Feature-rich

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

For renters

August View Doorbell Cam

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro remains one of the most feature-rich video doorbells on the market, despite having been out for a few years now.

$249 at Amazon

Pros

  • Customizable motion detection
  • Privacy zones
  • Pre-roll video
  • Reliable live view connection
  • 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi support

Cons

  • Must be hard-wired for power
  • Requires a subscription to review historical video
  • Poor Google Assistant integration

The August View is the company's first foray into wireless doorbells. It's a simple video doorbell with simple, quick installation, but falls flat in a lot of areas.

$229 at August

Pros

  • Removable battery pack can be easily swapped
  • No wiring necessary
  • Free 24-hour cloud storage of motion detections

Cons

  • Unreliable live view connection
  • Lack of motion detection options
  • No option to hard-wire
  • No way to view video on TV or smart home displays

Upon first glance, these two video doorbells look pretty similar on the outside — same basic shape and same overall premise — but the core of the matter couldn't be more different. Even powering these two doorbells is a completely different setup. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro requires hardwired power while the August View Video Doorbell only has a battery and doesn't offer any way to hardwire it. Which is right for you? Let's take a look.

Ease of installation vs. ease of use

August View Video Doorbell InstallationSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

If you're a renter or just don't want to deal with electrical hookups for your video doorbell, the August View may be the right video doorbell for you. While August sells a hardwire-only doorbell called the August Doorbell Cam Pro, the August View was designed from the ground-up to be wireless-only. Underneath the easily removable body is a removable and rechargeable battery pack. This pack can be swapped out with another battery from August, but be forewarned; you'll need an old Micro-USB cable to charge it. There's no way to hardwire the August View either, which means there's no way to avoid charging the batteries every few weeks.

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro, on the other hand, only lets users wire it straight into their existing doorbell's power. You'll also need to make sure you have a proper transformer so you don't provide too much power to the video doorbell. Unlike all of Ring's other video doorbells, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro doesn't feature a built-in battery backup option. Aside from not being great for renters, that also means your video doorbell could be rather useless if there were a power outage.

However, having a hardwired connection ultimately means having a significantly more reliable video doorbell. The August View, for example, has trouble waking up from battery power and displaying a live feed at times, and the connection tends to be flaky. August has issued several patches since launch to remedy this problem, but there are still lingering connection issues and the general inability to get a live video feed from time-to-time.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro August View Video Doorbell
Price $250 $230
Power Source Hardwired into existing doorbell power Removable, rechargeable battery
Video resolution 1080p 1440p
Field of view 160 degrees 160 degrees
Dimensions 5.1 in. x 2.4 in x 1.1 in. 5.2 in. x 1.8 in. x 1.1 in.
Night Vision Yes Yes
Live view Yes Yes
Two-way audio Yes Yes
Connectivity 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi
Motion detection Adjustable motion zones Adjustable motion sensitivity
Privacy Zones Yes No
Interchangeable faceplates Yes Yes
Smart Assistant Integration Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Being hooked into a constant supply of electrical power also means that the Ring Video Doorbell is able to see and record at all times, while the battery-powered August View needs to go into hibernation in order to save battery power. While there's little reason to expect you'll miss movement or doorbell notifications from the August View, it doesn't always record movement as quickly as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro can.

In fact, because it's hardwired and records at all times, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro can offer what's called Pre-Roll Video. Any time motion is detected on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, the app will also provide you with four seconds of footage taken before the motion detection alert or doorbell press occurred. That could provide valuable context to an unwanted visitor's presence, while the August View can sometimes miss the first second or two of motion capture because it was still waking up.

Subscription fatigue

August View Video Doorbell AppSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

There's no doubt that people are getting subscription fatigue these days. From your favorite video streaming service to your video doorbell, everything seems to have some kind of monthly subscription attached. While neither the August View or Ring Video Doorbell Pro requires a subscription in order to function, the August View offers a compelling advantage over Ring's products: free 24-hour cloud storage.

Simply put, if your doorbell rings or motion is detected and you don't immediately click the notification in your Ring app, you won't be able to view it again unless you subscribe to Ring's $3/month plan. Once you've done that, you're set and can view any video your Ring Video Doorbell Pro has recorded for up to 60 days, depending on which subscription plan you're chosen.

Meanwhile, August allows users to view any video the August View recorded over the last 24 hours for free. In my experience, this feature alone could make the August View worth owning over the Ring, especially if you're sick of paying monthly fees and don't find yourself ever needing to do back more than 24 hours to view recordings.

Customizable motion detection

Ring App Customizable Motion ZonesSource: Ring

Among the many features Ring offers, customizable motion detection might just be the best. From within the Ring app, you'll be able to view the camera's video and draw a shape around any area you wish motion alerts to be triggered. This isn't just some circle or a simple shape though — it's a multi-point shape that can be customized to your heart's desire. Every house and entryway is unique, and with that comes different needs and areas that your video doorbell might need to monitor.

On top of that, Ring's motion detection system is more advanced than a processor looking for changes in color or contrast. The Video Doorbell Pro is outfitted not just with a single standard camera that can pick up movement, but it also utilizes an infrared camera to detect body heat. The software inside then combines these two images to help alert you only when body heat and movement are simultaneously detected. That, in turn, means you're far more likely to get real motion detection alerts and not false positives all the time.

While the August View camera has 50% higher resolution than the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, its ability to detect motion is rather simple. From within the August app, you can only adjust the motion detection sensitivity on a 100-point sliding scale. There are no customizable motion zones, and the motion detection is pretty simple in comparison with Ring's dual-camera types.

Smart home integration

Ring Video Doorbell AppSource: Ring

Being an Amazon-owned company, Ring's video doorbells work best with Amazon's Alexa and Echo ecosystems. If your home is already outfitted with one (or several) Echo devices and you find yourself relying on Alexa for smart home control, Ring's integration will make you smile. Viewing who's at the door is as simple as asking Alexa to see the front door on your Echo Show. Google Assistant integration, on the other hand, is basic and doesn't support video casting at this time.

The August View, on the other hand, supports Alexa and Google Assistant equally as well. Both assistants will announce when someone rings the doorbell. However, August View doesn't support casting video via Alexa or Google Assistant at all. That means the only way you'll ever be able to see your doorbell's video is via the August app, which will likely be a huge letdown for many customers who might otherwise love to see the video on another display.

Fewer limitations

Ring Video Doorbell Pro Press Photo TvjhSource: B&H

At the end of the day, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro simply has fewer limitations than the August View. Neither product is perfect, but it's likely the Ring Video Doorbell Pro will fit better in more households thanks to its deep Alexa integration and better motion detection capabilities. On top of that, being hardwired makes it more reliable video doorbell, both because it can provide a more consistent connection with the cloud backend and because it's able to check for motion at all times without having to be woken up.

Renters may still prefer the ease of the August View's installation, which requires no electrical wiring at all and utilizes a simple removable, rechargeable battery pack. It's not only a quicker setup that takes just a few minutes of your time, but it also means you don't have to deal with messy electrical wiring (which may be preferable for plenty of homeowners, as well).

Feature-rich

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Power at your fingertips

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro can detect movement and alert you to a visitor's presence even before they press the button. Customizable motion zones and an excellent app make this an easy recommendation.

For renters

August View Doorbell Cam

Great for renters

Sometimes, simple is the way to go. In the August View's case, simple installation makes this a great choice for renters and homeowners that don't want to deal with electrical wiring.

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