I've now had the August door lock and August Connect for 2 years. Here are my impressions.
Update: thanks for the feedback reddit, I added a couple screen shots of the August app to clear a couple things up.
I haven’t been too drawn to many of the internet of things devices I’ve seen. Most of them seem like more work than the non-connected devices that they replace.
However, the way our house is laid out, we need to unlock our front door, even when coming in from the garage.
When these Bluetooth and wifi door locks first came on the market, there were quite a few options. The August one stood out for two related reasons, it actually looked quite nice. Other locks were plasticity or had lots of flashing LEDs. Neither of which really worked with our house's esthetic. We didn’t have to replace the outside lock. This was important again because we have a nice looking front door and the other locks just wouldn’t fit in.
The installation was a breeze... If you can operate a screwdriver to replace batteries in a toy, you can handle this.
Software is pretty easy to setup too.
So, how was it? Pretty good. But it wasn’t 100% reliable. More like 90%, which can be really frustrating. When something usually works, it’s all the more frustrating when it doesn’t. That's not the end of the story though, read on!
One nice thing about software controlled devices is that they don’t necessarily stay the way they are out of the box. August has been really good about updating the lock. Things that didn’t quite work right that I had thought I’d just have to accept as a price for the convenience of having a magical door that unlocked itself were eventually resolved. The August connect accessory that seemed to need to be restarted once a week to work reliably now seems to never need to be reset.
After two years, the lock works the way I envisioned, 99.9% of the time, it works. We don’t even think about it anymore. I don’t carry a house key. I just expect by the time I get to the front door that it will be unlocked, and... It is. Always. it’s quick to lock the door from the notification center, and if we forget when leaving the house, we can do it from anywhere using the connect accessory.
The battery life seems to have improved as well. Part of that may have been tweaking the physical installation so that the deadbolt moved more smoothly, but listening to the unit operate, I suspect August has tweaked the way the motor operates as well.
I should also note that it gets really cold here... like -40 cold, and the lock although it gets ice cold to the touch (as do all locks), never skips a beat.
My only two hardware complaints are:
- it seems thicker than it should be... honestly, I've pretty much gotten used to it, so it's not that big of a deal now, but I could have sworn it looked thinner in earlier pre-production shots.
- the battery cover comes off a little to easily. Again, we're used to the way it works now. You turn the outside sleeve to lock/unlock the door, and we grab it there now. Guests who are unfamiliar with the lock usually grab the whole thing and start turning, popping the battery cover off in the process.
There is an updated version of the lock, that is also HomeKit enabled. Since I don't have any other home kit devices, this doesn't really seem like a big deal to me. If my August died now, I'd probably replace it with one of those, but this one is working flawlessly.
August has also created a keypad accessory to let you unlock the door with a combination. I don't know that I really want this now, perhaps when my kids are old enough to be coming and going on their own... although, by then, they'll probably have hand-me-down iPhones and won't need it.
Overall, I'd still strongly recommend the lock. I'd get the bridge as well. The peace of mind of knowing the door is really locked is worth it for me, and the couple times I've let people in with it have saved a lot of trouble. If you are interested, you can purchase through one of the Amazon affiliate links below, and give me a small referral fee (at no cost to you).
Here are a couple screen shots of the app: