Life with a Smart Lock – August Review Update

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!

August Smart Lock (Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OHY14CS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00OHY14CS&linkCode=as2&tag=lightanswe01-20&linkId=WSVAB3PB33OAMG2Z

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Comments

Will Rowland says:

Were you still using the “August Connect” for this 8 months of review time?
If so, What are your thoughts on how the Connect lives up to its purpose and helps (*or hurts) the overall August smart-lock system?
Does the lock still achieve the same 80-90% success rate over WAN (beyond Bluetooth range / when using the Connect) as it does from within Bluetooth range?
Has August made any firmware/software enhancements to how the Connect operates that improve user experience from 8 months ago?
8 months on, I’m curious if the value add for the Connect is worth the extra fifty bucks…

Thanks for the great information and the awesome videos! Keep it up! Also, have you tested the Okidokeys system?

techfreshness says:

80-90%? dealbreaker.

Julia LaCava says:

Very informative! I can see putting this on a back door/patio door but not the main door. Thank you!

Mario F says:

красавчик хы

Fat Tony says:

Cool delorean 🙂

KandI Megahan says:

Informative. I could use slightly less exposure to your annoyance. Truly, I’ve got my own to deal with, and just came here for insight. I’ll give a thumbs up there.

Dennis Whitlock says:

You’re the ‘only one’ who talked about weather having an affect in door alignment with the deadbolt. This will require continous monitoring year round to ensure proper alignlent of the two. You should also mention regular [lubrication] of the deadbolt and internal workings of the door lock itself to help with the ease of operation and assisting the job for the August Smart Lock.

kopfgeldjagar says:

I would think it would go unsaid about the door alignment. How would a battery powered lock fix a sticky lock situation?

Thomas Martin says:

Hard to understand why an electromechanical device would be so unreliable in the early 21st century……..

traykid says:

After 3 months of patiently trying all the suggested workarounds that August Support team could muster, I still could not get this to work properly. I knew the risks of trying out somewhat new technology as opposed to regular but very reliable digital locks from Samsung, Schlage etc.. but I craved for the future of remote control locks. The smartlock works well by bluetooth (a very limited use if you asked me) but the supposedly wifi-enabled Connect bridger is shite. After 3 months, we narrowed down the problem to the Connect’s bluetooth receiver (since the signal consistently shows up as weak) and I have tried everything and August even wrote a new article on their FAQ based on my issues (your welcome!) and when it came down to it, they declined my offer to send it back to them for further investigation because I am out of their warranty coverage area. Such a lame response. I think 3 months worth of email trail is enough to distinguished me from a mere warranty seeker. I really wanted this to work. August doesn’t want it badly enough and I am sure this company will go the way of the dodo.

poracc says:

Is there any Apple Watch app that works with the bluetooth being switched off? I was under the impression that all the processing is always done on the phone, so the watch is useless without the iPhone, right?

TechFive says:

nice point in the door alignment. We have wooden door with metal door frames. We have to pull to get it to lock with key

Jay L. says:

for some reason he looks and moves like a robot… in a good way though

one legged wonder says:

I think the good old fashion key wins if this went wrong could be a very costly mistake and turning the key and check your your house is locked its worked for years smart locks are too high risk

James Crest says:

A few questions:

Can you have multiple locks keyed the same?
I have a cottage and wondering if I can have the boat house and mail cottage open with one device (two locks) and one ‘system’.

Also my cottage does not have wifi with the result that this has to work with batteries and cellular. Can I open the lock from my phone on the road to the cottage, at my desk at the office or in the city? Is the Home KIt necessary?

Paul S. Lynch says:

Just an FYI, the August you have is actually second generation. The first generation was red and can not be connected to wifi.

GothicKittyMadness says:

is there something up with his eyes or is it just me?

mrmarco53 says:

I ground a shallow taper on the deadbolt pin. 100% reliable operation so long as the batteries are good. Speaking of batteries, I just replace my original set after 6 months. The lock started to operate sluggishly, and I eventually figured out the batteries were nearly done. Never got a low battery warning from the lock, though.

Eddie T says:

I was planning on getting the Phillips master led tube any suggestions on that or are u guys gonna make any videos on led tubes in the future

Austin Moore says:

You also should make the hole a bit deeper too I can see the deadbolt is hitting the end of the hole and might cause the bolt not to dead lock.

ricauter says:

mucha paja hablas gringo culero

Ing. Francis Opoku says:

I need to get a new deadbolt. What would you reccomend for me to use with the august smart lock

Carlito says:

Bro wtf is up with your eyes

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