Best Smart Lock Reviews and Buying Guide

With seemingly everything being tagged smart these days, what’s the deal with smart locks?

Maybe your existing deadbolt does the job just fine and you’re wondering what possible benefit you could get from shoehorning in technology to something as simple as a lock?

Today, we’ll show you why investing in the best smart lock can give you an added layer of convenience even if it doesn’t do anything to improve security.

5 Best Smart Lock Reviews

We’ll show you how to navigate the various different locks up for grabs but before that, we’ll dive straight into our smart lock reviews to wet your whistle.

First up in our smart lock reviews is the classic Connect Camelot from the legendary Schlage.

You’ll get the best of both worlds with connectivity. The Schlage Connect works just fine as a independent deadbolt. If you have a Z-Wave compatible hub, simply enroll your lock then hit the Schlage button followed by your code and then 0. You can then enjoy your smart lock interacting with other elements of your smart home fuss-free. If you’re not invested in Z-Wave tech, Schlage offer the Sense Smart which uses Bluetooth instead.

Design-wise, you can opt for the more intricate Camelot featured here or the stripped-down Century. Both come in a range of finishes to coordinate with any home.

Installation is blindingly simple and all you’ll need is a Philip’s screwdriver and 15 minutes before you’re up and running.

You can program in as many as 30 codes so this smart lock works well even with large households and service staff. The touchscreen is intuitive with instructive warning indicators alerting you if anything goes amiss.

There are 3 sensitivity levels with the alarm with the Forced Entry option kicking out 3 minutes of uninterrupted alarm. For a beginner-friendly introduction to the world of smart locks from a brand you can trust at a price you’ll love, the Schlage Connect Camelot is a must.

Pros.

  • User-friendly operation
  • A cinch to install
  • Available in a range of finishes to suit
  • 30 code programmability
  • Piercing alarm for your security with 3 settings

Cons.

  • Z-Wave home hub required to unlock smart features
  • Relatively bulky for a smart lock

Next in our smart lock reviews is the second iteration of August’s Alexa-enabled gem. While there’s also a third generation model now available, why not save a few precious bucks while still enjoying all you could hope for in a smart lock?

Unlike keypad locks, the August is controlled from your smart phone via a dedicated August app. The app is available on Apple or Android. You’ll be able to make use of Siri or Alexa so your digital butler can inherit just yet another job in your smart home.

Installation is ridiculously easy with all existing hardware staying in place. All you’ll need to do is replace the interior deadbolts and you’ll be up and running straight out the box.

Bluetooth connectivity means your lock syncs to your phone without significant battery drain.

A Connect add-on gifts you with remote access and this comes at a very reasonable cost. Make sure you genuinely need this function before investing. An activity log will show you all record of people coming and going.

You can kiss goodbye to grasping for your keys since the August locks and unlocks the door automatically as you approach or leave.

For a cost-effective and user-friendly introduction to the world of smart locks, the second-generation August really is tough to beat.

Pros.

  • Control through phone using August app
  • Low-energy Bluetooth connectivity
  • Retrofit to existing bolts
  • Very straightforward to use
  • Sleek, minimalist design

Cons.

  • Not compatible with all deadbolts

At the midway point of our smart lock reviews, we’ve got an already pocket-friendly model from Ultraloq now offered at a steep discount. Act quickly and you could get a fantastic deal.

You’ll be limited to 2 finishes so make sure either the nickel or bronze model fits with your décor before committing yourself. Other smart locks come in a much wider choice of finishes.

Installation is not complicated and you’ll be able to take care of it yourself if you have any kind of aptitude for DIY.

Adding users through the admin panel is a cinch and you can assign up to 8 PIN codes or make provision for fingerprint identification.

Sensors mean the lock activates and the keypad illuminates as your hand approaches.

The 5-in-1 functionality gives you multiple access options:

  1. Fingerprint
  2. PIN
  3. Smartphone
  4. Knock-To-Enter
  5. Key

Bluetooth connectivity might give you a restricted range but it’s also energy-efficient.

For an affordable and hard-hitting keyless smart lock with a solid 18-month warranty, road test the Ultraloq today. This classic smart lock just keeps on getting better all the time.

Pros.

  • Finished in nickel or bronze
  • 5-in-1 keyless functionality
  • Simple DIY installation
  • Fingerprint ID
  • Waterproof and dustproof

Cons.

  • Doesn’t support smart phones in earlier iterations
  • Need admin key if batteries die

As we near the end of our smart lock reviews, it’s essential to showcase an entry from the heavy-hitting Kwikset.

Informally known as the 914 series, this is one of the stealth winners in Kwikset’s broad range.

If you invest in a separate hub, you’ll be able to integrate your smart lock with Alexa, your favorite digital butler. As long as you have a supporting Z-Wave home automation system, you’ll enjoy remote access without needing to spend a fortune.

Installation couldn’t be much simpler and you’ll be away laughing in a matter of minutes.

