Wanted to give a few thoughts about my recently purchased August smart lock. For background, I’m running this lock in a decidedly “smart” house. Two Nest thermostats, a harmony hub, myQ garage, and 25+ LIFX connected lights. Pros: + Super brain-dead easy...
Wanted to give a few thoughts about my recently purchased August smart lock. For background, I’m running this lock in a decidedly “smart” house. Two Nest thermostats, a harmony hub, myQ garage, and 25+ LIFX connected lights.
+ Super brain-dead easy install. Took less than 10 minutes with just a philips head screwdriver. The video walkthrough on the app makes it really hard to mess up.
+ HomeKit integration is badass, and works flawlessly for me. There’s something soo cool tellling Siri on my cellular Apple Watch to lock/unlock the door, and it’s done. This works from inside/outside my house, on wifi, cellular, doesn’t matter.
+ Auto-locking is customizeable and works great. Don’t have to fish my key out to lock the door every time I take the puppers outside for a potty break.
* Doorsense, the little nubbin that you attach to your door frame that tells you if the door is open/ajar, was really easy to install and setup. So far though, doesn’t seem like a must-have feature.
* Remote unlock with the included August Connect works fine, no issues so far. Takes a little bit longer than I’d like to actually connect to the lock when I’m out and about though.
* a little bit pricey at $279 retail, but c’est la vie, yolo, and fomo
- Auto-Unlock is finicky and unpredictable. It doesn’t work when you expect it to. This is the only reason why I gave it 3-stars instead of 5. The way it’s supposed to work is that you set your home location in the august app, and this puts a 200-meter radius around that spot (about a couple city blocks). When you (and your phone) leave this area, the lock enters “auto-unlock” mode, and is supposed to automatically unlock the next time you enter Bluetooth range (maybe 15-20 feet) or seemingly whenever you hop on to the same wifi network as the lock. Obviously, you have to keep Bluetooth on, and not force-close the app for this to work. The app will even send you a push notification when it detects that you’ve left your home area, and that the lock has entered auto-unlock mode. The problem is that it just doesn’t work 100% of the time. I’ve had instances where I did exactly as I was supposed to (left home area, got push notification saying lock was in auto-unlock mode, kept Bluetooth on and app active), and the lock doesn’t unlock even though I’m literally standing on the other side of the door. I’ve also had times when the lock won’t detect that I’ve left my neighborhood, and thus never enters auto-unlock mode in the first place. No rhyme or reason to it. On twitter, August says they’re constantly tweaking the algorithm of auto-unlock, so there’s hope that this will get better. Also, the home radius should be way less than 200-meters! I don’t live in a mega-mansion/ranch, and I shouldn’t have to wander a couple city blocks for the lock to know I’m not at home.
Other random thought(s):
* How badass would it be if the lock could use my cellular Apple Watch to auto-unlock??
TLDR: Easy install, auto-locking is awesome and customizable, HomeKit integration is sweet, but auto-unlocking algorithm needs more time in the oven. If “hey Siri unlock the door” from my Apple Watch didn’t work as well as it did, I’d probably return the lock.
*update 11/8/17* - upgrading to 3.5 stars
- Picked up the new iPhone X last week. Absolutely love this phone. Can you imagine if August put FaceID in their lock?? The future will be amazing (and a little creepy). Oh yeah, the iPhone X works fine with the August lock, no issues at all.
- August issued a firmware update to the lock about a week ago (1.5.21). Auto-unlock feels like it is getting better at recognizing when I’ve arrived home. Still not 100% reliable. It sometimes takes too long for the lock to recognize that I’m standing outside (sometimes up to 5-10s). But the frequency of it working as it should is going up! Good job August, keep it coming!
- If you have an iPhone, add the August widget to your lock screen. This gives you one-touch lock/unlock capability. And if you have the new iPhone X and Face ID, your phone will automatically unlock for you as soon as you look at it, so unlocking your august lock is one swipe + one tap away.
- Not having to fish my key out every time I leave/come home truly is a luxury. Auto-locking works perfectly every time. And even with the ongoing auto-unlock finickiness, I feel confident enough in the lock that I removed my house key from my key ring (only the car key and mail key left!). And pulling out my phone and hitting unlock on the widget screen is still faster and more convenient than fumbling with a physical key in the dark.
*update 5/25/18* - upgrading to 4.5 stars
- August keeps improving the lock. Recently issued an update that makes remote connection almost instantaneous now. You don''t have to manually connect to the August Connect any more either - it just does it automatically. Very cool.
- Auto-unlock continues to improve. Still wish it would enter auto-away mode much sooner! One little quirk that I did not mention in the original review is that even when I enter the house from the garage on the other side of my home, the August Lock will auto-unlock. It does this reliably and consistently, even though I don''t really want it to. I believe this is called out in the support documents, so it''s not really a bug. It doesn''t really bother me at all though, since it will always auto-lock itself after a few minutes anyway. Probably just uses the battery a little bit more is all.
- Guest access keys work great so far!
- Speaking of battery, I get about 3 months of use out of 4xAAs. I switched to some rechargeable eneloops, and seem to be getting a bit more use this time.
*update 6/25/18* - upgrading to 5 stars
- August updated the lock firmware again, and this time, it allows me to use the iphone widget to directly unlock the lock. Before, hitting the unlock button on the widget would take you to the app, and you had to tap the screen again to unlock the lock. It''s so much faster now!
- Still wish the away-mode radius could be smaller, but maybe it''ll get there soon with how regularly August seems to be improving the lock!
- Having had the lock for the better part of a year, I feel confident enough about it to recommend it to family now. Friends and family who have seen/used it have also commented on how much easier it is to use than a regular key.