I recently reviewed the August Smart Lock and now I would like to take a moment to look at an add-on device for the Smart Lock. The August Connect acts as bridge between your Wi-Fi connection and your Bluetooth. With just the Smart Lock alone, a person is limited to operating their lock only when in Bluetooth range of the lock itself.
It seems odd that August would have developed a lock that didn’t already incorporate such a feature since that level of connectivity is one of the biggest draws for someone considering a smart lock. The ability to check the status of your home security as well as “buzz in” guests is something that should be standard in a smart lock, in my opinion. The Wi-Fi connectivity is also necessary in order to integrate a smart lock in with other home automation systems.
The August Connect plugs directly into any electrical outlet near the Smart Lock (30 feet required, but 15 feet is optimal) and then is connected to the Wi-Fi via the August app you’ve already installed on your phone. Mine took a couple of tries before it was able to initially connect, but I haven’t had any repeat issues.
Remotely locking and unlocking your door isn’t a smooth process, though. You can’t open the app and just check the status of your door. You have to manually toggle the icon that says “Remote Connect.” It takes a couple seconds to load the current status, but then the icon will go from gray to Red (if your door is currently locked) and then you can unlock it if you desire. If your phone goes to sleep on you, you have to once again select the “Remote Connect” icon to check the status again. I found this all to be a bit frustrating, but I’ve never exactly been known for my patience either, so this is another exercise to teach it to me, I suppose.
The Auto-Unlock feature is probably the best feature of the August Connect. While this feature is supposed to be part of the original Smart Lock, it didn’t seem to work properly until I had installed the August Connect, possibly because of the more limited range of Bluetooth. This feature creates a geofence to your phone so that you can have your door unlock when you arrive home and don’t even have to pull out your phone (or keys). The lowest range is 100 meters. You can extend it up to 5,000 meters, but I’m not sure why someone would want to leave their home open and unprotected during the length of time it would take them to reach their door, which could potentially re-lock if you are using the EverLock feature with one of the shorter time ranges.
I’m fortunate that I get to park close to my front door and it seems like sometimes I wind up waiting for the door to unlock, so maybe I would be better off extending my range so that it registers me just a little earlier, but I also don’t want the door unlocking just because I stop at a neighbor’s place that happens to be near mine. Other people have the opposite problem, though. They need the range to be shorter. If you live on the 5th floor of an apartment building, then you don’t want the lock to unlock until you are much closer to your door, of course.
For $50, it’s not a bad price to get some of the extra convenience for your Smart Lock. However, when you compare the total price of the Smart Lock ($249) with the Connect, then you’re paying approximately $300 for something that some competitors have managed for as low as $199, though they need a smart hub to work connect to WiFi. How much you plan to automat your home would be something to consider here.
August is a great starting point for home automation and is convenient for renters such as myself, but it does seem like there is some additional cost for that convenience. As the company continues to work out bugs and improve products, we can hope that this will also be mitigated.
Author: Misha Davis
There’s not much to say about me. I’m a bit of a grammarian in that I constantly edit everything that I read.
I’m quirky and also a bit of a geek (or nerd, whichever word you prefer).