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Google Nest Cam (Battery) missing events

robmarsh79
Community Member

I purchased a Google Nest Cam (Battery) and am having trouble with it not capturing events when expected. I am using this purely on battery, the live recording seems to work fine when plugged in (as you would expect).

The things I have checked so far are:

  • Battery sufficiently charged - it is!
  • Sensitivity set to maximum
  • Video duration set to maximum
  • Zone configured correctly - it is!
  • Wifi connection - it is strong!

The probems are when the camera is running off battery power (the whole reason we bought this model of camera). The events missed seem to mainly be at night time, although it intermittently doesn't record events in full daylight too.

For the nigh time events, we can actually see that the motion detection is triggered, because the battery camera is in view of another wired Nest camera and picks up the glow of the IR light from the battery one. However no events are recorded. This is despite us setting the event recording to record all motion and not just people and animals.

Also, when trying to test the daytime functionality, I kicked a football in front of the camera and it appeared to block out the event in the timeline, but couldn't show me any video from it. The Wifi connection is very strong, we deliberately placed it within a couple of metres of the router to rule this issue out. And in any case, I thought the camera would record using it's internal memory and then sync to the cloud later.

Lastly, probably unrelated, when I click on the Event settings to set them up, I do not see the option for "heard" events, only "seen" events. This is despite me enabling the microphone options.

Any help or advice on things to test gratefully received :).

10 REPLIES 10

Anthonymck
Community Member

I have the same problems - it appears that it’s only capturing events when it’s connected to the charger.  Which defeats the purpose of battery 

robmarsh79
Community Member

Yes I know, it's incredibly frustrating. Although it also seems to miss events when wired also.

I have since found out that "heard" events aren't available on the battery version, although I have no idea why.

For anyone who is interested, I have listed below some of the limitations I have found of the camera when both wired and battery operated. Some might be me not knowing how to correctly configure, but judging by the lack of response from Google on here, I think it's more likely the limitations are with the camera or app itself.

General Frustrations (wired and battery):

  • Poor app integration. You cannot add these cameras to the Nest app, you must use Google Home app instead. This in itself is disappointing, because the Nest app was very easy to use, but it is actually worse that that, which brings me on nicely to....

 

  • Reduced Google Home app functionality #1. Although I can see all of my old gen Nest (wired) cameras in the Google Home app, the functionality is reduced to only show events. 24/7 streaming from the Nest Aware subscription is only available through the original Nest app. This means I am constantly switching between apps to get the full functionality

 

  • Reduced Google Home app functionality #2. Google home doesn't allow you to create custom clips. This means that if (to mitigate for the poor event recognition) you decide to wire the camera in for its power and access the 24/7 video history, the camera still misses events and the only way to generate a clip is to screen record from your device.

 

  • Glitchy audio. The audio seems hit and miss as to whether it plays when scrubbing back through the 24/7 video. It seems to play the audio OK for recorded events, but even then I can replay one and it will be muted. Then five mins later I can replay the same clip and the audio is there. It just seems very flaky. I assume it is something to do with how Google manages the cloud storage and transfer between device and cloud, but I haven't quite figured out the pattern yet, if there is even one.

 

  • Poor recognition of events #1 - Missed events. I don't know if there is better/worse event recognition when wired/running on battery. Personally I feel it's probably equally as bad for both, but because of all of the other limitations of running on battery, I didn't stick with it long enough to get a good feel of it. I went straight to wired. When testing this I was using it at ground level and watching what cats and other wildlife came into our garden. It definitely seems to capture more when daylight, probably because there is more of a contrast between objects. At night however, it misses a lot. For example if a cat is walking towards the camera then it picks that up fine (I assume because the eyes stick out from the reflected IR light), but when walking away if the colour of the cat doesn't contrast enough with the background, it doesn't seem to trigger. If I keep this camera, the intention is to use it to monitor my car on the side of the garage, its going to be a bit useless if criminals figure out they can avoid detection by matching the colour of the floor.

 

  • Poor recognition of events #2 - Heard events unavailable. From what I can gather there is no option to setup "heard" events, only "seen" events. I have no idea why, as the microphone sensitivity is great, and it shouldn't be too hard to put in a slider to adjust the threshold of what triggers a "heard" event.

