Since November of 2021, dozens of Nest Doorbell and Cam owners have experienced battery problems in cold weather. Some of these smart doorbells and cameras are encountering severe battery drain on cold days, while others refuse to charge after an especially chilly night.
Update, 2/18/22: As reported by 9to5Google, the Nest Doorbell and Cam support pages are now clarify how these products operate in cold temperatures. Google now says that these products have a “minimum charging temperature” and will not recharge at temperatures of 32°F (0°C) or less.
Battery-powered Nest Cameras will operate in these temperatures when left plugged in. Unfortunately, leaving your Doorbell plugged in won’t solve this limitation.
Google tells us it’s aware of the problem and is currently “investigating the root cause.” But in theory, the average customer shouldn’t encounter any problems due to cold weather—the Nest Doorbell and Nest Cam Battery safety documentation state that both products can endure temperature as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit or -20 Celsius.
To be fair, some customers who are experiencing problems left their Nest products in weather that they were not made to withstand. Also, a Google support page warns users that the battery-powered smart doorbell and camera may waste a lot of power in cold weather:
If you live somewhere with extremely cold weather, your camera or doorbell might get a low battery more often than you expect. You might also notice that your camera or doorbell uses up its battery faster during the colder winter months.
But this warning doesn’t describe the severe battery drain that some customers are encountering. A day of battery life in cold weather is silly, and the fact that some customers are ending up with unresponsive devices or products that won’t charge after a night in the cold isn’t very reassuring.
We will update this article with new info from Google or affected customers. In the meantime, I suggest that people who live in cold areas bring their battery-powered Nest products inside. You could also follow the advice on Google’s support page and leave your battery-powered Nest devices connected to a charging cable.