Editor's Note: In August 2020, PCMag and Bitdefender released a report alleging that August and Yale Android apps when working with Connect modules were vulnerable to a hack during setup mode that could give away Wi-Fi credentials. In August's latest response to CNET, it states, "If the Connect's firmware is up-to-date and the user's August Android app is up-to-date, their device will not be vulnerable to the original attack even if the unit enters into setup mode." The following review was published prior to this report and has not been altered.
The Yale Assure Lock SL is Yale's latest touchscreen deadbolt and the sleekest we've seen from the well-known lock makers. For $169, you'll get an attractive touchscreen deadbolt. Add a $50 network module, and the Assure Lock SL becomes an integrated part of your smart home. Stylish, low-profile design and dependable Yale hardware make this lock a solid choice for smart home security.
The Yale Assure Lock SL touchscreen deadbolt keeps the same Yale keypad we've seen for several years now, but updates the look with a much slimmer frame. No more chunky useless bottom half on this Assure lock. The interior side of the lock is still the bulky housing for a thumb latch, four AA batteries and a network module. A low battery indicator light flashes red when batteries are running low, and a pair of 9V jumpstart nodes on the bottom of the keypad act as a backup power supply for the keypad if batteries are completely dead.
Installation was simple. As always, it's important to make sure your door is well aligned and operating properly. I tested this lock on three different doors, and the lock performed noticeably worse on the door that needed a little extra shove to fully latch. Yale includes paper instructions as well as an audio-guided, step-by-step animated version via a third-party app called BILT.
You will need network modules to connect this lock to your smart home. Modules cost $50 and are available in iM1 (for HomeKit), Zigbee and Z-Wave. Granted, this brings your total lock cost up to $220, but that's not a terrible price to pay for a lock that has a lot of integrating capability. The August Pro with Connect module, for example, does a little bit more and is priced at $249. Yale will ship the Assure Lock SL internationally and its $169 pricetag converts to roughly £126 or AU$222.
My only gripe comes from the app needing to connect the iM1 network module with Apple HomeKit. For HomeKit, you'll need the Yale Secure app. I already had the Yale Assure app on my phone from a previous lock test, and it wasn't immediately apparent that this new Yale Assure Lock SL lock actually needed the Yale Secure app, not the Assure app. Also worth noting, the Yale RealLiving app is no longer available. Nomenclature here is a bit confusing.
With the Yale Secure app, you can lock and unlock the door via Bluetooth, manage lock settings and create or delete PIN codes. Zigbee and Z-Wave modules don't get an app. Adjustments for locks with those modules will need to be made through a smart home platform's app or through the keypad itself.
Once everything is installed, connecting the lock to your smart home network is pretty simple. A few taps of the keypad and your device is connected to your hub network. I tested both HomeKit and SmartThings platforms with this lock and set up was pretty similar for both. I was able to incorporate the lock into rooms and scenes with HomeKit quite easily. With HomeKit, the lock can be locked and unlocked using the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands. SmartThings connected quickly, but Alexa didn't recognize the new device until I logged out and logged back into the Alexa app. From there, I was able to ask Alexa to lock the door with voice commands.