The age-old human tradition of carrying around carved pieces of metal on a steel loop in your pocket – a.k.a. your keys – is becoming a thing of the past. When assembling the smart home of your dreams, start first with the front door. Your phone becomes the gatekeeper for your home, so you never have to worry about losing your keys again. The August Smart Lock priced at $217.99 at the time of this review leads the pack when it comes to smart locking technology.
How does the August Smart Lock work?
Simply put, the August Smart Lock is a device that uses wireless technology to allow you to lock or unlock any door in your house via your smartphone.
It installs directly into any existing deadbolt in your home and you control it via an app on your phone or via a web application.
The device itself has a very modern – if somewhat bulky – look to it, resembling a smooth, fat nickel. LED lights in the center of the housing indicate the lock's status. Four AA batteries power the device; the housing lights will flash red when it's time to replace them.
How difficult is installation?
Installation is not difficult at all.
The lock comes with all the necessary hardware you need to install it yourself. And if you've ever successfully changed a door lock yourself then you possess all the necessary skills for a DIY install. Once the device is secure on your door, all you need to do is download the application and follow the on-screen instructions.
The app that controls the device is intuitive and user-friendly. Usability was not an issue when we tested the device.
What can the August Smart Lock do?
The obvious application of the August is that it allows you to open your door without your keys.
However, you can also make "virtual keys" for guests that you want to let into your home when you're away, as well as track when people are coming and going from your home. There are pairings with other smart technology devices and services – such as Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa – that can expand its functionality. August has also invested in hundreds of IFTTT integrations that will further integrate the device into your life.
One of its coolest features is "auto unlock." Any time you approach a door with August enabled, the device will detect your presence and unlock for you. It will then lock once it detects that you are over 100 yards away. Finally, you're doing away with that uncertain "did I lock the front door?" dread that we've all experienced when we leave home. It's worth noting that August's default state is locked, and it will lock itself automatically 30 seconds after every time it unlocks. So bear this in mind if you are having a party or any other instance where you might need a door to remain unlocked for guests.
Bottom line: the August Smart Lock is an intelligent option for anyone looking to install a smart lock in their home. Installation is easy, the app is intuitive, and it works like it's supposed to.