 

  • Poor recognition of events #3 - Mishandled events. So where genuinely interesting events go unrecorded, apparently when a twig that loosely (as much a s a twig can do) resembles a pair of legs gets blown in front of the camera, it has no problem recording scores of "human" detection events. I actually don't mind this issue too much, I would rather have more events than it miss the crucial ones, it just seems ridiculous the ones it picks up verses the ones it misses!

 

In addition, when running on battery:

  • Reduced Google Home app functionality #3. Doesn't record live viewing. I understand that Google has had to think carefully about power requirements when running off battery to prolong the battery life, but if I am viewing live, surely the camera is already using all of the resources anyway! Why not record and sync these live viewing clips to Nest Aware?

 

In summary, I don't see why anyone would be able to confidently use this camera on battery. Even with event detection on maximum sensitivity and recording all "motion", the camera misses key events. This coupled with the fact there is no 24/7 streaming and 60 day history when on battery means there is no safety net. I understand that Google would want to limit features to prolong life, but surely give the user the option to use as a 24/7 camera even if that means the batteries last a week. I suspect a week might be optimistic which is why Google don't allow that as an option, but at least be honest about it.

So, that leaves the decision as to whether or not to use this as a wired outdoor camera. I believe it's now the only option for outdoor cameras, but you will need to buy a weather proof cable in order to do so. But looking at the limitations even when it is wired, I would be more inclined to get hold of a second hand old gen outdoor camera instead and wire them in. Such a shame, I really wanted this product to work!

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey there,

 

I just wanted to jump in real fast and thank you for your feedback. Please feel free to submit your feedback to us. I've put instructions for feedback below.

 

  • Open the Google Home app

Google Home app

  • At the top right, tap your account.
  • Tap Feedback 

and then

  • tap the type of device you'd like to submit feedback for.
  • To display available emails, in the "From:" section, tap the arrow on the right. Select your email address.
  • In the feedback summary, write a brief description of your issue.
  • Be sure to check the box for Screenshot and System logs.
  • To submit feedback, at the top right corner, tap Send 

 

If you need anything else, please let me know.

Best regards,

Brad.

robmarsh79
Community Member

Hi Brad,

Thanks, but I don't think it's a faulty product, just poorly designed and thought out. A lot of the issues I have can be solved with software updates, but looking back at past posts, it seems people have been asking and waiting for these since its release in 2021!

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi there,

 

Just checking in to see how the conversation is going as there's been a lapse in activity on this thread. Please let me know if you need further assistance. 

 

Best Regards,

Brad

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi there,

 

Just checking in to see if you still need assistance with this issue.  We'll leave this topic open for another 24 hrs in case there are any follow up questions or comments.


Best regards,

Brad

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey folks,

 

At this time, I'll go ahead and lock this thread. If you're still experiencing problems, feel free to start a new thread and we'll be happy to help.

 

Best Regards,

Brad

J12eao
Community Member

I have exactly the same problem. I bought 6 of them when I moved house. Old wired camera at previous house were brilliant. These are extremely poor and so hit and miss recording events. Tempted to sell them all and replace with ring as they aren’t fit for purpose. Wish I’d read reviews before buying!

Since they need to be powered with electricity to perform as we intend, I will likely return my nest cam and replace with a nest indoor - since I usually position inside my window anyway

hostler
Community Member

I wish i'd done more research on the Battery Camera before buying, and **really surprised** the many YouTube reviews I watched didn't experience this very obvious and widespread issue issue - this camera just doesn't work as advertised.

I've got around 9 wired cameras (IQ's and old Nest Dropcams) across two properties and they've been working non-stop for years now with a Nest Aware subscription. Never fail to spot an event, record the event and notify me on my phone. 

One month now with this batter version - replacing a wired IQ camera - and I *never* get notified UNLESS i'm viewing live.

Pretty pointless for a security camera.

I too have 'sensitivity' set to max, have 'all motion' triggering switched on, and all the types of events switched on too. 

Battery life is amazing though! Battery drops about 5% in two weeks - but that's obviously because it is never recognising triggers.

I read that software fixes may be coming so i'll hang on, but if you're considering these cameras I cannot recommend them at this time.

Such a shame as the Nest platform - cameras, thermostats, smoke alarms and doorbells have been really relax le up to this point.