August Smart Lock Pro vs. August Wi-Fi Smart Lock – CNET

Do you ever leave home, then wonder whether you locked your front door? Smart locks can answer that question for you. With smart locks, you control them via a mobile app, which you can use to unlock the door for the pet sitter, schedule the door to lock after you leave and more with the press of a button.

Some smart locks, including the ones from August, can also detect when you arrive and unlock the door for you. That’s convenient if you have your hands full with shopping bags, pets or kids. August smart locks connected to Wi-Fi also offer remote control over who has access to your home, for extra peace of mind in your pocket.

Two of August’s most popular models are the August Smart Lock Pro and the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. If you’re not sure which one is better for you, here’s a look at the features these locks have and how they compare. 

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The August Smart Lock Pro starts from $230 and connects to your front door deadbolt, allowing you to use your keys while also taking advantage of smart home features, all without replacing your entire hardware set.

Once it’s installed, you can remotely unlock and lock your door using the August Smart Lock App if you’re in Bluetooth range. The app has an activity feed, so you can see who is coming in and leaving your home at all hours of the day.

Add in two extra sensors, and you get even more capability. A DoorSense sensor lets you know if the door is open or closed. An August Connect module (available as a bundle) plugs into a nearby outlet to give your smart lock Wi-Fi connectivity. That means you’ll be able to control it from anywhere, not just in Bluetooth range. The module’s Wi-Fi connectivity also adds biometric verification, allowing you to unlock your door through the app using your phone’s fingerprint or facial recognition tech. 

In addition to shared users, you can also assign guest passes. You’re in control of how long these codes work, making them perfect for temporary access for cleaners and pet sitters, for example. You will also receive Smart Alerts. A Smart Alert informs you when someone locks or unlocks your door and will tell you who accessed the door based on their code. Speaking of entry codes, you receive unlimited digital keys, so you never have to worry about running out. 

The Smart Lock Pro requires two-factor authentication, giving you a solid barrier of protection against hacking. A lost-phone feature can disable the August app remotely so no one can access it. However, August noted that you need to do the app updates as they become available to prevent hackers from accessing any vulnerabilities. 

The lock also pairs with smart home assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri. Further, with voice-command capabilities, you can effortlessly lock and unlock your doors.

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Another option is the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. Starting from $250, it is slightly more expensive, but it’s also smarter. Like the Smart Lock Pro, it comes fully loaded with all of the smart home features you’d expect in a smart lock.

It connects easily to other home ecosystems like Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to command all of your smart home’s features stress-free. You can also unlock or lock your doors with an Apple Watch, provided you are at least within 200 feet of the lock. It also has biometric verification, and DoorSense sensors work with this model, too. 

With Wi-Fi built in, all of this comes in one package. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock doesn’t need the August Connect module. It’s also smaller than the August Smart Lock Pro. Now, let’s see how the two locks compare.

Built-in Wi-Fi

Both locks offer Bluetooth connectivity, but when it comes to Wi-Fi there is a distinct difference. As its name implies, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is the only smart lock in August’s lineup to offer built-in Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi is a must-have if you want to access biometric screening, remote control or voice commands with an assistant. The August Smart Lock Pro does not have Wi-Fi built in. Instead, you have to use the August Connect module, which August includes in the $230 bundle. 

With this in mind, if you want an effortless way to access the features without added equipment and steps, then the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is the wise choice to make. 

Z-Wave Plus Connectivity

While both locks offer compatibility with many smart home devices and both pair with the Apple Watch, only one offers Z-Wave connectivity. The August Smart Lock Pro is compatible with Z-Wave Plus with the available module. 

Z-Wave Plus allows you to command all of your smart home devices in one app. You can lock your doors, turn on your lights, program your thermostat, access sensors for home security and other useful things. Most importantly, if your internet goes down through a power outage or other occurrence, Z-Wave Plus keeps you connected. 

Conversely, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock does not offer compatibility with Z-Wave Plus. So if you use Z-Wave to build your smart home, the edge goes to the August Smart Lock Pro. 

Design

Another difference between the two is size. The diameter of the August Smart Lock Pro is 86 millimeters, while the diameter of the Wi-Fi Smart Lock is 72mm. The newest edition of the Wi-Fi Smart Lock has 45% less volume than previous models, giving it a sleeker appearance.

Along with size, there is a difference in batteries. The August Smart Lock Pro uses four AA batteries, while the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock uses two CR123 batteries. August estimates battery life is between three to six months for these lithium batteries. 

The strength of your Wi-Fi signal makes a huge difference here. If your Wi-Fi signal is strong, it will not require as much battery use, whereas if you have a weaker signal, you could have to replace the batteries quickly. 

Overall, your preference makes a huge difference here. If you would like a sleeker design, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is the best option.

And the winner is…

As with many smart home devices, your preferences will be the deciding factor. It’s hard to beat what the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock offers. It’s sleeker-looking, and it offers built-in Wi-Fi for biometric screening, and connectivity with many smart home systems. It’s currently our pick for the best smart lock of 2021.

However, you can absolutely save a few bucks and experience the same capabilities (plus Z-Wave) from the August Smart Lock Pro with a Connect module. Overall, no matter which one you choose, your home will be smarter for it. 

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