• Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

  • Wyze Lock

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Smart Locks

  • Privacy

  • Other Smart Locks We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Smart Locks of 2021

  1. Best Overall

    Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

    Pros

    • Up to 100 passcodes

    • Versatile passcodes

    • Amazon Key compatible

    Cons

    • Lacks some advanced features

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Wyze Lock

    Pros

    • WiFi and Bluetooth

    • Offers geofencing, virtual keys, and optional keypad

    • Affordable

    Cons

    • Slightly less attractive than the competition

    • Separate components make for more complex setup

    Skip to the full review below
Schlage Encode smart lock
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The Schlage Encode is a solid, easy-to-use smart lock.

Best Overall
Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

There's a lot to love about our top pick, the Schlage Encode. For starters, installation and troubleshooting are a breeze thanks to the app’s interactive step-by-step guide. The lock and accompanying app are simple and intuitive to use, jam-packed with useful features, and the lock is very responsive when using remote access.

Not only is the Encode able to store and remember up to 100 permanent, temporary, or recurring passcodes, but it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Ring, Amazon Key, and, of course, Schlage Home. If you’re on the hunt for a HomeKit-compatible smart lock, check out our previous winner, the Schlage Sense, below.

The Encode’s Amazon Key compatibility means that you can allow delivery persons to digitally unlock your smart lock in order to set your Amazon packages inside the door for you if you’re not into answering the door in your pajamas. And if you’re not into letting random people unlock your front door, note that using the Encode with Amazon Key is optional. It’s a great lock even without the Key integration.

Unlike most other smart locks, the Schlage Encode has WiFi built in. That means that, even without a hub, Encode can connect to the internet, voice assistants, and your phone when you’re away from home. This, along with the well-designed app, make it one of the easiest locks to set up and use of all the models we tested.

The option to set up recurring passcodes is pretty ingenious and helpful for those who have regular housekeepers, babysitters, or other household employees, and only want them having access every third Thursday or whatever. You don’t need to create a new code each time and then revoke access that evening. It doesn't include more advanced features like geofencing or fingerprint scanning, but the numeric keypad is easy and versatile enough to fit most people's needs.

Pros

  • Up to 100 passcodes

  • Versatile passcodes

  • Amazon Key compatible

Cons

  • Lacks some advanced features

Wyze Lock
Credit: Wyze

Easy to use and quick to install, the Wyze Lock offers plenty of smart features that are comparable to more expensive door locks.

Best Value
Wyze Lock

Wyze continues to impress us with their incredibly affordable smart home products. Coming off the heels of Wyze’s surprisingly good security cameras, the Wyze Lock offers a solid feature set at a great price. It uses your existing deadbolt and key hole, so your front door will look the same to outsiders, packing all the smarts in a simple panel attached to the inside of the door. That means you won't have to re-key anything, but unlike the Schlage Encode, the Wyze Lock is a bit more modular. Wi-Fi connectivity requires a separate bridge you need to plug in near the lock, though it's bundled in the package. An optional mount-anywhere keypad is also available for numeric codes, though it's sold separately. One the one hand, this is nice, because you can buy only what you need and skip the rest—but it also means a bit more work than something like the Encode for those that want the full package.

Thankfully, the Wyze Lock's installation is quite easy, and even first-timers should have no problem installing the deadbolt. The mechanism is smooth and responsive, whether you're locking it by hand, through the app, or through the geofencing feature, which uses your phone's location to unlock the door as you arrive home. You can also share access with others through the app, either long-term or on a recurring schedule. (We had to re-share after the other person made their account, so it wasn’t foolproof, but we got it working with minimal fuss.)

The Wyze Lock also uses an interesting auto-sensing feature that can tell whether your door is ajar or not, without the need for stick-on sensors. In our testing, it worked well, though stick-on sensors may be more reliable for some folks—albeit with added complexity. The WiFi bridge worked flawlessly—not a given, as you'll see below—allowing us to lock the house from afar, or using voice assistants like Alexa. While we wish it were built-in to the lock itself, the performance is on point, provided you have an outlet near your door.

