august smart lockstars37Rating 3.7 Reviewed by Paul
Remembering to lock the door as you leave or wondering if you did maybe a thing of the past with the August Smart Lock. It is a smart lock that can operate your lock on remote for you and let you know whether it is locked or not. When you come home there is no need to struggle with your keys with the keyless home entry either automated or using your smartphone.

You can add guests to your lock and give them a virtual key which helps when you do have someone (a guest or work person) that needs access to your home. There is no need for you to have additional keys cut and then having to

                     buy5._V192207739_                       make sure you get it back as you can now simply remove their access from your home using your phone.

It has a lot of potential as a smart lock that you just add to your existing deadbolt. The locking and unlocking process and who can do it is all done from your phone.

In this review we look at how this functionality can make your life more convenient and the locking operation of the door safer. We also check to see whether it has reached its’ potential to make like easier and what you need to look out for and what possible solutions there are to help.

Installation

You install this smart lock on the inside of your door replacing the back of your existing single deadbolt. It doesn’t work with all types of deadbolt. It won’t work with an integrated lock and handle, mortise or rim cylinder. You can check the compatibility of your lock at august.com/compatibility. There is listing of the deadbolts it does work with.

Also required for setting up the lock is an Android or iOS device (iPhones 4s and above, and Androids 4.2 and above, and they must have bluetooth BLE 4.0.) and for installation a Phillips screwdriver. The installation should take about 15 minutes and set up a few minutes more. There are clear instructions included in the box for installing the lock and the App runs you through the set up once you’ve downloaded it from the App store – Google or Apple. It doesn’t work with Windows or Blackberry.

To getting up and working your phone needs to have access to the internet but the lock itself does not as it communicates with the phone using bluetooth.

There are detailed videos that go through the installation process available on their site that are worth going through if you run into issues or beforehand if you are so inclined. They are short and concise.

august smart lock installIf you want to be able to use your phone to control the locking/unlocking of the lock from more than 15 – 30 feet you need to buy the August connect which costs $49.95. Just to reiterate the lock on its own only works with bluetooth and not WiFi.

For the lock to work anywhere near reliably the door must close properly and the locking process needs to be smooth with the latch holding the door closed. If the door swings open before the deadbolt locks it will continue the locking process with the bolt sticking out and the door flapping in the breeze.

If there is any resistance when locking the door you will likely get an error message that the door won’t lock. If that is the case you should contact August and work with them to resolve the issue. It may require a different bolt or lubricating the lock.

If the deadbolt can’t lock you do get a warning message. If you do have issues the company does help in sorting the issue and can supply other parts to help with it. For instance they have a tapered deadbolt that is shaved off on the sides giving the deadbolt more room when entering the door jamb. It is for doors that you may have to pull, push or lift to latch or unlatch your deadbolt.

Contract

There are no ongoing fees or monthly payments to use the lock functionality. However, if you want to use the remote functionality from elsewhere other than within the vicinity of the lock you do need to purchase the August connect device (a one off payment).

Support

august smart lock champagneThe company has reasonable opening hours making it possible to contact them outside normal working hours when you are most likely going to be at home and have everything you need to hand.
The support hours are Monday to Friday 6.30 am to 8.00 pm PST and on Saturday 9.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Their phone number is at the back of the instructions it is not given on their website.
The company has a 1 year limited warranty on the product and a 30 day returns policy.

Most people find their support and responsive when they have questions or need help. When I contacted them for this review they responded very quickly to my email with very thorough answers.

Cameras

The system does not come with video to see who is at your door. To me have this compatible with a video doorbell would be a great next step. In the meantime you could use the Ring Video Doorbell to see who is at the door and speak to them. If you wanted to give them access to your home you could then unlock the door remotely. It does mean using 2 different apps on your phone but means you don’t have to be at home to let someone in or if it at home go to the door when it’s difficult to get there such as not being too steady on your feet.

Guests ,Handing Out Keys And Notifications

august smart lock inviteThere is no restriction on the number of guests you can give a digital key to. You can set them up and delete them as you want or just give them access for a certain period for as long or as short as you want.

This is flexibility great if you have work people in your house or you let a rental property out on short tenancies or just have people staying over for a few days.

You can set them to have schedule access on certain days of the week where they are in your house from certain times such as a cleaner or a child minder.

There are 2 levels of guest access that can be granted:

Owner who can invite/remove other owners, change lock settings and invite/remove guests. They have the same rights as the original owner so you do need ot be careful who you give this to.

Guest who can’t change settings or invite others to join the App.

august smart lock activityYou can give them unlimited access, scheduled access or temporary access where the access expires at a set time and date.

For each guest/owner you can decide whether you want each owner to receive notifications when that person operates the lock – it doesn’t cover times when lock is used manually.

To set up a guest you must invite. Once invited the guest receives a notification and they must download the app and sign up for an account to be able to use their phone to operate the lock. This includes uploading a photo but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a photo of them. The photo is there to make it easy for an owner to identify who has operated the lock when looking at the log.

