August Pro + Connect Review
Pros: Easy installation, effective (though certainly not streamlined) access sharing
Cons: Keyless entry can be slow and finicky, Alexa compatibility can be buggy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The August Pro + Connect is able to do almost everything you'd want from a smart lock, but with a healthy dose of hiccups and troubleshooting.
While looking good on paper, some snags and annoyances pushed the August Pro + Connect towards the middle of our scoresheet. For more details on those annoyances and whether or not they may be acceptable for your smart lock usage, read more about our tests below.
The August Pro functioned relatively well as a smart device in our testing. It shared the top score of 7 out of 10 in this metric.
All of the very basic smart features like remote locking/unlocking, checking the status of the lock, and viewing activity logs, worked well in our testing. This was also one of the few locks where we had consistent success with sharing access remotely. You can share access via either text or email. Those messages just ask someone to download the August app (and, annoyingly, some of them didn't have a hyperlink to the app). Once the app is downloaded the recipient must then create an account. That account must be activated by clicking links in both text and email confirmations. This whole thing is a bit laborious and circuitous, but once the whole process is complete remote access sharing works quite well.
While the August Pro's access sharing works, we still prefer that of the Schlage Sense. This lock lets you make a time-constrained keypad code and simply text it to the recipient, no app downloading, account creating, or email confirming required.
One area where the August Pro really fell short for us was in its Amazon Alexa compatibility. Most models that we tested that advertise Alexa compatibility worked pretty seamlessly. Granted, the biggest thing you get from that is being able to ask Alexa to unlock your door, but it still worked well. We continually got error messages when trying to set up this feature for the August Pro, which was disappointing.
This is one area where the August Pro tended to annoy, earning it a mediocre score of 5 out of 10. First off there is no way to open the lock without the use of a phone. In some situations fishing out a phone to unlock the door may feel convenient, but others times it can feel just as laborious as fumbling for keys. Also, during our testing the August Pro didn't unlock at the first pressing of the unlock button in the app. Sometimes it took multiple frustrated presses before the lock actually woke up and let us in. The lack of a keypad means you can't just punch in a code. Luckily, because the August Pro installs onto your existing deadbolt, you can keep your current keys as a backup.
Since the August Pro installs on top of an existing deadbolt, its security level is largely determined by the deadbolt you use it with. We can say that the auto locking feature of the August Pro is effective, which guarantees you won't forget to lock the door (just be careful not to lock yourself out.
The August Pro installs right onto the back of your existing deadbolt. That makes installation as easy as unscrewing the backplate and replacing it with the August Pro. Setting up the app and connecting the August Pro to its smart hub also proved to be a fairly easy process. Overall, if you want a smart lock but don't want to deal with many tools, August provides the simplest physical installation.
The August Pro + Connect lists for $280, which is pretty much the standard cost for a smart lock and corresponding smart hub. If you're looking for a smart lock that is easy to install, don't mind making people jump through a few hoops when you try and share access, and can deal with some lags in keyless entry, this isn't a terrible value. However, we still feel that the Schlage Sense offers better functionality overall, and it lists for $20 less.
The August Pro + Connect is easy to install and lets you effectively share access to your home, even if the recipients of that access have to jump through some hoops. However, some glitchiness in the keyless entry left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata