After months of corporate drama, Nest attempts to reboot the conversation with their latest innovation — a $200 weatherproof, outdoor camera that the company expects to ship this fall.
While it’s not entirely fair to pass judgement on a product that hasn’t yet been released, there’s no way I’ll be purchasing one. And, no, it’s not the $10 monthly fee for continuous recording and supposedly smart alerts. It’s the 25′ of power cable you need to screw into your siding. I do recognize Nest’s approach is designed to accommodate a large percent of households unwilling or unable to hardwire and their technical implementation isn’t exactly battery-friendly. Regardless, it just doesn’t work for me.
With that in mind, here are some similarly priced alternatives that solve this problem with a more sophisticated approach:
Kuna replaces an entrance light (in three different styles) and cleverly integrates a positional camera into the casing.
Ring replaces or augments a doorbell and can be either hardwired or rely on a rechargable USB-powered battery.
My personal favorite is Netgear’s battery-powered, magnetically mounted camera. Unlike Ring, there is an added expense in replacing the cells every few months. However, the generous free tier of service largely makes up for it.