August Looks Like It’s Made The Perfect Smart Lock For Apartment Dwellers (and Anyone Else)

August Looks Like It’s Made The Perfect Smart Lock For Apartment Dwellers (and Anyone Else)
Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

August is already one of the most popular smart lock makers, but now, with its fourth-generation Wi-Fi Smart Lock, it feels like August has really perfected its craft, especially for renters and apartment dwellers.

Unlike a lot of other smart locks that require you to remove or replace your current hardware (which often isn’t an option when you’re renting), August’s smart locks slip over the inside latch on your deadbolt, allowing you smarten up your security while still keeping the outside of the lock looking and functioning the same.

August’s previous Smart Lock Pro had a couple of pain points, most notably that it was a bit bulky, and because it only had Bluetooth built in, the lock required a separate bridge (that also requires its own power outlet) if you wanted to tack on wifi integration. That meant, unless you ponied up another $70 for the bridge, you wouldn’t be able to use features such as remote access voice controls (for Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant).

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Here’s a size comparison between the new Wi-Fi Smart Lock (left) and the August’s previous Smart Lock Pro (right).

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Because the Wi-Fi Smart Lock fits over the latch in the inside of your door, your deadbolt looks unchanged from the outside.

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Thankfully, on the new Wi-Fi Smart Lock, August has addressed both those issues. Compared to the previous model, the Wi-Fi Smart Lock is 45 per cent smaller and, more importantly, has built-in wifi, so there’s no need for a separate bridge. So now, all you have to do to install the lock is slip it over your deadbolt’s latch, pair the lock with the August app on your phone, and you’re good to go.

On top of that, the Wi-Fi Smart Lock has also been given a subtle facelift featuring a slightly sleeker design, while still sporting the same easy-to-remove faceplate that gives you access to the lock’s replaceable batteries. Because of the Wi-Fi Smart Lock’s new smaller dimensions, however, August had to switch over to CR123 batteries instead of the more common AA batteries used in the previous model, which is a minor tradeoff.

The rest of the Wi-Fi Smart Lock’s features are pretty much the same as before, including August’s Activity Feed, which sends you notifications anytime someone opens the door, proximity and time-based automatic locking and unlocking, and configurable guest keys. And despite using physically smaller batteries, August’s Wi-Fi Smart Lock also has about the same battery life as before, lasting between three and six months on a pair of CR123’s, depending on how often you open your door, of course.

Unfortunately, it seems August is still trying to decide how much the Wi-Fi Smart Lock should cost because it hasn’t provided any official pricing. But if its final price tag is anywhere near $US230 ($335), the full-price for the earlier third-gen Smart Lock Pro, the Wi-Fi Smart Lock should be an excellent choice when it arrives sometime later this autumn.

Editor’s Note: Australian pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed.

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

The $US80 ($116) Smart Cabinet Lock is the small white box in the corner, which sits inside your cupboard and latches on to a plastic tab that you install on the cabinet’s door.

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

The $US230 ($335) Smart Delivery Box is simply a plastic bin that uses the Smart Cabinet Lock to secure and lock it’s lid.

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Photo: Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo

Finally, the Smart Safe is pretty much a standard safe with built-in Bluetooth support (and wi-fi when paired with a $US50 ($73) bridge).

Meanwhile, when it comes to other smart locking gadgets, August’s sister company Yale is also announcing a range of devices including an $US80 ($116) Smart Cabinet Lock to help prevent children or pets for rummaging inside the wrong cupboard, a $US230 ($335) Smart Safe, and a $US230 ($335) Smart Delivery Box designed protect package deliveries from potential porch pirates.

One potential problem, though, is that because all three of these other devices are Bluetooth-only, they’ll each need their own wifi bridge if you want to be able to monitor them when you’re not at home. Like the Wi-Fi Smart Lock, Yale’s new lockable gadgets will also go on sale sometime this spring.