After living with the August Smart Lock for about eight months, what’s the verdict?
Original Review – https://youtu.be/wJe2BfI5cZg
August Connect Review – https://youtu.be/lcKyDNc5mMk
Overall, the living with a smart lock does does make your life easier. You tend to completely forget about those old-fashioned bits of metal called keys, and you just come and go from your home without thinking anything even related to locking or unlocking your door.
But…of course, there is a downside…dun, dun, DUN!!!! When the August doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do all the time, and you have to either pull out your phone, fiddle with your Apple Watch or other wearable, or worse yet, dig out your keys, the entire idea of having a smart lock goes out the window. When it takes longer to lock or unlock your door than it normally would with a key, any smart lock becomes a total failure.
And thus, yes, this is an early adopter, first-world problem. A battery-operated, Bluetooth-controlled smart lock only magnifies any existing issues you have with your deadbolt and door. Does it turn easily–no matter how you shut your door? Or does it stick and take extra force to turn your key or thumb turn? Does the weather cause your door to “swell up” and cause mis-alignment issues? If you have any of these issues right now, you have to solve them before a smart lock will reliably work for you.
These first generation devices, such as my August Smart Lock, or any of the other ones such as the Kwikset Kevo, Okidokeys, Goji, Lockitron, etc generally suffer similar issues. They are battery-operated devices that are not a cure-all for existing door problems. And, due to normal communications issues that we all have with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, the Internet and our smartphones and wearables, none of these at current is going to prove 100% perfect all the time.
But, for this category to really take off, they HAVE to be 100% perfect all the time. I mean, this is your home, and your lock! While a smart lock is really not going to foil a burglar intent on getting into your home, it will keep your doors locked and give you piece of mind, usually.
The next generation of devices, due out late this year, such as Lockitron’s Bolt and the Sesame smart lock, may solve some of these issues. And smart locks to follow in 2016 and beyond will get even better and become more intuitive.
August still hasn’t commented on HomeKit support, even though it announced it last fall. We assume they will say something about it around September 9, the date of Apple’s “Hey Siri, give me a hint.” September iPhone and Apple TV event.
We’ll continue to monitor the smart lock space and put out reviews on new products, stay tuned!
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