Upgrading to the August Wifi Smart Lock


Our new house came with an August Smart Lock Pro already installed. 

We've written about it in this space quite a few times. 

Now, we've upgraded to its successor - the 4th Generation August Wifi Smart Lock. 

It's a worthy upgrade, and Pro owners should consider making the switch. 

Why Upgrade? 

The August Smart Lock Pro has been great for us - with a few caveats. So why bother to upgrade?

First and foremost, the new lock is a lot better - mechanically and cosmetically. August managed to cram all of the necessary components into a Lock that seems to be less than half of the volume of the old Lock Pro. 

The Wifi Lock really is quite a bit smaller.

This smaller form factor is nice, but the cosmetic improvement probably isn't enough to drive an upgrade in and of itself. 

The functionality is the key. 

Most importantly - the new lock can be activated from anywhere, with no bridge required. 

This is pretty huge. If my parents arrive in town unexpectedly early for the weekend and I'm still at the office, I can open the door and let them in. 

If we think we've forgotten to lock the door and we're already 50 miles away on vacation, we can check the lock status and lock the door if needed.  

Another bonus - it really, really turns a lot more smoothly. The Lock Pro had a "clicky/turning gears" feel to turning the deadbolt, while the Wifi Lock spins almost ridiculously smoothly. 

(This may have been an issue with our lock, specifically - but I don't think so.)

Old Lock - Failing To Engage Deadbolt

I also think they've fixed the primary issue with our Lock Pro.

There were times when the lock would spin - but would fail to turn the deadbolt. 

This usually happened if the door wasn't pushed completely closed - and it led to MANY issues with friends and relatives being unable to open the door and panicking when they were "locked inside."  

To be fair - even with the old Lock Pro, this issue largely went away after we replaced the plastic internal adapter. 

Basically, the Pro is attached to the inside of the door, and replaces the "inside" part of the deadbolt. The Pro spins "open" and "closed", and basically rotates the original lock cylinder. 

How does it do that? The "go-between" is a small plastic cylinder - you get 4 of these adapters with each Lock, and use the one that fits your deadbolt. 

Old adapters for Lock Pro - Note the 2 small "prongs" on the side.

The Lock spins, grips the adapter by 2 small plastic prongs, and the spinning adapter spins the deadbolt. Basically, the adapter is acting as the transmission - it's the only place the Lock Pro touches your actual lock.

On our Lock Pro, the prongs had gotten a little worn down. 

In fact, they were worn down enough that if the deadbolt had a little too much friction, the August Lock could spin while "slipping past" & not fully engaging/rotating the adapter. 

This would allow the deadbolt to stay locked, even when the August Lock had rotated to the "unlock" position. 

New adapters for the WiFi Lock - now with More Prong!

The adapters that came with the WiFi Lock were SUBSTANTIALLY more robust. The two-prong system is gone - now we've got 4 massive triangular grips. There's no way the lock can slip past these.

The Rundown

There's no question that the WiFi Lock is an evolutionary step. When the Lock Pro and the WiFi Lock are working properly, they're more or less identical in function. 

But man.... what an evolution. 

Physically, the WiFi Lock has refined the August Smart Lock form factor to what may be its final form - it can't get much smaller while still covering up the deadbolt, and it can't get much thinner without making it difficult to grip!

Functionally, the WiFi Lock resolves the biggest issue with the Lock Pro - the flimsy adapters - and adds the ability to control from any location. 

Now that it's often on sale for less than $200, it was easy to make the jump. 

The WiFi Lock is a recommended upgrade. 

1 comment :

  1. UPDATE - The Wifi Lock is having some real issues with HomeKit. It's reading as "Setup Needed" Or "Updating" or "Not Available". I'm going to try to connect through HomeBridge - this appears to be a real problem.