August Smart Lock and August Connect – Review and Test Report
Starting in 2005, thanks to BMW’s Comfort Access keyless start feature, I stopped having to take my car key out of my pocket in order to unlock, lock, or start my car. Why were the technologies for homes so far behind those of automobiles? Simply put, having to use a metal key is unacceptable in 2015.
Ten years later, door locks are starting to catch up and many are app based, using one’s smartphone to lock and unlock the door. With some, you don’t even have to take the phone out of your pocket and access the app. It will know when you arrive at the door and unlock it.
There are several on the market and we opted to try the August Smart Lock. While other smart locks require the replacement of the lock hardware, the August is designed to attach to most any existing deadbolt and keyset. It simply replaces the lock’s inside thumb latch. This allows the flexibility of selecting (a list of supported locks is provided) the quality of the deadbolt.
The August Smart Lock uses low-energy Bluetooth connectivity to automatically lock and unlock the door as an authorized user nears the door.
INSTALLING THE AUGUST SMART LOCK
A quick glance (perhaps too quick) at the August website told me that it was designed “to be compatible with the Single-Cylinder deadbolts most commonly found in North America,” adding that “August is not compatible with Mortise or Euro-style cylinders.” I turned to August’s “compatibility diagrams”: Single cylinder? “Yes!”
Indeed, August says that its system is fully compatible with 85% of the deadbolts out there and the company’s tech support should be able to help with the rest.
Unfortunately, the deadbolt on my door was a Medeco single-cylinder lock that ultimately proved to be incompatible. (A single-cylinder lock is where the deadbolt is mounted and operates independently of the door handle.”) While admittedly I should have clicked on the detailed compatibility list, I felt that August’s statement on the compatibility diagram was clear.
Once the August Smart Lock arrived (it’s a bulky, squat cylinder 3.25” in diameter and 2.25” thick), I went through the various pieces of mounting hardware August includes to install the device on various deadbolts. I found nothing that would allow me to attach the device to my deadbolt.