Arlo Vs Nest: The Smart Security Standoff

Nest and Arlo have raised their security camera with an intelligent IQ upgrade. The new cameras are seriously smart, but which one is better? Find out as we put the Arlo Vs Nest battle to the test.

Arlo Vs Nest

What We Use At Home

Arlo Ultra

Arlo devices are built for simplicity, but don’t let that fool you these cameras are very smart.

Arlo Ultra


The Challenger

Nest Cam IQ

Google has there fingers in everything,  and so far they have created a highly intelligent camera! 

Arlo UltraNest Cam IQ Outdoor
Sizes (Inches)3.5” x 2” x 3”3.7” x 3.7” x 5”
Power SupplyRechargeable batteryPlug-in adapter
Lens Pixels8 MP8 MP
Digital Zoom12x12x
Image SensorYesYes
Live StreamingYesYes
Non-Stop RecordingYesYes
Local StorageYes (SD card not incuded)No
Mobile AppYesYes
Night VisionYesYes
Free Cloud StorageNoYes (Three-hour image history
Activity ZonesYesYes
Activity AlertsYes (Requires subscription)Yes (Requires subscription)
Thrid-Party IntegrationAmazon Alexa, Google AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
BuyFind Best PriceFind Best Price

#1 – Arlo Ultra

Arlo cameras were designed to be simple to use and set up. This is mainly due to the lack of wires required to install the smart cameras.

In a similar fashion to the Arlo Pro 2, the Ultra uses a rechargeable cell to power the security camera.

The weather-resistant device can be connected to any part of the house, and only takes a couple of screws to install.

With the Arlo Ultra, they do not provide their standard 7-day cloud storage plan. Instead, Arlo Ultra offers you a free 1-year subscription to their smart premium service.

As Arlo is always trying to push their technology forward, their new camera can record stunning 4K videos with HDR.

Add this to the 12x digital auto tracking zoom, and you’ll notice sharp details, that with other cameras you may have missed.

The 4K tech isn’t the only upgrade Arlo has seen; they also feature a new and improved night vision feature.

You can not see color instead of the black and white night vision we’re used to. When using the two-way speaker, you’ll notice clear audio, which is down to the noise-canceling technology.

One of the most important things to note is Arlo Ultra requires an Ultra Smart Hub to function; without it, it becomes useless.

Key Features

  • 4K & HDR video recording
  • 180° field of view
  • 1-year cloud storage
  • 12x digital auto-tracking zoom
  • Auto image correction
  • Uses low energy Bluetooth 4.2
  • Color night vision
  • Works with Amazon, Apple, and Google assistant

What Other People Say

Most people felt that the image provided by the new Arlo device was excellent; they could see details that would otherwise remain hidden. They also felt the addition of the hub made it so much easier to set-up; all you had to do was turn everything on, and let the hub pair up for you.

Another customer said it was a fantastic upgrade, although they did have a rough start initially; luckily, the customer service team at Arlo managed to fix the problem for him. People did have a few issues, mainly due to their internet connection being too weak to stream 4K footage.

Final Verdict

It really is an exceptional security device, which is fitted with some of the most up to date security features on the market. It delivers some of the best video quality I’ve seen for a smart home security device, but it does come at a cost.

The problem is, to achieve 4K streaming, you need to be connected to the same router as the Arlo Ultra, which makes remote viewing harder.

You also need ridiculously high-speed internet, which let’s face it most of don’t have or can’t afford it. And then on top of that, you need to may a monthly subscription.

What We Liked

  • Easy installation
  • Weatherproof
  • Color night vision
  • Detailed 4K video
  • Integrated spotlight
  • Auto-zoom and motion tracking

What We Didn’t Like

  • High price
  • Needs a subscription
  • 4K live stream is hit and miss
  • Requires a base stations

#2 – Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

The new Nest Cam IQ has all the latest technology you’d like to see in a security camera; it even has a few you didn’t know you needed.

Let’s start with it uses supersight 4K technology (4K image sensor), so it’s not true 4K, but it’s close enough. The 8 MP camera is more than capable of picking clear and refined images.

Just like the Arlo Ultra, it features a 12x zoom, HDR, and an 8 MP to ensure you get a clear image every time. One of my favorite features of the Nest device is its ability to recognize your friends and family faces. 

