August Doorbell Review

A simple and intuitive wireless doorbell camera for your first line of defense

SecureScore™: 8.3 /10
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Travis Goodreau https://www.safehome.org/security-advisors/travis-goodreau/
8.3 SecureScore™
How We Review
How We Review
Customer Service
9.1
Value
8.2
Equipment
8.1
Features & Technology
8.0
Ease Of Use
8.2
SecureScore™
8.3

This company has ‘Swiss’ written all over it — from their logo to their smart lock and doorbell camera design — you can’t miss Swiss. So you won’t be surprised to learn that August was created in-part by famed Swiss engineer/designer Yves Béhar (but more on him later). We recently re-tested the August View Doorbell after its re-launch1 sporting a new design and new functionality.

We enjoyed using the new-and-improved August View. This version offers 1440p video quality, which is the highest-resolution doorbell cam we’ve seen. It offers free cloud video storage, smart home integrations, and other great features like two-way talk. It’s also a cinch to install thanks to its wireless design.

FYI: Installation is fast and easy. We had our August View doorbell camera up-and-running in 4 minutes flat.

But there’s always room for improvement. For instance, we think it’s a touch pricey for what you get. And then there’s the uber-sensitive motion sensors that pick-up every little movement (and we mean every little movement). But let’s not count it out just yet. We’re going to share our experience using August View Doorbell. So let’s see how it stacks up against the competition.

PROS
  • HD live-streaming feature
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Crisp 1440p video quality
  • Two-way talk
  • Comes with chime
  • Free basic cloud storage
  • Works with Alexa, Z-wave, and others
  • Up to 30-days storage with paid plans

CONS
  • Only works with mechanical chimes
  • Sensitive motion detection
  • Relatively expensive
  • Limited options (only 1 doorbell)

August View Doorbell Pricing

We must say, the August View isn’t exactly a bargain buy at $229.99. It weighs in slightly more expensive than our favorite doorbell cams, which generally cost just under $200. But you’ll see that the View does have some redeeming qualities that may justify the higher price tag.

August View Doorbell Camera

August View Doorbell Camera

Also, August sells a Smart Keypad for $59.99, and the innovative Connect Wi-Fi Bridge for $79.99. If you’re looking for one super-smart entryway, these products, along with an August Smart Lock, can give you remote access and smartphone controls till the cows come home. Pretty neat if you ask us! But we’ll share more about this in our ‘Features & Tech’ section below.

August Smart Keypad

August Smart Keypad

So… we’ve established that the August View costs $229.99. But you can also purchase a cloud storage plan. Free basic cloud storage (with 24-hour history) is included. But if you want 15-day to 30-day storage with video playback, then you’ll need to sign-up with a paid plan. Here’s what to expect.

August Video Recording Plans

BasicPremiumPremium Plus
Cloud Video Recordingx15-day storage30-day storage
Video Playbackx
HD Live-Streaming
Activity Preview
Two-Way Talk
Smartphone Controls
Activity Alerts
Chime Selection
PriceFree$2.99 per month$4.99 per month

Sure, August’s subscription plans are reasonable compared to many brands we’ve seen and tested. In fact, we found it to be on-par with the Arlo Smart Premier Plan. But when you measure them against our top pick Ring Doorbell, you’ll see that Ring runs circles around August. That is, August charges $5 per month for 30-day cloud storage, whereas Ring’s Basic Protect Plan costs only $3 per month for 60-day storage and other perks like snapshot capture.

With that said, one good thing about August is there are no installation or activation fees, and no other hidden fees of any kind. So you’ll just pay for the August View Doorbell ($229.99), and that’s it unless you spring for an optional subscription plan. When the dust settles, August is slightly more expensive than other doorbell cams we’ve seen, but it certainly won’t break the bank.

Did You Know: There are no contracts with August, so you can try their subscription plan on a month-to-month basis, and if you don’t like it, you can cancel without penalty.

Our Experience Using August Doorbell

August Doorbell Cam Pro 2

August Doorbell Cam Pro 2

Installation

First things first, the August View replaces a mechanical chime, so it’s ultra-easy to install. In fact, it’s one of the simplest DIY installs of any home security device we’ve used (all you need is a screwdriver). So kudos to August here.

