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2023 Battery Cam No Motion Detection

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Subject pretty much says it all.  I bought x4 2023 Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor models (battery).

I have gone through the setup process and installed one camera for testing before I start screwing them all in permanently.  I have placed it by the front door, a high traffic area where people and vehicles move.

I have not received any alerts or push notifications for motion since I set the device up.

I've tried removing and re-adding the camera, I have checked and disabled 'Away-only notifications'.  'Push notifications' is enabled.  The 'Wake-Up' sensitivity setting is set to the default which is 'Medium'.  Video History is set to 3-hour and Maximum length is 30 seconds which are defaults.

Strangely if I have the Google Home app open and I am watching the camera live feed and motion happens at the same time, then everything works successfully.  An Event is recorded and saved to Video History and I get a Push notification, this only works while in the app monitoring the stream in real time though.   

I did get a Push Notification this morning that the camera was "Offline" but when I went into the app Live Stream was working fine.  I can also see that people and vehicles had moved in front of the camera only 2 meters away and it detected nothing.

Does anyone have any ideas? 


I have Netgear Orbi Wifi6 AX RBK853, camera is 4m away from base station.  ISP connection is 100 Mbps Down and 40 Mbps Up.

Samsung S21+ 5G - Android 13 01/06/23 Update

Google Home App Version

Nest Cam Software version: nq-user 1.67 OPENMASTER 361459 release-keys stable-channel




Have you enabled recording and turned on notifications for specific types of events for your cameras under Settings | Events | Seen events in the Google Home app?

We've had a battery camera for 23 months, plugged in with the optional power cable.  However, if we unplug it so that it is running on battery power, it does NOT come out of "Idle" mode to detect and record an event if we walk right in front of the camera.  It's a drawback of the camera when running on battery power.

Yes 'Seen Events' are set for "people" "vehicles" and "motion".  I've also changed the sensitivity to 'High' and still getting nothing.   I've got all the Notification options in the GH app enabled as well.


As far as the "Idle" mode is concerned, are you telling me if I somehow managed to get these cameras working, when I plug it in to charge it and I take it off charge it will screw it up again?   How can you tell a camera is in "Idle" mode?

What are the point of these cameras if they don't record or detect motion on battery?   Seems insane.


We can no longer tell when a battery camera is in "Idle" mode when on battery power. It used to be that, when you brought up the battery camera in the Google Home app, it would open showing "Idle" wot no livestream if it was on battery power. Google Nest has now changed that so, that, when you open the camera in the Google Home app, it automatically changes the camera from "Idle" to "Live".

However, from experience and info in online help, the battery cameras are normally in "Idle" mode when on battery power, and they have to wake up in order to record an event.

Your last question is a good one. Our experience with our battery camera is that it doesn't wake up very well when on battery power.  I'm glad we have it plugged in.

Yeah so I guess we need to know:

  1. When the camera is on battery how does it detect motion?  Because at the moment it's not.
  2. If the camera is on battery and in this hidden "Idle" mode, how does that affect motion detection?
  3. Will Google/Nest provide refunds if the cameras don't do what is currently advertised?  (See current advertising below, taken from Nest Cam battery webpage).

Nest Cam battery.png

@MplsCustomer  so I've been trying to figure this out... because I've just quickly set my camera up for testing and I placed it at the front door pointing out my window.  

Looks like others have reported when the cameras are on battery they use PIR to detect thermal motion, the camera stays in "Idle" until PIR give the command to wake up.  When the camera is on continuous power it uses pixel-change detection. 

When looking at the tech specs of the camera it does list the following:

"Single motion sensor, 110° horizontal field of view, Up to 7.5 m"
I have found another way to confirm if the camera is active or in "Idle".  If you have a Google Hub, open the camera on the Hub and it will show the camera status up the top left of the screen:
Nest support also says that if the camera is in "Idle" mode you'll get a "Live video" button, if it is on power and constantly "Active" you won't get that button you'll get Live video automatically.
I moved my camera outside to try and test the PIR sensor theory.  Instantly I started getting more notifications, however it did fail to detect my vehicle drive straight up to it at night, only 2m away with a hot engine and tailpipe.  That was the first thing to make me question whether it has a PIR sensor. 
When I moved the cam back behind the glass, it failed to detect my girlfriend and I leaving for work in the morning (2 events), it failed to detect me arrive home (1 event) but it detected her arrive home in the afternoon, so that also makes me question the PIR theory as it successfully detect motion from behind the glass. 
Therefore if it is pixel-based detection why is it so so poor, it missed 3/4 motion events?
I've been chatting with Nest support.  According to them it appears to be solely pixel-change technology:
"It has a 2 megapixel color sensor and IR cut filter. Your camera runs algorithms to process video and audio data so it can determine whether it detected something you might want to know about."
So as far as L1 support are concerned there is definitely no PIR sensor, only pixel-change sensing.
I managed to get through to L2 support and they are escalating it with this:
"I believed the "Idle" mode was causing the issue, but your previous agent claims motion detection should still work even when the camera is "Idle". What I have found is that motion detection and associated notification and event recording is only working for my camera while I am actively monitoring the Live View of the camera from the Google Home app. As soon as I stop Live View, motion detection stops working. This would indicate that motion detection is not working when the camera is "Idle", as it only works when Live View is being monitored and forcing the camera to be awake/active"


I don't know HOW the newer battery cameras detect motion. I just know that, as I said earlier, if we we unplug our battery camera so that it is running on battery power, it does NOT come out of "Idle" mode to detect and record an event if we walk right in front of the camera.

However, ours is plugged in all the time, and therefore "Live". We weren't looking for a battery camera when we bought int in Sept. 2021, but Google Nest discontinued its wired Google Nest Outdoor Cameras that month.

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My Nest Cam was working good on my  Android phone Nest cam but stopped working cause I was hacked a couple of months ago and changed my profile.