See and speak with visitors at the door from anywhere using your smartphone. The August Doorbell Cam allows you to quickly connect and receive a clear view of visitors on your doorstep. Featuring 2-way audio and an HD camera, you will be able to answer the door from anywhere.
August Home started shipping the Doorbell Cam in March of 2016. It is a great complement to their locks and overall entry system. The August Doorbell cam, paired with an August lock and smart keypad, allows you to see and control who goes in and out of your home. If you already have an installed August lock, the video doorbell will act as a Bluetooth to WiFi bridge so that you can control your lock remotely using the August app. You no longer need to purchase a separate August Connect to enable remote connectivity.
Editor’s Update: November 2017: August has started shipping a newer smart video doorbell, the August Doorbell Cam Pro, with additional features and performance. We have requested one for immediate review. Stay tuned. Of course many, no most of the features of the older video doorbell in this review are carried forward into the Doorbell Cam Pro.
August Home was founded in 2012, in the California bay area. Co-founders Jason Johnson and Yves Behar have been innovating the entryway of your home ever since. The two have also led the way on some interesting unique programs, one being their involvement in Airbnb. I will get a little more in depth later in the review, but if you have an Airbnb property, this could be a way to make your life easier.
In this review, I will be reviewing their smart video doorbell. I will go through the installation, setup, and use of the mobile app. I will also take a moment to summarize it all up for you on the last page. There is always a lot of information in these reviews, and a good summary really lets it all come together.
We are proud to give the August video doorbell the Smarter Home Automation Too Cool Award. August has put together a well-performing video doorbell and has built some unique features and programs around it.
I will get more into the specific details in the following pages of this review. We have had the pleasure of reviewing a few video doorbells and it is always great to see the different programs and innovation that comes with each product offering.
The video doorbell from August Home has some interesting specifications. While other manufacturers are using 720p, or touting full 1080p, this video doorbell is SXGA resolution (1280 x 960). That is a 4:3 resolution, which gives you a square image, just like the old TVs and monitors before everything started to transition to wide formats.
They do market it as an HD camera. The resolution is larger than 720p, so it does meet that qualification. I am sure you’re reading that thinking… WHAT? as most consumers do equate HD with 1080 and higher. The camera has a 120-degree diagonal field of view. All in all, it delivers a good performance along with some great mounting options.
The August app empowers you to answer your video doorbell from anywhere in the world. With a simple layout and easy-to-figure-out navigation, it is a good application. It is the point of control for your August Home solutions, bringing your lock, keypad, and video doorbell into one solution.
I found the August app to be pleasantly simple. There are only 4 major sections: Watch Live, Activity, Users, and Settings. There is one menu button where you can access August Access and the August Active monitoring. The video recording and hosting is a pay service: $49 a year or $4.99 a month. One thing that may just be a personal preference is that the app does not rotate when you hold your phone landscape.
I tend to hold my phone horizontal for most tasks. I like the wide view. I also have it mounted in this orientation in the car as well. The August app is the only video doorbell that I have reviewed that doesn’t allow you to rotate the app. This could be due to the 4:3 aspect ratio of the camera. The wide view of a sideways phone lends itself to wide resolutions.
August Video Doorbell – Mobile App
The four sections of the August app:
- Watch live – this is where you can start a live stream from the August doorbell cam. This is also the section you are brought to when someone presses the doorbell.
- Activity – Here is here you will find all of the videos that have been recorded by the video doorbell. The August Active Monitoring is a paid for service. It will store your videos created by live view, a press of the button, or motion. The doorbell comes with a 30-day trial.
- Users – List of users who have been given access to your video doorbell.
- Settings – Under this heading, you will be able to change your house name and photo. You can also configure who is a homeowner. A homeowner is very much like an admin. As a homeowner, you can add new products and adjust settings.
Once you have the app downloaded, its time to set up the video doorbell. The setup process for August is very much like most other home automation products. The first step is to create an account.
Creating an Account
I was impressed by some additional security provided by August. As I created my account, there were 2 steps that are not common to most products. You need to verify your mobile number and your email address that you use to create your account. That is a good thing, if you are wondering. The verification for both is a 2 step process, and confirmation email and text. You are also prompted for a picture.
These extra security steps are great, especially if you use the August Airbnb service. You can be assured that there was a little extra care taken to verify those that you will be giving access to your rental.
The account creation and setup is painless. It worked well and I was up and running quickly. To summarize the process:
- Open the app, select Set up my first August Device
- Select August Doorbell Cam as the product to be set up
- Create your August account:
- Upload security photo (yes this is a required selfie)
- Enter phone number for text verification
- Enter security code sent to your email
- Make sure doorbell has power and a proper charge
- Assign a house name and a door name
- Connect the doorbell to wireless
- Reboot the doorbell
I did come across a couple of odd items as I followed the instructions in the app. A couple screens in, there is a message to connect a charging cable to the doorbell or place it on a charging dock. I didn’t see either in the box.
I went ahead and mounted the doorbell to the wall and went through the setup process with it in place. Then, at the end of the process, you are instructed to reboot the doorbell and then mount it. I just pulled it off the wall, let it reboot and put it back.
You can see the whole setup process of the August app below. I have included the screenshots for you to browse through and see what it entails. There are also screenshots of the 4 main sections of the application. This way, you have an idea of the whole layout. Even with a couple of odd instructions, the setup was successful. The doorbell was up and running when I was finished, without a hitch.
OK, I have the August Video Doorbell installed and the app set up. It is diligently watching my front porch. Continue on to the next page, where I will cover the home automation aspects of the video doorbell, as well as a summary and the all-important SHA product award.