And that's ultimately the main downside of the Wyze Lock—it works incredibly well and comes at a killer price, but it's definitely less attractive than pricier models, and extra pieces like the WiFi bridge and stick-on keypad do require a little more forethought in terms of where everything goes. The Schlage Encode is far more attractive, and with everything built in to one unit, it's a bit easier to set up. Still, the Wyze Lock provided such a smooth and hassle-free experience for the price that it was easily one of the best locks we tested.

Pros

  • WiFi and Bluetooth

  • Offers geofencing, virtual keys, and optional keypad

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Slightly less attractive than the competition

  • Separate components make for more complex setup

Related content

How We Tested

The Tester

I’m Whitson Gordon, and I’m a freelance tech writer charged with testing smart home gadgets (among other things) here at Reviewed. I’ve been writing about tech professionally for over 10 years, from building computers to setting up smart homes. I served as the editor-in-chief of Lifehacker and How-To Geek before starting a freelance career writing guides for publications like the New York Times, PCMag, and Reviewed. This isn’t just my day job—it’s my calling. I’m obsessed with researching, testing, and finding the best possible gadget in a given category, so much so that my brother made it a central joke in his best man speech at my wedding.

I've been decking out my house with smart home tech for a few years, including a major revamp after buying a new house in 2019. With all-new electrical, HVAC, and a robust WiFi system, my house is primed for testing smart gadgets of all stripes—alongside my experience setting up smart home devices in my family's older, more challenging houses.

The previous round of testing was completed by Sarah Kovac, former editor of our smart home section here at Reviewed.

The Tests

We used a piece of an actual door for the installation process. We assembled each one, noting which had newbie-friendly instructions, and which ones made us want to pull our hair out.

Once each lock was installed, we tested the accompanying mobile app on Android and iOS, over WiFi and cellular data (when applicable). We rated each one on lock/unlock speed, app interface, connection reliability, responsiveness when used with voice assistants, ease of installation, and more.

We paid special attention to ease of use and reliability. After all, if you're spending the money to upgrade to a smart lock, it needs to work well. Every time.

Our tests proved that not all locks are as smart as you'd think, and when it comes to your home's security, it might be better to opt for a reliable, easy-to-use lock over one that's loaded with potentially confusing and unnecessary features.

What You Should Know About Smart Locks

Can You Use a Physical Key With a Smart Lock?

Digital keypads are great when you don't have a spare key to loan the dog walker or babysitter, and also for those times when you lock yourself out of the house. Some smart locks even come with fingerprint sensors for super-quick unlocking, or geofencing so your house unlocks automatically as you arrive home. Ultimately, these are what make smart locks "smart," and will probably be the main ways you unlock your door.

However, most smart locks, like our favorite, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, also come with traditional keys that you can use to lock and unlock the door as you normally would. It's a good idea to key the spare key on your keyring (or in a safe place where you can easily access it) in case something goes wrong—like you lose power or the batteries in the smart lock die (though many will notify you well before this happens). In addition, you might want to consider a lock that shares compatibility with the other locks in your house—for example, if your back door uses a Kwikset keyway, you may want to choose a Kwikset-based lock for your front door, or Schlage for Schlage homes. That way, you can rekey the smart lock and use the same physical key on both doors.

Can a Smart Lock be Hacked?

Yes. Like any smart product, it's possible to hack into a smart lock. Cybersecurity should definitely be a consideration, but you should also consider the many ways a smart lock offers more security than a "dumb" one. While definitely possible, the odds of someone having the know-how and motivation to hack your smart lock are going to be much lower than the odds of a door accidentally left unlocked, a burglar finding your spare physical key hiding under a rock, or a burglar using that rock to smash a window. A smart lock prevents many unfortunate scenarios that can result from the vulnerabilities of a dumb lock.

A smart lock can auto-lock your door, ensuring it isn't left unsecured. A smart lock totally eliminates the need for spare/hidden keys, and therefore lowers the likelihood one will be stolen, lost, or copied. And depending on the smart lock you choose, your fingerprint or phone will be all you need to get in your house—no more fumbling for keys. So, while the device introduces some risks, it eliminates others, and adds a lot of convenience. Just make sure the password to your smart lock isn't "password," and you're likely to come out ahead over a standard deadbolt.

Smart Assistant Compatibility

Whether you use Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, it’s important to make sure the smart lock you choose works with your preferred smart assistant. It may seem obvious, but not all smart locks play nice with certain voice assistants.

Many smart locks work with both Alexa and Google Assistant, but that’s not always the case with Apple’s Siri. We think the Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt is the best smart lock for Apple HomeKit users, but several others we tested, like the August Smart Lock Pro and Yale Real Living Assure Lock, can also be controlled with Siri, as well as Google Assistant and Alexa.

To avoid any surprises or headaches, look for a smart lock that’s compatible with the smart assistant you use the most. Compatibility information can be found on the product’s page or on the exterior of the product’s packaging.

Privacy

There’s always a potential privacy risk involved when you use internet-connected devices at home. To help safeguard your smart home, there are some steps you can take. First, look for devices that offer two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your mobile device to verify it’s really you. That way, if someone tries to hack into your account, you will receive an alert and can quickly take care of the problem. Many devices also allow you to activate email or other push notifications in the settings to alert you if someone has logged on.

Additionally, make sure to use a unique, strong password composed of multiple characters, numbers, and letters for each of your smart home accounts. Data breaches feel like the norm as of late, making it all the more important to use different passwords across multiple websites and apps.

When using any devices with smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, you can further protect your privacy by regularly deleting your voice recordings and muting the speaker’s mic when it’s not in use.

Looking for more privacy tips? Read our guide to securing your smart home.


Other Smart Locks We Tested

Alfred DB2-B

Alfred is a lesser-known player in the smart lock space, but they made one of the best locks we tested this time around. Not only was the lock reliable, triggering every time we commanded it from the mobile app or with our voice, but it's rather versatile as well. Their DB2-B model offers a keypad on the front for numeric codes, a standard key lock hidden under a little door, and a geofence-based one-touch unlock, allowing you to unlock the door by touching your finger to it after returning home.

Having used a similar lock in the past (the now-mostly-outdated Kwikset Kevo), this is a really convenient way to unlock your door—though unlike the Kevo, which unlocks as long as your phone is in your pocket, Alfred's one-touch feature works in conjunction with geofencing. Once you re-enter the 250 foot radius around your home, you'll be able to unlock your door just by touching the keypad. This geofencing requirement can make the feature a bit fiddly for some users, as geofencing requires location permissions and battery optimization to be set a certain way on Android phones—not to mention it requires an always-on notification, which is rather annoying.

The lock's design is a bit large, but still sleek and attractive, with three colors to choose from (black, chrome, and gold). The lock itself connects to your phone over Bluetooth, though you can buy a separate Wi-Fi bridge or Z-Wave module for remote access and integration with other smart home platforms. (You'll need one of these if you want to control it with Alexa or Google Home.)

While I love that Alfred offers both Wi-Fi and Z-Wave bridges, the addition of a separate bridge introduces extra variables that can complicate things for many users. While Alfred's bridge worked very reliably in my experience, I tend to be wary of separate bridges since I've had them introduce frustration before—see some of the locks below—particularly if your house is laid out in such a way that there aren't any outlets near the front door. I much prefer built-in Wi-Fi, particularly when recommending a product to less tech-savvy users. (Oh, and Alfred's bridge is rather unsightly, requiring a cable to plug it in and a weird plastic hanger, rather than a simple module with attached prongs). Still, it's a fantastic lock, and if you're willing to deal with the extra complexity, the Alfred DB2-B is one of the most versatile and reliable models we tested.

Pros

  • Attractive

  • Works well

  • Versatile and reliable

Cons

  • Bridge required

  • Setup may be complex for some

Eufy Smart Lock Touch

Anker’s Eufy brand aims to provide versatile smart home products at an affordable price (see our list of the best robot vacuums). Their Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch works very well, providing an extremely smooth deadbolt mechanism that's easy to set up and use. It's also versatile, offering both a numeric keypad and a fingerprint sensor, though the sensor is a tad slower than other fingerprint locks we tested.

