August Doorbell Review
Have you ever opened your door to find an attempted delivery notice from FedEx or UPS even though you didn’t hear a knock or the doorbell? How about to a package that looks like it was thrown at your doorstep? A doorbell camera like the August’s can solve both problems.
Via the August App the Doorbell cam sends you an alert anytime motion is detected or your doorbell is rung. Through your smartphone you can then see and speak to visitors via your phone and the doorbells build in HD camera and 2-way voice. This is a great way to confirm if your package was thrown, or if the delivery drive really attempted to knock. You could even tell them to leave the package at the door when the motion sensor is triggered and notifies you!
The doorbell also records each interaction and stores it remotely to your account so you can view them later. Storage is free for the first 30 days but it will cost you $49.99 a year or $4.99 a month after.
Ease of Installation: 8.1
Ease of Use: 8.7
Video Quality & Performance 8.6
- HD Video (1,280×960)
- Good Customer Service
- Clear 2-way audio
- Rechargeable battery
- Motion Sensor
- Live Video Streaming & Remote Video Storage
- Easy to use iOS & Android App
- Fantastic Smart Lock integration
- Video quality suffers in low lighting
- No infrared night vision
- Only compatible with mechanical chimes
- Square shape can make installation tricky
The August Doorbell Cam is one of the best video doorbells we tested. It was only outperformed by SkyBell HD and the Ring Pro, but not by much. We particularly liked its built-in smart lock integration that provided an additional level of control to the front of our home. Overall, it’s a fantastic addition to any smart home but keep in mind that its odd shape may cause some issues with setup.
Performance During Our Testing
August’s Doorbell Cam impressed us with its reliability and Smart Lock integration making it a smart doorbell worth considering. But if the 3×3 inch doorbell doesn’t fit where your existing buzzer is installation can be tricky. It didn’t fit for us but with a little tinkering we made it work.
Once your Doorbell Cam is installed and connected, you can access it through the August app immediately. Set-up was straight forward, Motion-triggered alerts were prompt and the cloud video storage worked well. The overall usability and performance for this doorbell was better than most others we reviewed. Though its Audio quality was out performed by Ring and Video Quality was beat by SkyBell.
Mobile alerts seemed prompt during testing, two-way audio was loud & clear, and the video resolution during the day was good. The one major drawback was the poor video quality in low light. If we turned our front porch light off we found that it became difficult to make out details like faces. But the camera did deliver outstanding live and recorded video quality during the day. Most impressive was how reliable the remote lock integration feature worked even from the live streaming page within the app.
August’s Doorbell Cam looks absolutely nothing like a traditional doorbell or even a modern doorbell camera. Which is good and bad. We love the way the doorbell looks. The sleek 3×3 inch square has a futuristic feel and comes in either black or grey letting it fit in on any smart home. That said it’s boxy design can cause serious installation issues if your original doorbell was on your doorframe. But this type of design seems to be a trend in video doorbells with competitors like Skybell featuring a large circular design. So if you’re going to get a video doorbell this challenge is something you will probably have to overcome eventually.
In the center of the August doorbell is a 2-inch round button (the doorbell). Below this buzzer or ringer button is the 2-way speaker & microphone. The upper right hand corner conceals the HD camera and the upper left is where the motion sensor is located. It’s important to mention that the camera doesn’t use infrared for night vision but instead uses low light technology to provide color video at night.
The Doorbell Cam attaches to your existing doorbells wiring adding alerts, video, and communication capabilities to the front of your home. It features a built-in 140-degree camera with 1280 x 960 HD live streaming video, 2 way voice, push alerts and integration with the August Lock. Allowing you to see, speak to, and give access to visitors whether you’re home or away.
While the doorbell doesn’t feature direct integration with IFTTT or other smart home devices like Samsung SmartThings, pairing it with an August Lock opens a world of automation possibilities. We highly recommend adding the August Lock if you’re looking for complete control of your front door. Both the Lock and Doorbell Cam operate through the same app making pairing and controlling them easy. Plus the doorbell cam acts as a Wi-Fi bridge for your lock allowing for integration with Logitech POP & Harmony products, Amazon Alexa for voice control, and IFTTT recipes. August’s IFTTT channel features recipes for Philips hue, BMW and GE appliances with more expected in the future.
More: August Smart Lock Review
Set Up & Installation
Inside the box you’ll find basically everything you need for installation except for 2 tools. A screwdriver & drill. Included is a mounting wedge, mounting screws & anchors, sealing putty, Allen wrench, wire connectors (we used electrical tape instead), and a spacer for the Smart Keypad (optional). Before you start installation charge the device. For some reason the internal battery doesn’t ship with a charge and you can’t complete installation until the device has enough battery. Also, don’t forget you may run into a spacing or angle issue but with the included tools you should be able to work through any issue. For our testing, we set up the Lock and Doorbell Cam. Both were easy to get up an running once we worked some minor setbacks with the doorbell.
Editor Note: Use the included duct seal putty when installing your doorbell. It helps waterproof the doorbell. Instruction aren’t included in the box but you can watch the how-to video on The August website
After installation is complete you’ll need to download the August app. The same app is used for the lock, keypad and doorbell so if you already have a lock you will not need to download another app. Once you launch the app you will be prompted to create an account. If you don’t have an account you can follow the on screen steps to create one. Now you can select “Start Set-up” and name your house as well as the door where you’ve installed the doorbell. Assuming your phone is connected to Wi-Fi it will search for and connect to the doorbell over Wi-Fi. Now your doorbell camera is ready to go!
How The August App Works & What It Can Do
The August App for Android & iOS is easy to navigate and use. Once you’ve connected to Wi-Fi and launched the app you’ll see a page that lists the houses August products. Here you can set-up Smart Lock’s, your Doorbell Cam, and other accessories. You can also set designated users to receive push alerts whenever motion is detected or someone rings your doorbell. Who receives these alerts and when is completely customizable.
Alerts are easy to respond to, you can either swipe to ignore the alert or click the alert and “accept the call”. This will pull up a live video feed of who’s at your front door and allow you to talk to the person via your phone and the doorbells built in microphone/speakers. You’re also able to remotely lock and unlock your front door if you have August’s Smart Lock. This was our favorite feature of the August Doorbell Cam & Lock.
Review Wrap Up
The August Doorbell Cam looks great and has the features you look for in the best video doorbells like, HD video, motion sensing, and two-way audio. However, it’s 3×3 inch boxy shape can make installation tricky and it’s Video quality can suffer in low light. During our review of process both the Ring Pro and SkyBell doorbells our performed August. Despite this it is still a huge improvement over any standard doorbell and makes a good addition to any smart home.
Tags: Home Security, Personal Safety, Security Equipment, smart home