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August Smart Lock 3rd Gen Review

While the 3rd Generation August Smart Lock looks vastly different from the first two versions, it's now a more affordable option with a few new tricks that make it more secure and easier to install.

Our Verdict

Despite being a very affordable smart lock, August Smart Lock 3rd Generation has exceptional features and amazing smart home compatibility.

For

  • August Smart Lock is a better value than any other smart lock we tested.

Against

  • The three-month battery life might be too short for some homeowners.
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While the 3rd Generation August Smart Lock looks vastly different from the first two versions, it's now a more affordable option with a few new tricks that make it more secure and easier to install. It's the second easiest smart lock to use and it works incredibly well with the August Doorbell Cam Pro.

The August Smart Lock has a base price of $149, though we've seen it advertised as low as $138. The Lockitron Bolt is supposed to sell for $99, but we couldn't find any places where it costs less than $180. This makes August Smart Lock the best value among one of the smart locks we tested.

When we tested the previous version of the August Smart Lock, we found some holes in its potential to improve security at your front door: it didn't detect when keys opened the door and lacked alerts for when the lock jammed. We felt these flaws were big enough to justify a low rank in our comparison, despite August's excellence in our other tests. August fixed the issues through software updates, but we couldn't re-evaluate our scores at the time.

In our latest round of security tests, we found that this version of the August Smart Lock met most of our expectations. In particular, we like the newest August feature: DoorSense, which we think is one of the best security features you can get in a smart lock.

DoorSense brings door sensor functionality to the August Smart Lock so it can track if your door's open and send you an alert if it's left ajar. It seems like a simple feature, but it helps eliminate any doubts that your door's closed and secure. To use this feature, you simply install an included magnet on or in the doorframe near the lock and perform a few calibration steps.

Even with DoorSense, this smart lock doesn't quite match the security of Schlage Sense or Kwikset Obsidian. This is because August Smart Lock is a retrofit that upgrades the deadbolt you already have. It relies on the strength of the existing deadbolt to protect against forced entry and tampering, which often accompany burglars. Similarly, it lacks audible tones to tell you when it's working, and it doesn't have a siren to deter intruders from entering your home. It also doesn't detect when someone tampers with your lock or tries to force the door open.

Aside from security, August Smart Lock is one of the easiest smart locks to use. The lock's mobile app lets you send permanent, recurring and temporary keys to your guests. This smart lock has an effective auto-unlock feature, which uses your phone's location to track when you get close to home and unlocks as you approach the door. Similarly, August Smart Lock auto-locks your door.

We found that it takes around 10 minutes to install the August Smart Lock. This is mostly due to an innovative universal mounting plate that works with any brand of deadbolt.

The lock comes in two finish options and has an estimated battery life of three months, which is the shortest in our comparison. This is disappointing, considering most smart locks last about 12 months. Though inconvenient, we don't think it's a sufficient reason to pass up on the positive aspects of the lock. If August can solve this problem in future versions, it will be hard to beat.

August is compatible with a few smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, Xfinity, Wink, Logitech Harmony and others. This is more than most other smart locks we tested, but still doesn't match the August Smart Lock Pro or Nest x Yale. This version of the August Smart Lock lacks HomeKit functionality, though the Pro version still has it. You can add a $79 wireless keypad to August, so your guests don't need a mobile app to come in.

You can add an August Doorbell Cam Pro to your smart door lock to see who is at the door. In fact, it's the best example of a smart lock and video doorbell working together we've seen. If you want remote access, there are two options, you can link the lock to the Doorbell Cam Pro or the August Connect.

The August Connect is a $79 plug-in Wi-Fi adapter, though you can buy it in a bundle with the smart lock for less. However, we think the Doorbell Cam Pro is the better option, since it does more than simply adding a Wi-Fi connection. Similarly, if you're an Airbnb or HomeAway host, it's an excellent tool for providing access to your guests.

August also offers August Access, a network of trusted delivery companies and repair services. If you schedule an appointment in the app, August sends a guest key for your home to that service. August's one-year warranty isn't as long as those from Schlage and Nest but is typical for smart locks.