Another great feature that comes with the Nest Cam IQ is due to the AI tech is the automatic intruder tracking.

Due to the problems with the two-way speaker in the previous addition, they made a few additions. And you can find how Alexa can work with this in my does Arlo work with Alexa article.

To start with, they enhanced the noise-canceling tech and added a speaker 15x more powerful. They also added a single button press, which means you don’t have to press a button every time you want to talk back.

The Nest security camera allows 24/7 video recording, with a field of view of 130° in 1080p, no matter if it’s night or day. Images are stored for three hours in the Nest App, which is one of there free features.

Key Features

  • 130° field of view
  • Familiar face alerts
  • Supersight
  • 1080p + 4K color senor + HDR recording
  • Activity zones
  • Three-hour image period
  • Tamper-proof design
  • Intruder tracking

What Other People Say

The camera was excellent from top to bottom, from the build quality to the stunning HD videos it provided. They also felt the hidden wire was a nice touch. But this did mean it was harder to set-up than the Arlo, which put some people off.

Another customer said it was great how the stationary camera could track people walking down the drive. They also felt like familiar faces alert was a great feature. Overall it seems like people were very impressed with the quality of the device.

Final Verdict

This is definitely an improvement from the original Nest cam. It’s easier to install, more secure, and in terms of added features, it has plenty. The camera had supreme video quality compared to its competitors; it was clear and extremely detailed.

I also really liked the familiar faces feature, it takes a while for Nest to collect enough data, but once it has, you won’t have as many useless notifications. It was also lovely to see they decided to give the two-way speaker a little lift; you shouldn’t have any trouble communicating with anyone at the door.

What We Liked

  • Familiar faces alerts
  • Great video quality
  • Upgraded two-way speaker
  • 24/7 live video
  • Weatherproof IP66 rating
  • Tamper-proof

What We Didn’t Like

  • No local storage
  • High price
  • Facial recognition feature requires an extra subscription

Things They Have In Common

To start with, both devices come in a natural white color and are relatively similar in size.

And are also weatherproof so you can be sure no damage will come to your security device in adverse weather conditions.

And when it comes to technology, they also have a few more similarities. Both feature an 8 MP 1080p camera with a 4K image sensor, to ensure you get the best possible picture.

Another nice feature is they both share is the 12 x digital zoom with auto-tracking capabilities.

Arlo Ultra Spotlight

This guarantees you get a clear view of the intruder’s face, which can be handed to the police (If they need to get involved.) They also come with night vision technology that uses infrared LEDs to light up the darkness and provides a black & white image.

There are a few more things, like Activity Zones. Both devices allow you to set areas of interest and sends you notifications if anything is picked up. And finally, both devices come with their own subscriptions when it comes to cloud storage.

Head To Head

The best way to find out which out of the Nest Vs Arlo is to put them both head to head in some key categories. Take a look and see who the winner is:


When it comes to size, Nest Cam IQ camera is slightly bigger at 3.7″ x 3.7″ x 5″, while the Arlo Ultra is 3.5″ x 2″ x 3″; as you can see, there really isn’t that much difference. Another area they differ in design is how the outdoor camera is powered. Arlo uses a removable and rechargeable battery, while the Nest Cam IQ needs to be wired.

There’s one more thing I’d like to mention about the design, and that’s how they operate at different temperatures. The Nest Cam IQ camera works better at lower temperatures, while Arlo can withstand hotter climates. So it’s worth thinking about what the weather patterns are like in your area.

Winner: Tie


There can only be one winner in this round. Arlo Ultra is by far the easier security camera to install. You have two options when it comes to installation; the standard swivel mount or the magnetic stand. Add this to a lack of wires, and you can start to see why it’s such an easy smart device to install.

In comparison, the Nest Cam IQ can be a lot harder to install. It relies on a power adapter, which means you can be limited on where you can install it without running meters of cables. Some people find it so hard to fit that professionals are now providing it as an installation service.

Winner: Arlo Ultra


The camera from Nest has 130° field of view, which is excellent, but when you compare it to the 180° Arlo offers, it really isn’t that great. When it comes to the actual lens, you’ll notice both cameras use an 8 MP camera that captures 1080p images, with a 4K image sensor.