To install the doorbell camera, screw the mounting bracket into your wall, mount the doorbell onto the bracket, and then secure it in place with the set-lock screw. Then head inside to plug in the wireless chime into any standard outlet — and that’s it! It should only take 5 minutes from start to finish. After the hardware is up-and-running, you’ll want to download the August mobile app and follow the step-by-step setup guide within the app.

In our experience, August View was easier to install than other top doorbell cameras. For instance, there’s a lot to like about the SkyBell doorbell cam, but it’s hardwired, so it takes a little more finagling to figure out. However, note that the August View only works with mechanical chime doorbells. So if you have a digital or electronic doorbell, then we recommend going with a different doorbell, like Vivint.

Daily Use

We fell into a nice rhythm of daily use. We controlled our August View using our smartphone only, so our entryway was always close-at-hand. We think you’ll like the instant activity alerts and live video feature. In fact, we think August really excels in the live-video streaming category. The resolution of 1440p is about 33% sharper than the industry average of 1080p HD. So we were able to see visitors in detail, day or night (yep, it’s got night vision, too).

One thing we really liked was that the August View comes with a chime — which is better than having to purchase one separately like we have to do with other brands (ahem, Ring). So you’ll hear the doorbell ring inside your home just like the good ol’ days, but you can set the chime volume to suit your tastes.

FYI: We’ve heard that August can be touch-and-go when it comes to the Wi-Fi connection. But thankfully, we didn’t have any problems with connectivity.

And another thing to consider is that August View works with all sorts of smart home platforms. It works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Z-Wave, Nest, IFTTT, Honeywell, and others. So if hands-free voice control and other smart home automations are your thing, we think you’ll enjoy the August View experience.

Customer Service

August just barely makes the grade for customer service. But here’s the thing — if you’re just getting their video doorbell, you likely won’t need support. We’ve found that a solid support team is only necessary when you get into full-on home security systems or surveillance camera systems. That said, August does offer troubleshooting guides and other helpful support tools on their website.2 If you prefer live chat, they have that, too.

Just don’t expect to get friendly and helpful support staff over the phone. Well, we weren’t able to anyway. Also, August doesn’t have the best marks with the Better Business Bureau (BBB),3 which can be quite telling. Most of the negative user reviews we found were about poor connectivity and, ironically, poor customer service. So that’s something to keep in mind.

August Doorbell Features & Tech

From what we’ve seen, August delivers when it comes to features and technology. The new 1440p resolution means you’ll get less of that funky fish-eye distortion, and more of that all-around crisp and clear video. But is it really that much better than 1080p HD? Well, not really… but note that the difference is noticeable.

Did You Know: “Fish-eye” distortion was coined in 1906 by American physicist and inventor Robert W. Wood based on how a fish sees an ultrawide hemispherical view from beneath the water.4

There’s also plenty of smart home integrations with the View doorbell. If it’s smart, August probably works with it. As for the other features — like two-way talk, night vision, motion detection, and instant notifications — we’ve seen them all before. To be honest, August View doesn’t bring anything all that unique or innovative to the table. But see below for the features that we liked.

1440p Video Quality

Along with Arlo’s 4K resolution cams, 1440p is one of the highest resolution cameras in the industry. The View also offers infrared night vision and built-in motion detection.

August Video Quality

August Video Quality

Smartphone Controls

You’ll receive instant alerts and have the ability to view live video footage right from your smartphone. In our experience, the August App is well-designed and very functional compared to other apps out there.

August Smartphone App

August Smartphone App

Free Video Storage

August’s free Basic Video Recording Plan comes with 24-hour video storage. That is, you can look back over the last 24 hours to see exactly what happened at your doorstep. Now, if you want 15-day or 30-day video history, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid subscription plan.

Sensitivity Control

We mentioned that the motion detection is a wee-bit sensitive. The truth is, we found it to be extremely sensitive out-of-the-box. Thankfully, there’s a sensitivity control so that you can dial it in to suit your preferences.

Pro Tip: Take the time to adjust the motion sensor sensitivity. After all, you probably don’t need a notification for every little spider and moth that comes around.

Home Automation

We really liked the voice control feature using Amazon Alexa and our Echo device (Alexa, show my front door!). But August View also works with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit for hands-free voice control. And if you want to connect other third-party devices, the View works with platforms like IFTTT, Z-Wave, Honeywell, and of course, August Smart Locks.

