Arlo Ultra vs Nest Cam IQ: How do they compare?

arlo ultra vs nest cam iq

Smart security cameras have come along way over the last few years. These devices have expanded their capabilities and brought into countless new features that make them so much more than a camera.

Arlo and Nest are two of the best brands of smart outdoor security camera. When it comes to delivering high-quality hardware specs and state of the art software these two brands lead the pack with their state of the art devices.

In this article, we will compare the two best cameras from each company; Arlo Ultra vs Nest Cam IQ. Looking at a range of camera and smart features we will inform you of how these two weigh up.

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Comparison Chart

ModelArlo UltraNest Cam IQ
Designarlo ultra single
Live Stream
Field of View180°130°
Night VisionColorBlack and
Siren on
Smart Recognition
Arlo SmartNest Aware
Bottom LineBest Outdoor
AvailabilityCheck PriceCheck Price

Arlo Ultra Overview

arlo ultra single

The Arlo Ultra is the top outdoor security camera from the brand and perhaps the best on the market. This camera has the best features you can expect from a device of its kind, in addition to a range of other security functions such as spotlight and siren. The Arlo Ultra records in 4K ultra high definition resolution with a 180° field of view. Currently, there are no other top smart cameras that come close with the next best being the Arlo Pro 3 which records in 2K.

There is a 12x zoom on the camera which uses an Auto Zoom and Tracking feature to focus on motion that is triggered from a further distance. This makes the Ultra a great choice for those who have a large area they wish to cover with this camera. Just as with Arlo’s other outdoor cameras, the Ultra can be used wired or wirelessly with each having its own benefits. Wireless is easier to set up, use, and isn’t confined to being close to a power socket. On the other hand, wired is more reliable and enables continuous video recording which requires a lot of energy consumption.

Nest Cam IQ Overview

nest cam iq wired

The Nest Cam IQ is also the most advanced smart camera from its brand. Nest, who is owned by Google, has brought together a selection of hardware and software expertise to create a particularly advanced camera. Whilst the Nest Cam IQ only records in 1080p, it has a 4K sensor that allows for zooming up to 12x with no loss of quality. This means that at a short distance it won’t have as good as a resolution as the Ultra, but at long distances, there won’t be much difference.

As a wired-only camera, the Nest Cam IQ is less flexible with its placing but it does have a few extra specialties that the Ultra doesn’t have. Most impressively is the facial recognition technology that can tell familiar faces from unfamiliar ones. Arlo does have some personalized notifications but they aren’t as precise as Nests.

Differences of Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ

In this section, we will provide you with an overview of the main differences between the Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ.

Camera Features

The Arlo Ultra has a more impressive camera than the Nest Cam IQ. With a 4K resolution and 180° field of view, the Ultra is more complete than the Nest Cam IQ which has a 1080p resolution and 130° field of view. However, the Nest Cam IQ does have a 4K sensor which means that both will be a similar quality when zoomed fully at 12x.

Power Source

The Arlo Ultra can be hardwired or battery-powered whilst the Nest Cam IQ is wired only.

Spotlight & Siren

The Arlo Ultra has two additional features that add to its deterring effect on visitors; spotlight and siren. These are important as they bring awareness to any potential criminal that they are being watched and could prevent them from taking any action.

Facial Recognition

The Nest Cam IQ has facial recognition technology that can identify friendly faces from unfamiliar ones. This can help avoid false alerts from unthreatening people. Arlo does have advanced object detection for any user that purchases and Arlo Smart subscription, although this is slightly less impressive. These can tell alerts from animals, vehicles, or other false alarms from people.

Any user who purchases the Arlo Ultra or Nest Cam IQ will have to pay an additional fee for a subscription to their cloud storage service. Arlo Smart and Nest Aware both charge monthly fees for this service with other features also being included.

Arlo Smart for the Ultra costs $4.99 a month per camera and stores video footage for 30 days on the cloud. There are also options for storing continuous video recordings for either 14 or 30 days for an additional $9.99 or $19.99 respectively. This subscription also unlocks the advanced object detection feature.

Nest Aware costs $6 a month for the basic version of $12 a month for the Plus version. Both versions cover all Nest cameras you have and stores for 30 days with the basic version and 60 days with the Plus version. The Plus version also included 10 days of 24/7 continuous recording footage.

Similarities of Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ

Next, we will cover the similarities between the Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ.

Companion App

Both brands have produced a well-rounded app that unlocks many of the features and benefits of each camera. This is a point where the user can view the live feed of the camera, use two-way-talk to have a conversation through the camera, review stored footage, and download it.

Custom Motion Zones

Both the Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ have the ability to set areas where motion can be ignored or focused on in the camera view. This can help prevent unnecessary alerts from busy areas of the field of view. For example, if there is a road in the top right of the screen, it is likely it will send many false alerts as cars go by. Using custom activity zones, through the app you can draw on the screen where the road is and prevent the alerts it creates.

Auto Zoom and Tracking

The Arlo Ultra and Nest Cam IQ each have 12x zooming with a tracking technology that records motion-triggered events that are further away.

Final Word

The Arlo Ultra has to be the winner when it comes to its comparison against the Nest Cam IQ. The specs are second to none in the market; 4K resolution, 180-degree field of view, and a range of additional security features such as the spotlight and siren. One unique feature here the Nest Cam IQ does get some praise is the facial recognition technology, although the Ultra isn’t far behind with its advanced object detection.

Photo of Rupert Pople

Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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