August Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell: This doorbell lets you see who's at the door from wherever you are via a downloadable app. The 1-way video camera allows you to view and speak to your visitor without them seeing you.
Great idea, but WAIT FOR V2, 3, or 4
Posted by: m1rooster from: on
I am an IT professional with a background in networking. Here is the largest problem I have had with mine: The wifi module in the doorbell cam is ridiculously under powered. With my home router just 10 feet away, I was getting about 59-62dBm. August says it should be between -66 and 0 for good video performance. this is not at all true - the camera and the sound generally only work if you can get the dBm to -30-35dBm. So, I bought a second Netgear r6400 router to use as an additional access point. This brought the signal to about 54-56dBm, and it is still very choppy and the sound rarely works properly. I then bought a dedicated wifi range extender, and plugged it into the wall inside, directly adjacent to the doorbell. Same result - the Doorbell simply cannot make anything of a signal that runs through any walls. I then tried to put the wifi range extender outside on an outlet 7 feel from the doorbell - no better. Finally, I used an extension cord and hand held the wifi extender 3 inches away from the doorbell, and that did it! I got 31-35 dBm, and things actually started working as expected. So, in short, unless you want to put your router OUTSIDE WITHIN THREE INCHES OF The DOORBELL, this thing is a huge waste of money. And don't get me started on the completely unacceptable lag when using the camera and August lock together - it takes up to 20 seconds for it to connect to the lock and actually do anything. Save your money and wait until v3 comes out with battery power and proper signal handling.
13 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Posted by: dilegrd from: on
When it works, it's nice. It dropped my wireless connection after a few days and would connect, disconnect, connect literally every minute. Each connection or disconnection leads to a notification so my phone was blowing up ALL day! Restarting the device didn't fix the problem. After the 2nd reset, I'm back up and running but the connection is still quite low. I'm using a Linksys Wireless AC router that's ~15FT from the doorbell. Ookla Speed Test shows 40-50MBPs download speed from the location of the doorbell. I reached out to August support and their response was I need a WiFi range extended even after I sent screen shots of my download speed. SMH...
Much like Augusts other gadgets, I own the lock, the product is hit or miss. I told myself I wouldn't buy August again but am a sucker for their design. Their devices as a whole miss the mark and support isn't any help.
5 out of 5 found this review helpful.
August Doorbell/Camera Great Design and Reliable!
Posted by: MacMcConnell from: on
This is one of those product categories that you don't fully appreciate until you own and use it. I installed the August Smart Lock, Smart Keypad and Doorbell Cam on the front door of my two-story home four weeks ago. I initially assumed that I would need to have someone do it for me, butfound that I was able to install and configure the Smart Lock to work with my iPhone and Apple Watch in just under 15 minutes, with the aid of well-considered August instructions, and just a Phillips screwdriver. The Doorbell Cam fit right over my existing analog doorbell wired location, and required only drilling a few mounting holes, and physically inserting the low voltage wires from the old doorbell into the new Doorbell Cam. This took another 20 minutes, tops, and the keypad addition rounded out my installation time to just under an hour. The August app configuration recognizing my Netgear router (located on the second floor) and the Lock and Doorbell Cam was as slick as any Apple user has come to expect.
My wife and I literally no longer carry a set of keys. We've set the lock to open within 100 yards of sensing our iPhones, and to auto-close after 1 minute. It's a little nervous-making to trust how rock-solid August makes this work, and that's why I've waiting for four weeks to review the products. We've given our adult kids their own access codes, and the August software logs every entry and exit, with each user or guest name, date and time. If I'm away from home, I get a notification on my phone when the doorbell rings, along with a video feed of who is there and an option to talk to the person via the Doorbell Cam two-way microphone and speaker. I can look at a live video feed from the door anytime from anywhere.
The August Smart Lock and Doorbell Cam combination is beautifully made, and August has obviously gone to great pains to make installation easy for the average homeowner, and functionality simple and straightforward for any smartphone user.
I **highly** recommend this product.
5 out of 5 found this review helpful.
Patience definitely rewarded
Posted by: Matt1971 from: on
I love my doorbell cam. It really has changed the way I relax. Whether it's someone trying to sell me a new house, a candy bar for their school, a new religion, or a new subscription I am tired of not knowing whose knocking at my door.
That's changed now. After taking some time to set up - it definitely takes time - my doorbell cam works amazingly. Paired with my August lock it's one of those technology purchases that changes your life for the better. In fact I kinda wish my lock looked more like my doorbell camera as I don't know who designed the lock but the doorbell cam looks really cool.