August Smart Lock Remote Monitoring

august smart lock with phoneYou can’t remotely control your lock without the purchase of the August Connect which is a bridge between the lock and your WiFi. With this you can lock and unlock the lock from wherever you have internet access.

If you lose your phone you can disable the August app running on your phone by going to the company’s website. They also let you know how you can either use your key or if that is not an option you can download the app to a friend’s phone and log in to your account.

As long as the deadbolt has no resistance it will go to lock position even if the door is open and will register as a successful lock. You do need to make sure you shut the door properly and the latch holds it in place. The only way to be notified of this being a problem would be to install a DIY wireless security system with an entry sensor on the door that notifies you that the door is open.

If you do not have the connect you can receive notifications and see a log of who operated the lock but it does not cover manual operation of the lock – using the key or by turning smart lock.

Battery

The system works with 4 AA batteries, this means it will continue to work during a power outage. These are installed when you get the system but do need to activate by removing the tabs.

With usual usage it is expected they will last 9 – 12 months. Changing the batteries is straightforward and are accessed by taking off the cover of the lock.

When the batteries reach 25% charge the App starts to remind you that the batteries need changing which should give you enough time to replace them.

You can still operate the lock manually if the batteries do go dead.

Operating The Lock

There are a number of ways that the August Smart Lock can be operated:

august smart lock keyless door entryAuto Unlock – This functionality is only available on iOS currently. It uses the location of your phone to unlock your door. As you approach your home it will unlock the door in about 30 seconds of you being close enough to be detected. If you don’t leave the area the door will stay locked. Also it is in beta at the moment and isn’t 100% reliable and at times the door will stay locked which then means oyu need to dig out your phone or your keys. This range is pre-set and can’t be changed which may not work for you if you live in an apartment building. It isn’t anywhere as smooth as the keyless entry you have with your car.

While you are in the house you should not end up auto unlocking the door as you’ll stay within the 200 meters perimeter but it may unlock if you have been out in your back yard. It will lock again but you might want to be mindful when answering the door.

august smart lock on doorIt uses a geo-fencing functionality that you set around your house that works with you phone’s locator. You set a permineter of between 200 meters and 500 meters. When your phone reaches the Geo Fencing perimeter the bluetooth starts searching for the lock to connect with it and unlock it for you saving you the job of using the app and waiting for it to work. This is in beta at the moment and does not work 100% of the time but it does appear to be improving with each update – this is better with IOS than with Android phones. For this to work you need to first go outside the “virtual” perimeter and then return.

It can be set up to work for all those who are set up as an owner. Currently it won’t work on more than 1 lock if you have 2 of them in close proximity as you would in a house, so you need to choose which one you want to have this functionality.

The Old Fashioned Way – You can still use your key to lock and unlock the door and from the inside you turn the August to lock and unlock as you did with the replaced thumb-turn.

Remotely -if you have bought August connect you can unlock/lock the door from wherever you have access to the internet. This allows you to let in guests and others and when they leave you can lock it up again.

The App – when you are in bluetooth range of about 15 -30 feet you can lock and unlock the door with your phone, it takes about 30 seconds for this to happen though as the app needs to be opened and clicked on then it needs to connect and find the lock and then you can open the door. It might be quicker with your keys although this can all happen while you are in your car.

august smart lock redEverlock – this gives you the option setting a limit on how long the door is unlocked before it locks. The range is between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. When this functionality is switched on it is one for everyone – it doesn’t matter who unlocked the lock. You need to decide on the best time for you especially when coming home 30 seconds time may not give you time to get from the car to through your front door before it locks.

Also if you go outside without your phone the door will lock behind you, and you may need to use someone else’s phone to let you in by downloading the app and logging into your account, if you don’t have a key or your phone. The locking will happen even if you are in your yard just as it does if you are in the house.

You can add as many guests as you want to operate the lock. They do need to have an Android or iOS mobile device.

The Device

It can seem quite big when you get it and install it but it fits well on the door, it just stand out.
The front panel of the lock has a circle of LED lights on it that tell you it’s status – whether it’s locking or unlocking – green for when it locks and red when it unlocks.

Protection against it being switched off

If there is power outage or internet outage the lock will continue to work as it runs on batteries and doesn’t need the internet to operate because it uses bluetooth for communication with your phone. You can always use your key to lock and unlock it.

The August Connect (bought separately and not needed to use the lock) won’t work if either of these 2 events occur as it requires the internet and the house power supply to work so you won’t get notifications or be able to lock/unlock the deadbolt when you aren’t at home.

Your account is protected by a password and bank standard encryption to help prevent hacking, but you do need to ensure you select a tough password for your account and have one for your phone to make it as difficult as possible for someone to hack your account and through that gain access to your home.

Coverage

You need to be with 15 – 30 feet for the bluetooth of your phone to connect with the lock.

Wireless or Wired

There are no wires for this lock with power supplied by battery and communication with bluetooth or WiFi if the August connect is bought separately.

Dimensions

It is 3.3 across by 2.2 inches deep. Some people don’t like the size of this unit on their door but otherwise it certainly makes a talking point with guests – it looks modern and smart.