August Add-Ons & Accessories

August Lock Pro

August Lock Pro

The accessories, upgrades, and add-ons we list below aren’t specific to the August View doorbell. But… they can all work in conjunction with the View doorbell. For instance, you can connect the August View to an August Smart Lock using the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge. This will let you remotely open your front door to let guests inside your home, even when you’re half-way across the world. Pretty neat, right? At any rate, August gives you options.

Add-On Equipment Snapshot for August

Type of DevicePrice
August Smart LockSmart Lock$149.99
August Smart Lock ProSmart Lock$229.99
Wi-Fi Smart LockSmart Lock$249.99
Connect Wi-Fi BridgeAccessory$79.99
Smart KeypadAccessory$59.99

August History in a Nutshell

We’ve really enjoyed getting to know August Home and their products over the years. It all started back in November 2012, when founders Yves Béhar and Jason Johnson launched the company. In early 2013, they debuted their first smart lock, and in 2015 their first doorbell camera hit the market. A couple of years later, in late 2017, the Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy acquired August. And by the next summer, August Home had sold over a million products.5

Today the company is based in San Francisco. And although they don’t have the most stellar user reviews, we’ve been testing their smart locks for a while now. So we’ve had lots of encounters with August’s support team and help desk. Overall, we think it’s a legitimate operation, and they really seem to care about their customers. Of course, the company isn’t as established as, say, Ring. But still, we found there’s a lot to like about August.

FYI: If you value outstanding customer service, Frontpoint Security offers doorbell cameras and an award-winning customer service team.

Final Word & Recommendations

We think the August View doorbell is a great choice for certain people. But it’s not for everyone. If you have some extra cash in the ol’ pocketbook, and you happen to have a mechanical chime, then August is a safe bet. We really enjoyed using the device, and we think the in-app features and 1440p resolution is top-notch. But our favorite thing about August View was the foolproof DIY installation that only took a few minutes. You simply can’t beat it.

However, you have to remember that the August video doorbell only offers 24-hours of video history with the free Basic plan. If you want 15-day history or 30-day history, you’re going to spend $3 or $5 per month respectively — which isn’t very competitive compared to the top doorbell cameras on the market today. Also, we like options, and August only sells one doorbell camera. We would have liked to see more selections on the menu. But all in all, we think August might be a decent choice for the right person.

August Doorbell FAQs

Is it difficult to install?

No, August View is a DIY installation wireless doorbell camera that only takes about 5 minutes to install.

Does it require a contract?

No, there are no contracts required. Even August’s Premier video recording plans are month-to-month, cancel anytime.

Is it an affordable doorbell camera?

With a price of $229.99, we found August View to be more expensive than other top video doorbell brands.

Does it work with a digital chime doorbell?

No, unfortunately, August View replaces a mechanical chime doorbell only. It does not work with digital or electronic doorbells.

Does it have home automation features?

Yes, August View is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit for voice control. And it works with IFTTT, Z-Wave, and other third-party smart home automation platforms.

Citations
SafeHome only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. August Blog. (2019, November 5). The August View Is Back.
    https://august.com/blogs/home/the-august-view-is-back

  2. August.com. (2020). Video doorbells.
    https://august.com/

  3. August: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (2020, May 12). BBB.
    https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/san-francisco/profile/security-system-monitors/august-1116-875682

  4. Fish-eye lens. (2020, May 2). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisheye_lens

  5. August Home. (2020, April 18). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Home

Reviewed By
Travis Goodreau
Safety and Security Advisor
Travis is a retired Burglary Detective, having tallied 5,000+ burglary and theft cases throughout his career. He also served as an Arson Investigator, where he cracked the case of a serial arsonist, and made the arrest and prosecuted the would-be bomber of ABC-7 Studio in LA. We couldn’t be happier to have him as a Safety and Security Advisor. Learn more about Travis here
Written By
Andrew Garcia
Lead Security Editor
As Lead Security Editor, Andrew strategically guides SafeHome and the resources we publish. He holds a BA in business, and has 10+ years of experience in content development. Today, Andrew edits and publishes articles, guides, and other resources to meet our rigorous standards. Learn more about Andrew here