Increasing numbers of smart home monitoring cameras are available from numerous manufacturers, but all rely on Wi-Fi connectivity. The Panasonic Nubo does things differently, as the world's first 4G home monitoring camera. And we got to check one out at the IFA trade show in Berlin.
The Nubo is a cute-looking, white plastic camera with purple logo on its front. It's perhaps not as discreet or designer as something like a Netatmo Welcome, but it's small scale and can fit in the palm of a hand.
The obvious sell for this camera is its 4G connectivity, meaning it could be used remotely, such as in a caravan or boat when away with the power off, assuming you have an external power source. In the box the Nubo only comes with a micro USB to USB adaptor for its mains plug, but a battery pack could be used instead if you bought one.
Flip the camera upside down and remove the plastic base to reveal the internal USB socket - keeping it tucked out of sight as much as possible - along with micro SIM and microSD card slots.
If you choose to not take on the pay-for SIM package with its incurred data costs, which pushes data to Panasonic's own cloud, then the microSD card can be used for internal storage instead. The choice is yours: you may even choose to run with data when away on a long trip, only to revert back to internal storage upon your return.
The Nubo camera is able to detect movement using its infrared sensor in either light or dark conditions, as well as audio. Upon movement the associated app can send you an alert, just in the same way the Nest Camera works, for example.
Where Nubo differs, however, is with its detection algorithms, which can identify distinct shapes to define, say, a human intrusion from your pet cat. That ought to save from unwarranted annoyances.
On-board resolution is 1080p, while 720p is used for transmittal via 4G or 3G. If connectivity lulls to 2G then no video data is transferred, only relevant alerts.
However, while the outlay easily matches the competition, the Nubo costs a little due to its 4G connectivity. When it launches in November (with the UK being one of its introductory countries) it's expected to cost €299 (UK price to follow, but we anticipate it to be similar).