11-23-2021 07:47 AM
Similar to some other posters here, I recently noticed that my Nest Doorbell battery (activated 2021-08-28), although wired, had lost much of its charge (down to 3%, indicated a 23 hour time to charge in Google Home app).
The 23 hour recharge estimate remained unchanged for 3 hours when kept wired to doorbell wiring.
From another recommendation on the forum, I decided to try unplugging from the doorbell wires and taking the doorbell indoors to charge via USB cable until 100%.
My doorbell remains plugged into a USB port, showing 2% charged, and an 18 hr 29 min time until full. It has been plugged in now for 1 hour, with no noticeable change in charge condition.
Outdoor temperatures have only recently dropped to below 0 degrees Celsius for longer than a few hours (max -7 degrees C).
Should I be concerned about the battery condition and how this doorbell is reacting to colder weather? Winter has yet to truly begin, and I am worried that this doorbell will not be functional as temperatures continue to drop. I know that ambient operating temperatures fall within -20 and +40 C (as indicated here).
Answered! Go to the Recommended Answer.
03-14-2022 10:22 AM
We appreciate the feedback on our battery Cameras and Doorbells. Our team is looking closely into this behavior, and we will continue to pass along reports we see here in the Community. To learn more about cold weather battery charging behavior in Nest cameras and doorbells, please stop by our Help Center.
12-26-2021 01:31 PM
Anyone had any luck getting a refund for it shutting down in cold weather? I legitimately cannot use the camera for months of the year because of the weather. So far all they say is it's only rates to -20 C. Then why is being sold in places that regularly get colder than that?
I would even take an exchange for the original wired model at this point.
12-26-2021 09:32 PM - edited 12-26-2021 09:40 PM
We got the Nest Battery Doorbell during a Black Friday deal and we have been luckily with the temps in the high 20"s to low 30"s F the battery drain hasn't been as bad for us as some of the people in this thread have been reporting. We did get a plug-in wall adapter about a month after having it on battery power though and directly wired it up and the adapter was showing exactly 24.1 Volts. It is supposed to be a 20VAC 500mah adapter and our doorbell is still draining though as well. The doorbell was manufactured in 7/2021 and I just talked with Google and they are sending a replacement. But just wanted to help out many in this thread by saying you can check the battery level with a command instead of having to switch off a breaker or unplug the doorbell. Just say "Hey Google" or "Okay Google" followed by "Doorbell Battery Level"; any Google device or the Google Assistant on your phone will tell you the percentage it's at. Just a FYI we only have one doorbell, so if you have two or more this command may not work. One last thing, when I turn the "Camera Off" by using the setting to do so it still will not charge 1% hardwired over a few hours. The max I've tried so far is 4 hours. Has anyone else tried this to see if it will charge?
12-27-2021 09:09 AM
Thank you for the tip on checking the battery level via Google Assistant/Hub! That will be very useful.
Do let us know the outcome of the replacement. I doubt it will make any difference as I don't think there would be any variation from unit to unit that could cause this issue, but will be interesting to see. Of course, they could have made some design changes, but highly doubt that as well. Would love to be proven wrong on that. I like the device - it's a good doorbell camera overall. But I'll be ditching it for another solution, most likely. I don't expect any significant improvement on this via software updates, and a hardware redo is probably unlikely.
12-27-2021 12:20 PM
I agree with you, I doubt that it will change anything. The only thing that could be for the better is like you say they made changes. We went with the replacement option to buy a new unit from Google and then send back the old one and then they would give our money back once they got it instead of the other option of them sending us a unit and we send the old one back. They said if we did it this way we were guaranteed a new unit. If we went with the other option, we would be getting a refurbished unit, which is the way with electronics, but we thought one you are getting someone else's old product and two you could possibly get their problems if it wasn't fixed correctly or wasn't able to be updated to the newest standards if they had them. This is our first video doorbell though, so we didn't know what to expect. We do like it, just don't like the idea like everyone else that you can't use it in the cold.
12-27-2021 09:31 AM
That Google Assistant command will come in very handy with my battery percentage experiment. Who would have thought that you'd get a real, meaningful metric from the voice assistant, while the Home application shows INFINITE power... @Brad we're getting restless in here, if you haven't already noticed.
12-27-2021 09:33 AM
I don't think anyone from Google is paying any attention here....Sadly.
