August’s smart locks have been some of our favorites since we reviewed the company’s first offering back in 2014. Our most recent review of the August Smart Lock Pro garnered an Editors’ Choice for its multi-platform support, easy installation, and sleek aesthetics. The new August Wi-Fi Smart Lock ($249.99) is the company’s smallest model to date, and its first to offer embedded Wi-Fi. It also supports Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and numerous other third-party platforms and devices, following in the suit of its predecessors and earning our latest Editors’ Choice for smart locks.
Design and Features
As with every other August lock, the Wi-Fi Smart Lock replaces your existing interior thumb turn mechanism and uses the rest of your existing lock hardware, including the keys. It has the same puck-shaped design as previous generations, but at 2.8 by 1.8 inches (HD), it’s noticeably smaller. The lock comes in matte black or silver and sports a textured grip around the outer edge and a removable magnetic faceplate with a backlit August logo status indicator. To operate it manually, simply turn the lock to the left (unlock) or to the right (lock).
The back contains two wing latches that secure the lock to the mounting plate, and a reset button. Under the hood are a Bluetooth radio and a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio. The built-in Wi-Fi is what sets this lock apart from the previous iterations of August locks, which all require a bridge to connect to your home network. The lock is powered by two CR123 batteries (included), which, under normal conditions, are only expected to last up to three months before requiring replacement, so be sure to lay in a good supply of spare batteries.
Also included in the box are a mounting plate, an optional mounting cover plate for thinner doors, four tailpiece adapters, a strip of adhesive tape, a door sensor, and a quick start guide.
August locks have always played nice with other smart home devices and the Wi-Fi Smart Lock is no different. You can lock and unlock it using the August mobile app (for Android and iOS) or with the Apple HomeKit app, and you can create HomeKit Automations and Scenes. You can also lock and unlock your door using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, and you can create IFTTT applets to have it interact with numerous third-party smart devices. Moreover, the lock integrates seamlessly with home automation and security platforms from Honeywell, Logitech, SimpliSafe, and Samsung.
The August mobile app opens to a Keychain screen with panels for each of your homes (you can use the app to manage multiple locks in multiple locations). Tap a home panel to open the lock screen where you can lock and unlock your door by tapping the large circle in the center of the screen. The circle is solid red when the door is locked and solid green when it is unlocked. A broken red circle tells you that the lock is engaged (locked) but the door is ajar, and a broken amber circle means that the lock is unengaged (unlocked) and the door is ajar.
Along the bottom edge of the screen are buttons for Lock, Camera, Activities, Guest List, and Settings. The Lock button takes you back to the Lock screen and the Camera button opens a live feed if you have an August View Doorbell Camera installed. The Activities button displays a timeline of all lock events including manual and app-controlled locking and unlocking, and door openings and closings. When the lock is accessed using the app, it will show you who locked or unlocked the door and when the event took place. Use the Guest List button to add users and give them permanent, recurring, or temporary access to the lock. You can send the invitation via email or text message.
The Settings button takes you to a screen where you can enable and disable features including Auto Lock, which will lock the door instantly or on a timer, and Auto Unlock, which uses your phone’s location services to unlock the door (via Bluetooth) as you approach. Other settings include DoorSense Door Ajar Timing, which allows you to set the amount of time needed to trigger an open door notification; HomeKit, which lets you choose a Home, add the lock to a Room, and give it a Siri name; and Calibrate, which calibrates the lock and the DoorSense sensor that lets you know if the door is opened or closed. Here you can also create custom Smart Alerts that will send notifications when a door is left ajar, when the door is Auto Locked, when the door is locked or unlocked by a specific user, and when the door is locked or unlocked manually.
Installation and Performance
Installing the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is easy. I already had the mobile app installed on my phone, but if this is your first August device, you’ll have to download the mobile app and create an account to get started.
I opened the app, tapped Set up Device in the menu, and selected Set Up a Smart Lock. I selected the Wi-Fi Smart Lock from the list and followed the instructions to scan the QR code on the back of the lock’s cover.
Following the on-screen installation instructions, I taped my lock’s outer cylinder to the door to hold it in place and removed my existing thumb turn mechanism. I attached the mounting plate to the door using the two bolts that I had just removed and installed the proper tailpiece adapter. I then opened the wing latches on the back of the lock, slid the lock onto the tailpiece adapter, and when it was flush with the mounting plate, closed the latches to secure the lock to the plate. Next, I removed the faceplate, removed the battery tab, pressed Continue, and followed the instructions to install the DoorSense sensor.
With the sensor installed, I pressed Begin Setup and the app scanned and found the lock immediately. I gave the lock a name, waited a few seconds for a firmware update, and followed the calibration instructions. Once calibrated, I added the lock to my HomeKit home, and when prompted, I entered my home network SSID and password. After a few seconds the lock was connected to my network and the installation was complete.
The August Wi-Fi lock performed well in testing. It locked and unlocked instantly using the app and was super quiet. In fact, with the chime disabled, the lock was virtually silent. Manual operation was smooth and easy, and push alerts of lock activity arrived quickly. The Auto Lock feature worked flawlessly, and Door Ajar alerts arrived right on time. Likewise, the DoorSense sensor always correctly reported the door’s current position.
I created a Smart Alert to be notified whenever the door was left ajar and it worked without a hitch. I also created a Smart Alert to be notified when a specific user locked or unlocked the door, and this too worked as advertised. The lock responded quickly to Alexa voice commands to lock and unlock the door (you have to set up a pin code to unlock using your voice), and my IFTTT applet to have an Arlo Pro 3 camera begin recording when the door was unlocked worked like a charm.
Robust third-party integrations, multi-platform support, and ease of use are all good reasons to consider the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. It’s not only the smallest August lock yet, it’s the first to offer embedded Wi-Fi instead of requiring an add-on bridge. Features are plentiful and include Auto Lock and Unlock, support for Alexa, Google, and Siri voice commands, support for Apple HomeKit and IFTTT applets, and seamless integration with a variety of home automation and home security platforms. As with most smart locks, it’s more expensive than a non-connected model, and you’ll have to keep a good supply of CR123 batteries on hand. That said, if you’re looking for a stylish smart lock that is easy to install and offers broad third-party support, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is your best bet and our Editors’ Choice.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock Specs
|Integration||Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT|