If you have a smart home, you might want to reconsider relying on Google’s Nest Doorbell this winter. A new support page for the product suggests its performance could be sub-optimal as the temperatures plummet.
The support page states explicitly that the battery-powered Nest Doorbell will not charge at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero degrees Celsius). Further, the device will stop working if temperatures drop to -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius). It is also likely that you would experience significantly deteriorated battery life even in the lower range of the operating temperature. The Google Home app would alert you of such issues with a “charging paused” or “charging slowly” alert message. The app cannot monitor battery temperature directly, but it will inform you of extended charging times in cold weather. Google notes that the charging times should shorten as the battery warms up.
It is no secret that batteries don’t work well in colder environments because they rely on a reversible electrochemical reaction. The reaction is slower and ineffective in the cold, and the battery appears to drain faster. However, that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg here. Google specifically states that the Nest Doorbell is the only device impacted by the issue. Nest Cams and other battery-powered products in the ecosystem should perform typically.
Another surprising aspect of Google’s new support documentation is that the Nest Doorbell will refuse to be charged after the battery dies. It works when wired to your home’s power sources as well. However, if you hard-wired the Doorbell to your domestic power, it should continue working in the freezing cold unless powered by a solar panel. Standard battery life and operation should return when the weather warms up. Until then, you will need to bring your Nest Doorbell indoors so it can recharge in warmth. However, some users complain that this process takes days, leaving the front door vulnerable. Thankfully, Google is reportedly working on a Nest Doorbell that should mitigate these issues and work exclusively when hard-wired.
Did you run into issues with your Nest Doorbell just dying this winter? If yes, share your experience with us in the comments. Also, share with us what you think the underlying issue could be.