Panasonic’s keen to edge into a market dominated by NestCams and GoPros with the Nubo, a portable security camera that can stream live video over WiFi or 4G to an iOS or Android device.
While the Nubo certainly isn’t the first 4G action camera to hit the market, it’s worth a look as it promises a degree of flexibility that other similar devices can’t offer. The Nubo has been designed for indoor and outdoor use and features a sturdy design that’s not too dissimilar to other weather-resistant security cameras.
It’s lightweight and like the NestCam can be attached to a magnetic wall mount (sold separately) that means you’ll be able to position it virtually anywhere you’re able to drill a few holes in a wall.
When the Nubo’s in the home, you can use it as a standard IP camera that streams video over WiFi. When you’re out and about, the embedded 4G radio kicks in. Built-in mics mean you can talk to people (or pets) through the Nubo, so it can comfortably double as a baby monitor.
While streaming over WiFi doesn’t cost any extra, if you’re going to make use of the Nubo’s 4G streaming prowess, you’ll need to fork out for a subscription, which starts at €9.99/month (£7.77). Subscriptions will be rolling, which means you can cancel after a month and switch back to streaming video over WiFi as and when.
Related: NestCam review – A high-end, high definition security guardNubo currently draws power from the mains via the USB port which as you can see from our pictures, is embedded deep within a recess, something which Panasonic’s done to ensure that all-important power connection remains solid.
In time, you’ll be able to get an external battery to go with your Nubo but unfortunately we weren’t able to see this in action and nor were any Panasonic reps able to tell us any more about when a Nubo battery might start hitting shelves. We have to say that this somewhat undermines one of its trump cards – the portability afforded by that 4G antenna.
As well as streaming video on the go, the Nubo’s infrared sensor means you’ll be able to watch video in the dark (visibility up to 10 metres at night time is promised) as well as record footage in the day. During our time at the Nubo’s stand we were also unable to see what the video quality on the mobile apps was like, so it’s hard to say what 1080p Full HD footage will look like streamed to a phone.
On top of WiFi streams, Nubo subscriptions will, like Nest Aware, let you store footage in the cloud. It’s currently unclear how or even if subscribers will be able to download clips from the cloud for archiving or not, an option that’s open to NestCam owners.
As with Nest Aware, the Nubo subscriptions will let you store up to 10 days of recordings for €9.99 (£7.77)/month or 30 days €29.99 (£23.30/month). There’s also a third option for business customers who want to remotely monitor their premises, but we’re told that this won’t be available directly to consumers and prices will vary depending on a businesses’s requirements.
Due to go on sale later this spring, the Panasonic Nubo will cost €349 (£270) while the magnetic mount will cost €39.99 (£31).