As for set up -I was definitely frustrated. If you are not a real DIYer get help. But if you can set up other things like say your wifi router or dvr with wifi you should be able to get this.
I would say three stars for set up but six stars for how it changes everything. And since you only set it up once - more stars.
6 out of 7 found this review helpful.
Great Addition to My Home!
Posted by: Rene21 from: on
I work from home so this product has been a fantastic for me. Now I can let in people who need access to my home like cleaners, dog walkers, family members without having to run downstairs in the middle of an email or conference call. Added bonus- because I can better manage people's coming and goings, my dog barks far less when visitors arrive. It used to drive me nuts when I was on conference calls, frantically trying to find the mute button when he'd bark. Great addition to my home and 'office'!
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Not quite ready for prime time
Posted by: jayvee from: Los Angeles, CA on
I want to review this product fairly, considering different angles and factors that make this product true to its function.
1.) Excellent video quality in proper lighting ONLY. Assuming perfect lighting and wifi connection, the video quality is excellent. Now, there's plenty of room for improvements on both these factors. Lighting compensation is non-existent, as the other reviewer said, if your camera is south-facing, it will take the background lighting and will not compensate for closer objects with low light, i.e. the face or person that's actually on your door.
2.) Design and aesthetics. It is nicely designed with a quality you can feel.
3.) Customer service is not too bad as others have mentioned. They have returned my emails and even responded to calls as expected.
1.) WiFi connectivity is very very very painful and extremely poor on this product. I have multiple wireless devices, i.e. Dropcams, Nest, Echo, Blossom watering at quite distances away from my Airport Extreme router, which have excellent connectivity. I also have 2 Wifi extenders downstairs to optimized to every corner and outdoors (Blossom watering device is connected via wifi), and still this (August) product performed poorly constantly dropping connection. I have moved one of my Wifi extender 5 feet from the front door to minimize radio interference, and still, consistently drops connection. Could this be software or very poor wifi module on the device? I dont know, but I do know my Blossom watering device, also located outside, is more than 5x away from the closest wifi source and it does not drop connection.
2.) Bracket design. The main doorbell unit attaches to a bracket, which secures to the wall. The engagement between the doorbell and bracket has some tolerance issues (not talking about the gap that it's supposed to have). Since I have been constantly removing and re-installing the doorbell, due to doing resets/reconnecting from dropping connections, it is sometimes difficult to remove the unit, even giving you an uneasy feeling of breaking it.
3.) Filed of view is not so wide thus making it necessary for a wedge base attachment.
1.) Reliable wifi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously this is a wifi product. Make it work like the others in the market.
2.) Camera lighting compensation - renders useless if you cant make out the faces (when background is brighter the foreground).
3.) Wider filed of view. I believe a wide angled lens, for example Dropcam lens, is perfect fit for this product.
4.) WIFI WIFI WIFI
The poor wifi connectivity on this device pretty much renders it useless. I will give it a few more days but it will probably go back when the connectivity does not stabilize.
Wait for the second generation.
6 out of 8 found this review helpful.
Simple, Safe and Secure.
Posted by: teambldr from: Orange County, CA. on
I received my August Doorbell Cam today and was very excited to get it installed.
I laid out all the parts so that I could see all that it came with. Two very cool adapters for special mounting situations were present. (1) an adapter designed to take the base from a square to a rectangle. This is used when you have a large, rectangular plate over the doorbell. (2) was a wedge that allowed the doorbell cam to be angled towards the visitor when your doorbell is mounted on the side wall rather than pointing straight on. I used the wedge myself.
Before starting make sure to go online and read the instructions. The Quick Start guide is a bit lacking but they do tell you to go online and if you do you will be much happier than trying to wing it.
In my case I had to mount the doorbell cam on a stucco wall at a 45 degree angle to the door. I used the wedge. Make sure not to overtighten the wedge to the wall as it can torque and make it hard to mount the doorbell cam.
Another point I suggest to look for is the wiring. Note that the + wire goes on the left side and the – goes on the right. Match the houses hot wire to the left and ground to the right. Look close at the mounting panel for the doorbell cam and you will see the + and -.
Once I got it mounted and tested the doorbell (and it worked) I followed the next part of the directions and downloaded the August App. Note: Press to setup a new August Lock. I know it does not make sense but trust me. Then when you setup your account you need to setup the house info and then you need to press the upper left icon for the menu. Select “Setup a New Device” to setup the doorbell cam. From there it is a breeze. I set mine up on a 5GHz network because my router is only 3 feet from the doorbell cam. If you are at a greater distance, I suggest using a 2.5 GHz as it travels much further without loss like the 5.0 GHz.
Once this is done test it out and have fun.
4 out of 5 found this review helpful.
Great doorbell cam!
Posted by: HowKwaint1 from: on
Very nice packaging. Everything is streamlined and neat.
Ease of Installation: 4/5
If you have never worked with electricity before, this might not be a project for you! If you have, you should be OK. You do need to have a basic understanding of how electricity works, and how your home is set up. Seriously, if you get nervous or are unsure about it, call an electrician. It will be worth the ~$150 to have professional do it. If you are comfortable with electricity, set up is pretty easy. The online install guide is very thorough and takes you through step by step. A few drilled holes in the wall, connecting a few wires, and you are installed.
Aesthetics After Install: 4/5
I really like the way the doorbell cam looks and feels. I also have the August Lock, and the design of the Doorbell Cam is a lot nicer looking than the lock. They actually don't even look like they are from the same company, other than they are the same color. It is a little wider than the door jamb it is mounted on, but it does not look bad at all. When we have people over, they always comment on how cool it is and ask for a demo. It looks a little out of place since our house is almost 100 years old, but it looks and feels good in it's current setup.
Setup & Phone Sync: 3/5
Set up was a little tedious, but I don't know if it was because of me and my internet connection (50+ mbps) or the actual Doorbell Cam itself. It took me about 6 attempts and about an hour and a half to sync everything up. This was after the 30+ minute wait to charge the battery after install. So Setup and sync took a total of about 2 hours. Like I said, that could have been due to my internet connection, but after each fail, there was never a reason why given. Just "an error has occurred."
Overall, I really LOVE the doorbell cam! I love that when someone rings the bell, it alerts my and my wife's phone and we can answer from anywhere. I also like that when the doorbell is rung, it snaps a photo of who is at the door and stores it. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of people "selling magazines" but are often found out to be casing homes. So this gives us a little peace of mind when we are away. If you are in the market for this type of item, this is a great setup, especially sine it syncs up with the August Lock.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Posted by: BBCG from: on
The Doorbell Cam is fantastic. The doorbell’s video is great quality and the lighting sensitivity is good. The speaker and mic also work well. In fact, we use it more than we thought we would. It’s been great for when our kids’ friends ring the bell and we are nowhere near the front door to let them in. It has also been great for grocery and other deliveries and to keep track of people taking care of the pets when are out our beach house. The response time is great... it takes three to five seconds to connect to the doorbell once you hit “watch live”. Once connected, there’s no lag time when you speak to a visitor using the doorbell. It integrates beautifully with the August Smart Lock.
On installation… when I got it, I didn’t realize it replaced the doorbell and almost returned it thinking it would be a pain to install. After a day of it sitting on my counter, I decided to give it a go and I was shocked at how easy it was to install. Needless to say, the instructions are quite clear and easy to follow.
The response time varies depending on which connection we use. On bluetooth, the app establishes a connection with the lock within about a second. Remotely, it takes longer, maybe five seconds or so. Once connected, locking and unlocking is immediate on bluetooth and a few seconds remotely. We also use the automatic lock feature, which locks the door automatically after a set period of time. It works flawlessly. And lastly, my wife and I use the auto unlock feature and that too works well. I can hear the lock unlock as I walk down the hallway leading to my door. It usually unlocks about 30ft away, which I assume is when it gets in Bluetooth range. The app let’s you customize the auto-unlock radius so presumably I could auto unlock it when I am farther away. I think the autounlock feature is not available for my “guest” account users, but that’s ok. They need to take out their phone and use the app to unlock or use the keypad.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Works well and is pretty cool
Posted by: Justaguy from: on
I've had the doorbell cam for a few months now, and recently added the August Lock to the mix.
Installation is easy - clear instruction and very few steps. You need to make sure you have the right voltage range to drive it. I think it expects the standard and mine had no issues. The setup with the app is straightforward too.
The key benefits for me have been being able to have a better sense of people coming and going: kids' friends, the occasional delivery, etc. It's pretty amazing to sit in my office or out of state and see (and hear!) what's going on by my front door.
The combination with the lock is powerful too - the cam allows to control the lock via the internet so I can see if the door is locked or not and unlock it when needed.
There's certainly no going back to the old fashion doorbells...