12-27-2021 09:36 AM
Yes, the fact that you can't see the % in the app is just.... ridiculous.
12-27-2021 09:47 AM
I am absolutely loving this tip! No more breaker flipping. Mine consistently stays around 70% even in the cold snowy weather. Methinks having a good, new transformer helps a lot.
12-27-2021 12:50 PM
What temps are you seeing? I've got a very strong transformer - high voltage and plenty of current capability, but it doesn't help at all. When it gets cold (around 25F or so at current event settings), it can not keep up with demand and drains to zero.
12-27-2021 10:31 AM
To use the Google Assistant on a Nest Hub, to query the battery level, it seems you use the name you've given to the battery doorbell or camera ("[CAMERA/DOORBELL NAME] Battery Level"). However, when I tried this on our Google Nest Battery Camera ,which is plugged in all the time, Google responds "[CAMERA/DOORBELL NAME]'s battery is inactive", so for the camera anyhow, we still have to disconnect it to check the battery level.
12-27-2021 12:32 PM - edited 12-27-2021 12:33 PM
Sorry to hear that the command won't work for you for the Camera. We only have the one doorbell and no cameras; we named "Back Door Doorbell" as that's where it is located. But does your camera drain? I'm just asking as most of the replies I saw say that it's just the doorbell that drains. If it doesn't and Google responds with "[CAMERA/DOORBELL NAME]'s battery is inactive", doesn't that give us a hint that Google Devices know it's charging? That could be an indicator that shows google software engineers where the problem is if it's software related. All I'm trying to say is the doorbell may work, but the code has been faulty written and won't switch over the from battery to wired even though it says it's plugged in. Due to this it just trickle charges when it should be charging just like if it was plugged into an USB, as from what I read it should charge fully even with it wired in 5 hours or less if it is close to shutting down due to battery drain (Ex: the drain should be say from a power outage not cold weather).
12-27-2021 12:40 PM
So far, our Google Nest Battery Camera has NOT drained the battery, but others have reported that theirs do drain. Our colder Minnesota weather coming later this week should test whether the new camera is as reliable as our older Google Nest outdoor cameras.
Others have reported that the battery used in the doorbell (and maybe the camera as well?) simply can't charge when it's too cold; if that's true then it seems to me there's an inherent flaw.
12-27-2021 12:48 PM
I would expect both the doorbell and the standalone camera to have the same basic issue of charging efficiency when cold. However, the standalone camera having much more available power (as it is not limited by the presence of the series doorbell chime) would be better able to charge in a cold condition. They could raise the charging voltage, if required, for instance. There would be a dc-dc converter managing the charging voltage that would allow that kind of control. More important though, would be that that the standalone camera should be able to run on the incoming power alone..which means the battery can just stay in whatever condition it's in until it gets warmer, with no impact on device function (well, other than potentially limited backup battery function). Contrast that to the Doorbell (battery) that can't run directly off of the doorbell A/C (not enough current can be drawn to do so). In that case, the battery has to be kept charged for the device to keep running.
01-23-2022 02:55 PM - edited 01-23-2022 02:55 PM
I have had Camera Off set overnight (total about 18 hours) and gained about 3% by the next day. This was while temperatures bottomed around 10 to 15 F (-12 to -9C) and topped out between 25 to 30 F (-4 to -1C).
The only significant gain in battery life I've seen so far this season was when it made it up to 20% of the battery after a couple days where temps were in the low 40Fs (4 to 7C). If it spends entire days below freezing, it won't make any charging progress on a daily basis with any events, losing more than it makes up.
01-23-2022 02:58 PM
I wonder if any of this can be mitigated (even to a small extent) with a new firmware release. Let's hope that they went overboard on protecting the battery life without thinking about the great north use case we all face.
If not, then well we have a pretty paperweight.
01-23-2022 03:04 PM
😆The worst part is I'm quite far from the great north. Here in PA, it hasn't been a terribly frigid winter so far.
01-23-2022 03:09 PM
One thing they could do is to allow the battery to charge to 100% while wired to doorbell A/C. As it is, they only allow it to go to ~75% (and mine never goes above around 70%, even when very warm). The documentation says this is to increase battery longevity, which is true for that battery technology. However, if they allowed it to go to 100%, it would provide more buffer to ride through cold periods. I think that would be a good trade-off for cold weather areas.
