q Plus offers both.
That's where we would start: Do you need PoE or local storage? If so, buy the Arlo Q Plus and never look back. If you don't, decide if the smart features and Nest integration are thing's you will use. If they are, $100 isn't too much extra to pay.
AI and integration
The Nest Cam IQ is the smartest standalone security camera you can buy. Nest and Assistant integration add even more options, but you will need strong Wi-Fi and it's not suited for 24/7 duty without an expensive cloud plan.
Connection and power options
The Arlo Q Plus might not offer AI-driven smart features, but Assistant and Alexa integration make up for some of it. It's also the camera to buy if you want to drop it in a place with a poor Wi-Fi signal or plan to archive 24/7 video footage.
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