Unlike other Eufy products, though, the Eufy Smart Lock was on the costlier side. And for that cost, you only get Bluetooth connectivity—no WiFi, which means no voice assistant and other automation features. The physical key also uses a non-standard design, so you can’t re-key it to match the other locks in your home and it's a bit on the bulkier side. Ultimately, it's extremely easy and reliable; we just wish it were a little cheaper for the sacrifices it makes over other models.

Pros

  • Smooth deadbolt mechanism

  • Easy to setup and use

Cons

  • Bluetooth only

  • Bulkier than some other smart locks we tested

Best for Apple HomeKit
Best for Apple HomeKit
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

The Schlage Sense, our previous top-scorer in this category, is a great smart lock. In fact, we found the Sense to perform identically in our testing to the Encode in most categories. The big differences are the Sense’s lack of built-in WiFi and its smaller memory for passcodes (but do you really need more than 30?).

This lock can still connect to the internet, but you need to invest in a Schlage Sense WiFi adapter. This lock also comes equipped with built-in alarm sensors that will issue an alert if it senses an attack, which is great for those concerned about their smart lock being hacked.

It's also Apple HomeKit compatible, which means you can ask Siri to lock or unlock your door, even through your remote control if you own an Apple TV as well. If you own an iPhone and have already taken steps to fill your home with Apple HomeKit-compatible products, the Schlage Sense is a standout smart lock that should be on your radar.

Pros

  • HomeKit compatible

  • Built-in tamper alarm

Cons

  • Needs adapter for WiFi connection

Best for Alexa, Best for Google Assistant
Best for Alexa, Best for Google Assistant
August Smart Lock Pro

A very close runner-up to our best overall lock was the August Smart Lock Pro. It's one of the most well known smart locks out there and has earned a well-deserved reputation for being a standout smart product.

It works with both Android/Google Assistant, iPhone/HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa and responds to voice command to automatically lock. With it, you can use virtual keys to hand out temporary access, enable auto-lock and auto-unlock based on the proximity of your phone, and a history log of who comes and goes. But maybe most importantly, August uses your existing deadbolt mechanism, meaning installation is a breeze and gives you that extra bit of peace of mind.

If you're interested in using the August with your Amazon Echo or any other smart assistant, you'll have to plug in the included August Connect. With this bridge, you'll be able to move your August from Bluetooth over to WiFi, which gives you control over your lock via your phone no matter where you are. Alternatively, the Connect is what lets you use your Echo to control your lock via the August Home skill.

Pros

  • Uses existing deadbolt mechanism

  • Compatible with most smart assistants

  • Installation is a breeze

Cons

  • None that we could find

Yale Real Living Assure Lock SL YRD256

Whether we tapped a button in the smartphone app or used Alexa and Siri, the Yale Assure Lock SL unlocked faster than the other locks we tested. It was almost instant. If enabling voice assistants to control your lock concerns you (Could just anyone in your house or near your phone talk to Alexa and control your lock?), not to worry. While locking the door by voice is painless, unlocking requires a spoken passcode instead of a punch in access code or pin code. The Yale Assure Lock SL has a spot under the cover that allows for a smart home module to be plugged in.

We tested with the optional Connected by August kit, which comes with a door sensor and can connect the lock to HomeKit, Alexa, or Google Home for remote access. If you already use a Z-Wave hub like Wink for your smart home, Yale makes a module that will make the Assure Lock SL compatible with Z-Wave Plus as well. The Connected by August module connects the Assure SL to the August smart lock app, which we love. It is well-designed and simple to use. It even logs who unlocks the door and when, and all the data is stored in a timeline on the app.

Setting up the lock itself is as easy as you can hope for from a lock with so many features, and it walks you through each step with voice instructions, which are available in three different languages: English, Spanish, and French allowing you to lock remotely. Our only issue with this lock was that, while using it with Alexa and Siri was a dream, Google Assistant could only lock it, and wasn't ever successful in unlocking.

