The August Smart Lock is one of the heavyweights in the smart lock arena. It is packed with useful features like auto unlock, DoorSense and allows you to send out unlimited digital guest keys.
It attaches to your existing deadbolt on the inside of your door, so how is it powered? The August Smart Lock uses 4 AA batteries with an expected battery life of 6 months. August does recommend not using rechargeable batteries.
This may be concerning for most of us. No one wants to come home expecting something to work as usual only to find the batteries didn’t make it.
Don’t worry, when the battery life reaches 20% you will get a notification from the app. Even if the batteries did die, you would still be able to access your home with the physical key. It would just be annoying.
The August Smart Lock comes with batteries so when it arrives you will be able to set it up right away. Yes, it would be great if you could set it and forget it, but having to change some batteries every so often hardly takes away from this smart lock.
Let’s break it down a little further.
How Long Do The Batteries Really Last?
August claims on their site that the batteries will last a solid six months. If you are anything like me, you are skeptical of any numbers the manufacturer puts up. It is obviously in their best interest to stretch the truth, or in the worst cases flat out lie.
We have found that the batteries will last between three and six months, so they weren’t to far off from the truth.
Of course this figure will vary depending on the amount of use the locks get. If your home sees a lot of traffic, the batteries obviously will not last that full six months. If your house doesn’t get that much traffic, you can expect it to last much longer.
You will also have to take into account the features you are taking advantage of as well. Auto unlock, auto lock and DoorSense will add a very minimal extra drag on those batteries.
Check out our post on how guests use to the August Smart Lock. We go more into detail on the features there.
One of the biggest downfalls of the August Smart Lock is the fact that you cannot monitor how much battery life remains. If you are the type that loves instant feedback in every aspect of your life, this might be tough to get used to.
We have found that when that low battery warning goes out, the batteries have about four weeks of life left. Again, this number will vary based on the amount of use the lock gets. It is always your best bet to change those batteries soon after receiving that battery alert.
Here is a quick video on how easy it is to change the batteries in the August Smart Lock:
A lot of users are hoping that a battery life meter will be added. It sure would be helpful.
Why Can’t Rechargeable Batteries Be Used?
What’s up with the warning not to use rechargeable batteries? It seems like a decent idea for something that might require changing 2-4 times a year.
They do not explicitly say why they recommend using alkaline batteries but there are some problems that come with using rechargeable batteries. I’m sure they just want the device to function properly and not have to worry about power issues affecting your experience.
It comes down to the voltage discharge of rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are great for low draw devices like clocks or other small devices.
A rechargeable battery will have an output of about 1.2V while an alkaline battery will have an output of 1.5V. That difference could be enough to cause the lock to not function properly.
Without getting very technical, rechargeable batteries just do not provide the same amount of power as regular batteries. To be fair, some higher end rechargeable batteries might have a higher output, but to be safe they simply don’t recommend any.
Rechargeable batteries will also drop voltage very quickly towards the end of its life. An alkaline battery will taper off much slower. Being that the August Smart Lock does not monitor actual battery life remaining but instead sends a low battery notification, it would be almost impossible for the lock to know when to send that notification with the rechargeable batteries.
Can The Lock Be Plugged In?
The simple answer here is no, the August Smart Lock cannot be plugged in. Yes, if it could somehow be plugged directly into a power source, it would make it so much better. No more changing batteries and you will know it will always work.
How would that even work? The logistics seem impossibly difficult. The lock would have to come with some external wire that would have to be ran on the outside of the door, right? Or maybe somehow ran through the door? I have no idea.
Then you would have to get by the hinges and crease of the door. On top of that this cord would have to be long enough to reach an outlet. In my house, the closest outlet to the door is about 9 feet away. I don’t see that working out too well.
So having a constant power source would be awesome, but just does not seem plausible. Here’s to hoping people much, much smarter than I take a crack at this. Maybe it will be the next big thing in smart locks.
How Is The August Connect Powered?
The August connect is the device that connects the smart lock to the internet. Without it, the lock relies strictly on Bluetooth to control the lock. The August Connect is plugged into a power source and should be placed close to the actual lock.
Each lock you own does require its own August Connect.
Can You Still Use a Key With The August Smart Lock?
Since the August Smart Lock attaches to the inside of your door, the physical key will still work. Noting will change on the exterior door. If you are set as an owner of the lock or have notifications enabled, you can even be alerted to a manual unlock.
This might be the most underrated feature of the August Smart Lock, Technology is great, but sometimes the old fashioned way can be advantageous. This lock gives you the best of both worlds.
Can You Use The Apple Watch To Unlock Your Door?
Yes! You can unlock your door with your Apple Watch, as long it is running on WatchOS 4 or higher. You will need the native August watch app installed and be an owner of the lock. With the app, you can control multiple locks or even set the watch face to the most used door lock.
We all usually have our phones with us, but having the ability to unlock the door with your does seem pretty handy. I like to go on runs and will rarely bring my phone with me. Everything I need is on my watch, and now my keys are too!
Does The August Smart Lock Require Wi-Fi?
The August Smart Lock does not require wi-fi to unlock your door. The lock uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone when you are in range. If you want the ability to keep constant contact with the lock to receive notifications or unlock the door from anywhere, you will need the August Connect, the August doorbell or Apple Homekit.
These devices act as hubs that allow the lock to connect to the internet for remote control and other features.