Touchscreen or buttons, bluetooth or Wi-Fi, these days there are so many different options in the smart lock world. These options can seem overwhelming, but once you find a few key features, picking the right lock for your smart home can become an easier decision. When I was at CES earlier this year, Smart Home was a huge focus point of the show, and smart locks were definitely on display.
While smart locks have been on the market for a while; they are just now really starting to emerge as an essential home feature. Brad and I currently have a quasi-smart lock. I say this because it is key-less entry with buttons; however, there is no smart home functionality included.
Every once in a while I start eyeing a new lock for our front door (partially because our deadbolt is brass and the door handle is oil rubbed bronze). Simply having a code to enter our front door is definitely convenient for us, house sitters and cleaners only need a code to get in; as do our neighbors when we need him to put a package inside if we don’t want it sitting on the porch until we get home.
I’ve rounded up a few different smart locks today and share a few key details about them. I hope it helps you make a smart lock decision! Note that these do come in multiple styles and colors other than those which are linked; however, the information about that line is the same.
The Schlage Sense features a touch keypad or can be ulocked via bluetooth. If you would like to use an app to lock/unlock remotely, a WiFi adapter is required (and must be plugged in within about 40′ of the lock). The Sense line works with Apple Home Kit, so you can unlock it with Siri; however, it doesn’t work with other smart home ecosystems.
The Schlage Connect line also has a touch keypad and uses z-wave to connect to other smart home devices. Z-Wave requires a hub (like Samsung SmartThings) to connect to your home network. With SmartThings integration, you can use this lock with Alexa, Google Home, or lock/unlock using other routines. If the lock notices vibrations which are characteristic of a break-in, an alarm will sound. The Connect line is rated at a Commercial Grade 1 for security as well!
This is one of the first locks I’ve seen which are integrated with a home security system. It features Amazon Alexa integration without a required hub or bridge. One of the cool features of this lock is actually in the other handles that create the whole solution. These handles open via push, pull, or twist. You can use the handle like normal, or unlatch simply by pushing or pulling on it. The purchase of the lock also comes with 3 years of Array Cloud Service; however after that point you would need to purchase a renewal to continue using the app. I like the Push/Pull/Twist aspect; however, I’d be weary of buying something essential that requires a subscription.
If you are simply going for looks, the Baldwin Evolved wins as it offers a simple way to unlock by touch. There are mechanical keys and key fobs available for this lock, but the main way to access is through an eKey through a phone app. This app allows for easy scheduling of when certain keys can be used; however, everybody entering your home would need a smartphone and the app.
This lock is another Z-Wave connected device which can connect to Alexa and Google Home through Samsung SmartThings. One benefit that the Kwikset line has over other brands is that their interior profile is smaller. Smart Locks are generally rather large inside so it is nice to have the option for a smaller footprint. This is also one of the few smart locks with actual buttons instead of key pads; this is a nice feature for somebody who likes the tactile feel of real buttons.
The Premis Touchscreen exclusively works with Apple HomeKit or the Premis iOS app. This integration would let you open your door via Siri. The lock can store up to 30 codes; and while they can be programmed through the lock itself, it is easier to do through the app. Since we don’t have any Apple products in our home, this probably wouldn’t be at the top of my list.
The Kevo 925 is unique as it looks like a traditional deadbolt. Using a bluetooth connection to your phone, the deadbolt unlocks with a simple touch. There is also a Kevo Key Fob available if you would like another “key” option. Kevo will connect to Alexa and other smart home ecosystems; however it may require the Kevo Plus hub.
As Brad and I look to add a smart lock to our home, some key features for us are the integration with Samsung SmartThings (since we already have the ecosystem started), and ease of letting others into our home if needed. With these key features, I would lean towards the Schlage Connect or Kwikset Smartcode 914 as our ideal device.
Which features are important to you for a smart lock?