August Wi-Fi Smart Lock vs. Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt: Which should you buy?

August Wi Fi Smart Lock
August Wi Fi Smart Lock (Image credit: August)

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

August Wi Fi Smart Lock

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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. That's a win-win for renters and homeowners alike.

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

Simple, yet powerful

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, etc.)
Shorter battery life

Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt

Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt

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Schlage offers an incredible array of designs, finishes, and features with the Encode Smart Deadbolt. Tie-ins with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant make locking and unlocking your door easy. Inclusion into the Amazon Key ecosystem means deliveries can be made inside your home instead of on the doorstep.

Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt

Tons of options

Multiple styles and finishes to choose from
Integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, Amazon Key
Three ways to lock/unlock
Remote locking/unlocking
Doesn't need an external hub
Less expensive
Separate apps needed for each service (Alexa, Amazon Key, etc.)
No local smart home network support (Z-Wave, etc.)
No proximity lock/unlock

While it's pretty evident from the get-go that Schlage and August are going for two different looks, what might not be so obvious are the differences in base functionality that each delivers. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is designed to fit over the top of your existing deadbolt, making it incredibly friendly for renters and homeowners that don't want to fuss much with installing door hardware. Your existing deadbolt key or your smartphone can then be used to lock and unlock the door.

The Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt, on the other hand, is designed to replace your existing deadbolt completely and offer significantly more functionality than the old one delivered. Unlike most smart locks in this "total replacement" category, however, the Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt provides homeowners with the ability to use both a PIN code and a key to physically lock and unlock the door. While many people who choose a PIN-pad style device likely want to be rid of keys entirely, sometimes it's nice to be able to have a third option.

Round or square? Here or there?

Schlage Encode Smart Lock

Source: Rebecca Spear / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / Android Central)

In addition to having an extra way to unlock your door, the Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt comes in quite a few more colors and styles than the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. Two distinct styles of the Schlage Encode can be chosen from, Century or Camelot trim, and each trim is available in three different colors. Contrast that with the single style of the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock and a choice of only two colors, and you'll see Schlage has the upper hand in the number of options.

But August's stark design choice, created by Swiss designer Yves Béhar, is a unique look that's immediately recognizable and super modern looking. The new ribbed design around the wheel makes the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock super easy to use, not just good-looking, and the 45% smaller footprint over its predecessor means it won't feel like a huge bump on your door.

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Header Cell - Column 0 August Wi-Fi Smart LockSchlage Encode Smart Deadbolt
Dimensions (inches)2.8 x 2.8 x 2.753 x 5 x 0.9 (exterior) / 3 x 5.5 x 2.2 (interior)
Power2x CR123 batteries4x AA batteries
Wi-FiBuilt-in, 2.4Ghz onlyBuilt-in, 2.4Ghz only
BluetoothYesNo
Remote lockYesYes
Remote unlockYesYes
Auto-lockYes, via geofencing on appYes, via timer
Door open detectionYesNo
Physical entry methodKeyPIN code, Key
Phone as a keyYesYes
Amazon Key supportNoYes
Guest keysYesYes
Virtual assistant supportGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa, SiriGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa

App concoction

Unlocking Schlage Endcode using an app

Source: Rebecca Spear / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / Android Central)

One of the hallmark features of the Schlage Encode is its integration with Amazon's ecosystem, including Amazon Key and Ring. Schlage has worked with Amazon to directly integrate its product into these two ecosystems, which makes a smart home feel just a little bit smarter. If you've got a Ring Video Doorbell, you'll be able to lock and unlock your Schlage Encode right from your Ring Video Doorbell's live feed within the Ring app. That means less app juggling just to perform a simple task.

Schlage is also the premier partner in the Amazon Key program, which makes it easy to lock and unlock your door remotely and to pass out virtual guest "keys" to any guests that might enter your home. Prime members in select cities can even opt into the in-home delivery option, which utilizes the Amazon Cloud Cam to verify delivery drivers and allow them to place packages inside your home instead of just at your doorstep. If you're in one of these select areas and have a regular problem with package theft, this is a great way to help prevent that.

But while Schlage has great integration into these two Amazon-based ecosystems, there's not one single app that can perform all of these tasks. If you want Ring integration, you'll need to use the Ring app. Amazon Alexa and Amazon Key integration are found in the Amazon Key app. Likewise, Google Assistant integration is found in Schlage's own app, leading to a confusing concoction of apps that you'll probably have to have installed on your phone at all times. That also means a rather messy setup, which is never much fun.

August has one app that does it all. It even works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit without any fuss. While additional options are always a good thing, sometimes the simplicity of having a one-stop-shop for everything is just a better choice. On top of that, you don't have to give up any functionality for this solution, either. The Schlage Encode doesn't support Apple HomeKit, either, which makes this decision an easy one for some folks with an Apple-centric smart home.

That truly smart feeling

August Wi Fi Smart Lock

Source: August (Image credit: Source: August)

While Schlage definitely offers more options and styles, August does a better job of making the smart lock feel less like a "tool" and more like a part of your smart home. That's because August offers features like DoorSense and proximity auto-lock. These features, together, make it seem like your home is actually smart and can understand what you need before you even ask for it. DoorSense helps the lock understand when the door is actually closed, helping prevent times where you might have forgotten to shut the door before it got locked.

Subsequently, proximity lock will use the August app to detect your location and automatically lock your door when you leave the house and, of course, alert you if DoorSense recognizes that the door isn't fully closed. On top of that, the door will automatically unlock when you get near your home, meaning you won't ever have to worry about using a physical key or your phone just to unlock the door.

May the best features win

August Wi Fi Smart Lock

Source: August (Image credit: Source: August)

While some comparisons are a little more cut-and-dry, the choice between these two locks will ultimately be decided by which features you find most important. For most people, we recommend the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. It works perfectly with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit (and Siri), and it has smart features that make you forget about even needing to lock or unlock the door. Schlage's participation in the Amazon Key program is excellent. Still, the importance of this is going to mostly be determined by where you live and how often you order off of Amazon.