Features

The box contains:

1 Smart Lock with batteries pre-installed
Adhesive strip – for securing the keyhole to the door while you remove the thumb-latch

3 Adapters – you choose which one to use depending on the brand of deadbolt you have to affix to the tail piece.

3 Mounting plates – for mounting the smart lock to the door – you select the mounting plate dependent on the model of deadbolt you have

Instructions – these detail the installation with words and diagrams so you know exactly which piece fits where.

Accessories

august connect for august smart lockThe August Connect can be bought separately to link the lock with your WiFi system so that it is possible to fully monitor and control the lock remotely from anywhere in the world you can access the internet. If you need to open the door from your work you can do this – you could open it up for your kids when they get home from school and then lock it behind them.

It currently costs $49.95. With this you can lock/unlock the deadbolt where ever you have access to the internet and get notifications to your phone that someone has locked or unlocked it. It is set up and synced with the SmartLock using the App. Each Connect can only control one Smart Lock, so for every lock you do need a connect if you want to control them from other locations. There are no monthly fees charged. You are reliant on the internet and company’s servers being up to be able to use this functionality. They did have some issues when the system was first released but that now does appear to be behind them.

It plugs into your house power supply and needs to be within 30 feet of the Smart Lock to work. 15 feet is the recommended distance.

It uses your WiFI to communicate with the internet and then onto the company servers. The WiFi needs to be 802.11 b/g/n and must operate on 2.4 GHZ.

The smart lock works with the Nest Learning Thermostat to set it to home or away mode – as you unlock the lock the thermostat changes to home and starts warming your home and when you leave and lock your door you can send an alert to
Next to move to away mode to save energy and costs. This works with the iOS App but not the Android one.

It does not work with any other systems at the moment although a number of possibilities have been announced as being in development.

Pros

It works with your existing single deadbolt – so no need to change keys or buy a new lock if you have this.

There are no monthly fees for use of internet functionality

The lock continues work during a power outage or internet outage

It can automatically unlock for keyless door entry

It can be set lock automatically after 30 seconds to 5 minutes

You receive notifications as to who has operated the lock

Any number of people can use the App to operate the lock with restrictions put on the time they can use it or for how long.
It is easy to delete them from the system

App is easy to use

It works with iOS and Android phones

Your existing keys continue to be able to operate the lock and you can operate it from inside the house by turning the lock manually

No monthly fees to pay to use any of the functionality

Cons

You need to buy August connect to have remote control of the lock from anywhere you can get internet access outside the home

The Auto-Lock feature does not work on the Android App yet

It takes up to 30 seconds for it to unlock when you arrive home which is longer than the time it would take to use your key and you need to press a number of buttons to do this

It does not work with any security systems or home automation systems other than Nest Thermostat

Does not detect when the door is open when you are locking the deadbolt – it will lock the door and say it is locked even though the door is not secure

Does not work with Windows, Blackberry or a PC

It is not fully reliable yet with some features still in the development phase

August Smart Lock Consumer Ratings

August Smart Lock ReviewAlthough overall consumer reviews are positive there are some concerns over the functionality not working as it should especially when you are securing your door when away and also when you are at home. Burglars are looking for easy pickings and an unlocked door is open invitation.

When looking at the reviews of Android there appears to be real issues with it working at it should with connection time being slow to the lock and also the fact that it does not yet include the Auto Unlock feature.

The Apple App appears to be faring better especially with the latest update as many people are happy with the connection time and the Auto Unlock feature but this is not universal. The Geo Fencing needed for the Auto Unlock functionality sometimes needs adjusting so that it properly fits over your property and to ensure it isn’t out of alignment with your property.

You are buying a device that is still being worked on and the company is working to improve the experience but you need to be prepared for some frustrations with it not working as expected and having to follow up with the company.

August Smart Lock Price

This lock does have a higher price than other smart locks on the market and when you add the cost of the WiFi August connect the price is just under $300 for a product that still has a number of features in beta or not available.

It does have more functionality than its competitors and even with some shortcomings it does seem to work better than them too. So in that regard the extra money is justified and from what I’ve seen to date the other locks do fall short.

Anyway, currently there is only a small discount available from full price and that only on some of the colors available. The best price when I checked was at Amazon. You can check it out if that is still the case by clicking here: August Smart Lock

Summary

There are a number of good things about the August Smart Lock. It looks good and the features it promises to deliver have the potential to make life easier such as keyless door entry, overcome problems of forgetfulness and not having to be there to let someone in or having to cut new keys when someone loses their key or replace the lock.

However, not all parts of the functionality are working fully as they are in beta and some of it doesn’t work at all on the Android App. When buying this you are buying it at as an evolving product that should improve over time. You do need to be careful that your door is properly shut so that it locks properly so the latch must hold the door in place otherwise if it swings open the bolt will lock the door open but still register as fully locked.

It does look like it will be a very good lock when fully tested and developed. But in the meantime you need to be prepared for some frustration as with any new piece of technology. The company is working hard to bring it fully up to speed and for many people it is already delivering on enough of the promises to make it a worthwhile investment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJe2BfI5cZg

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