Nest x Yale vs. August (4th Gen & Yale Assure): Best Smart Lock

nest lock vs august

Over the last few years, I’ve tested more than 10 different smart locks. After a new month of testing, I determined August is still the best smart lock platform because of its auto-unlock feature and smart home compatibility. Nest x Yale features great-looking hardware, but it doesn’t offer any unique software features compared to August.

More than five smart locks are controlled with the August app. For this post, I’ll focus on the Yale Assure (comes with the August Module) because it’s the best August lock on the market. Almost everything I write in this post about Yale Assure applies to all of the August locks as well.

The August 4th Gen (hockey puck-shaped) may be preferred for those who live in apartments, which I’ll cover in the design section.

Want to learn how I reached this conclusion? Read on to see the detailed breakdown of software, user-friendliness, and design that informed my overall impression.

Want to learn how I reached this conclusion? Read on to see the detailed breakdown of software, user-friendliness, and design that informed my overall impression.

TL;DR? Skip to the conclusion

Software

Nest B-
August A

Features: August

August lets you control the system when you’re not home, see a history of who’s opened the door, and give people recurring scheduled access, temporary access, or permanent access. 

August has two unique features that aren’t found on other smart locks:

With most smart locks, the app assumes that your house is locked and secured as long as the lock is in the lock position. But what if someone didn’t shut the door all the way? The door may be locked, but your home is not secure.

August’s DoorSense fixes this. August always knows the status of your door and warns you in the app when the door isn’t shut fully. When your door isn’t shut fully, the Auto-Lock feature is disabled. 

The second unique feature is called “Auto Unlock,” which puts the system in “away mode” after you leave your house, then unlocks your August when you come back home.

August is the only smart lock platform that I’ve ever tested with an auto-unlock feature. Auto Unlock works perfectly about 95% of the time, while the other times it still works, it’s just slow.

Auto-Unlock is a magical experience when you come home from the grocery store with five bags on each arm. When Auto Unlock works correctly, it’s like your door doesn’t even have a lock. It’s the most convenient feature of any smart home product that I’ve ever tested.

Features: Nest x Yale

Nest lets you control the system when you’re not home, see a history of who’s opened the door, and give people recurring scheduled access (houseguests, babysitters, nannies, house cleaners), give one-time temporary access (Airbnb guests), or give permanent access to the people in your household.

Nest has one unique feature software feature called Away Mode.

If Nest detects you’re not home, it puts itself in Away Mode and locks if it’s not already. While I love Away Mode (and it’s HUGE if you forget to lock your house), Nest doesn’t go into Away Mode until at least an hour passes. You shouldn’t rely on Away Mode to lock your house for you.

This automation can be done with August via third-party apps.


Smart Home: August

August works with almost every smart home platform out of the box including IFTTT, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.

August’s extra compatibility gives you endless opportunities for automations between your other smart home products or based on your location.

Smart Home: Nest x Yale

Nest x Yale doesn’t play nice with any smart home platforms outside of Google’s ecosystem. Nest expects you to use it exclusively within the Nest ecosystem and the lack of compatibility is its biggest weakness.

Nest x Yale has basic integration with other Nest products. For example, when you unlock Nest x Yale, your Nest Secure alarm system can disarm automatically. I’m surprised that Nest x Yale and Nest Hello don’t have any integrations with each other after three years of both being on the market.

User-Friendliness

Nest B+
August A

Installation: Nest x Yale & Yale Assure

Installation is relatively painless for both locking systems. Each app leads a simple, step-by-step process with a combination of video and gifs.

You’ll need to remove your existing deadbolt setup, put the keypad through your hole, attach and mount the backplate to the keypad, attach the wire from the keypad to the lock lever base, then mount the lock lever base to the backplate with three screws.

Once the lock is on the door, the speaker provides guidance, while the final steps take place back in the apps.

I’ve installed both systems a few times. The complete installation usually takes about 20 minutes.


Locking & Unlocking: Yale Assure

How to unlock your door:

  • With Auto-Unlock. It unlocks your door after you’ve left your house and come back.
  • With the August app. Tap the giant red circle.
  • With the Apple Home app. Find the page that has your lock, then tap the icon.
  • With a HomeKit Automation. A more secure auto-unlock method (if you’re a HomeKit hub owner), is to create an automation to unlock the door when you arrive home. When you get to the door, your phone will get a notification that asks your permission to unlock the door. You can tap the “run” automation button, and unlock your door, once your phone is unlocked via Face ID.
  • With the Alexa app. Go to your devices, tap on locks, locate your lock, then tap the lock icon.
  • Ask Alexa or Siri. When you say, “unlock the back door” Siri and Alexa will ask for your authentication (either Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode depending on the device).
  • With the key.
  • With the August Apple Watch app. Locate the app, tap the green circle to unlock it.

How to lock your door:

  • With an auto-lock timer. August can automatically lock after a set period since the door was last shut. You can pick a time between 30 seconds and 30 minutes.
  • With the August app. Tap the giant green circle.
  • With the Apple Home app. Find the page that has your lock, then tap the icon.
  • With the Alexa app. Go to your devices, tap on locks, locate your lock, then tap the lock icon.
  • With Alexa, Google, or Siri. When you say, “lock the back door” your door will lock without authentication.
  • With your key.
  • With the August Apple Watch app. Locate the app, tap the red circle to unlock it.

Locking & Unlocking: Nest x Yale

How to unlock your door:

  • With the keypad: place a finger on the Yale logo to activate the keypad, then you tap in your code, followed by the checkmark.
  • With the Nest app: tap on the lock icon, then hold the lock button for a full second.
  • Inside the Google Home app.
  • Nest x Yale doesn’t have a keyhole. If the batteries die, you need to hold a 9-volt battery to the bottom of the lock to activate the screen, then type in your code.
  • The lack of a keyhole makes Nest x Yale risky for anyone with only one entry door. Technology can break. If you experience a software malfunction or a weakened motor from long-term use, you may find yourself locked out of your house.

How to lock your door:

  • With an auto-lock timer. You can set the timer to lock 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes after you’ve unlocked it.
  • With the keypad. Just tap the Yale logo. This is the best way to lock the Nest, as you don’t inadvertently hit the button when closing the door.
  • With the Nest app. Tap on the lock icon, then hold the lock button for a full second.
  • With Google Assistant. When you say, “lock the back door” your door will lock without authentication.

Appearance

Nest A
August A

Design: Nest x Yale

nest x yale lock

Nest x Yale is one of the best-looking smart locks that I’ve tested. Its sleek and low-profile keypad has huge numbers that are great for visibility. It’s everything I could ever hope for in a design, aesthetically speaking.

It doesn’t have a keyhole, which adds to the minimalistic look, but that has downsides.

Size:

  • Inside dimensions: 2.8″ x 7.1″ x 2.1″
  • Outside dimensions: 2.6″ x 5.6″ x 0.67″

Design: Yale Assure

yale assure august

It’s hard to find anything to criticize with the look of this smart lock from inside or outside your home. The design is similar to the Nest x Yale, but the numbers on the keypad are a bit smaller.

The main difference is that Yale Assure has a keyhole for a key, which is a great failsafe option. If you like the minimalist look of a keyless lock, as I do, get the Yale Assure SL instead.

Size:

  • Inside dimensions: 3″ x 6.9″ x 2.1″
  • Outside dimensions: 3.6″ x 2.6″ x 0.67″

Design: August 4th Gen

august 4th gen

With the August (4th Gen), your existing deadbolt setup stays in place, but your deadbolt lever is replaced with August’s mounting plate. It’s shaped like a hockey puck and looks futuristic, but it’s not as intuitive as a traditional deadbolt lever. The magnetic battery door is easy to remove but won’t fall off on its own.

