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August Smart Review

A solid budget choice for those seeking a simpler smart home experience
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August Smart Review
Price:  $150 List
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Manufacturer:   August
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Sep 29, 2022
62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 9
  • Smart Features - 35% 6.8
  • Keyless Entry - 25% 6.4
  • Security - 25% 4.6
  • Installation - 15% 7.4

Our Verdict

The August Smart leans into the simple side of things, installing on top of an existing deadbolt and using short-range Bluetooth connectivity for most of its features. This keeps the price down and makes operation more straightforward than most completing locks, making the August Smart one of our top recommendations for those shopping on a budget. If you want more advanced connected features, like the ability to lock and unlock your door from anywhere or check a log of the lock's activity, you'll have to purchase the associated Connect WiFi Bridge separately. If you want to go that route, however, we think there are better options available. Among the competition of top-ranked smart locks, the August Smart performed better as a streamlined budget option.
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to install
Simple operation
Inexpensive
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires separate hub to access advanced features

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Bottom Line Provides the option for simple and straightforward, if somewhat limited, operation without a smart hubAn easy to install option with great security, good connectivity, and is easily used with just about any smart home systemStreamlined smart features in an easy to install and high-security packageAn affordable home device that works well with the Wyze smart home ecosystemThe unique fingerprint scanner is the highlight of a long list of available smart features
Rating Categories August Smart August WiFi Smart Schlage Encode Wyze Lock ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro
Smart Features (35%)
6.8
7.4
7.2
6.4
6.2
Keyless Entry (25%)
6.4
8.4
6.3
8.4
9.5
Security (25%)
4.6
10.0
9.6
6.4
4.6
Installation (15%)
7.4
8.4
7.2
8.4
4.8
Specs August Smart August WiFi Smart Schlage Encode Wyze Lock ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro
Apple HomeKit No Yes No No No
Amazon Alexa Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Google Assistant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smartphone Compatible With Hub Yes Yes Yes Yes
Z-Wave No Yes No No No
Zigbee No No No Yes No
ANSI Rating N/A- retrofit Grade 1 Grade 1 Grade 3 N/A
Uses Existing Deadbolt or Full Replacement Existing Existing Replacement Existing Replacement
Deadbolt Included No No Yes No Yes
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 1/3" - 2"
Face Bore Hole Diameter 1 1/2" or 2 1/8" 1 1/2" or 2 1/8" 2 1/8" 2 1/8" 2 1/8"
Power Requirement AA Batteries
Hub plugs into the wall
Pre-installed batteries AA Batteries AA Batteries
Hub plugs into the wall
AA Batteries

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.

Performance Comparison


august smart
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Smart Features


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.

august smart - the august smart installs onto an existing deadbolt, making the...
The August Smart installs onto an existing deadbolt, making the process much easier and requiring a minimal amount of tools.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Keyless Entry


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.

Security


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.

Installation


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.

august smart - two of the august models we tested (the smart and the pro + connect)...
Two of the August models we tested (the Smart and the Pro + Connect) simply control your existing deadbolt, so if you already have a high-security deadbolt you still get to enjoy its benefits.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

august smart - simple and streamlined keyless entry.
Simple and streamlined keyless entry.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Max Mutter and Steven Tata