If nothing else, the August ASL-02 is the most stylish-looking smart lock to come out of Silicon Valley yet. It's like having an Ecobee thermostat on your front door. Alas, nobody buys a lock for their home based on just its looks. If you're shopping for a smart lock, you're probably also looking for things like reliability, ease of use, and -- most importantly -- the ability to keep strangers out of your home when they stop by uninvited.
Fortunately, the ASL-20 is able to deliver those things too. It's exactly as reliable and capable of warding off burglars as the lock you currently own. That's because it's not a complete lock but an add-on to your existing lock, one that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and opens your trusty deadbolt when it detects the phone in your pocket. It also snaps the bolt shut again when you wander out of Bluetooth range. So not only will you get compliments from your neighbors when they see your front door, you'll never have to worry again that you forgot to lock the door when you left for work.
This smart lock is also one of the easiest locks on the market to install. Gizmodo estimates that it takes about ten minutes to screw onto your existing deadbolt, using only a Phillips screwdriver. And if you should accidentally leave your phone at Starbucks, you can still use your original key to get inside. Of course, that means you'll need to keep carrying your keys with you, but at least you'll rarely have to use them. For a relatively small extra charge, you can add the August Connect, which lets you open the deadbolt remotely, via WiFi, in case the petsitter forgot to bring keys or a friend wants to drop off a package in your living room.
Of course, this assumes you like the lock you have currently. If you want a complete replacement lock but still want a door that unlocks automatically when it detects your smartphone, check out the Kwikset Kevo. Or if you'd prefer a lock that recognizes your fingerprint the way your iPhone does, take a look at the Adel 3398 Keyless Biometric.
The lock has been working for me on a basic level, but is missing a lot of things to make it truly useful.
Terrible battery life that gives no warning until the lock is completely out of battery.
It took me 10 minutes to install this lock over my existing lock, no special tools required. Easy to setup Android app and works flawlessly.
No more keys for the children that always end up loosing them.
The Bluetooth takes over 20 seconds to connect. The app crashes constantly.
It doesn't always open all the way anymore, and it's starting to make nasty grinding sounds.