August Wi-Fi Smart Lock vs. Yale Assure Lock SL: Which should you buy?

Yale Assure Lock Sl
Yale Assure Lock Sl (Image credit: Yale)

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

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

Smart on the inside

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
Shorter battery life

Yale Assure SL

Yale Assure SL

Yale offers something for everyone with the Yale Assure SL, and it even packs in many of August's best features. If you're looking to ditch the keys forever, this is the smart lock for you.

Yale Assure SL

A whole new look

Proximity lock and unlock
Remote locking/unlocking
DoorSense knows if your door is closed
Great integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and more
Some versions have local smart home network support
Long battery life
Confusing compatibility with other products
Needs an external hub to connect to the Internet

Right off the bat, you might be a bit confused if you're looking to buy a Yale Assure SL. Which version do you get? Yale sells a version that works only with Apple HomeKit, one that works with Z-Wave, and another that works with Zigbee. However, the Coup de grâce to all that craziness is the Connected by August version, which packs in lots of great once-exclusive August tech and eschews proprietary connection protocols for good old-fashioned Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. That makes it a perfect comparison to the new August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, which has nearly identical features but caters to very different needs.

Touchscreen vs touching your screen

Yale Assure Lock Sl

Source: Yale (Image credit: Source: Yale)

Design-wise, it's clear these are two products with two different foundations. August aims to make the smart lock less intrusive by adding smart features to your existing deadbolt, while Yale wants that old deadbolt replaced completely. This is most evidenced by the sleek touchscreen number pad that adorns the front of the door that the Yale Assure SL is installed onto. So, right from the get-go, you've got a big decision to make: do you want it to be obvious that your home is smart and modern or would you rather have a low-key look?

Aesthetics are just one piece of the puzzle that you'll need to identify before buying here, though. If you don't have your phone with you or are unable to otherwise unlock the door virtually, what sort of backup solution would you prefer? Both locks support virtual keys within the August app, which you can use yourself to lock or unlock the door remotely and even assign temporary guest keys.

The difference here is that the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock requires a physical key or phone in order to unlock the door, while Yale requires a 4-8 digit PIN or a phone to unlock it. That physical key is by far the biggest difference, as it might bring peace of mind to some folks while others will be happy to never have to deal with physical keys again. Both locks also support August's proximity unlocking feature, which locks and unlocks your door automatically when you're within range.

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Header Cell - Column 0 August Wi-Fi Smart LockYale Assure SL
Dimensions (inches)2.8 x 2.8 x 2.752.56 x 3.56 x 0.69 (outside), 3 x 6.88 x 2.13 (inside)
Power2x CR123 batteries4x AA batteries
Wi-FiBuilt-in, 2.4Ghz onlyRequires an external bridge
Remote lockYesYes
Remote unlockYesYes
Auto-lockYes, via geofencing on appYes, via geofencing on app
Door open detectionYesYes
Physical entry methodKeyPIN code
Phone as a keyYesYes
Guest keysYesYes
Virtual assistant supportGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa, SiriGoogle Assistant

In addition to automatic proximity locking and unlocking, both of these locks feature August DoorSense, which helps the lock to understand whether or not the door is actually fully closed before locking. That means you can pull up the August app, no matter where you are, and see that the door is both locked and closed.

A tale of two apps

August Yale Smart Lock Apps

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Depending on the version of the Yale Assure SL that you purchase, you'll either be using August's highly-rated app, or Yale's own Yale Secure app. In the case of Yale's own apps, Yale's software doesn't quite match up with their hardware quality. If you're looking for a specific type of connectivity, whether it's iM1 (HomeKit), Zigbee, or Z-Wave, Yale's offerings seem to leave a bit to be desired. It's for this reason that it's best for most folks to choose the Yale Assure SL with the Connected by August module, which will connect to your Yale Assure SL lock locally and get it connected to the Internet.

Regardless of which type of Yale Assure SL lock that you choose, they all require some sort of external bridge to connect to the Internet and the subsequent app. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock builds Wi-Fi and Bluetooth right into the tiny lock, which means you don't ever have to deal with an external bridge.

Simplicity is king

August Wi Fi Smart Lock

Source: August (Image credit: Source: August)

Both the Connected by August Yale Assure SL and the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock support full integration with your favorite virtual assistant. Both utilize the August app and feature most of the same smart features, including DoorSense and remote unlocking. However, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, in the end, is just an easier product to choose, install, and use. There's one SKU, one set of features, and one app to use.

On top of this, it's totally renter-safe since you don't have to remove any existing door hardware, and you can even get a keypad if you absolutely hate relying on keys. You'll even keep that external key for backup purposes, or just to keep your landlord happy. It's also $50 cheaper, and who doesn't like that?

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