While integration extends to SmartThings, Wink and Iris, you won’t be able to use Amazon Key, Zigbee or Xfinity so make sure you dial this in before purchase.

For a budget-friendly smart lock that gives you all the features you need and none that you don’t, the Kwikset 914 gets our strident recommendation if you’re looking for the very best smart lock.

Pros.

  • Alexa-enabled through hub available separately
  • Super-simple shotgun installation
  • 3 sleek finishes to match any house
  • Remote locking with smart phone access
  • Exceptional value for money

Cons.

  • Not compatible with Amazon Key, Zigbee or Xfinity

Last but by no means least in our smart lock reviews, we’ve got an entry from Yale, the elder statesman of the lock industry.

You’ll be able to control this smart lock using your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV (4th generation and later) and you’ll also be able to call on the services of Siri to automate things further.

There are alternate models available if you want to integrate with a Z-Wave hub and there’s also a keypad-only version for non-techheads.

As with all of the very best smart locks, you’ll be able to fit the Yale without undue time or trouble to pretty much any standard door.

If you’re an Apple fiend and you want a neat way to get started down the smart lock route at a very reasonable price point, check out the Yale Assure which delivers in fine style.

Pros.

  • A brand you can trust with your home’s security
  • Integrates with Apple Home app
  • Siri-enabled
  • Create multiple 4-8 digit codes for all the family
  • Backlit, ergonomic touchscreen pad

Cons.

  • Some users report issues with lock jamming
  • A few glitches with lock status reporting

OK ...

Now you’ve seen 5 of the very best smart locks on the market, we’ll give you some pointers to simplify your buying decision further.

What To Look For When You’re Buying a Smart Lock

Whether you want connectivity when you’ve got your hands full with groceries or you want to check if you’ve locked up without getting out of bed, smart locks are incredibly convenient.

Here are a few crucial points to double down on…

Type of Lock

Keyless door locks come in 2 main styles:

  • Keypad: You’ll get a numeric keypad with puss buttons and an unlocking button
  • Touchscreen: Much like a biometric fingerprint reader, touchscreen smart locks are activated by identifying your fingerprint. Backup codes kick in if there’s any kind of malfunction

Choose A Protocol

Once you’ve decided which main variant of smart lock would work best in your home, it’s time to consider selecting a protocol.

What we mean here is the way your smart lock is able to communicate with the rest of your smart home.

You’ve got 3 options here:

  • Z-Wave
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi

Z-Wave

With Z-Wave smart locks, you’ll need a central hub. Think of this as a kind of translator enabling communication between devices.

Range of connection is limited to just over 100 feet. If you need greater coverage than this, you can use additional Z-Wave devices to extend the signal up to around 600 feet. Beyond this, you run into interference.

These Z-Wave smart locks come with and without proprietary apps. Buy in line with your preferences.

If you’re fully embracing the idea of a smart home, a hub is a vital investment and Z-Wave smart locks are probably your best bet. If, on the other hand, you don’t intend to use multiple devices with your lock, it’s not a cost-effective solution.

Bluetooth

Since Bluetooth is much easier on your smart lock battery than WiFi, it remains a popular protocol. You should get anything up to a year’s worth of juice from your battery.

Another key advantage of Bluetooth is the way your smart lock will hook up to your phone or tablet directly with no need for a hub.

One of the significant downsides of Bluetooth is the limited range. You’ll be lucky if you can wander more than 200 feet so it’s not the wisest choice if you have a sprawling home. If you’re happy to control your lock from within a smaller home, though, Bluetooth works wonderfully.

WiFi

Some smart locks let you take advantage of WiFi connectivity as an add-on.

All you’ll need is the relevant accessory device and you’ll be able to bridge the connection between your smart lock and home WiFi network.

With this protocol, you’ll avoid the expense of a hub but you’ll still need a secondary device.

Interoperability

Think about the way you plan to use your smart lock with various products from other manufacturers and check for compatibility.

Some Z-Wave locks have universal hubs with a decent degree of inbuilt interoperability. Any gadgets that work with your hub should also have some degree of communication with your smart lock.

Some Schlage and Kwikset locks work with the HomeKit by Apple. This allows you to open your lock using your favorite voice assistant. Other major players have rolled out models compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant so you’re spoiled for choice.

Think about your intended usage and choose accordingly.

Activity Notification

With traditional locks, you obviously have no way of determining who enters your home but some smart locks will send you a notification any time someone enters or leaves the property.

This technology attracts a modest remote fee but if security is uppermost in your mind, this is a price worth paying.

Battery Life

Battery life with the best smart locks can extend up to 1 year. This is based on 20 entries daily.

Many locks issue an audible warning when battery life is failing.

A Final Word

If you’re interested in enhancing and expanding your home security with smart locks, you should hopefully have a firm idea of which model to laser in on.

Feel free to get in touch any time if you have any questions or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers and we’re here to bring you what you want.

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