Size: 3 inches (diameter), 1.75 inches (depth)
Wireless: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
Works with: Alexa, HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Xfinity, Logitech, Control4, Honeywell, Simplisafe, more
August didn’t have to do much to make its smart lock better. It was already easy to install and use; it worked with a ton of other smart home devices, and it let you use the same keys on your existing deadbolt. But, the improvements in the new August Wi-Fi Smart Lock — including a smaller size and a direct Wi-Fi connection — make this one of the best smart locks (and best smart home devices) yet.
Read the rest of our August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review to find out what else we liked. Be sure to check out why it won two 2021 Tom's Guide Awards for Smart Home, too.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Price and release date
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock costs $249 and went on sale in May 2020. It's widely available at August.com, Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers.
You can also still purchase August's earlier smart locks: The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect is $229, and the August Smart Lock + Connect is $199 on the company's site, though you should be able to find both for less at other online retailers.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Design
You can’t fault August with sticking with the same design as the Smart Lock Pro. It’s a simple cylinder with a ridged exterior that rotates to lock and unlock your deadbolt. However, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is 45 percent smaller than the Smart Lock Pro, so it’s much less bulbous than before. The Wi-Fi Smart Lock is about 3 inches in diameter, and 1.75 inches deep; the Smart Lock Pro was 3.4 inches in diameter, and 2.2 inches deep.
Unlike other smart locks, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock only requires you to change the part of your deadbolt that’s inside your house. That means you can still use the same keys that came with your original deadbolt, but if you want a keypad — a feature found built into other smart locks — you’ll have to purchase that separately for $59.99.
Aside from its smaller size, the other major difference between the August W-Fi Smart Lock and the Smart Lock Pro is that the newer lock has Wi-Fi built in. With August’s earlier locks, you needed to use the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge if you wanted to operate your lock remotely.
Unlike its older locks, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock doesn’t have Z-Wave built in. Most smart home owners won’t mind its absence, but power users who want to ensure all their smart home devices work even when there’s no Internet connection will want an older model.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Features and performance
Apart from the new design, everything that we liked on the August Smart Lock Pro is available on the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. That includes:
- DoorSense: A small sensor you attach to your door frame, and tells the lock if your door is closed.
- Smart alerts: Notifications for when a person locks or unlocks the door, or if it’s left ajar.
- Auto-lock: If you’re using the DoorSense sensor, August can automatically lock your door as soon as it’s shut, or after a certain number of minutes. You can also set the lock to emit a chime when it locks or unlocks.
- Auto-unlock: This feature uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to sense when you leave your home, and switch the lock into Away mode. Upon your arrival home, August will automatically unlock the door for you once you’re a few feet away, and switch to Home mode.
- Guest access: You can create temporary, or recurring “keys” for friends, family, or others to unlock the door via the August app. These keys can be set to only work during certain hours, or only work for a limited period of time.
Installing the lock, connecting it to my Wi-Fi network and HomeKit should take you no more than 15 minutes; it’s all pretty quick. After, locking and unlocking the door was as simple as turning the knob, or pressing the massive button in the August app; it turns red when the door is locked, and green when the door is unlocked.
Features worked as advertised; In fact, I forgot that I had auto-lock turned on, and was pleasantly surprised when the August bolted itself shut, and a HomeKit notification popped up on my smartphone, letting me know my deadbolt was closed.
Interestingly, your smartphone’s connection to the August lock switches from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth automatically, based on whichever is stronger.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Smart Home features and compatibility
One of the other aspects we like about August’s smart locks is their compatibility with a range of smart home systems. Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit are just the start; it also works with Nest, Simplisafe, Logitech, Xfinity, SmartThings, and Control4, among others.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock also works in conjunction with August’s video doorbells; while they’re not among the best video doorbells, it is convenient to be able to use the same app to both see who’s at your door, and then unlock it for them. Either way, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is definitely one of the best Alexa compatible devices and best Google Home compatible devices.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Batteries and battery Life
Because of its smaller size, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock uses two CR123 batteries, rather than the four AA batteries used in the August Smart Lock Pro. August says the batteries in the Wi-Fi Smart Lock should last between 3 to 6 months.
One pretty clever feature is that if you link your August lock to Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant can detect when the batteries in the lock are running low, and automatically order you a new pair.
CR123 batteries are more expensive than AAs; on Amazon, a 12-pack of Energizer CR123 batteries is $26 (about $2.20 per battery), while a 24-pack of Energizer AA Lithium batteries is $25 (about $1.05 per battery). Then again, you have to use twice as many AA batteries as you would AA’s.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: Verdict
If you’re in the market for a smart lock, you can’t do much better than the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. It’s easy to install, is unobtrusive from the outside, and works with a ton of other smart home devices. At $249, it’s on the pricier side for a smart lock, and doesn’t include a keypad.
If you want something even less conspicuous, check out our Level Bolt review; this smart lock fits completely inside your door, but works with fewer smart home platforms, and requires a hub. But our concerns about the August Lock are far outweighed by all its benefits.