August 1st Generation Smart Lock - Your Choice

Amazon Reviews

$109 had me thinking yes, but the Amazon reviews turned that into a resounding “no”.

I’m not knowingly buying anything made in China these days.

A few words from a locksmith in the review section.

Feature rich products, purchased without consulting a professional is a gamble. If these products ( there are a handful of deadbolt adapters of this ilk, along with a number of complete locks on the market ) were ready for market, they would be sold in my servicenter. You would be able to try it in my showroom, learn the advantages and drawbacks/limitations. Online, all you will get is the polished presentation, and hope you are luckier than others.

This product segment is interesting. But I would not sell it quite yet. My clients are not to be experimented on during Beta testing.

All that said, this product was brought to my showroom by a client who had an incompatible deadbolt.

The product seems of decent concept, very aesthetically pleasing.

Because the exterior side of existing lock is used, you avoid HOA ( Homeowner Association ) issues. Similarly, if on an apartment or extended rental; you are not altering the door against lease inclusions. For departure, the old inside thumbturn and mounting plate can be put back on, and the lock taken to next couch-surf. These are positive considerations.

On the other side of the coin:

  1. If you have a real cheap quality lock, do you really want to make it into a 300.00 cheap quality lock?

  2. MOST new construction and remodel jobs result in LOW quality ( Regardless is plain or designer" locks that are sloppy, have bind and will be challenging to optimize.

  3. “Optimizing” auto unlock and auto lock. You need to have a LOOSE fit where the bolt goes into the frame. Compression weatherstripping found on most doors manufactured since the late 80s allows the door to push against the handles’ latch, so you do not have a positive stop position. This is a major issue for a lock you do not touch to engage… you have NO idea if the bolt PROPERLY and fully extended, or if it butted against the strike plate.

IF the product has a lifetime mechanical, and at least a 2 year electronics warranty, with prompt claims, I would consider the next upgraded release.

IF one is intent on buying this type of product, there is only ONE deadbolt I would suggest purchasing to pair it with, and that is the SCHLAGE B660 Commercial Deadbolt. NOT the inferior B60 or other models Schlage offers, and CERTAINLY not a Kwikset, EZ Set, Defiant, or any of a host of underachievers. The key override is essential on ANY lock, and the B660 can be outfitted with a cylinder that is resistant to all the internet ploys to hack, either ASSA MAX or Medeco3. Expect the new lock to be about 180.00-220.00, in your choice of 8 finishes.

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Another point to consider: your homeowner’s insurance can increase if they have knowledge of a smart-lock.

Oh goodie, a high tech lock that some kid with a smartphone can hack. Brilliant. Why inconvenience your criminals in having to use a crow bar? Let them just walk in. Better yet, leave the door wide open with the welcome mat out. And a couple of beers since they will probably get thirsty robbing you blind.

I own this and have liked it. Use it with the app for the housesitters and some of the folks doing work in the house. The app can be wonky, but the lock works fine.

Hard to say yes after reading the Amazon reviews. I usually take those with a grain of salt but there are nearly as many 1’s as 5’s and that can’t be a good thing.

I own this lock, and I also am a Smart Home Specialist according to my business card (I’m IT for a nationwide real estate company, and Smart Home is a big part of their current marketing push, so I’m the one that got all the training and gets to play with all the toys).

  1. These are the 1st gen locks, which means they are not Apple Homekit compatible. Other than Homekit’s required encryption chip and a slightly redesigned battery cover, the 1st gen lock is identical to the current 2nd gen lock.

  2. These fit onto to the inside half of an existing deadbolt lock. It does not come packaged with a deadbolt. It is also not visible from the outside, so no HOA issues unless they see the inside portion of the lock.

  3. Like the locksmith post stated, these require minimal tension on the lock. Smart locks run on AA batteries, so they can’t generate the torque needed to overcome door tension caused by thick weather stripping or settling of the frame.

  4. Lock uses 4 AA batteries, with a lifespan of about 9 months. The app notifies you ahead of time if the batteries are running low.

  5. The locks are Bluetooth only. If you want to be able to access them remotely, you have to buy a separate wireless bridge called the August Connect, or install an August Video Doorbell (which will act as a wireless bridge for an August lock). Ditto if you want to integrate your August lock with an Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, IFTTT, etc.

  6. The auto lock/unlock feature is flaky, at best.

  7. Can easily grant permissions to other people to gain scheduled and/or temporary access to your lock. Also has a few existing commercial partners, so you can allow servicemen and delivery personnel to enter your home if you’re not around (they recently announced a partnership with Amazon, so your packages could be placed inside your door if you want, though that service had not yet gone live).

I’ve installed 2 of these (one in my home, one in a Smart Home demo space at one of my company’s offices). If you have questions, I probably have the answers.

I see this kind of paranoid response all the time from people who clearly don’t understand hacking. These locks are Bluetooth. A hacker would have to park in the driveway, stay there for hours trying to bust the encryption (which, by the way, only 1 person ever has with August’s lock, and that was at an annual hacking conference with August present to observe, and they patched the vulnerability within the day).

Meanwhile anyone capable of picking up a rock could have gone through the window and been long gone by the time a hacker was successful.

People are so scared of “hackers”, but it is one of the slowest, least efficient ways to break into a home.

In my experience, the iOS app performs slightly better than the Android app (which is what I use). Android’s battery optimizations (aka Doze) can make August slow to “wake up” and connect to the lock if you haven’t used it in a while (like after a full day at work). I’m just talking like 10 seconds, but that can get annoying if you’re in a hurry.

I would stay away from automatic locks. I had one from Costco a while back and I would find my door unlocked at times.

I went with a Schlage keypad that locks the mechanism from turning and like it a lot better.

No keys you say? What is this sorcery?

The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking about people who go out and buy desktop and laptop computers w/o talking to someone (IT) who touches these things daily, only to show up at your desk on a Monday morning begging for help, not on company hours of course :wink: We all have our preferences and are not always put into a trance with cool, useless costly features. But here is my experience with “smart” locks. You go ask 3 different professionals and you will get 3 different answers. Ether I’m lucky or I got a lock built on a Wednesday. I picked up a Kwikset electronic deadbolt lock that’s now 8 years old and from the look at the price, it’s the same price now as it was 8 years ago). It’s the Smartcode 909 I change the batteries every spring along with my CO2 and non-hardwired smoke detectors. Never had issues and it fit where the old deadbolt was w/o any mod’s. Now, I could go get one again, install it on the rear deck door and I might have a different attitude. I like the lock, it works, never gives me any trouble and batteries last a year. I’m sure if there was any binding while opening or locking, the batteries might not last as long. But I’m sure one EMP event will take out all these locks in a flash.

The heck with breaking into the home, I just need the four AA batteries readily accessible.

NOW WHAT!

No, don’t leave beer. Leave bottled water and some doggie treats to keep Fido in check. If they get bitten by the dog or into an accident on the way to their next job, you could be sued. :slight_smile:

Search MrLocksmith on youtube before buying any smart lock. Dude busts many of them in seconds.

  1. How would they found out unless you told them… and why would you tell them.

  2. It won’t increase… just like it won’t increase if you leave your door unlocked.

Actually, this lock could make your home more secure. Did you lck your door when you left? With remote access you could make sure it’s locked.

Um, yep you’re right. Your rates won’t increase. BUT that’s not how the world works. What happens is - AFTER you’re robbed, THAT’S when they find out you have one of these and obviously THAT’S how the thieves got in and paragraph 496, subsection 348 line 6948 says ‘you’re NOT covered if you have one of these locks !!’
Oh, you didn’t know that you weren’t covered if you have a lock like this ?? Gee, maybe you should have read AND UNDERSTOOD ALL of your contract ! Sorry.

Gee, did I lock the door before I left ?? No prob.

Just use my magic phone and punch in more DATA ( right after I check my bank balance because I HAVE GOT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW how much I have in the checking account ! ) and I’m now COMPLETELY SURE WITHOUT ANY DOUBT that my door X miles away is locked. My phone told me so !!

You hang onto that unshakable blind trust in modern electronics / networks. After all, nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong…