The Google Nest Cam and Canary Camera are two of the most popular home security products on the market today, even against the popular Ring versus Arlo Q. But what exactly is the difference? My team and I spent a total of 53 hours testing everything, including the setup process, battery life, and image quality. After all the comparisons, one gets our vote as the clear winner.

Nest Cam and Canary Highlights

The Nest Cam Indoor is smaller than the Canary All-In-One, meaning you can hide it away in the corners of your living room where it’s less likely to draw attention. This flexibility gives this device an impressive field of view, and the night vision feature means your home is covered 24 7.

While the Canary is larger, it has an inbuilt 90db siren for emergencies, and you can even alert the emergency services from the Canary app. This device also stores up to 24 hours of footage and can be connected to your Amazon Alexa and Apple Watch.

Nest Cam

  • 1080p resolution
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Easy connection to smart home devices
  • 3-hour snapshot history
  • Additional Nest Aware subscription costs

Canary

  • 1080p resolution
  • 24 7 live streaming of your home
  • 24-hour video history
  • Air quality and smoke detector
  • Additional subscription plan
  • No protection against false alarms

Features Comparison

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Nest Cam and Canary Video Quality

Both the Google device and the Canary record and stream in 1080p HD video. However, the fish-eye lens effect that you get on most security cameras is more pronounced on the latter, which seems to reduce the motion zones it covers. Meanwhile, the former security camera looks more “true to life”, has wider monitoring of activity zones, and has night vision functionality. Even when we tested the Ring vs Arlo family of products against each other, neither had a better video stream against the Google camera.

Winner: Nest Cam

Field of View

We found that the Nest has a significantly wider field of view than the Canary. During our Canary vs Nest testing, we were able to place the Google home security camera on a high shelf, which easily gave it a wider viewing angle. In comparison, it was more difficult to place the other camera in a way that its person detection wouldn’t send false alarms. Because of this, we are getting between some false alerts every few hours during our testing.

Winner: Nest Cam

Installation

Because the Nest is made to work alongside other devices in the same family, this home security addon is quick and easy to link to your other devices if you already have an account, but it does require a constant power source. Where the Canary excels vs Nest Cam is it can be installed separately to your other smart home security cameras and devices and can function temporarily on battery power alone. Both products require a constant internet connection to function, but as they have voice control functionality, this means that physical reader interactions with the device are minimal.

Winner: Tie

Accessories

The Canary can be linked with multiple other security camera models from the same manufacturer, with both the Canary Flex and View giving you more options for smaller and outdoor spaces. In comparison, the Nest Cam Indoor can be linked with the specific Nest Cam Outdoor product, as well as the protect alarm, meaning this security system can cover more motion detection zones. The Nest Cam also can be linked with your Nest Thermostat, making it one of the leading products in the smart home industry. Vs Nest Cam, the Canary has limited capacity to offer more than motion alerts.

Winner: Nest Cam

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Price Point

price wooden blocks

Of the two, the Canary is slightly more expensive. When we tested the Canary vs Nest, we had to consider which device had the best security features and customer support without needing to purchase a subscription. We found that while the Canary had 24 hours of local storage, it wouldn’t let us download a video recording without the security subscription. The bottom line was that the Google product had far more cloud storage capacity and we could easily talk to the support team through social media or the web app, making it a better value for the money.

Winner: Nest Cam

Look and Feel

The Nest Cam Indoor is smaller than the Canary All-in-One, so it’s easier for it to be hidden away in a corner or amongst other items. However, this did require us to disguise the USB cord. While the Canary security device looks more imposing, it was easier to hide the power cord and disguise it amongst other home devices. Even when we tested the Arlo vs Ring, we had similar issues hiding power cables, so this issue is simply a current limitation of the technology.

Winner: Tie

“The advantage of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really notice it”

- Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft

Subscription

We found that the Canary All-in-One had the most features without needing the additional membership, but it costs $99/year for up to 5 devices, which gives you 30 days of video storage. Nest Aware, however, costs $6/month for all of your Nest devices, and you get the same amount of storage [1]. Their premium subscription service offers double this capacity for only $12/month.

Winner: Nest Cam

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Mobile App  

Both devices come with access to a smartphone app for Android/iOs and, in our opinion, both offer a great user experience. You can use both apps to view live footage from your house over Wi-fi and watch clips of previous activity, although this is more limited with the Canary. We found that the Google app was more intuitive in that we could change the settings of our camera remotely, use digital zoom functions, and control all of our devices from one place. Both of these devices have better app functionality than what we found with our Arlo versus Ring test, so we were happy with how both of these products connected with our smartphones.

Winner: Tie

Our Verdict

From our testing, we found that the Google security camera was the best home security choice vs Canary All-in-One. Not only did it offer 1080p quality video, but the motion sensitivity and nuisance alerts made us feel more secure at home. In total, we found that there were fewer false alerts with this device. Go ahead and check out our winning smart security for yourself.

Nest Camera

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Easy installation process
  • High definition recording quality
  • Vast camera angle options
  • Great customer service
Avatar for Violet Salzer

Violet Salzer

Violet is a research specialist with over 20 years of experience. She scrutinizes what is dubbed as the “best of the best.” Every product that passes through her hands is rigorously tested for quality and reliability.