August Wi-Fi Smart Lock vs. Nest x Yale Lock: Which should you buy?

Nest X Yale Lock
Nest X Yale Lock (Image credit: Google)

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

August Wi Fi Smart Lock

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock isn't just easier to install, it's also the most capable smart lock around. Keep your old lock and gain a host of new smart features with this option.

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

Making it truly smart

Fits over your existing lock
Proximity lock and unlock
Remote locking/unlocking
DoorSense knows if your door is closed
Doesn't need an external hub
Great integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and more
No local smart home network support (Z-Wave, Zigbee, etc.)
Shorter battery life

Nest x Yale Smart Lock

Nest x Yale Smart Lock

The Nest x Yale Smart Lock works best when you've already got a Nest smart home. Remote unlocking and deep Google Assistant integration make this full lock replacement a great buy.

Nest x Yale Smart Lock

Best with a Nest

Excellent battery life
Codes for a great backup
Remote locking/unlocking
Integrates nicely with other Nest products
Requires external hub for Internet connectivity
Fingerprint magnet
PIN pad could be a security issue
Only supports Google Assistant

When it comes to the definition of a smart lock, these two couldn't be any different. In many cases, they feel like antonyms of each other. One attempts to augment the existing key-and-lock experience while the other completely replaces the entire paradigm of a front door lock. While replacement can be a superior concept in some cases, there are other times where tried-and-true makes the most sense.

To replace or re-face

August Wi Fi Smart Lock On Door

Source: August (Image credit: Source: August)

Ultimately, the biggest difference between both of these smart locks is the fact that the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock fits right over your existing deadbolt while the Nest x Yale Smart Lock completely replaces the entire thing. For renters, this choice is a no-brainer. Getting an August Wi-Fi Smart Lock means you won't tick your landlord off by replacing the outside lock with another one, yet you'll still be getting all of the best features that a smart lock can afford.

August has been specializing in creating smart locks that convert your existing "dumb lock" without a lot of effort. The result is that you get to keep your key (if you still want it). The downside is that you're still stuck with carrying a physical key around and risking the possibility of misplacing it. While it's not likely you'll ever need that key again, it's always nice to have a backup solution for getting into your home.

The Nest x Yale Smart Lock utilizes a PIN pad on the outside of your door instead of a key, which makes this a 100% keyless entry lock. You can lock and unlock the Nest x Yale lock from your smartphone, or you can tap in your PIN to unlock the door. Having a PIN code for unlocking means you've got a good backup solution for getting into your home if all else fails.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 August Wi-Fi Smart LockNest x Yale Smart Lock
Dimensions (inches)2.8 x 2.8 x 2.752.59 x 4.59 x 0.8 (outside), 2.78 x 7.08 x 2.02 (inside)
Power2x CR123 batteries4x AA batteries
Wi-FiBuilt-in, 2.4Ghz onlyRequires external bridge
Remote lockYesYes
Remote unlockYesYes
Auto-lockYes, via geofencing on appYes, via timer
Door open detectionYesNo
Physical entry methodKeyPIN code
Guest keysYesYes
Virtual assistant supportGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa, SiriGoogle Assistant

Both locks support virtual keys, guest keys, and other ways of locking and unlocking from right within their respective apps. But August does two things that give it a significant leg-up on the Nest x Yale Smart Lock: proximity locking, and door open detection. Let's start first with proximity locking. August gives users the ability to designate whether or not their August Wi-Fi Smart Lock can automatically lock and unlock based on how close you are to your home.

Simply put, when you leave your driveway (or apartment hallway), the August lock can detect your location and automatically secure itself. Similarly, when you get close enough to home, the August app will send a signal to your smart lock and have the house unlocked and ready for you the moment you walk up to the door.

What good is automatic locking if the door wasn't shut in the first place? When you're trying to get out of the house, sometimes it's a little too easy to forget to shut the door. That's why August has built-in a feature, known as DoorSense, that lets the smart lock detect when the door is closed, not just locked. That way, when you leave your home you can pull up the August app and see that your door is both locked and closed.

Nest has an automatic locking feature, but it only works one of two ways: either after a set amount of time (1, 5, or 10 minutes) or if you set your Nest app to away mode. Neither of these options is ideal. Nest does feature a simple one-touch locking mechanism by pressing the Yale lock on the top of the keypad, so while it's not automatic, it's certainly an easy way to lock the door on your way out.

Must we trade security for convenience?

One of the biggest disappointments with the Nest x Yale Smart Lock is the inability to unlock it with your voice. Sure, you can ask Google to lock your door remotely (or build it into Google Assistant Routines), but the only way to remotely unlock your smart lock is to open the app and tap the button. While it's not the end of the world to have to open an app on your smartphone to remotely unlock your door, it's also a limiting factor that the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock doesn't have.

One attempts to augment the existing key-and-lock experience while the other completely replaces the entire paradigm of a front door lock.

With August, you can unlock your door through the app, via your smartwatch, or with your voice. Even better, while the Nest x Yale Smart Lock only supports Google Assistant, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. So no matter what ecosystem you've already invested in, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock works exactly like you were hoping without hassle.

While images of someone unlocking your house by yelling through your window for Alexa to unlock the door might be alarming, know that August requires all users to secure their accounts with a 2-factor (2FA) code. That means that even if your favorite virtual assistant were to hear someone ask it to unlock the door, that person would also have to know your personal code for unlocking the door, as well. Nest doesn't support voice unlock for security reasons, but August's implementation of 2FA codes seems like a happy medium.

While we're on the topic of security and convenience, it's certainly worth noting that the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock has Wi-Fi connectivity built right in. That means, unlike with the Nest x Yale Smart Lock, you won't need an external bridge device to connect your smart lock to the Internet. That's likely the preference for most folks, as it means fewer things to set up, configure, and keep track of.

The Nest X Yale Smart Lock utilizes the OpenWeave protocol to communicate with other Nest devices in your home, creating a network of Nest products that can talk to each other without Internet connectivity. That means that, in the event of an Internet outage, your Nest Secure will still be able to arm its security system feature and lock the front door. While this could be a big advantage for Nest, the small number of devices that support OpenWeave when compared to something like Z-Wave means this is only a bonus if you're running an entire household full of Nest devices.

Hot month, hot product

August Wi Fi Smart Lock On Door

Source: August (Image credit: Source: August)

There are a lot of kinds of smart locks, from those that go over your existing doorbell to those that replace it entirely. While the Nest x Yale Smart Lock is a fantastic product, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock just makes more sense in most circumstances. With August, most people will find that they don't have to give up anything to get a better lock. You not only keep your existing deadbolt, making this a renter-friendly smart home product, but you also get more features than Nest offers. Proximity locking, DoorSense, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and better interconnection with more smart home products are many reasons to choose the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu