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August’s WiFi Smart Lock made my old lock new again

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I can’t start this review without admitting that it’s a peculiar period in time to review a smart lock. I haven’t left the house in nearly two months except for my daily walk around the neighborhood. But if quarantine has afforded me anything, it’s the time to reflect and make headway on the various home improvement projects I’ve put off for a while. One of those items on my to-do list was figuring out whether my original, 40-year-old front door can handle a smart lock. And it turns out an August WiFi Smart Lock not only works fine but it also kept my vintage door hardware intact. 

When I first moved in, I brought over the Yale x Nest smart lock from my former dwelling. It clashed with the aesthetic of the door, and I felt like the exterior keypad made it too obvious the lock was a smart one. I don’t like drawing attention to the fact that my house is “techy,” both for security reasons and because I don’t want the neighbors asking about it. That’s one of the appeals of August’s Smart Locks: Unlike its competition, it’s not immediately apparent there’s a gearbox installed on the inside of the door. And because the keyhole stays the same on the outside, you can still use your physical keys to unlock the door in the event you don’t swap out its dual CR123 batteries in time. 

Engadget Score

Poor

Uninspiring

Good

Excellent

Key

Pros
  • Easy install
  • Minimal door takeover
  • Compatible with major digital assistants
Cons
  • Auto Unlock can be unreliable on Android devices
  • Relies on 2.4GHz network
  • Price is a bit steep

Summary

The August WiFi Smart Lock is a convenient way to upgrade your door lock, though it’s not always reliable on the “smart” front.

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