August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Smaller, smarter and still the best

Victoria D. Doty

August clever locks are common, and for great rationale. The retrofit design makes them simple to put in without changing your existing deadbolt. It truly is clever plenty of to work with clever property setups for Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. We gave multiple generations of August locks […]

August clever locks are common, and for great rationale. The retrofit design makes them simple to put in without changing your existing deadbolt. It truly is clever plenty of to work with clever property setups for Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. We gave multiple generations of August locks our Editors’ Preference Award for their simple set up, great app and clever property integration. Now, you will find a new one particular on the scene. Howdy, August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. 

Like

  • More compact design.
  • Wi-Fi constructed in.
  • Smoother mechanics.
  • Will work with Google, Alexa and Siri.

Don’t Like

  • Nevertheless expensive.
  • Shorter battery life.

Slimmed down and additional smartened, it is the finest one particular nonetheless. It arrives with constructed-in Wi-Fi, negating the want for the added August Connect ($fifty eight at Amazon) plug-in modules. At $250, the new lock is dear but it is in the same rate variety as the former era lock, and well really worth your income if you might be on the lookout to get your entrance doorway on line.

I popped it onto the again of my doorway and lived with it for a week. This is what you want to know. 

More compact clever lock design

August’s exceptional retrofit design stays accurate to its roots in this fourth-era product. What’s remarkably different is the dimension. The August Wi-Fi Wise Lock is forty five% more compact than its predecessors, measuring two.83 inches in diameter and just 1.81 inches in depth. When you will find never been nearly anything specifically unpleasant about the lock, placing a big chunk of steel on the inside of your doorway is not an inside designer’s desire. 

august-lock-2

Chris Monroe/CNET

Approximately all clever locks need this aesthetic obstruction, relying on a substantial battery and thumb latch housings mounted on the inside facet of your doorway. I was delighted with the tiny scale of this August product. It truly is so a lot fewer distracting, partly due to the fact I am a bit far more accustomed to viewing clever locks on doors by now, but also due to the fact it is really appreciably more compact. A clever property ought to blend in, in my view, and August’s design is a lot improved in that regard. 

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The August Wi-Fi Wise Lock (suitable) is forty five% more compact than the August Wise Lock Pro (still left). 


Molly Value/CNET

The design team, which includes renowned designer Yves Béhar, stayed accurate to the first design, when generating tiny updates. You can expect to recognize a slightly different ridge sample about the sides of the lock, made to strengthen grip. I can’t discern a big difference, but I am not bothered by it, either. Alongside that ridge is a cleverly positioned August symbol to enable you inform irrespective of whether your doorway is locked or not. On the inside, the August Wi-Fi Wise Lock is run by two CR123 batteries. I’ll chat far more about individuals later on.

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The up-to-date facet texture of the lock is made to offer better grip. 


Molly Value/CNET

Setting up the August Wi-Fi Wise Lock

As constantly, putting in an August clever lock is a breeze if you have 10 minutes and a screwdriver. You can expect to also want to down load the August app accessible on iOS or Android, as there is a handy information with animations to walk you by means of the process. Due to the fact it is retrofit, you would not want to a lot at all to your physical deadbolt, further than getting rid of the thumb latch on the inside facet of the doorway. Next, you can suit on the August plate and right adapter for your lock, and clip on the Wi-Fi Wise Lock with its two locking wings. 

I’ll take a 2nd listed here to handle my typical clever lock tips. 

  1. Be guaranteed your doorway closes well right before you begin this process. Wise locks have hassle calibrating and totally locking doors that want an added shove to close completely. 
  2. Make guaranteed the deadbolt moves freely and there is not any friction in the lock’s mechanics. 
  3. Make guaranteed you have a great Wi-Fi link. This affects not only the set up, but the lock’s day to day general performance, far too.
  4. Hold your screws organized. Which screw size goes the place can really matter on a clever lock. 

It truly is significant to do your finest to keep the cam bar (see underneath) centered in the August again plate when you safe the screws. If you uncover that it is far too far up or down, loosen and readjust the screws when keeping a bit of pressure on the plate to keep it in area. It truly is challenging to suit the needed adapter if issues are not lined up neatly. 

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The eco-friendly adapter presented suit my Kwikset deadbolt. 


Molly Value/CNET

The August process is the most basic clever lock set up out there, and the advice in both equally the app and printed, in-box instructions are simple to abide by. No surprise there. If you might be concerned about compatibility with your existing deadbolt, August has a handy site listing compatible models from most models. 

A better clever property lock

Let us start off with the apparent. This is the 1st August lock with Wi-Fi constructed in. That signifies you no longer want to purchase the $eighty August Connect module to regulate the remotely. When it is the 1st August lock to consist of Wi-Fi, it is not the only lock on the sector with the enhance. Schlage and Kwikset also have Wi-Fi models (both equally also priced at $249), and it is probable the way of the foreseeable future for most clever locks.

Several clever locks join by means of Bluetooth to your cellular phone, which allows you regulate the lock when you might be in close proximity to it. For regulate exterior of that variety, in truth for regulate from wherever in the world, you want Wi-Fi. Previously, clever lock makers have relied on a plug-in Wi-Fi adapter, like the August Connect, to integrate Wi-Fi, but the clever lock landscape has transformed a great deal because the 1st August lock. Redesigns in Wi-Fi chip technological know-how manufactured it attainable for corporations like August to work it into lock design far more conveniently. Right after that, it is all about fantastic tuning lock and app general performance to get the most battery life attainable out when continue to hanging onto that Wi-Fi signal well. 

