Categories
Latest News

August offers a solid alternative to Ring’s video doorbell

Advertisement

If you're having doubts about Ring's suite of security products, there are other great options out there from companies like August.

August Doorbell Cam Pro 2

Hip to be square

From $174 at Amazon

Pros

  • Color nighttime recording
  • Built-in floodlight
  • Free video storage for 24 hours
  • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • No stand-alone battery-powered option
  • Odd shape may present installation challenges
  • Subscription plan required for additional storage

August is well-known for its excellent smart locks, and it has carried that expertise over to its video doorbells. The Doorbell Cam Pro 2 packs pro features like a full HD camera, a built-in floodlight, and color night recording. It also plays well with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Versatile viewer

$200 at Amazon

Pros

  • Integrates with Alexa and Amazon devices
  • Available wired or battery-powered
  • Can easily change faceplates
  • Infrared camera for improved night vision

Cons

  • Doesn't work with Google Assistant
  • Subscription plan required to access recordings
  • Recent privacy scandals have rocked the company

The Video Doorbell 2 is one of the Ring's most popular products. Its integration with Amazon's devices and services is top-notch, and its hardware and apps are great as well. However, the company is having trust issues with its customer base that a good product may not be able to withstand.

These two smart video doorbells don't look a lot alike, do they? The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has the more traditional long and tall construction (that it arguably pioneered) while the August Doorbell Cam Pro 2 has a squared-off shape that is unique among other products in this category. But looks aside, which one is a better device?

Spec showdown

To my eyes, the August Doorbell Cam Pro 2 looks more advanced and futuristic than the Ring Video Doorbell 2 but looks alone don't necessarily translate into performance or value. Let's see how these two smart doorbells compare on the spec chart.

August Doorbell Cam Pro 2 Ring Video Doorbell 2
Dimensions 0.9" x 2.9" x 2.9" 5.0" x 2.5" x 1.0"
Power Source Hardwired with battery backup Battery or Hardwired
Video Resolution 720p 1080p
Night Vision Yes Yes
Field of View 160-degrees 160-degrees
On-Demand Video Yes Yes
Two-Way Talk Yes Yes
Motion Alerts Yes Yes
Local Storage No No
Chime Included No No
Interchangeable Faceplates No Yes
Weather Resistance No official rating No official rating
Smart Assistant Compatible Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Free Cloud Storage Up to 24 hours No
Subscription Options Premium Plan: 1 days for $3/month
Premium Plus Plan: 30 days for $5/month
Basic Plan: 60 days for one device for $3/month
Plus Plan: 60 days for multiple devices for $10/month

August all year

While the August Doorbell Cam Pro 2 does have a lower video resolution than the Ring Video Doorbell 2 (720p vs. 1080p), it makes up for it with its built-in floodlight and ability to capture night video in full color. Neither doorbell offers local, on-device storage options, but at least you can access the past 24 hours of recordings for free through August's basic subscription plan.

It is worth noting that August does offer Premium and Premium Plus subscription plans from $3 and $4 per month, respectively, for those who need more storage. These plans come in a little cheaper than Ring's plans, but they don't offer as much recording time as the Ring plans do.

The Doorbell Cam Pro 2 pairs nicely with August's other smart home products like their popular Smart Lock Pro, and it also works well with either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. If you prefer to use Google/Nest devices, or if you want the flexibility to change smart assistants, then this is the doorbell for you.

I've repeatedly said how much I like the look of the Doorbell Cam Pro 2, but its distinctive styling can pose problems for some. Due to its square shape, this device might not easily fit where you would typically place a doorbell and might require some retrofitting to install properly. It is also hardwired, so if you're not handy, you might need to enlist some help getting that set up too.

Advertisement

A nice Ring to it

Ring has received a lot of bad press over the past several months thanks to a series of data and privacy scandals, which have, unfortunately, done some damage to the reputation of a company that has been known to produce some truly fantastic home security products.

From a hardware perspective, the Video Doorbell 2 features a full 1080p camera with infrared ability to help you better see in poor lighting conditions. It's also available in a fully battery-powered or wired configuration, and you can purchase accessories to switch from one power source to the other for real flexibility.

The Ring Protect subscription plans are some of the most affordable we've seen, and offer some of the more extended storage options that we've come across as well. This helps take some of the sting out of needing to subscribe to Ring's service to access your recordings.

Since Ring is an Amazon-owned company, it's no surprise that its products work well with Alexa-enabled devices like Echo smart speakers. Still, because of increasing competition and compartmentalization between Amazon and Google, official Assistant support has been dropped. If that's a sticking point for you, you'll want to skip this device.

Advertisement

Finally, we can't mention Ring without bringing up the company's recent privacy scandals. If these stories have you paranoid, we get it. Home security is a very personal issue, so if you are concerned with Ring's ability to protect your home, you'll naturally want to look at other options.

Which button to press

Both August and Ring make quality smart home security devices at comparable prices, but your decision will most likely boil down to two key questions. First, do you need your smart doorbell to be compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa? If so, go with August. Second, are you concerned about Ring's spate of privacy scandals? If so, go with August. It's unfortunate that Ring is in the news so much right now for all the wrong reasons, so if that concerns you, then know that there are great alternatives out there.

August Doorbell Cam Pro 2

Futuristic doorbell

From $174 at Amazon

Style for miles

This futuristic-looking doorbell camera works with your August smart lock to provide security and convenience to your entryway. It also offers 24 hours of free recording on its basic subscription plan.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Great Alexa-enabled doorbell

A premium Alexa doorbell for a mid-range price

$200 at Amazon

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 comes in battery or wired versions, offers 1080p video resolution, motion detection, and a wide field of view. It does require a subscription to access recordings at a time when many are leery of storing their videos in the cloud.

Original Article

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.