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August Smart Lock (2017) review: August's simpler Smart Lock still does a whole lotta stuff

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The Good August's third-generation Smart Lock comes with a DoorSense open/close sensor and works with Amazon Alexa speakers and the Google Home for just $149.

The Bad The Smart Lock doesn't work with Apple HomeKit or Z-Wave. Its lock motor is a little noisy.

The Bottom Line August's Smart Lock is a decent entry-level smart lock that performs well and offers a lot for its price.

7.5 Overall
  • Features 7.5
  • Usability 8
  • Design 7.5
  • Performance 7

August's $149 third-generation Smart Lock is proof that you don't have to spend a ton of money for a solid smart lock. While it has a more traditional design, much about this lock remains the same. You can install it in minutes flat, it relies on the same August app as before and, like August's new $279 Smart Lock Pro, this simpler version also comes with DoorSense. DoorSense is a new feature that tells you whether your door is open or closed. 

What's missing here is compatibility with Apple HomeKit and Z-Wave. If either of those things matters to you, don't get this lock. But, if you're torn between it and August's Pro, this model is still compatible with Amazon's Alexa speakers, the Google Home and Nest's thermostats for way less.

Note: Add a Connect Wi-Fi module for an extra $79 if you want to control your Smart Lock outside of Bluetooth range. That takes your total up to $228, which is still about 50 bucks less than the Pro. You need an August Connect to operate your lock via Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. 

A whole new Smart Lock?

Three key things separate this lock from the second-gen August Smart Lock:

  • Design - August took a more traditional design approach here than with its previous cylindrical lock. This version sports a more oblong shape, with less hardware and a thumb latch you rotate to lock and unlock the door manually. I don't mind this product's design, but it is a little less inspired than August's original design, now exclusive to the Smart Lock Pro. 

I also noticed that this lock's motor is louder when you're controlling it remotely from the app or with voice control. It wasn't distractingly loud, but it is worth keeping in mind. 

  • DoorSense - Like August's Pro Lock, DoorSense comes with the Smart Lock. One of the benefits of a smart lock like August is its ability to autolock a door for you. But, what if you accidentally leave the door open? That's exactly where DoorSense comes in. Now, your lock will let you know two things: If the door is locked or unlocked and if it's open or closed.

DoorSense worked great during testing, clearly displaying the state of the door in the app. 

  • HomeKit - The third-gen Smart Lock is now August's entry-level model. As such, August stripped out some of its features, including compatibility with Apple HomeKit. You can still use an Alexa speaker or the Google Home speaker if you want to control the August Smart Lock via voice commands, though.

Configure your lock and DoorSense sensor in the app.

Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

Same ol' reliable August

Everything else works the same as the previous August lock. You can control it remotely from the app, or with Alexa -- or Google Assistant. It was straightforward and responsive, if not a little noisy. 

If you don't anticipate wanting to use Siri voice control and you'd rather connect to the lock via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi (with the addition of a $79 Connect accessory, not included), August's $149 third-generation Smart Lock is a really strong choice. It still comes with DoorSense and all of the other same smart integrations (minus Siri and Z-Wave). 

Want more options? Consider August's $279 Smart Lock Pro. Not only does it come bundled with the Connect Wi-Fi module, it also has DoorSense, as well as compatibility with HomeKit and Z-Wave.

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