Beyond that, I doubt there is much that can be done, other than just generally reducing power consumption. Improvements there may well be possible, giving more buffer. I doubt that they are doing anything to deliberately reduce charging rate when it's above -20C. Most likely there just isn't anything that can be done . Li-Ion batteries intrinsically become less able to charge (and less able to provide voltage) as it gets colder. There's not much you can do to get around that basic chemistry, other than raise the charging voltage (and you can only go so far with that and maintain safety), and there just wouldn't be any way to do that given the constraint on usable current from the doorbell wires, being in series with the chime.
01-23-2022 03:19 PM
I hear you, but I'm not sure I buy it with respect to battery life. My cheap solar-powered Christmas lights which charge equally cheap rechargeable batteries somehow manage to not only charge in this cold weather, but actually stay on all night. Perhaps you are right, if they did let the charge go to 100% it might make a difference.
01-23-2022 03:35 PM - edited 01-23-2022 03:37 PM
The key difference with something like a set of solar lights is that you don't have any intrinsic charging constraints in that situation. You can devise a system that provides as much current/voltage as you need to overcome the increased internal battery resistance while cold (a completely unavoidable situation with Li-Ion batteries), by sizing up the solar cell. The problem with the doorbell is that you're constrained on total power input by drawing off of doorbell A/C. This significantly limits input current to avoid tripping the chime (or ending up with constant buzzing sound or even damaging the chime). Given the new model's built in AI, there probably just is not enough current available to run it directly off incoming power. Thus, a battery-only design. and thus dependence on its state of charge and ability to stay charged. which gets worse and worse the colder it gets.
01-23-2022 03:38 PM
Thanks, but you would have thought these considerations would have gone into the product design as currently the product will not work within the stated operating parameters.
01-23-2022 03:57 PM - edited 01-23-2022 03:58 PM
Well , I think they did in a very broad sense, but missed some details. They wanted a doorbell that had local AI, but could run off of doorbell A/C *without* any sort of chime adapter like the Nest Hello (which would make the camera in parallel with the chime instead of series to it). This greatly simplifies the DIY install experience. Putting in some sort of chime adapter is way over most peoples' heads.
Given the above, you now have to figure out how to run this power hungry doorbell off of doorbell A/C, but the math just doesn't add up. Current draw exceeds available current, possibly by a lot. Now, you know that the device isn't going to be recording all the time, in fact you were planning to limit that capability anyway to save on cloud storage for all that video. Viola, it is now only does event based recording. You redo the math based on what you think the duty cycle of the device will be for most people (ignoring at this point that the battery can't charge well in cold weather). Hey, this could work!, the engineer says. BTW, this is why most electric shavers will run off of their battery, but *not* off of incoming A/C. The reason for that is a different one I won't detail here, but it is an analogous problem. What the engineer in Bermuda shorts failed to take into account, however, is that it gets cold for extended periods in some places, and some people are going to see a lot more events than others - busy streets, whatever. He just can't imagine it... I mean people don't really live where it's below freezing all the time, right? Isn't everywhere like California? 🙂 Once they figure out the problem after they do some chamber testing, they have a series of conference calls to discuss how to resolve. What do they come up with? They give some options to down-tune the events to keep the thing in balance. Now that'll work to a certain extent, but not in any place that has any real cold. And here you are.... The Google Nest Doorbell (Battery).
01-23-2022 04:13 PM
Sigh....well I hope they either do a product recall with a cold weather replacement or just offer refunds. Apparently, the RING doorbell does not have similar issues and is cheaper.
01-23-2022 04:43 PM - edited 01-23-2022 04:44 PM
Ring does lose
power charge during extended below-freezing conditions - I've installed two Rings in my parents' house and they're sitting around 80% at the moment. However, the Rings are significantly better at recovering after temperatures rise.
The onboard package AI that the Nests have may explain some difference in power usage; the Rings support zones but not recognition of packages. But I don't think (and hope not) that's the whole story here. I hope firmware tuning can rebalance charging, but fear the quality of the batteries may be another contributing factor which can only be overcome by the loss of features.
01-23-2022 04:52 PM
Well I’m not gonna sit around hoping for a recall or a refund directly from Google. I’ll be returning it to Lowe’s where I bought it and even if it is store credit that’s is better than nothing. It just sucks because I’m trying to stay in the whole Google ecosystem now I have to go outside of it just for the doorbell camera.
