August Restarts sales of Video Doorbell After Working Out Problems

Turns out that Samsung isn’t the only company having problems with a product launch. Following complaints from customers, smart home products maker August is suspending shipments of its new wireless August View Video Doorbell until the company can resolve issues with the device, most relating to poor video quality and responsiveness.

Update (11/5/19): In a statement, August said it has addressed the issues with the August View, and has once again made the doorbell cam available for sale. We plan on updating our review of the August View once we've had a chance to re-test it.

After installing the $229 camera, consumers as well as reviewers (including ourselves) found several problems with the August View, the company’s first wireless doorbell camera.  

We were given the August View a few weeks ahead of its launch and experienced a few issues.

  1. There was a delay of at least 15 to 20 seconds between the time we pressed the “Live View” button on the app and the time we were actually able to see a live view from the doorbell’s camera.
  2. The first few seconds of recorded video would be washed out so that nothing was visible; after 5 to 10 seconds, the exposure would correct itself.
  3. Despite turning motion sensitivity to below 20 percent, we received numerous false notifications from the camera that someone was at our door.

Because we were using a beta version of the app, we declined to give our August View review a final rating, but recommended that consumers wait until August resolved these issues; those now appear more serious than we thought.

Jason Johnson, the founder and CEO of August, released this statement:

We recently began shipping the August View, our first battery-powered doorbell camera. While we remain excited to bring this product to more customers, we are aware of some performance challenges in specific user environments. When you purchase an August product, you trust us with the most important parts of your life: your home and your family. We value your trust greatly and it is our top priority. In order to fully evaluate the user feedback, implement critical improvements, run further testing, and keep our commitment to you, we are pausing shipping of the August View.

If you are an August View customer and would like to keep your product and help us improve the performance, you may receive a full refund by applying here within the next seven days (ends 5/3/2019). If you have not activated your unit or would not like to provide feedback, please contact the retail location you purchased from to initiate a return.

August View will be on sale again in the near future and when we have a date to share, you’ll be the first to know.

A quick look at the 40 reviews on the August View’s product page on Amazon (where it has a rating of 1.6 out of 5) reveal the same issues.

“Folks, I am not a beta tester but I sure as hell felt like one,” wrote one verified customer. “Do not buy this, it does not work. I have the August lock and love it. I figured I would get the doorbell to stay in the same family. Big mistake.”

Another customer wrote “it takes about 30 seconds to load the live feed (they call it waking up the doorbell). It usually fails to connect (even with a strong WiFi signal) to get a live feed and usually takes 3-4 tries.”

If you’re in the market for a video doorbell, check out our best video doorbells. Until August resolves the issues with the View, it’s not making the list.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.