With the launch of the new Nest cameras and doorbell, our goal is to deliver more choice and flexibility to our customers in the products they buy and install in their homes—indoor or outdoor, battery or wired. We rigorously tested and tuned our new battery devices to strike the balance between showing you the events you care about and ensuring the battery is there for you when you need it the most. That being said, we know there are questions around which type of device is right for you and your home. In this post, we’re sharing details and considerations to help you answer those questions.
Battery camera and battery doorbell
Wired cameras and wired doorbell
You can install a battery powered camera or doorbell anywhere within Wi-Fi range.
A wired doorbell or wired camera works with pre-existing wiring or a power outlet. You’ll need to plan ahead and consider if you have existing doorbell wiring that’s compatible (check out the Doorbell compatibility widget) or if you have a power outlet nearby to plug your camera into.
Installation location considerations
A battery-powered camera will wake more often in high traffic areas which will use more battery. You can use Activity Zones to focus the camera on a specific area of the scene to optimize battery life. You can also adjust the battery settings such as changing or adjusting the wake-up sensitivity which controls when your camera starts recording.
In a high traffic area where there’s a lot of activity, you may want to consider a wired option.
A wired device is always connected to power, so you don’t need to factor in battery life when deciding on an installation location.
Event video history vs.
24/7 continuous video history
Battery-powered cameras offer event-based video history to record clips of important activity. An advantage of event video history is it helps prolong your battery life by detecting and recording important activity vs all activity.
In addition to event-based video history, a wired camera or doorbell allows for 24/7 continuous video history — a Nest Aware Plus subscription is required. 24/7 continuous video history records every second of the day for the last 10 days so you have a complete recording of what’s happening at your home, even if there is no activity. 24/7 continuous video history is not available on Nest Doorbell (battery), even with the optional wired installation.
Video clips have a maximum length of 3 minutes to preserve battery life.
Video clips have a maximum length of 5 minutes. With a Nest Aware Plus subscription, you can add 24/7 continuous video history, which will record every second of the day for the past 10 days.
When Nest Cam (battery) is battery-powered, it can detect people about 25 feet (7.5 m) away.
When Nest Cam (battery) is plugged into power, it can detect people from further away -- about 30-40 feet (9-12 m) -- from the camera.
Checking battery life
You can check your camera battery life in the Google Home app and you’ll get alerted when your camera needs to be recharged. To learn more about typical battery life scenarios and how to optimize your settings for battery life, visit our support site
Charging and Wiring considerations
Battery-powered devices need to be recharged. Here are some options to reduce that need to recharge:
A battery-operated doorbell can be connected to pre-existing wires so there is continuous power, reducing the likelihood of needing to charge. The additional benefit is this allows you to use your existing chime.
Solar charging option: A battery-operated camera and doorbell can be connected to a compatible solar panel accessory to remove the need to recharge in most cases, as long as there is enough sunlight.
You never need to charge your device because it’s connected to a power source.
Local storage fallback
In the case of a power or Wi-Fi outage, our battery-powered devices have local storage fallback, which means the new Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery) will record up to one hour of local video (up to a week’s worth of events), and upload those clips to the Google Home app once service returns. To learn more about Storage Fallback
Earlier generation wired devices like Nest Doorbell (wired), do not accommodate local storage fallback. However, the new Nest Cam (indoor/wired) and 2nd generation Nest Doorbell (wired), coming soon, will record up to one hour of local video (up to a week’s worth of events) if there’s a Wi-Fi outage.
Nest battery-powered cameras and doorbells have a slightly larger size to accommodate its built-in battery.
Nest Doorbell (wired) does not have a battery, providing a smaller frame and gives you the option to have a smaller form factor.
Smoke and CO sound alerts
The new Nest Cam (indoor, wired) and Nest Cam (battery), once plugged in and placed inside, can alert you if it detects a smoke or CO alarm within your home. *Feature requires a Nest Aware subscription and is only available in the US. Audio recording must be turned on in the Google Home app.
We hope this table is a helpful guide as you decide if a battery or wired Nest camera or doorbell is right for you. And to help you think through options, we also wanted to provide a few more announcements related to the different battery and wired offerings.
Personalizing the battery and camera experience: There are multiple ways to optimize battery lifefor your specific home. And next year, we will be adding ways to make it easier to customize your battery settings, plus a camera scheduling option so you have additional controls for when your cameras are on or off.
Solar panel accessory:Before the end of the year, we’ll offer a solar panel for Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery), so you can continue benefiting from the flexibility of a battery device without having to recharge. Due to variations in weather, a solar panel will not accommodate 24/7 continuous video history recording.
And if you’re interested in a wired solution, we’re excited to share these updates with you:
Wired bundles: For customers who would like to enjoy the benefits of a wired Nest camera experience, we'll be making that even more affordable by offering our 5 meter and 10 meter outdoor weatherproof cables at a discount of 50% off for a limited time*. This promotion will be available in the U.S. and Canada.
A smarter floodlight: In October, we will be offering our new Nest Cam with floodlight, which offers a wired camera solution that replaces an existing wired outdoor light or floodlight.
A next gen hardwired doorbell: We continue to be committed to the hardwired doorbell space and plan to offer a 2nd generation of our Nest Doorbell (wired) in 2022. This will enable 24/7 continuous video history (with a Nest Aware subscription). And this product will be compatible with the Google Home app.
Thanks again for your continued feedback, and as always please share questions and comments here!