You buy the latest Google Pixel or iPhone because you want the best smartphone with the best features: a superb camera, beautiful OLED display, super-speedy processor and additional storage. And you’re willing to spend a little more on it because it’s something you’re going to use every day — that’s important. It’s not a Herman Miller chair you sit in several times a year or a Burberry jacket you only wear on special occasions. This same philosophy applies to buying a home security camera.

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor ($299) is a best-in-class security camera you can buy right now. It can live video stream 24/7, and it allows you to talk and listen to people from afar via its built-in mic and speaker. (You can check up on the dog while you’re at work and admonish him if he’s up to no good.) It can send push notification alerts to your phone, and it’ll keep a video log of activity throughout the day. It sees well in the dark, too. Those are things that most home security cameras can do, however. The real reason you’re going to buy the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is its intelligence, premium hardware and advanced software.

So, how is it different? For starters, it’s the first home security camera with a 4K image sensor. Even though it still only captures 1080p video, the sensor enables its 12x digital zoom and HDR imaging capabilities, so it can capture far away objects with great clarity. These abilities put the Nest Cam IQ Indoor way ahead of competitors from Amazon, Logitech and Canary.

Instead of just showing you what’s happening, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is smart enough to know the difference between a person and a thing. When it detects a person, it can send an alert to your phone and will automatically zoom in and track that person as they move across frame; this way you can get the best possible view of the situation. And with a Nest Aware subscription, the Nest Cam IQ can even tell the difference between people who it sees every day (or just occasionally) and complete strangers. Then, when it sees these people, it’ll send you a personalized alert with the name of the family member or dog sitter, for example.

Its 4K image sensor is really what makes the Nest Cam IQ Indoor such a solid product. (That, plus fast software and an intuitive app.) The sensor offers 12x digital zoom and high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, to make sure you won’t miss key details even if the light conditions aren’t great. It’s powerful enough to process the advanced vision algorithms needed to identify and keep track of the people it sees. And finally, the Nest app gives you a 130-degree view of the room, in 1080p HD, from anywhere.

One last thing: even though the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is a great home security camera, you may be thinking that it won’t work for you because “It won’t work with my Amazon Echo or Google Assistant” — fear not. The Nest Cam IQ Indoor plays well with Amazon Alexa, so you watch your camera’s live view with a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, or you can use your Echo Show. Nest Cam IQ Indoor is also integrated with Google Assistant, so you can ask it to show a live video stream of your Nest Cam on a display that has a Chromecast device attached or has Chromecast built-in. Basically, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor isn’t a home security camera that you’re going to have to work around — it’ll integrate itself with the devices you already own.

Debate: Is a 4K Baby Monitor Overkill?

The Nest Cam IQ may be the smartest home security camera ever. However, do 1080p recording and facial recognition justify the $300 price tag? We debate. Read the Story