August Smart Review
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|Bottom Line||Provides the option for simple and straightforward, if somewhat limited, operation without a smart hub||An easy to install option with great security, good connectivity, and is easily used with just about any smart home system||Streamlined smart features in an easy to install and high-security package||An affordable home device that works well with the Wyze smart home ecosystem||Though this lock lacks smart features, it is electronic and comes equipped with a handy pin pad for keyless entry|
|Rating Categories||August Smart||August WiFi Smart||Schlage Encode||Wyze Lock||OrangeIOT RZ-A Keypad|
|Smart Features (35%)|
|Keyless Entry (25%)|
|Specs||August Smart||August WiFi Smart||Schlage Encode||Wyze Lock||OrangeIOT RZ-A Keypad|
|Smartphone Compatible||With Hub||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|ANSI Rating||N/A- retrofit||Grade 1||Grade 1||Grade 3||Grade 1|
|Uses Existing Deadbolt or Full Replacement||Existing||Existing||Replacement||Existing||Replacement|
|Backset||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"||2 3/8 or 2 3/4||2 3/8 or 2 3/4|
|Door Thickness Range||1 3/8" - 2 1/4"||1 3/8" - 2 1/4"||1 3/8" - 1 3/4"||1 3/8" - 1 3/4"||1 3/8" - 2 1/4"|
|Face Bore Hole Diameter||1 1/2" or 2 1/8"||1 1/2" or 2 1/8"||2 1/8"||2 1/8"||1 1/2" or 2 1/8"|
|Power Requirement||AA Batteries
Hub plugs into the wall
|Pre-installed batteries||AA Batteries||AA Batteries
Hub plugs into the wall
Our Analysis and Test Results
The August Smart installs right over the top of your existing deadbolt. It's compatible with Alexa and Google and connects to your phone via Bluetooth for simple locking functions.
The August Smart is one of just a handful of models on the market that provides basic smart lock functionality without purchasing an additional smart hub that links the lock to the internet. In our opinion, this basic functionality is where it shines.
Without a smart hub, you can use your phone as a Bluetooth key for your lock. This is nice for those who want to be able to leave their keys behind when they go for a run. Additionally, you can use the August app to share access to the lock with other people, turning their phones into Bluetooth keys as well. This process isn't as convenient as it could be — recipients of your access sharing will have to download the August app, create an August account, and verify that account via text/email in order for the system to work. However, you can put time constraints on this access, meaning you can give a dog walker temporary access to your home only at a certain time of day. Plus, since the August Smart installs on top of your existing lock, your existing keys still maintain their functionality — no need to make new keys for any technophobic family members. You can also set the lock to automatically lock anywhere from immediately to 30 minutes after your phone leaves the lock's Bluetooth range, so you'll never forget to lock the door again.
If you want more advanced features, like being able to check the status and control your lock from anywhere with an internet connection, you'll have to purchase August's Connect WiFi Bridge. While those advanced features work decently, we think they are a bit clunkier than most competing models. Additionally, the extra cost takes the August Smart out of budget territory.
We found the August Smart's Bluetooth key to work well. It is generally unlocked via commands from the app or when we approach the door with auto-unlock geofencing capability engaged. However, when we connected it to a hub and tried to unlock it remotely, there were often long lag times of around 20 seconds of standing around, twiddling our thumbs before the door actually unlocked.
You can't really pin down the security level of the August Smart since it installs on top of an existing deadbolt. Therefore it adopts the security rating of whatever deadbolt you use it with. We can say that the auto-locking feature of the August Smart is reliable, so it's pretty much impossible to forget to lock the door with this device. Just remember not to get locked out if you go to get the mail sans phone.
This is the one area where the August Smart really excels. Since it simply sits on top of an existing deadbolt, all you have to do is undo a couple of screws, remove the backplate, and screw the August Smart on. The app setup is simple, and we found linking it and the lock to various smart hubs to be fairly straightforward.
Should You Buy the August Smart Lock?
The August Smart lists for an enticingly low price among contenders but requires purchasing a separate smart hub if you want to use its truly smart features. If you are ok with its basic features and thus will not be purchasing a hub, we think it is a great value per dollar. If you do purchase a hub, we think there are better, more fully-featured smart locks that offer better values.
What Other Smart Locks Should You Consider?
The August Smart is a great choice for those that want a spartan smart lock experience. If you're thinking of pairing it with a smart hub to unlock more advanced features, we think there are better options on the market, such as the August WiFi Smart, boasting a full set of features and robust security. The Wyze Lock is priced in a similar ballpark as the August Smart but comes with its own hub and has more smart features available. But, if all you need is a Bluetooth connection, geofencing, and an old-fashioned house key, the Smart is a solid choice.