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Arlo Pro 3 vs Nest Cam Outdoor (2020): Which Outdoor Security Camera Is Better?

Getting security cameras set up around your home is no longer a pain these days with the slew of smart home security cams available. Below we compare two popular choices for outdoor security cameras, the Arlo Pro 3 and the Nest Cam Outdoor, to help you decide which to get for your house.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera Comparison Chart

ModelArlo Pro 3Nest Cam Outdoor
Arlo Pro 3 Security CameraNest Cam Outdoor
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions89 x 52 x 78.4 mm71 x 71 x 89 mm
Weight316 g311 g
WirelessYesNo
Max Resolution2K + HDR1080p
Field of View160 degrees130 degrees
Integrated SpotlightYesNo
Color Night VisionYesNo
Two-way AudioYesYes
Noise CancellationYesNo
SirenYesNo
PowerBatteryWired
Subscription ServiceArlo Smart (3 months free)Nest Aware

Design

The Arlo Pro 3 is wireless while the Nest Cam Outdoor needs to be physically connected.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Nest Cam Outdoor Design
While both Arlo Pro 3 (left) and Nest Cam Outdoor (right) have the same aesthetics, the former’s wireless design gives it an edge.

Looking at both of these security cameras side-by-side might make you think they’re made by the same company. The minimalist aesthetics, white unibody shell and black front all make the Arlo Pro 3 and Nest Cam Outdoor look great on any home. It’s less intimidating for visitors compared to traditional security cams, but it’s still clearly visible to ward off intruders.

The biggest difference between these two smart home security cameras is the wireless design of the Arlo Pro 3. You can simply connect it to its Arlo Smart Hub via Wi-Fi and mount it up without the need to set up any wiring. That’s not so for the Nest Cam Outdoor, which requires it to be wired to a power source. You can be limited by the 25 foot long power cable that comes with it, since it can’t be too far away from an electrical outlet.

The Arlo Pro 3 and Nest Cam Outdoor both have weather-resistant bodies. In place of a power cable, the Arlo Pro 3 has a magnetic charging port at its bottom that instantly clips to its charging cable, so there’s no hassle of slipping a USB cable in. This isn’t affected when the unit gets wet though, so it’ll work while raining.

Video Quality

The Arlo Pro 3 has better image quality and wider coverage than the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Nest Cam Outdoor Video Quality
You’ll get a wider field of vision with the Arlo Pro 3.

We can clearly see the better specs of the Arlo Pro 3 in terms of video quality. It’s capable of 2K video resolution in addition to 1080p and 720p. Moreover, it has High Dynamic Range (HDR) features which enhance details during bright daylight as well as darker and shadowy conditions. Overall, you’ll find the Arlo Pro 3 to offer sharper images and more accurate colors.

Meanwhile, the Nest Cam Outdoor has a top setting of 1080p HD image quality, which is good enough for most homes to be fair. However, it can only cover a 130-degree angle from its perch while the Arlo Pro 3 blankets out up to 160-degrees. It also avoids the usual fisheye distortion with wide-angle lens thanks to its dewarping feature.

Another area where the Arlo Pro 3 trumps the Nest Cam Outdoor is night vision. The Pro 3 lets you view unlighted conditions in color while the Nest Cam is limited to black and white. Furthermore, the Arlo Pro 3 is equipped with a powerful spotlight to make nighttime surveillance even better.

Audio Quality

The Arlo Pro 3 captures clearer audio than the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Nest Cam Outdoor Audio Quality
Tell the delivery person to leave the package at the door or scare off unwanted guests using two-way audio.

One nice innovation for security cameras is the addition of two-way communication, giving them even more functionality. You can speak with guests and visitors while you’re not at home, and you can even scare off strangers lurking in your property.

The audio quality of the mic array on the Arlo Pro 3 is just a bit better than the Nest Cam Outdoor’s. You can hear voices pretty clearly even from up to 30 feet away. It can get a bit muted if there’s loud background noise nearby but its noise cancellation features reduce that to make people stand out clearer.

Another sound-related feature that the Arlo Pro 3 has that’s missing from the Nest Cam Outdoor is a built-in siren onto the camera itself. You can sound it manually when you receive an alert on your phone or you can set it to trigger automatically depending on various settings.

Other Features

The Arlo Pro 3’s subscription service costs lower than that of the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Arlo Pro 3 vs Nest Cam Outdoor Features
You can set the Arlo Pro 3 to automatically turn its spotlight on when it detects motion.

Both Arlo and Nest/Google offer subscription services which let you keep video recording for up to 30 days in addition to a number of more advanced security features. The difference is that the Arlo Smart Premier service is considerably cheaper than Nest Aware. The cheapest Nest Aware subscription plan, which enables a 5-day video history, is still more expensive than the standard Arlo Smart Premier Plan, which gives a 30-day video history.

Otherwise, these services are pretty similar in what they provide. You get advanced object detection which differentiates people from vehicles, animals and more, and you can set activity zones if you want to specify which areas you’re more interested in covering. You’ll also get intelligent alerts so you can take action if the camera detects someone it doesn’t recognize in your property, for example.

To further sweeten the deal, Arlo is offering a three-month free trial for Arlo Smart Premier when you purchase the Arlo Pro 3. Currently, Nest doesn’t have a similar promotion for the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Verdict

The Arlo Pro 3 is easily the better than the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Cam Outdoor

So far, the Arlo Pro 3 wins in every category, offering better video and audio quality while being easier to setup and cheaper to maintain. If you’re thinking of setting up multiple cameras at home, it’s highly recommended that you start from scratch with the Arlo Pro 3.

Currently we’d only advise getting the Nest Cam Outdoor if you can snap it at a considerable discount. It’s also a lot better if you’re not after any video recording services that only come with its subscription service. It might also be more attractive if you prefer not having to manually recharge the camera, since it’s going to be plugged directly to an outlet.

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Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.