Smart locks are becoming more popular and are vastly easier to install and use these days. Perhaps one of the most well known is the August lock (August was recently purchased by door company Assa Abloy). I recently had the chance to review one of the August devices at home; the August Smart Lock Pro.
August is an easy to install door deadbolt lock that changes your existing door lock to a smart lock with no need to re-key.
The device consists of a fist-sized round metal locking mechanism that is installed on the inside of your door. The August Smart Lock Pro comes with the lock, a DoorSense sensor (which can tell you if your door is ajar), plus a Wi-Fi bridge to allow remote access to the lock when you’re not in Bluetooth range.
August Smart Lock Pro Set up
Start by downloading the August app to get instructions on how to install your lock. I was displeased to find a cell phone number is required (and no, you can’t use 555-1212 since August will verify the number) to complete the setup. I think being forced to give out my personal cell is a violation of privacy, but here I appear to have no choice. Once the phone number and email are verified installation begins.
August installation is simple and easy
This is probably one of the easiest smart locks I’ve ever had to install, and I’ve done a few now. It’s as simple as removing the back plate from your existing lock and sliding the August lock over top. Everything you need comes in the package and only a couple simple tools are required, like a screwdriver. An adapter helps get everything to line up properly, and in my case even my rather old lock was able to accept the August lock. In total, set up took about 15 minutes.
Next up, is the addition of the DoorSmart sensor, which takes just a few minutes more. This thumb-sized sensor will alert you if your door is left ajar. It can be installed on the doorframe or drilled into the frame from a flush-mounted look. Instructions for both options can be found here.
With the lock installed, you’ll move on to setting up the wireless connectivity in the August app.
How to use August Smart Lock Pro
The lock operates a bit differently than a traditional deadbolt. With August, you don’t turn a lever, you rotate the entire locking mechanism to open and close the lock bolt.
Of course, since this is also a smart lock, you can also operate it remotely from your smartphone too by tapping the lock/unlock button inside the App while you’re in Bluetooth range.
To access the lock from outside your home, you’ll need the Wi-Fi bridge plugged in. This accessory is added separately, but easily after you have the lock installed. Plug it in to an AC outlet, press and hold the pairing button and it sets up right away. After the bridge connects to Wi-Fi, you’re ready.
Operate with August app, or Siri
The August lock is compatible with Apple HomeKit and the yet to arrive in Canada Amazon Alexa. While it works on both iPhone and Android devices, it’s not yet been added to the Google Home app, so while you may read that your August lock is compatible with Home, on Google’s end it has yet to be added to the Google Home app, as of the writing of this review.
Adding the lock to HomeKit will let you use your voice to ask Siri to lock or unlock the door for you, and you can check the door’s status in your HomeKit app.
With the proprietary August App, you can lock or unlock your door from anywhere in the world, provided you’ve added the Wi-Fi hub.
To operate the August lock using Wi-Fi, just click the small button in the top right of the app that says “Remote Connect” and you’ll get your door’s status wherever you are. In my testing the lock engaged in about 5 seconds.
August is very quiet
The August lock is very quiet. When it’s operating it’s virtually silent, and even when it chimes to indicate it’s successfully locked/unlocked it’s very subtle.
Auto lock/unlock August with Geofencing / location
You can set your August lock to open or lock automatically when you arrive or leave home. Just enable the setting in the app and set the proximity. By the time you’re at the door, your lock will open. Similarly, if you leave and forget to lock up, as soon as you leave your perimeter, the lock will engage automatically.
Active Monitoring Alerts/Smart Alerts
Your August lock can alert you whenever your lock is used. Whether that’s unlocking, locking or if it’s left ajar, you can get notifications to your smartphone so you’ll always know what’s happening at home.
Temperature concerns – Door expansion with August
Living in frigid Calgary, Canada, we experience major temperature fluctuations. That’s played havoc with my deadbolts. In the cold, my old lock is all but impossible to open because of swelling/shrinkage of the door itself, and I need to yank on the door to allow the lock to slide free.
Be warned, weather will affect operation of your August lock, since when it gets cold and the door swells and moves out of position, the battery-operated mechanism won’t have the force necessary to engage.
This is not a knock on the lock; it’s an issue with some doors that I know countless others will have. So should you still get a smart lock if temperature could be a concern? I’d say yes. August can be a valuable addition to your home, because you can tell remotely if the door is open, you can give remote access to family or guests or a delivery person. But if you already experience problems with opening your lock in very cold or hot weather, adding August won’t change that. It’s just something to be aware of.
Overall thoughts on August Smart Lock Pro
This lock is one of the easiest I’ve ever had to install. While it is quite large, it’s easy to operate.
The lock operates simply, and though the twist-to-unlock mechanism involves turning the entire lock, as opposed to a small lever, it’s easy enough to adapt to.
In terms of connectivity, the August lock functions perfectly and works every time. The app (both iPhone and Android) is quick and responsive, and I’ve had no issues with the lock not being able to communicate with either the app or Wi-Fi.
In short, if you’re looking for a smart lock for your home that is easy to install and does exactly what it’s supposed to, the August smart lock pro is an excellent choice.
August Smart Lock Pro is available at Best Buy