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Home World Tech News August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: The best-known retrofit smart lock gets Wi-Fi—and...

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: The best-known retrofit smart lock gets Wi-Fi—and shrinks its footprint

For years, market chief August has relied on a two-product resolution to offer its smart locks Wi-Fi connectivity. The August locks embrace solely a Bluetooth radio within the door housing. A separate product known as the August Join needed to be plugged into a close-by energy outlet, bridging the connection from the Bluetooth lock to your Wi-Fi community.

With the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, the corporate ditches the inelegant August Join and places the whole lot the place it actually must be: In a single machine, proper on the door. Even higher, the lock has gotten significantly smaller regardless of the additional radio: 45-percent smaller in quantity and 20-percent slimmer than the sooner Smart Lock Professional (per August’s specs). As with its current fashions, it’s out there within the conventional silver or a extra fetching matte black end.

This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the very best smart locks, the place you’ll discover opinions of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options it’s best to contemplate when procuring.

Whereas the brand new lock integrates the Wi-Fi radio into the product, the general operation and have set of the lock hasn’t actually modified. The identical August app stays in impact, and also you’ll want to put in it in your cellphone to be walked by means of the lock set up.

august wifi size comparison August House

August says its new Wi-Fi Smart Lock (proper) is 45-percent smaller in quantity, and 20-percent slimmer than its August Smart Lock Professional.

August has at all times been a retrofit lock (which implies you retain your exterior escutcheon, together with the bodily keyhole), and its {hardware} set up stays one of many easiest within the trade. It’s essential to take away a mere two screws out of your current deadbolt and substitute them by means of the slim body that holds August’s inside escutcheon. As with different August locks, no further screws are wanted to connect the first unit to this body. A intelligent pair of wings mean you can simply clip it into place, and the faceplate adheres to the entrance of the unit magnetically.

august wifi app 6 Christopher Null / IDG

The new August Wi-Fi Smart connects on to your Wi-Fi community, offered it may discover your Wi-Fi router.

Whereas the {hardware} set up was a breeze, the software program setup with the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock was a bit rocky. Issues progressed superb as I walked by means of the app—till I obtained to the Wi-Fi portion of the configuration. August discovered my community, however merely couldn’t connect with it, first failing to affix, then complaining that the wi-fi sign was too weak.

Following August’s (intensive) troubleshooting information, I finally solved the difficulty by eradicating the lock from the door and putting proper subsequent to my router, after which it was lastly in a position to be part of my community—though it was clear after shifting it again to its common residence that the lock typically struggles with vary.

However, though the lock additionally helps HomeKit, I used to be by no means in a position to get the lock to affix the Apple community efficiently.

August’s app is pretty streamlined and intuitive, as you’ll anticipate from an app that’s been round since 2013. It’s simple to open and shut the lock on demand, arrange customers, and configure superior settings like automated locking and unlocking (courtesy of a succesful geofencing resolution). An included magnetic sensor additionally lets the lock decide whether or not the door is ajar (and forestall auto-locking whether it is). The massive white nubbin that allows this characteristic, nonetheless, have to be positioned proper subsequent to the lock itself, at hip peak, making for a one thing of an eyesore. Aside from the aforementioned vary points and a few random occasions when the app crashed out of the blue, I had no actual points utilizing the lock or the app.

august wifi 1 August House

The matte black possibility will make for a much less obtrusive lock in most environments.

There’s one new caveat that’s distinctive to the August Wi-Fi, nonetheless, and that’s energy consumption. Wi-Fi eats up a lot extra battery life than Bluetooth, and August says that it’ll undergo a set of batteries—now two 3-volt Lithium cells as an alternative of a quartet of AAs—in three to 6 months, relying on total utilization. That’s not a very long time; on the plus facet, nonetheless, it’s remarkably simple to vary out the batteries on the lock due to the magnetic cowl.

august wifi app Christopher Null / IDG

Subtle logging retains tabs of everybody’s coming and going.

As a remaining word, August does assist Alexa, with the standard default safety setting permitting you solely to lock the door with a voice command. If you wish to unlock it along with your voice, you’ll want to vary the default setting and set up a four-digit pin. I had no hassle with Alexa and the lock.

At $250, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is cheaper that the Smart Lock Professional was at launch (about $280), which is nice as a result of the competitors on this house is getting extra cutthroat day-after-day. Higher but, the lock appears higher than ever, and the combination of Wi-Fi within the equipment is an actual recreation changer.

Thoughts the vary points, nonetheless; in case your door is simply too far out of your router, you may have to search for a special resolution to keep away from frustration. Alternatively, you might change to a mesh router that gives higher Wi-Fi protection in your house.

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