I finally tried the Smart Lock Pro ($249) from August Home and I admit that before opening the box, I thought it was going to be a complex installation.
I was wrong.
The August website said it would take 10 minutes to install. It took me 8 minutes.
The smart lock lets you control your existing dead bolt from anywhere. There’s no need for a new key and the installation occurs inside your home.
The company says the lock will go over a single-cylinder deadbolt. I tried it over existing dead bolts in my house and at a friend’s home in a different neighborhood, so I’m confident it will fit almost every home-installed deadbolt.
Also included is the August connect WiFi bridge, which plugs into any standard wall power outlet. The bridge connects the lock to your WiFi so it can be controlled remotely with the August app (iOS and Android).
The system works with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HomeKit and Z-Wave Plus. Once everything connects, you can monitor the front door from anywhere with a smartphone.
The app allows users to unlock and open for yourself, or to grant access for others (cleaning service, plumbers, etc.) to enter. You’ll get alerts when the door is opened or closed with a 24/7 activity feed.
With Geofencing, you can have your door set to auto-unlock. If you’re not familiar with Geofencing, it’s a technology that creates a virtual geographic boundary — in this case surrounding your house.
Another great feature is DoorSense, the first intelligent, integrated sensor, which tells you if your door is open or closed. Parents will love this feature.
Also new from August home is the Doorbell Cam Pro ($199), which works as a doorbell with a built-in security camera and has motion detection, a flood light and the new technology from August called HindSight.
With the new flood light, night-time recordings are captured in color. Hindsight adds a few extra seconds to the beginning of a video recorded when motion was detected. In some cases this will record someone who is approaching, but hasn’t set off the motion sensor yet.
August Home offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee for a full refund.
More information: august.com
One of Monster’s latest and greatest is the S100 portable Bluetooth speaker in the company’s SuperStar series.
While the speaker won’t fit in your pocket, it’s still portable and has the great sound quality Monster is known for.
After using the speaker for a few outdoor spring outings, I found everything Monster advertised about the speaker is true.
Cosmetically, like the rest of the SuperStar series, the S100 has a triangular shape, with rounded corners and a rubber coating.
The coating is important if you intend to drop the speaker, which I did intentionally from a few feet and it survived like a champ.
The pro-grade body construction is waterproof with an IPX7 rating, enabling the speaker to withstand splashes, dunks or even in a shower.
While all the above features are important, it would be worthless without its great, distortion-free sound.
The sound, which Monster refers to as heroic, is superb with the right amount of bass and even better with Pure Monster Sound at max volume levels without distortion.
The S100 features MonsterTalk, a feature showed off at the company’s press event at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. This lets users access many of the popular music services with the press of a button.
There’s a built-in microphone to use as s speakerphone and you’ll get about nine hours of sound before a USB charge is needed.
More: monsterstore.com $59.95