Google’s partnership with Tata Play (the rebranded avatar of Tata Sky) is a clear indication that home security in India is no longer an afterthought. While many housing societies and apartment blocks now boast of camera surveillance, Google’s new Nest Cam (Battery) gives you additional control and peace of mind. The key value proposition is seamless integration with your smartphone in a familiar user interface backed by Tata Play’s subscription-based service.

The newest addition to a smart home

The smart home landscape of products in India is still largely dominated by smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo or Apple’s HomePod or Google’s very own Nest devices. The Nest Cam is an ‘outlier’ of sorts. This is a product that doesn’t necessarily appeal only to a savvy smart home consumer but anyone who cares about home security. Many of these potential consumers may have never owned a smart speaker.

Google Nest Cam

Say hello to the Nest Cam (Battery)

You can tell this is a Google device with one glance at the design language. It won’t stick out in your apartment with its minimalist design and footprint. The Nest Cam is about 3.27-inches wides and sticks to the base with a magnetic connector. It’s quite secure and the base is easy to install should you opt for a wall-mounted option. I opted to place it in my living room instead of mounting it. The cam is geared for the elements. It’s IP54-certified; Google uses ‘weather resistant’ but stops short of calling it waterproof. It should survive splashes from the rain. The built-in rechargeable battery (6Ah, 3.65V lithium-ion battery) can run up to 7 months but it all depends on ‘recorded events’. More on that later.

Specs that tick key boxes

The Nest Cam doesn’t disappoint with its spec sheet. You get a 130-degree diagonal field of view, 6X digital zoom, two-way audio (handy if you need to leave instructions with a visitor or a delivery executive when you’re not home). Visuals are clear on the 1080P camera. Set up is a breeze with the Google Home app. I synced this device with a Samsung smartphone, it also works with iOS devices. You can customise alerts to include people, animals and vehicles. You get a three-hour event history as part of the standard product bundle. But that’s not much when your cam is watching over your house when you’re away on a holiday or even a full day at the office. This is where the Tata Play subscription-based service comes into the mix.

Google Nest Cam 3

Google Nest Cam powered by Tata Play

I wouldn’t recommend the Nest Cam without Tata Play’s Nest Aware subscription package. The Tata Play set-up is seamless and allows you to track a 30/60 event video history. Tata Play’s Secure+ package includes the subscription, the Nest Cam as well as a Google Nest Mini. I was able to view ‘recorded events’ for over a week during our review period with frequent alerts when an unfamiliar face (not recognised by the camera) showed up on cam. The menus don’t show only history and live video but also update you on battery status.

A handy add-on

There are not many options of a security cam with a bundled subscription package for Indian consumers at this point. That’s not the only reason why the Nest Cam (Battery) with Tata Play Secure deserves your attention. While the three-hour event history (if you don’t opt for the Tata Play package) is disappointing, the camera scores on multiple fronts. Google Home integration is seamless, face recognition is spot on and the cam offers the flexibility of indoor and outdoor locations.

Tata Play’s Secure+ package with the Google Nest cam costs Rs 11,999 for the device plus Rs 3,000 for the annual subscription.