They also both use a 12 x digital zoom with auto-tracking capabilities; this makes sure any intruders. One thing to note is that only Arlo offers 4K streaming, but you do need an excellent internet connection to make use of this function. For me, the camera with the best quality was the Nest.

Winner: Nest Cam IQ

Night vision

Both smart cameras feature night vision mode, which is powered by infrared LEDs. These LEDs are invisible to the human, but help to illuminate dark areas into black and white scenes. Nest claims to be able to capture images up to 50 feet away, which is astonishing.

Arlo, on the other hand, can only pick up images from 20 feet, which is less than half the distance. Arlo does feature a color mode, but this only works once the spotlight has been powered up. For me, the winner has to be the Nest Cam IQ model it’s range is far superior.

Winner: Nest Cam IQ

Activity Zones

To gain access to activity zones, you’ll need Nest Cam IQ and a subscription to there Nest plans. This allows you to pick areas of activity and receive notifications accordingly. With the Arlo, it works a little differently; you don’t need a subscription for it to work.

It was a hard one to judge, but I think the Nest Cam IQ slightly edged it, mainly due to its facial recognition, which stops multiple alerts coming to your phone. I also found it to be more intelligent at distinguishing different movements.

Winner: Nest Cam IQ

Cloud Storage Costs

Nest users can expect still images to be stored for up to three-hours without being deleted; this lasts for 3-hours before images start getting removed. When it comes to subscriptions, Nest Aware begins at $5 per month, which gets you five-days of cloud storage, $10 for ten-days, and $30 for 30-days. Subscribing will also unlock some extra features, such as facial recognition.

Upon purchase of the Arlo Ultra, you get a free one-year subscription, which gives you 30-days of storage and unlocks other features like smart notifications. After that, it’s $9.99 per month for their Smart Premium, or $2.99 per month for the lesses Arlo Smart. You have one more option, Smart Elite, for $14.99 per month, which unlocks 4K and 60-day storage.

Although I prefer the features that unlocked with the Nest Cam IQ, Arlo offers a better range of options. Plus, the free year is just too good to let go of. One thing I’d like to mention, if you’re already subscribed to Arlo, make sure you cancel it, then make a new one with the free year. The other option is you lose the year, and we know you don’t want that.

Winner: Arlo Ultra

Final Verdict: Arlo Vs Nest

In my opinion, the Nest IQ wins this one, and for a few reasons which might come down to personal preferences. To start with, I found the camera quality to be far superior, even with Arlo boasting about the 4K technology.

I also found the AI to be more functional, it tracked people nicely, and zoomed in to the face to try and pick-up some facial features.

The night vision mode was also a lot better; it picked up images from double the range of the Arlo Ultra. Which when you’re looking for security cameras is precisely what you need. 

And finally, the Arlo Ultra needs its own additional hub, and when you are building a smart home, the last thing you need is an extra hub.

If you’re looking to further expand your Nest products, why not check out there thermostats. Nest Vs Honeywell are some of the biggest names, but which one’s better? 

If you think I’ve missed anything out, comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the newer models, Arlo will charge $2.99 per month per camera with 30-days storage. They also include a $9.99 package, which will support ten cameras for 30 days. For $14.99, you enter into the elite package, which gives you access to 4K live stream, and 60-days storage. Unfortunately, the free seven days storage seems to be a thing of the past. You can check out of Arlo’s security packages online.
It really depends on what you’re looking for, Arlo provides a great range of cameras that are easy to install, and simple to use. The build quality is excellent, and the images are clear. But for me, Nest is the better option. They have a vast range of indoor camera and outdoor cameras, which have excellent video quality and fantastic range with their night vision technology. And with the newer models, the AI system performs excellently.
Yes, Nest Cams have a two-way speaker built into the system, allowing you to have conversations with people outside, or ward off any intruders from your smart home.
Yes, Nest does record continuously, which is why they opted to use a wired power source. They didn’t want to have the device in sleep mode, just in case something happened out of the motion sensors range. Many battery-operated security cameras aren’t able to operate 24/7 due to the strain on their battery life.

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