August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review: The best lock gets better [Video]
Video uploaded by CNET on May 15, 2020
The Smartest Among the Locks from the Most Expensive to the Less Expensive
In line with our constant efforts to keep you abreast about what is considered the creme de la creme among the gadgets of the day, today we give you the rundown of best electronic locks in the market, according to CNet. Anyone out there puzzled by the limitless choice on offer, should just read on – and you’ll most likely find what floats your boat there, whatever your preference is.
So, let’s start from the lock which, if we are to believe CNet (and this far, they haven’t given us any reason us not to), has it all and will satisfy the most demanding – and more deep-pocketed – audience that wants it all (and, preferably, now). The winner of the site’s Best Overall category is the lock which its maker August unpretentiously named August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, apparently believing that this particular product of theirs speaks for itself, no additional incitements needed. And they have a good reason to believe so, too: you will be hard-pressed to find a single weakness on any front here. As far as compatibility is concerned, it offers the full package on software and hardware levels alike. In terms of the former, it responds to Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant alike, and its remote control works with both iOS and Android. So there are few – if any – smart systems it won’t suit. And as for the hardware side of things, this particular model’s design allows it to be fitted with pretty much any bolt out there, including much older ones. There are more than enough features and options too: Wi-Fi Smart Lock comes with its own Wi-Fi (which is one expense less, considering that otherwise you’d have to buy a special connectivity module) and a DoorSense detector, offers unlimited access and codes and logs everything that goes on at the door. And on top of it all, it installs as a breeze. Besides, this is a case when size does matter: this version of August Wi-Fi is 45% smaller than the previous one.
However, if you are after something less expensive and live in an apartment, as opposed to the house… well, then August has a special something for you, too. In this nomination, CNet chose their Wi-Fi Smart Lock And Connect. And it’s easy to see why: while costing about half as much as the above-mentioned model, it will give you a lot of the same goods. It also includes the same door sensor and the WiFi connector (as is obvious from the title), also fits with any existing lock, and also is not heavy on installation. It’s not overly fancy-looking, too, which is often a plus for the apartments’ doors. But of course, at such a lower price, something’s got to give, so this particular August model is a bit shorter on bells and whistles: it will only work with Google Assistant and Alexa, and won’t communicate with smart hubs. But at least we can relieve you from one concern, recently associated with Smart Lock and Connect: August has just confirmed that the latest firmware and Android app version they released for this model successfully patched the hack hole which was harming its connection module before. So, if you go for this one, avoid the older software versions.
Now, above, talking about the lock which topped the apartment-oriented category, we cited its not-too-fancy appearance as a plus. But what about those of you who do want fancy and flashy? Well, no worries: the next category winner on the CNet’s list is meant exactly for the buyers concerned first and foremost with pleasing the eye and impressing the neighbours. The site’s Best Design crown of this year has gone to Yale’s Assure Lock SL Key free Touchscreen Deadbolt. And no wonder, considering how slim and polished it looks (whatever embossing you choose, and there are three of them). Moreover, in this case, beauty doesn’t come at the expense of compatibility or features. The Yale model will work not only with the aforesaid Google and Alexa assistants, but with the HomeKit as well, so in this case you won’t have any problem getting your lock to communicate with your smart home system. The DoorSense and Wi-Fi connectivity are at hand as well with this model. But it will come at a more literal kind of expense: the Yale lock’s price tag is $99 higher than that of the August one, and those who’ll want to expand its capabilities even further, making it respond to such modules as Z-Wave and Zigbee, will have to part with additional $50.
And finally, even though the fine locks presented above are, as we’ve already noted, mostly easy enough to install, but from where CNet stands, they all have been outdone in this regard by another model. To those among us who are unwilling to be bothered with installation at all, they recommend jumping at the Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt which they branded the simplest to fit. Mind you, simplest doesn’t mean cheapest in this instance: this lock’s price doesn’t fall far behind the one of the overall crown winner. But the Schlage model does have something to show for it, including, again, its own Wi-Fi, Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, plus Amazon Key to simplify the process of goods delivery and even connectivity with the Zigbee type smart hubs. However, there are some downsides, too: this Schlage lock doesn’t work with HomeKit and the amount of its codes is limited (no more than 100). But then again, few things in this life, if any, are perfect, and it all, as usual, comes down to priorities. So, just go by yours when choosing among those winners, and you most likely won’t be disappointed.