Nest Cam (2021) vs. Logitech Circle View: Which should you buy?

Logitech Circle View Camera on a shelf
Logitech Circle View Camera on a shelf (Image credit: Logitech)

While there are some significant hardware differences, choosing between the Nest Cam (2021) and the Logitech Circle View boils down to your preference of mobile operating system. For those that prefer Android, the Google Assistant, or want to view their cameras on a Nest Hub, the Nest Cam (2021) is the perfect pick. However, if you are on team Apple, the Logitech Circle View's seamless integration with iOS, iCloud, and HomeKit makes it one of the best HomeKit cameras on the market.

Nest Cam vs. Logitech Circle View: The breakdown

Logitech Circle View Outdoors

Logitech Circle View Outdoors (Image credit: Logitech)

At the core, both the Nest Cam and the Logitech Circle View offer up the best in smart home security by providing timely notifications, live check-ins, and cloud recording. Both cameras simplify the installation and setup process by leveraging hub-free Wi-Fi connectivity and their respective smart home platforms. Voice controls also make viewing a feed accessible to everyone in the home, either through phones or smart assistant devices.

However, depending on your choice of mobile phone, your experiences will vary dramatically. You must consider your entire household before purchasing. Before we dive too deep into battle, let's take a look at the full spec breakdown.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Nest Cam (2021)Logitech Circle View
PowerBattery or wiredWired
Field of view130-degrees180-degrees
Frame rate30fps30fps
Aspect ratio16x916x9
Night visionIR, 20 feetIR, 15 feet
Local storageYes, 1 hourNo
Smart alertsYesYes
Person/face recognitionYesYes
Motion zonesYesYes
Theft protectionYesNo
Voice assistant compatibilityGoogle AssistantSiri/HomeKit

As you can see, there are a few key differences to keep in mind when choosing between the Nest Cam and the Logitech Circle View, but for now, we will focus on the similarities. Both cameras sport all the smart security essentials: two-way audio with built-in microphones and speakers, high-definition video, and smart alerts.

The Nest Cam and the Logitech Circle View also feature weather resistance, so you can monitor outdoor areas year-round without having to worry about protecting from the elements. Finally, both cameras rely strictly on Wi-Fi for smart home connectivity with no hardwire options available. Now let's move onto the differences, starting with hardware and design.

Nest Cam vs. Logitech Circle View: Design

Google Nest Cam 2021 Magnetic Mount

Google Nest Cam 2021 Magnetic Mount (Image credit: Google)

The Nest Cam and the Logitech Circle View each sport premium designs and are only available in one finish, but that is where the similarities end. For starters, the Nest Cam features a two-piece detachable design that makes it more flexible in mounting options. Google's camera comes with a magnetic mount and a traditional hardware mount in the box, but oddly, it doesn't come with a stand for tabletop placement.

Another significant difference is that the Nest Cam includes an internal rechargeable battery. Coupled with the magnetic mount, you can install the Nest Cam pretty much anywhere in seconds. it makes taking it down for charging a breeze. The internal battery lasts up to seven months before needing a top off, but weather and the amount of activity in front of the camera will affect overall battery life. Finally, if you are worried about someone walking off with your camera, Google provides free theft protection with purchase too.

Logitech Circle View Wire

Logitech Circle View Wire (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

This means that although it is "wireless," you will still need to plug it in for power — potentially limiting placement possibilities.

Moving over to the Circle View, Logitech's camera features a sleek all-black design that makes it a little more discreet outdoors. The Circle View is a single-piece camera, with the lens pivoting above a metallic base that serves as a stand and a wall mount. The camera comes with the necessary wall-mount hardware, but there is no magnetic mount option available.

Also, unlike the Nest Cam, the Circle View lacks an internal battery. The lack of battery means that although it is "wireless," you will still need to plug it in for power — potentially limiting placement possibilities. The upside with the Circle View is that you can pretty much set it and forget it, but mounting it outdoors requires some careful planning.

