Arlo, Blink, and Nest are three of the biggest names in home security cameras today, so if you’re looking for an indoor camera, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’m comparing the companies’ latest and greatest: The Arlo Pro 2, an indoor/ outdoor camera, the Blink XT, another indoor/ outdoor combo, and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. All of the cameras feature 1080p HD video and integrations with Amazon Alexa, but besides that, they couldn’t be more different.
In this review, I’ll talk about the cameras’ designs, key similarities, key differences, extras, and finally, their mobile apps. By the end, I’ll have picked out a winner and have helped you decide which camera is right for you. Let’s get started!
Design of the Arlo Pro 2 Vs. Nest Cam IQ Indoor Vs. Blink XT
Let’s be honest: looks aren’t everything, but they’re definitely important. I want to talk about how each camera is designed from both form and function perspectives.
Arlo Pro 2 Design
The Arlo Pro 2 has a pretty sleek design with its white, plastic exterior. On the back of the camera, you’ll see the button to access the rechargeable battery, and the button on the front lets you connect to the Arlo hub. There’s also a USB port for charging, a speaker and mic for two-way audio, threading metal for wall mounting, and two lights that tell you whether or not your camera is synced with the hub. While the Arlo Pro 2 is on a magnetic ball mount, it doesn’t have full range of motion, which I found slightly disappointing.
The Arlo Pro 2 has an IP rating of 65, which means that its completely protected from solids and can even handle low pressure water jets from any direction. Use it indoors or outdoors- it’s weather-resistant.
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Design
Design-wise, the Nest Cam IQ is one of my favorite security cameras around. I love the simplistic design— sometimes less truly is more. The camera comes with a power cable and adapter. I actually prefer that it plugs in, even though you have a cord. At least it means I won’t have to worry about charging!
Unlike the Arlo Pro 2, the Nest IQ can rotate 160 degrees vertically and 180 degrees horizontally, which I love because it gives me more flexibility during installation. Don’t use the Nest Cam IQ Indoor outside— for that, you’ll need to invest in the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Blink XT Design
The Blink XT is one of the few square cameras round. I like that it’s only a few inches wide, as it won’t stand out in my home— the all-black isn’t bad either. I only wish the camera came on a ball mount so I could rotate it from my phone, rather than have to physically place it if I want a change. Like the Arlo Pro 2, the Blink XT has an IP rating of 65, making it weather-resistant and indoor/ outdoor capable.
Key Similarities of the Arlo Pro 2 Vs. Nest Cam IQ Indoor Vs. Blink XT
Before I start nitpicking, let’s talk about the ways that the Arlo Pro 2, Blink XT, and Nest Cam IQ Indoor are similar.
Before you read this lengthy review, you’re probably wondering about pricing. It’s no big secret that these cameras aren’t cheap. The Blink XT is $119.99, the Arlo Pro 2 is $219.99, and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is $299, the most expensive camera I’ve reviewed. Despite these higher-end prices, all three cameras are worth buying— let me prove it to you below.
I had no issues setting up the Arlo Pro 2. Once I downloaded the Arlo app, I just had to connect the Hub to the internet and press the sync buttons. The whole process took only 15 minutes.
Blink XT was a bit harder to set up, but that may have been due to the Wi-Fi problems I was having at the time. I set it up exactly as I set up the Arlo Pro 2. Similarly, all I had to do to set up the Nest Cam IQ Indoor was add it in the Nest app and put it on a flat surface.
For installation, I have to call a tie between the Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, although all three cameras were very convenient to install.
The Arlo Pro 2 is one of Security Baron's favorite cameras, meeting lots of the necessary features tests.
The Blink XT is a great indoor/ outdoor camera with 1080p HD video, awesome night vision, and free cloud storage.
Key Differences of the Arlo Pro 2 Vs. Nest Cam IQ Indoor Vs. Blink XT
Here comes the fun part: pointing out the vast differences between the three cameras. Let’s go!
In terms of video, I’m looking for a camera with at least 1080p HD display, a field of view of 120 degrees or above, and at least some ability to zoom optically. All three cameras have 1080p HD, and the Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor both have nice fields of view of 130 degrees. The Blink XT’s field of view is a bit more narrow than I’d like at 110 degrees. All cameras can zoom in, but the Nest Cam IQ Indoor takes the cake with a field of zoom of 12, compared to the Arlo’s eight and the Blink XT’s three. That’s why the Nest Cam IQ Indoor takes the cake for video.
The Arlo Pro 2, Blink XT, and Nest Cam IQ Indoor all offer infrared night vision, which I prefer over color. Although the footage is in black-and-white, the person being recorded will be completely unaware of the camera. That’s the stealth you want when it comes to your home’s security. Now, night vision is where the Nest Cam IQ Indoor really shines. It comes equipped with 16 infrared LED sensors, the most I’ve seen from a security camera. Another win for the Nest Cam IQ Indoor!
While the Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor both have two-way audio, the Blink XT does not. Two-way audio is a huge advantage because it allows you to speak to whoever you’re recording. Say you’re livestreaming an intrusion; you’d want to be able to speak to the robber, right? The Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor tie for audio.
When it comes to storage, I prefer cameras that offer both cloud and local. If my cloud service fails, I still have my hard drive, or vice versa. Only the Arlo Pro 2 offers both cloud and local storage— the Blink XT and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor only have cloud storage.
Arlo gives you a week of free cloud storage, and offers plans up to 30 days, while Nest only gives you three hours on the house, but with affordable 30 or 60 day options. Blink XT is the most disappointing camera of the three for storage— it can only hold two hours of footage before it rewrites itself, and there aren’t even any paid subscription options. Overall, due to its local storage option and affordable prices, the Arlo Pro 2 comes in first for storage.
Artificial intelligence isn’t just for sci-fi novels. For security cameras, A.I can provide person detection and even facial recognition. It creates smarter, more specific notifications than simple motion detection. Only the Nest Cam IQ Indoor includes person detection, although facial recognition is available through Nest Aware, which I’ll talk about more below. The Arlo Pro 2 and the Blink XT don’t include any A.I capabilities, although at least the Arlo offers person detection through the paid program Arlo Smart Home. Clearly, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is the best option for artificial intelligence.
Smart Home Integrations
If you’re in the Amazon ecosystem, you’re in luck: the Arlo Pro 2, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, and the Blink XT all integrate with Alexa. With the Blink XT, however, you won’t be able to turn off individual cameras with Alexa, just the entire system. It’s a bit of an annoying detail if you’re as impatient as I am.
Aside from Alexa, the Arlo Pro 2 integrates with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Stringify, while the Nest Cam IQ Indoor integrates with Google Assistant and Philips Hue lightbulbs. Although I’m impressed with the Arlo and Nest’s integrations, I’m going to give the Arlo Pro 2 the crown for best smart home integrations as IFTTT makes for endless smart home possibilities.
Paid Subscription Options from Arlo, Nest, and Blink
Willing to spend more for some great features? Check out the paid monthly subscriptions available from Arlo and Nest.
Arlo Smart Home
You already know about Arlo’s storage options, but along with storage comes some extra perks through Arlo Smart Home. One, you’ll get person detection, and you’ll also be able to create custom activity zones. That’ll make your notifications even more specific, as your camera knows what is your living room, baby’s crib, etc. Paying for Arlo Smart Home also improves your lock screen notifications— you’ll get a screenshot of your livestream sent to you directly, which definitely ups the convenience factor. Finally, you’ll be able to contact 911 with just the touch of a button through the Arlo app.
Unfortunately, Arlo doesn’t offer unlimited customer support to all of its customers, so that will be affected by your monthly subscription as well. I’m a bit disappointed that you have to pay a minimum of $9.99 a month just to get customer support past the first three months of owning the Arlo Pro 2, but maybe that’s just me.
At least Arlo’s plans are reasonably priced, unlike some companies I know. Which brings me to my next point.
Like Arlo Smart Home, Nest Aware offers some extras along with its cloud storage. You can be alerted when a dog barks, a person speaks, or whenever a familiar face walks in front of your camera. You’ll get activity zones, like Arlo, plus 24/7 continuous recording, if that’s something you’re interested in. Lastly, you’ll be able to create clips and timelapses of your footage. Nest Aware is one of the most expensive subscription plans I’ve seen from a security camera, so that’s a drawback of all Nest products.
