I recently installed this lock on a back door leading to my patio. I wanted to retain the ability to use a physical key (since my door locks are all keyed-alike) and add the versatility of keyless operation. The ability to remotely lock/unlock the door and to monitor the status of the door on my iPhone were also important to me, because I carry my iPhone with me all the time. Installation of this product takes place inside, and does not change the physical appearance of the exterior hardware.
1. Installation of the physical lock was not quite as simple as the tiny pamphlet enclosed with the product would have you believe. A Phillips head screwdriver, a small drill and 5/8” drill bit were required for my application. The wi-fi based instructions were reasonably comprehensive, and nicely arranged in a step-by-step manner. Essentially, the existing inside turn knob of the deadbolt is removed and replaced with the August cylinder head (see picture). It is attached to the inside of the door and connects to the outside lockset, using one of the stem adapters that are supplied. A round “DoorSense” magnet is then inserted into a 5/8” hole drilled into the door frame just under the deadbolt strike plate on the door frame.
2. Installation of the August software to my iPhone was simple enough except for it asking me to select my product “generation” model number -- nowhere to be found on the packaging or the product, so I guessed at it, and it seems to work. Following the program instructions, the “DoorSense” feature is then “calibrated.” I found this to be a really nice feature because it notified me that the door was in an open position, when I attempted to lock the door remotely (see picture).
3. The August deadbolt is either manually operated from the inside (as a conventional doorknob) or from the outside with a physical key, OR it is motor operated via smartphone app. The motor is powered by two lithium type 123 batteries, which are easily accessed by pushing a button to release a panel on the surface of the knob. The motorized function will operate unassisted only if the bolt mechanism freely moves when the door is in a closed position. If the door must be pulled or pushed tight (as so many are) due to weatherstripping compression or a misaligned deadbolt, this assistive action must be also be performed when operating the lock. My door weatherstripping required that the door be pulled tightly closed, for the bolt to catch. In one instance, my lock status screen indicated the lock was jammed, when in fact it was locked (see picture). Call me old-fashioned, but absent visual confirmation, I would be hesitant to depend solely on remote actions to ensure a door is locked. Having someone at the site location to confirm that the door is locked is reassuring.
4. There are a bevy of automated software features, including auto-lock, auto-unlock, an activity log, and a door-ajar warning. The automated features sense the users’ proximity to the lock, to operate the lock. Since my door must be manually pulled tight to operate the lock, I did not want to utilize these automated features. Apparently, the software is also capable of identifying multiple August locks, and assigning additional users and conditions for their access. Having just a single door to monitor, I did not opt to install most of these features. However, I was pleased to see an activity log and an open-door warning, and pleasantly surprised to get emails informing me that the lock had been operated (manually or remotely). These are all nice features.
5. Two important things to remember: (1) Although its’ round smooth shape may sport the look of a deadbolt, this August lockset is in fact a passage lock. It simply substitutes for the inside turn knob of a deadbolt. Just like the turn knob it replaces, it does not operate as a deadbolt from inside the home, meaning it can be unlocked just like any ordinary doorknob without using a key. Therefore, if the lock is installed within arms’ length of a window, be aware that entry can be gained by someone breaking the window and reaching in to turn the handle. (2) If you also have a keyed passage lock installed in tandem with your deadbolt (as most homes do), and want to use the keyless feature of this August lock to gain entry to the house, that passage lock must remain unlocked (or better yet, replaced by an unkeyed passage knob). Otherwise, you will still need the physical key to that passage lock to gain entry.
While some patience may be required to install the lock and the software, it is a nice product. It has a clean, modern design that will coordinate nicely with most interior door hardware. There is no need to modify existing outdoor hardware, and the existing physical key continues to operate as a back-up, so you can avoid being locked out of the house. For homeowners who carry their phones with them instead of their keys, this product is very convenient. The ability to extend home access to others using the August software is a real plus, particularly with the extensive activity notifications provided by the software. This is a great product that I would recommend to a friend.
Nice Design, Stylish, many automated features, retains original outside hardware