The good news?

You’ll retain your old external keyhole and latch from your previous lock. Nothing changes from the outside, and your key can be used as normal. August 4th Gen might be the perfect workaround if your landlord won’t allow a keypad or a change to your deadbolt. Also, the discreteness is a nice feature for those who don’t want others to know that they have a smart lock.

The bad news?

The main reason I don’t recommend August 4th Gen is because it doesn’t include a keypad. Without a keypad, you can’t give out access codes to guests. Everyone in your household needs the August phone app or the key to unlock the door. Technically, you can buy the August keypad attachment, but it didn’t perform well in my months of testing.

August 4th Gen might seem like an easier setup process because you’re only replacing one part of your deadbolt, but the makeshift solution might complicate matters for those with unique deadbolts. Plus, the lock calibration isn’t always a smooth process. It’s safer to just replace the whole deadbolt.

Size:

  • Inside dimensions: 2.8″ x 2.8″ x 2.75″
  • From the outside, it’s the same as your current deadbolt system.

Which is best for you?

  • Software (A)
  • User-Friendliness (A-)
  • Appearance (A)

Yale Assure (August)

Get Yale Assure if you want your door to automatically unlock when you get home or get notified when your door isn't shut fully.

Check Amazon’s Price

  • Software (B)
  • User-Friendliness (B+)
  • Appearance (A+)

Nest x Yale

Get Nest x Yale if you own lots of Nest products and you don’t want to download another app. Nest x Yale is well-built and works as intended, but it’s missing lots of smart compatibility (Alexa, IFTTT, HomeKit) and smart software features compared to the two August locks.

Check Amazon’s Price

  • Software (A)
  • User-Friendliness (B+)
  • Appearance (B)

August 4th Gen

Get August (4th Gen) if you want to keep your key from your current deadbolt setup. It's great for renters or those who don't want to give the appearance of owning a smart lock.

Check Amazon’s Price

18 thoughts on “Nest x Yale vs. August (4th Gen & Yale Assure): Best Smart Lock”

  1. Thanks for great comparison. Unlocking the Yale Assure lock with Google voice requires a pin. Can the pin be given by voice, is does it require the user to enter it on the phone?

      1. Be warned, not only is the Yale Nest lock unable to work with other ecosystems, it will not allow itself to be unlocked by voice command via Google speaker, etc.

        I have spent hours on hold or in conversation with the friendly but totally unhelpful folks at Google only to be told
        1-“that department refuses to speak to you”
        2- Return it and buy something else.
        3- Sorry there is nothing we can do.

        Very disappointed.

        1. I’ve done it dozens of times. You can even watch me unlock my door with Google in the video above. You must have something configured incorrectly on your end.

  2. I don’t seem to be able to grant access to a single door with Next x Yale (e.g. for AirBnB purposes). In fact, it doesn’t even look like I can add the lock to a new Google “Home”. Instead, it looks like I may have to re-associate lock with an entirely different Google account (since the Nest associations seem to be account-wide), which has access only to that single door. WTF?

    My buddy someone managed to get an August modem into his Next x Yale lock, and can apparently grant access to only a single door using the August app. Anyone know of a less invasive work-around using Nest x Yale?

  3. Limited time access is to ALL Nest x Yale locks in the home (I have four), giving AirBnB folks access to the rest of my house. Definitely undesirable.

    However, looks like I was incorrect, and you can actually create multiple homes using the Google Home app (up to its unfortunately low 6 home limit), then import that into the Nest app. Unfortunately, this both requires additional hardware (at least one Nest Connect per home, at USD $65/each), and bifurcates the ACL across homes (i.e. there’s no “layering” of home ACLs possible).

    https://support.google.com/googlenest/thread/8739490/i-have-more-than-1-yale-lock-and-want-different-access-to-each-in-the-same-home

    1. I didn’t even think Nest x Yale would work without the Nest Connect. It required me to install it during setup. Either way, temporary access codes created via the nest app is what you need.

