When users are still thinking about what kind of home will be reassuring, a startup in San Francisco, August, believes that their new set of locks can do this. August recently released a pair of new smart locks, and we have the opportunity to experience them and see if they have achieved the peace of mind.
August's new smart locks focus on two main points: safety and convenience.
In terms of security, its smart locks take the form of smart alerts that tell the user information, including whether the door has been opened or has been away for a while, and includes an access log that lets them check what happened. The door open alarm is due to a new feature that August calls DoorSense, which locks the track relative to the wall.
In terms of convenience, the smart lock can be automatically engaged after the user immediately closes the door or timer. The user can set the lock to open automatically, just like the previous hardware iteration. When the user returns home, it feels almost magical during use.
Whether a user wants to buy one of Smart Locks will largely depend on two factors: whether they think these features are more than $100, and whether their family supports some features of the August system.
August's new smart lock is available in two models. The first is Smart Lock ($149), which provides users with an internal standard latch and can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth and interact with Alexa and Google Assistant. The second is mart Lock Pro, which offers more ringtones and whistles, such as support for Apple HomeKit, for $279.
This is the third generation of smart locks launched by August. Smart Lock Pro is the company's successor to the field in the past two years, and Smart Lock is the new form of the company's products. They are designed to integrate with the company's Doorbell Cam Pro, the smart doorbell that is shipping today.
Easy to use and powerful
Let us start with the good news. August's two smart locks are easy to install. They work by replacing the thumb-rotating latch located inside the door. The installation only requires removing a pair of screws and the old latch, replacing it with the mounting plate, installing the smart-lock adapter, and the hardware part of the motorized August is Existing low-tech metals.
The hardest part to connect is to make sure the adapter is properly installed in the actual Smart Lock mechanism. In particular, the Smart Lock Pro adapter must be installed in a specific orientation, which is a bit hard to figure out at the outset. But once set, users don't have to worry about it.
In addition, the user does not have to give up the old key. The outside of the door still has a work latch with a work keyway so the door can be unlocked without a phone.
The August iPhone app let me know the entire hardware installation process through Smart Lock and Smart Lock Pro, then help connect the hardware to the smartphone so that I can lock or unlock the door by tapping the screen. It also comes by setting up the Door Sense module, a small diamond-shaped plastic and magnet designed to reside on the door frame.
It's worth noting that every lock and unlock cycle is recorded and can be viewed through the August app, even if you manually unlock the door, so users can keep track of your activity at any time. August is also actively monitoring, an alert system that provides a set of smart push notifications when common conditions occur.
The new hardware also integrates August's new keyboard and doorbell Cam Pro, which means it allows the user to see who is at the door and provides keyless access to the August protected doors. I can't extensively test the review of this product, but in theory, integrating these products with smart locks should increase the effectiveness of both.
Proactive monitoring is the only vulnerability
Unfortunately, August Smart Lock is currently inconspicuous in terms of active monitoring. Although there may be a series of smart alerts in the future, you can tell me about unusual visits to my home, or regularly inform the arrival and progress of the delivery personnel, but now it is very basic.
Connecting the Smart Lock and Smart Lock Pro to the world outside of Bluetooth requires August Connect, which can be problematic. In order to work effectively, Connect needs to be close to its paired locks and powerful Wi-Fi signals. If the user does not have a socket close to the lock, if the front door's Wi-Fi signal is not reliable, you can also exit at the same time with blur.
This is a big bug because the best features of some hardware are locked after remote access that only Wi-Fi can provide. For example, without an internet connection, once someone opens the door, the user can't get an alert notification until you get home. Those who want to use Alexa or Google Assistant to control the lock must also get Connect.
This is not a specific limitation of August, and there are more troublesome things.
AConnect includes the purchase of Smart Lock Pro and pays $79 by itself. Everyone who wants to live in the future of a fully automatic smart lock must buy it.
There are also noise problems when using locks. It is necessary to physically move the bolts of the lock, and in the case of Smart Lock and Smart Lock Pro, this is a rather noisy motor that can be heard from the other side of the door. Smart Lock Pro is a bit quieter than its cheaper counterparts, but can be heard clearly through the wooden doors of my apartment.
Who is the user of the August Smart Lock?
August's improvements to smart locks are good and provide value to people who want to benefit from a more automated home. However, everyday buyers may find better ways to spend money.
Those who want to lock smartly and don't plan to buy iOS devices may purchase Smart Lock and Connected separately. $228, which is much cheaper than buying a Smart Lock Pro.
But those who want to retain HomeKit access can use Siri to lock the door, and those who want a slightly quiet lock will use Smart Lock Pro better.
Having said that, I think this $149 smart lock doesn't have a Wi-Fi bridge, it's relatively cheap. This is useful for those who want to accept trust on a regular basis and who retain the ability to revoke access digitally. For example, a person with a home care assistant or a family nanny can gain some peace of mind without damaging the heavy cash and can choose to connect the lock to the internet in the future.
Editor in charge: Zhu Xi
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