Nest Cam vs. Logitech Circle View: Video and recording

Google Nest Cam 2021 Outdoors

Google Nest Cam 2021 Outdoors (Image credit: Google)

As previously mentioned, both smart cameras record and stream video in high definition — 1080p at 30fps, to be exact. Both cameras utilize the standard widescreen 16x9 format, but they offer a different overall view of the surroundings. The Logitech Circle View uses an ultra-wide 180-degree field of view better suited for the outdoors, while the Nest Cam features a more narrow 130-degree view. The Nest Cam is capable of HDR, though, which should provide a slightly better image.

For recording, both cameras primarily store videos in the cloud — which of course, means yet another subscription. For the Nest Cam, the Nest Aware service is available in two plans which start at $6 a month for unlimited cameras. The base Nest Aware plan provides a rolling 30 days worth of recorded events, while the $12 Plus plan steps it up to 60 days and adds ten days of 24/7 continuous recording. Regardless of the plan, the Nest Cam also stores an hour's worth of events on-device just in case your Wi-Fi goes down while you are out and about.

Nest Aware Features

Nest Aware Features (Image credit: Google)

Cloud storage for the Logitech Circle View works a little differently than you might expect. Instead of purchasing a subscription through Logitech, the camera records video directly to Apple's iCloud service. Through iCloud, this method allows the camera to utilize your existing storage plan, so you don't need to sign up for anything extra. You can also rest easy knowing that your home's events are encrypted and stored safely in Apple's cloud.

If you don't already have an iCloud storage plan, pricing starts at just $0.99 a month for a single camera, $2.99 a month for five cameras, and $9.99 a month for unlimited cameras. Each plan gives you access to a rolling ten days worth of recorded events in Apple's Home app, but 24/7 continuous recording and local storage are unfortunately unavailable with the Circle View. One nice little perk with the iCloud plan is that recorded videos don't count towards your storage allotments, so you won't have to worry about your cameras eating into your photo backups.

Nest Cam vs. Logitech Circle View: Smart home integration

Logitech Circle View Homekit Integration Lifestyle

Logitech Circle View Homekit Integration Lifestyle (Image credit: Logitech)

What really sets the two cameras apart is how they integrate with smart home assistants and apps. As you might have guessed, the Nest Cam takes advantage of the power of the Google Assistant and other Nest devices. For example, with a Nest Hub, you can summon a live view of the Nest Cam on-demand with just a shout, and you can even speak to whoever is lurking outside of your home.

What really sets the two cameras apart is how they integrate with smart home assistants and apps.

With a Nest Aware subscription, the Nest Cam analyzes activity to determine who — or what is within its view. Image analysis enables the ability to filter out potential nuisance notifications like a pet running across your yard or vehicles if your camera is pointing out at a street. Image analysis also adds face detection, so you can set it only to notify you if it picks up an unfamiliar face.

As previously mentioned, Logitech's Circle View camera is built exclusively for Apple's HomeKit smart home platform. While exclusivity means that you can only view and manage the camera on Apple devices, it also means that it incorporates everything that HomeKit has to offer — including HomeKit Secure Video and Siri.

By leveraging HomeKit, the Circle View gains the same image analysis features and smart alerts as the Nest Cam. Still, it does so privately by processing activity locally on devices like the Apple TV and HomePod mini. With Siri, you can summon a live view of your camera on your iOS device using just your voice, and you can always review recordings and more through the Home app that is built-in to your iPhone. Plus, if you have an Apple TV, you can even watch all of the happenings and see activity alerts right on the big screen.

Nest Cam vs. Logitech Circle View: Which should you buy?

Ultimately, choosing between the Nest Cam and Logitech Circle View essentially boils down to your household's mobile device and smart assistant preferences. If your family is all-in with Apple's ecosystem, then the Logitech Circle view offers the best integration possible. Using the Home app already on all of your Apple devices or Siri, managing, and sharing your camera is about as seamless as it can get when combined with iCloud storage.

On the other hand, if your home includes a mixture of Android phones and iPhones — or if you don't want to live within one platform, then the Nest Cam is the way to go. Not only is Google's camera more flexible on the software side of things, but it is also more flexible with its integrated rechargeable battery and magnetic mounting options. Throw in the one-hour local backup recording and theft protection, and you get a camera that checks all of the boxes.

Christopher Close

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit and the Home app. Whether it is installing smart light switches, testing the latest door locks, or automating his households daily routines, Christopher has done it all.