  4. Hi there! I’ve been considering either the Yale Assure SL or the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock.

    Do you mind elaborating on why the August keypad attachment didn’t “perform well” in your testing? I’d definitely want PIN entry in my setup.

    1. It feels like a cheesy toy. And there’s a pretty substantial communication lag between the keypad and lock.

      It could get the job done, but when there are so many good August options with a built-in keypad, it doesn’t make sense unless you’re already the owner of one of the hockey puck August locks.

  5. Hi Cam! You’ve convinced me on the Yale assure With the august connect and have decided to go with that option… However I seem to be unable to find it online that isn’t “Out of stock”. Do you know where I could purchase the Yale assure with august connect at this time?

    1. They each use the same exact technology, so theoretically, they’d both pose the same threat. Or really any smart lock for that matter.

  6. I’ve had the August Yale Assure for a couple of years now. I have some good and some bad. First customer support isn’t great. I’ve submitted a feature request and never got an acknowledgement. Partly because it isn’t clear which company should address it. Maybe you are in a better position to get some attention.
    The biggest thing I’d like to see different is the one touch lock. It is easy to accidentally lock it walking by the open door! Two touch would be MUCH better. First touch wakes it up and second touch must be on the check mark. But given that August have given it door status, why not just make it ignore any touches while the door isn’t closed?
    Second, I haven’t worked with the auto-lock and auto-unlock, but I have some questions. If multiple people live in the house (fairly common) does it know of ALL of them are gone, or just one? And second can auto-unlock be based on Blue-Tooth, rather than geofencing? I don’t really trust the accuracy of geofencing. For my purposes, if I could, I would not use autolock, but rather the modified one touch that requires the door to be closed. I would use auto-unlock when in Blue-Tooth range. But even that has limitations, because I’m probably in Blue-Tooth range at night (or worse yet, move in and out of range) when I’d like the door to be locked with me inside.
    The third concern is the weak motor. My deadbolt has a slight drag (very slight) at the locked end of its travel. The motor won’t take it the last quarter inch, and then it claims it isn’t locked. If I pull the door shut hard there is no drag and it works fine. But a lot of deadbolts are less than perfect. This is a clean, new installation. I suspect many are worse. The motor should be able to handle a bit of friction on the deadbolt

    1. I’ve had a two Yale Assure locks for about 2 years and can answer the auto unlock questions.

      Auto unlock is by individual – each person who uses it must have a Smartphone with the August app installed and their own August account. Accounts get added/authorized to the “household” by the main account owner and then they can configure auto unlock themselves.

      It works via geofence (using your phone’s location data) because this is more accurate than Bluetooth for range purposes. In order to prevent the lock from unlocking every time you walk by, a geofence is set up that’s fairly large (I think 200-300 yards) around the house. You can adjust the geofence size and shape when setting up auto unlock. A user must leave the geo fence area for a set period of time (I think 10 minutes) for the app to recognize the user as “away”, and the auto unlock will trigger the next time the user re-enters the area.

      This type of thing would not be possible with Bluetooth alone because is it too short range – you may leave Bluetooth range from the lock just by walking upstairs, or past a piece of in-wall metal ductwork. It would also require the Bluetooth module in the lock to be powered up much more frequently, which would substantially reduce battery life.

      In my experience, auto unlock and auto lock work well together. Our garage entry door is set to auto unlock when my wife or I get home, and is set to auto lock after 10 minutes, so we don’t need to do anything.

      The August app can be set up to send push notifications when a door is automatically locked or unlocked and will show the name of the user, so IE I’ll see a “door has been automatically unlocked by wifename” when my wife is driving up to the house and then a second one 10 minutes later when the lock re-locks itself.

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Cam

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I’ve been obsessed with gadgets since I was eight years old. I buy each device reviewed with MY money and don’t have insider access. I’m just like you, the everyman.