12-27-2021 12:37 PM
Update: I have had ours setup for the past 18 Hours to charge via wire without any events to trigger the device and it has been 32 degrees F or close to it this whole time. So, nothing to turn it on other than if the doorbell was to be pushed and/or use the live feed. When I turned off the events it had 63% battery, just now I checked 63% battery.
12-27-2021 12:41 PM
That's not good that it can't charge at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
12-27-2021 12:53 PM - edited 12-27-2021 12:54 PM
Agreed..not a good sign. It probably does drop off in charging rate a bit as it gets up to higher charge levels...that's a characteristic of all rechargeable battery technologies. But it should still make progress in ~18 hours. This is in line with what I see with my device.
12-27-2021 05:44 PM
Just throw the doorbell away it'll never stay charged in a cold no matter what they're lying to you.
12-28-2021 05:04 PM
Having a same issue as all of you, Camera is going off in few days after its gets cold. Cant use it until put it on charger inside the house. And from the comments it looks like Google dont care about bringing in any solution just keeps repeating on their diplomatic answers. Very disappointed for me a long time Google user.
12-28-2021 08:21 PM
Has the same issue. The battery depleted to 3% when temperatures drop below zero. Then died completely after a few days of sub zero temperatures. I’m in Vancouver BC so the coldest we get is like -10C which is far above the minimum threshold stated in the tech spec.
Honestly I have been having so many hardware issues with Google (Pixel 2XL then this). I’m really giving up hope on Google hardware. It doesn’t matter how amazing your AI is if it doesn’t turn on.
12-28-2021 08:22 PM
Oh and it’s wired so it was infinite sign when temperatures are above freezing.
12-29-2021 06:29 AM - edited 12-29-2021 06:51 AM
NickR, just FYI you can get a read on the actual battery level for the Doorbell while the infinity sign is showing. You have to ask a google assistant device/app to display it. There's another post with details, but basically just ask it what the battery level is for whatever name you gave to the doorbell. Sans this, you have to shut power to the doorbell to see what it actually is while wired (unless it's down at low levels - around 10% or less -then it will show wired and the percentage remaining in the app). Yes, this is really stupid that the Home app doesn't show this, but the assistant can. :).
12-29-2021 05:16 AM
Right there with you guys with this issue of the battery de-charging in colder weather. For more context i am in southern quebec and winter's cold bite has not even really started yet. The unit has de-charged to shutdown in around -5 celcius. Obviously this is a big problem and one that requires a big solution and not Google just pointing us to some FAQ section on their product's website.
12-29-2021 05:49 AM
Same here in Toronto. Google offered a replacement. Why bother? To repeat the issue again?
Google fix this. This was not a cheap doorbell.
12-29-2021 06:45 PM
I asked Google Assistant if my doorbell was charging.
It replied that it's not plugged in.
Meanwhile, back in Google Home, it's the good old INFINITE power symbol.
Please, Google. Firmware updates for the restovus!
12-29-2021 07:13 PM - edited 12-31-2021 09:13 AM
I experienced the same battery issue when the weather was around 0*C. I exchanged it for a second doorbell and it had the same issue. Might just buy the nest hello since based on other forums, it doesn’t have a low temperature issue like the battery version.
12-31-2021 09:30 AM
I had a nest hello for two winters in Montreal and it worked well. I just moved and bought this new "improved" version to find that it just doesn't work in Canada's weather..
12-31-2021 10:09 AM
I'm inclined to do same, but a bit concerned about the lifecycle for the Hello, as it is nearing end of life/ retirement. They are working on a replacement for that device to be released in 2022. Will they stop supporting the back-end for the Hello at some point soon? Since they are still selling them now, it's probably safe to assume some reasonable amount of time, but probably not a long time. They've generally committed to 5 years for these kinds of products, but the Hello came out in 2018, so maybe just until 2023. Just something to keep in mind. It's a shame really. I like the battery doorbell overall. It just won't work in the cold.
12-31-2021 08:46 AM - edited 12-31-2021 09:27 AM
Same issue in Montreal. It's not even cold at about 0c..
btw, the community managers' job is to protect Google. They are not our friends. We have competing objective and in this instance they are stalling us.
12-31-2021 09:12 AM
I agree. I will be returning the doorbell as I don’t see how this can be fixed through software updates…