Nest Cam IQ features: has the basics covered too

The more basic ‘face detection’ seen on previous Nest cams is handily built into the Cam IQ. This means that, like on the Netatmo Welcome, face detection is free rather than being part of the Nest Aware subscription.

The Cam IQ’s two other cool new features are related to audio. The big speaker at the back is apparently seven times more powerful than the Cam Indoor – I didn’t get the chance to listen to it, but the combination of this and its three microphones makes the Cam IQ much more suitable for video chats. An update coming later this year will bring ‘walkie talkie’ functionality that’ll let you simultaneously talk and listen to someone using the app, rather than press a button to talk then release to hear.

And finally, there are intelligent audio alerts, which can identify particular sounds like people talking or a dog barking. These come as part of the £80 per year Nest Aware subscription and, unlike the ‘familiar face alerts’, will be available to all Nest security cams.

Nest Cam IQ early verdict

There’s no doubt about it – the Cam IQ is easily the most advanced indoor security cam I’ve seen and probably the first step towards getting Blade Runner’s Esper Photo Analysis machine. But that doesn’t mean you should buy it.

The new features you get from its mix of a 4K sensor and clever software are luxuries at this point, rather a complete reinvention of the security cam.

If, for example, you don’t have any interest in tracking your family’s daily comings and goings, then ‘familiar face alerts’ probably isn’t worth stumping up an extra £140 (RM775) for. I also wonder if the Cam IQ’s tech might be more useful in an outdoor cam, where it could really help identify that person breaking into your shed. No doubt this will be Nest’s next move.

But on the flipside, the Cam IQ also looks to be the most future-proofed security cam around. It has raw power and great design on its side, plus Nest’s open source Thread connectivity and its track record of regularly updating its cameras.

And in the form of features like Supersight, it also has real gadgety goodness that has so far really only been provided by our current favourite camera, the Netatmo Welcome. Whether or not that’s worth £300 (RM1655 plus an optional £80, RM445 p/year Nest Aware subscriptions), we’ll let you know in our full review soon.