Google’s Nest Doorbell lineup provides useful features and software that’s getting a whole lot better, but as colder temperatures start to arrive for many, it’s a good time to remember that the Nest Doorbell (battery) does not hold up very well in the cold.
The Nest Doorbell (battery) launched in 2021 with overall good reviews. Despite some problems with software due to the Google Home app, it was a product that had decent quality, performance, and solid battery life.
Related: Nest Doorbell (Battery) review: An imperfect option for Google Home enthusiasts [Video]
But it was over this past winter that many found a flaw with the product that earlier reviews hadn’t been able to test.
The Nest Doorbell (battery) hates the cold.
When exposed to frigid temperatures, Nest Doorbell (battery) still works, but the device has been found to lose its charge more quickly when it starts to get cold. Worse yet, charging is incredibly slow while the device is still cold, even if you bring it back inside. Many have found that it can take a few days in warmer temperatures to recharge the doorbell’s battery.
Following mass confusion over why this was happening, Google clarified earlier this year that Nest Doorbell (battery) and the battery-powered Nest Cam can’t charge at temperatures between -4°F (-20°C) and 32°F (0°C).
It’s also important to remember that this applies even when wired. While a Nest Cam (battery) will continue to be able to run off of a wired connection in the cold, Nest Doorbell (battery) cannot charge its battery in the cold and once that battery dies, it will stop working entirely until you warm it back up. Google explained:
At temperatures between -4°F (-20°C) and 32°F (0°C), the doorbell can continue to work, but the battery will drain because it can’t be charged. If the battery drains completely, the doorbell will shut down, and you’ll need to bring it inside to be charged.
If you are using a Nest Doorbell (battery) in an area with temperatures that are often under 32°F (0°C) for extended periods – a few days of sub-freezing temperatures won’t be a big deal, but if it’s every day, you’ll run into issues – you’re probably better off sticking with a different device.
The new Nest Doorbell (wired) has all of the same features as the new battery model and for the same price but works just fine in cold temperatures with a minimum operating temperature of -4°F (-20°C) and no charging to worry about. A traditional doorbell combined with a Nest Cam (battery) would be a good solution if you don’t have the choice of using a fully wired doorbell but can have a camera plugged in nearby.
Related: Nest Doorbell (wired) review: A solid upgrade waiting on a better Google Home app
It’s a shame that Google’s doorbell suffers from this limitation, but it’s likely something that can’t be fixed outside of a new generation.
We’d hope that future battery-powered Nest Doorbell devices solve this problem but, in the meantime, please keep this in mind if you’re in the market or perhaps just partook in Google’s Black Friday discounts.
More on Google Nest:
- Here are the 15 holiday ringtones rolling out to all Nest Doorbells this week
- Hands-on: The new Google Home app mostly sticks the landing [Gallery]
- Google’s new Nest Cams still require a full reset if you change Wi-Fi networks – the old ones didn’t
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