The Arlo, Nest, and Blink Apps
In order to use your smart security camera as intended, you’ll need to use its respective app. But, as anyone not living under a rock knows, not all apps are created equal. Let me show you what I mean.
From the Arlo app, you’ll be able to livestream footage, adjust your camera’s settings, and speak through two-way audio. You’ll also be able to review cloud storage and receive notifications. The app did great in its ratings, garnering a 3.9 from the Apple store and a four star rating from the Google Play store. Clearly, most people are satisfied with the Arlo app.
The Nest app lets you livestream footage, view event history, receive notifications, and control your cameras and any connected devices. Unfortunately, users were not loving the Nest app. It only received a 2.1 rating from iPhone users! Android users were a bit happier with the Nest app, giving it a respectable 3.8 stars. For this reason, I would recommend the Nest Cam IQ Indoor to Android users over iPhone users.
I’ll be honest: the Blink app was not my personal favorite. While I was livestreaming my footage, a popup kept asking me if I was still there every 30 seconds. Yes I’m still here, Blink! Aside from livestreaming footage, you can change your camera’s settings, but you can’t make it record manually— it will only do so if it’s triggered by motion. Despite my gripes, the Blink app has decent ratings, a 3.5 and a 3.7 from the Apple and Google Play stores, respectively.
If a great app is important to you, I’d go with Arlo, while Blink and Nest come in at distant second and third places.
Recap of Arlo Pro 2 Vs. Nest Cam IQ Indoor Vs. Blink XT
If you’ve been pay attention, then you probably notice that we have a tie on our hands. While the Nest has the best video, night vision, and artificial intelligence capabilities of the three, the Arlo Pro 2 won for storage, smart platform integrations, and the app. Both cameras tied for audio. Unfortunately for Blink, the Blink XT simply doesn’t compare with the Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. So if you had to choose between the Nest and Arlo cameras, which one should you pick?
I would buy the Arlo Pro 2 over the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. Sure, its video, night vision, and A.I capabilities aren’t the best, but they’re pretty close to that of the Nest Cam IQ. Plus, for a price difference of $80, I think it’s worth it.
Still not convinced? Let me break it down for you.
You should buy the Arlo Pro 2 if you’d like…
- Wide field of view: 130 degrees of crystal-clear video.
- Two-way audio: Speak to your subject through the Arlo app.
- Integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit IFTTT and Stringify: Out of the three, the Arlo Pro 2 has the most smart platform integrations.
- Great app: The Arlo app has an average rating of 3.95, the highest of the three cameras.
- Cloud and local storage: Only the Arlo Pro 2 has cloud and local storage, with affordable pricing to boot.
- Outdoor capable: You can use the Arlo Pro 2 indoors or out.
The camera loses points for its lack of A.I, although you can purchase person detection through Arlo Smart Home. To learn more, read our full review of the Arlo Pro 2.
You should buy the Blink XT if you’d like…
- Built-in temperature sensors: The Blink XT is the only camera of the three to have temperature sensors built-in, a nice bonus.
- Outdoor capable: Like the Arlo Pro 2, the Blink XT can withstand outdoor conditions.
- Integration with Amazon Alexa: Don’t forget that Amazon owns . Blink!
- Decent app ratings: Although I didn’t personally love the Blink app, it got an average rating of 3.6.
The Blink XT simply doesn’t measure up to its competitors in terms of audio, storage, smart platform integrations, and A.I. For more information, read our review of the Blink XT camera.
You should buy the Nest Cam IQ Indoor if you’d like…
- Wide field of view: Like the Arlo Pro 2, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor has a nice field of view of 130 degrees.
- 12x optical zoom: If you’re detail-oriented, you’ll love the Nest Cam IQ.
- 16 infrared LED sensors: The most infrared LED sensors of any camera I’ve reviewed.
- Integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Phillips Hue lightbulbs: Whether you’re in the Amazon or Google ecosystems, the Nest Cam IQ can work for you.
- Person detection included: The only camera of the three to include artificial intelligence.
Unfortunately, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor has no local storage. It’s also one of the more expensive home security cameras on the market. Check out our full review of the Nest Cam IQ Indoor.
Still not in love? Read about the best security cameras of 2019.