Video Quality - Night
On to the night vision. Most cameras look fairly good during the day, but at night is where a camera can excel or be left in the dust. First, let's take a look at a static image on the Logi Circle with me standing at 25 feet.
Logi Circle Indoor Night Vision snapshot
Let's see how it compares to Nest Cam...
Nest Cam Indoor Night Vision snapshot
...and NETGEAR's Arlo?
NETGEAR Arlo Night Vision snapshot
I like how crisp and clear the Logi Circle is here. You can read the 5 and 10 foot markers easily and make out a figure in the doorway quite well. The room is also very lit up. The Logi Circle is also the least grainy of all three. I saw a few other reviews that mentioned the Circle's night vision was not as good as Arlo, but these snapshots don't tell that story. Now let's see it with motion.
Logi Circle motion indoor night
Nest Cam motion indoor night
NETGEAR Arlo motion indoor night
My face is easily distinguishable on any of these 3 videos, but the Circle and Nest Cam clearly have the better night vision video. Arlo is rather grainy whereas Nest Cam and Circle are very sharp. I become almost ghost-like and transparent in the Nest Cam video as I move away from the camera.
Even though Circle isn't an outdoor camera, let's look at some outside night videos, since that's where cameras really just look like they are lost in a sea of darkness. Here I chose Arlo again and the Edimax IC-9110W, a dedicated outdoor camera.
Logi Circle motion outdoor night
NETGEAR Arlo motion outdoor night
Edimax IC-9110W motion outdoor night
Again, let me state that the Circle is not an outdoor camera. That said, the Edimax IC-9110W, which is an outdoor camera, produces very poor night images. The IR LEDs create a tunnel of sorts that shows light only in the direct path of the IR LEDs vs. the entire viewing range. As far as lighting up the scene, the Logi Circle is worlds ahead of both Arlo and the IC-9110W; you can see the entire playset and beyond in the background.
The Circle does seem to have a problem with light saturation reflecting off my shirt as I pass the camera, however. Much of the scene is also rather pixelated outdoors, something we didn't see on the indoor video. That said, Circle captures the whole motion event while Arlo shuts off as I approach the camera. It's hard to choose a clear outdoor winner; both give up some key things. Circle gives up some picture clarity, Arlo doesn't capture the entire event and Edimax's picture quality is poor.
So is the Logi Circle worth buying? On the plus side, it has some endearing features and has better quality than competitors for night video. But it's the same price as Nest Cam and it lacks features such as configurable motion detection zones, continuous recording and premium storage options. Circle also records in a lower resolution than Nest Cam (720 vs. 1080p), although I hardly noticed this.
Although Circle has a battery, its life is so short as to make it useful only in very specific situations. I wonder if Logitech should have omitted that feature and gone with a lower price point.
Finally, Logitech's site promises more subscription options and app features "coming soon", which makes my Spidey-sense tingle. There is no guarantee those features will ever materialize and a feature you hoped to have may have never been on the roadmap in the first place.
Depending on if Logitech delivers and what they come up with, Circle might become a Nest Cam competitor. But for now, Circle isn't. Nest Cam for the win here.