As for compatibility, the August Wi-Fi Wise Lock will work with Alexa, Google and Siri for voice commands as well as routines and automation with your platform of alternative. Assigning digital keys to added lock consumers remains totally free, a highlight of August’s procedures, and you can also get a good deal of options for placing notifications when a thing takes place, or isn’t going to, at your doorway. The August Wi-Fi Wise Lock arrives with a DoorSense sensor, so you can know if anyone leaves the doorway open up or closes it but leaves it unlocked. 

I’ve constantly been fond of August’s geofencing automobile-lock and -unlock abilities, and that remains accurate for this product. When your cellular unit is 200 meters (656 toes) from your property either leaving or returning, the lock will lock or unlock, if you’ve got decided on to turn on that function. It requires that you keep Wi-Fi enabled on your cellular unit, and it worked well in my screening. That’s a big enable not having to fiddle with keys or an app to open up the doorway. Auto-lock can also be custom-made for time, so you can established the doorway to lock wherever from promptly right after it is unlocked all the way up to 30 minutes later on. 

august-lock-1

The August Wi-Fi Wise Lock operates on two CR123 batteries.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Wi-Fi is not simple on batteries, and this is the 1st August product with the CR123 battery. The team at August estimates the lock’s batteries ought to final a few to 6 months. That’s a shorter proposed lifespan than the 6 months to a year promised for the older, AA models.

According to August, the quantity one particular component in battery life is the high quality of your Wi-Fi link. If the lock demands to regularly reconnect to an accessibility stage or wake up owing to polling from the accessibility stage, you can see a quicker drain. Battery life will also be afflicted by how often you lock and unlock your doorway, primarily about Wi-Fi or facts connections. 

If you really don’t like the concept of keeping up with the batteries on a clever lock, certainly this is not the product or service group for you. A two-pack of CR123s at your area big box retail outlet ought to price tag about $8 to $10. The great news is, as with former era August Wise Locks, even if the batteries are dead you can continue to use a physical key to unlock your doorway.

Note: I did come upon a small battery warning just a few times into screening the August Wi-Fi Wise Lock. I understood my batteries shouldn’t be small so soon. I was employing a beta version of the August app and right after speaking with the team, they uncovered a bug in the battery prediction algorithm that led to a untimely small-battery notification. August engineers solved the bug on the again conclusion, and I failed to have any troubles right after that. The August team confident me that consumers will not see this after the clever lock is accessible for invest in.

When it arrives to stability, August implements plenty of capabilities to make me truly feel great about placing it on my doorway. It works by using two-component authentication to log into your account or develop a new one particular. It also works by using Bluetooth encryption, AES 128-bit and TLS encryption for the cellular app. You can even disable your August app and all digital keys at any time by means of a exclusive desktop web site if your cellular phone is missing or stolen. Voice unlocking by means of the different digital assistants requires a spoken PIN. 

August models in contrast

Value

Dimensions (in inches)

Wi-Fi

Z-Wave

Google

Alexa

HomeKit

August Wise Lock

$a hundred and fifty

two.seven W x 4.8 H x two.1 D 

Needs August Connect ($199 for bundle)

No

Yes

Yes

No

August Wise Lock Pro

$280

three.4 W x two.two D

Needs August Connect (integrated)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

August Wi-Fi Wise Lock

$250

two.83 W x  1.81 D

Constructed-in

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Examine far more: How to use your clever lock safely and securelyWhat to know right before shopping for a clever lock

A reviewer’s anecdote 

In advance of I examined this lock at my household, I had a clever keypad ($forty seven at Most effective Acquire) on my entrance doorway. My husband and I are known to run or walk the dog without our keys and telephones, so a keypad is a great way to get in and out of the household without pockets full of hardware and permit relatives and neighbors in with their possess codes when wanted.

The working day right after I established up the August Wi-Fi Wise Lock, we walked the dog about the neighborhood without our keys or telephones. It truly is a  awesome, digital detox. In set up, I opted for the lock to relock right after five minutes. When we bought again right after 50 percent an hour, I recognized I had no way to open up the doorway due to the fact my cellular phone and keys have been inside.

The good thing is, we might still left a facet doorway unlocked, but I had a pleasurable 60 seconds of panic. If you might be switching about from a keypad or some other keyless exterior process, you can want to retrain your brain. If you possess an Apple Watch ($399 at Apple), you can stay clear of this problem completely by putting in the August app, which will work by means of geofencing just like your cellular phone. An increase-on August keypad ($60)  is also an alternative. 

To purchase or not to purchase?

If you might be intrigued in a clever lock, but want to keep your exterior hardware traditional, this is the lock for you. It truly is not low-cost at $249, but keep in head that you would not have to commit any added income on a Connect module to get Wi-Fi remote accessibility advantages. That addition of Wi-Fi makes August truly feel new and up-to-date. The reduction in dimension is great, far too. 

Other locks with Wi-Fi constructed in price tag just as a lot and need changing your overall deadbolt. The August Wi-Fi Wise Lock turns a lot far more effortlessly than former August models, requires up fewer area and is just as clever and safe. If you appreciated former August clever locks, you can love this one particular. 

For individuals factors, we have determined to award it our Editors’ Preference for Most effective Wise Lock, dethroning the August Wise Lock Pro ($195 at Walmart)

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