The smart lock is a form of keyless door lock that uses wifi or Bluetooth connectivity to interact with other devices. This can be done via a specific fob or by downloading and installing an app on your phone. The lock then automatically unlocks once the phone or fob is presented.
That means no more hunting through your pockets and bags to try and locate your keys. Even better, is that you can send temporary keys to people which will give them access to your home within a specific time frame. This can come in useful when you’re going away and need somebody to collect your mail or feed your pets. Just message them a key and they can then use their phone to unlock the lock. Once you return, that temporary key will no longer work.
If you have other smart devices within the home, some smart locks can connect to these and relay messages. As an example, if you leave the house, some locks will relay the message to your smart heating system which will then turn itself off or go into standby until you return.
We are going to be looking at the top 3 smart locks of 2018 during this post to give you an idea of what is out there and the kinds of figures we are talking about.
Top 3 Smart Locks of 2018 in Short
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect (Our Pick)
The August Smart Lock Pro is a winner when it comes to smart locks. It’s easy to install and can be controlled either remotely or with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri voice commands. It’s not cheap, but it’s the best smart lock we’ve tested, and our number one.
It offers everything you get with the HomeKit model, plus a few new features, including August’s DoorSense technology, Z-Wave compatibility, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The outer edge of the lock is textured and a smallish ring of LEDs glows green when the door is being unlocked and red when it is being locked. Inside are four AA batteries, a Bluetooth radio, and a Z-Wave radio that lets you control the lock using a home automation hub such as the Wink 2 or Samsung SmartThings Hub. This lock also has audible tones that alert you when something goes wrong such as the deadbolt jamming as it locks.
The mobile app walks you through the installation process, which takes about 10 minutes. It helps you set up guest access, auto-lock and auto-unlock.
This can also communicate with and function alongside other smart home products such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, IFTTT and Wink. No other lock has so complete a roster of partners with such flexibility for customers as the August Smart Lock Pro. The battery life is around 3 month.
Kwikset Kevo 2nd Gen
If you can wrangle your way through a comparatively complex setup, the Kwikset Kevo 2nd Gen might be worth your time.
The Kevo comes with a helpful step by step guide built into the app that walks you through the hardware installation. Providing you pay attention, the lock can be installed with only moderate trouble.
The big selling point of the Kevo is its “touch to open” technology. A ring around the external keyhole—which can still be used normally with the included keys, and can be rekeyed as desired—can be simply touched to unlock the door.
This is a bit misleading, of course: The touch-sensitive ring doesn’t use biometrics or some other fancy trick to identify you; it simply tells the lock to poll your phone via Bluetooth to see if you have a valid key installed. Sending keys is simple, though they are tied to an email address, not a phone number, which some users might prefer.
This smart lock only works via Bluetooth, so it isn’t immediately able to become part of your smart home network. You can extend its functionality by throwing in some more cash for a gizmo called Kevo Plus which connects to your router via an ethernet cable, giving you remote access features and Alexa compatibility.
Out of the box, the Kevo does support IFTTT, but the recipes are a bit limited in scope. You can set up a recipe to send you an email if the door is unlocked, for example, but this only works if the door is unlocked through the app, not with a physical key or via the manual deadbolt.
It is a fairly reliable lock and, from a physical standpoint, pretty tough.
The Kwikset Premis is the second Kwikset smart lock to make it in to our top 3. The Premis has all of the same features as Kwikset’s other smart locks, including custom entry codes, as well as a log detailing every time the lock was activated or a code was used.
It might not look fancy but the Premis does the job it is supposed to do, and it does it well.
When in sleep mode, the Premis looks like a normal high-end lock, with a shiny black-plastic plate covering about two-thirds of its surface. This area lights up white with numbers and icons when the device has been awakened by the app or a press on the touch screen. A small blinking LED sits just above the lock turn latch, to show you the battery and lock status.
It is not the easiest of smart locks to install and strangely it doesn’t come with any installation instructions. All you get is a little piece of cardboard with a quick setup guide on. You need to download the app to actually access any instructions.
The device itself is made with all high-quality, heavy-duty parts. With a brawny 1-inch dead-bolt throw, the Premis offers excellent physical protection.
The Premis features a capacitive touch screen, with a white LED numerical display when activated. It also has a colored LED that tells you the status of both the lock and the battery
There are three ways to open the lock; Siri, the app or a numerical code. You can create up to 30 active numerical codes. You can even schedule each code for a specific day, time or duration. You can also get a notification whenever a code is used.
The Premis can be controlled by up to 16 Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and 4th-generation Apple TV (or newer).
Kwikset says the all-metal housing is tamper-resistant. The Premis also has what Kwikset calls Advanced SmartKey. This is said to provide resistance against forced entry techniques and undetectable entry methods, including lock picking and lock “bumping.”