Pros

  • Fast response time

  • Intuitive app

Cons

  • Couldn't unlock with Google Assistant

Nest x Yale

If you already have the Nest Secure alarm system and/or cameras installed in your home, the Nest x Yale lock will integrate nicely with your familiar Nest ecosystem. The lock/unlock button resides on the same screen in the Nest app as your security camera feeds, so you can check the door and unlock it for your visitor with one tap.

Even more convenient is the fact that unlocking the Nest x Yale lock can automatically disarm your Nest security system. Nest has been in the smart security business for a while and it's obvious when you interact with both the hardware and software. The lock is sleek and feels well-made. The mobile app is intuitive but also loaded with helpful features. We were a bit dismayed that the Nest x Yale is only compatible with the Google Assistant and not Alexa. Dismayed, but not surprised considering Google owns Nest.

So, if you don't need Alexa compatibility and you're one of the many fans of Nest's other products, the Nest x Yale lock is the one for you.

Pros

  • Works well with other Nest products

  • Intuitive App

  • Works with Google Assistant

Cons

  • No Alexa compatibility

Kwikset Halo Touch

If you like the idea of unlocking your door with your fingerprint—which is easily the quickest and most convenient way to get inside your house, short of geofencing—check out the Kwikset Halo Touch. It eschews the keypad for a fingerprint sensor that's quick to engage and very reliable (though notifications that the door has finished locking were a bit delayed in our testing). Its built-in WiFi means you can use Alexa or Google Assistant to lock your door as well, though it doesn't contain any location-based features.

Kwikset also offers the ability to share virtual keys with other users, and add their fingerprints to your door. It isn't quite as versatile as a numeric keypad (since you can offer a code to anyone without them needing the app or being present), but if your primary concern is getting into your own house easily, a fingerprint is incredibly quick and easy.

Pros

  • Built-in WiFi

  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • No keypad

  • No location-based features

Level Touch

While most smart locks offer a keypad or fingerprint scanner as a second unlock method, the Level Touch does something a bit more interesting. When you arrive back home, its built-in geofencing detects that you're within the radius, and then you can just touch the lock to open the door. No need to aim at a fingerprint sensor; the entire lock is touch sensitive—which means your kid can touch it for you, or you can touch it with your elbow if your arms are full of groceries. Again, this is super convenient, and it allows for a much smaller, more incognito lock—you wouldn't know this is a smart lock by looking at the door. You can also unlock it using a pair of NFC cards that come with the device.

It does come with some drawbacks, however. Like the Level Bolt, geofencing requires the Level app to constantly run in order to be aware of your location, which means turning off Android's battery optimization for that app—which can be slightly confusing—and dealing with a "Standing By" notification that never seems to go away (unless you turn it off at the system level). It also requires geolocation for its banner touch feature, much like the Alfred DB2-B, so the Level Touch only works within the 15 minutes you re-enter the geofence radius. Finally, the Level Touch works with HomeKit and Siri, but not Alexa or Google Home. If the clever unlock mechanism outweighs the lack of other features, it could be the lock for you—but it probably isn't the lock for most people, especially given its higher price.

Pros

  • Works with Apple HomeKit

  • Built-in geofencing

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Doesn't work with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

Ultraloq isn’t as much of a household name as some other brands on this list, but their U-Bolt Pro is one of the most versatile smart locks you can buy today. Despite its small size, it sports numeric codes, fingerprint unlocking, and a traditional key hole hidden behind the panel. The fingerprint, in particular, was quite fast and responsive, and virtual keys allow up to 60 people to unlock the door using their own fingerprint, code, or app. While it looks a bit more high-tech than your standard deadbolt, it’s much smaller than competitors, especially for how many unlock mechanisms it has.

Unfortunately, the U-Bolt Pro had its share of quirks. Setup, in particular, was much more difficult than other locks we tested, starting with the thick metal piece you have to break off using two pieces of pliers. The U-Bolt works primarily over Bluetooth, but you can buy it with a WiFi bridge that allows for remote control, even when you aren’t home.

Unfortunately, that bridge caused us a whole host of problems. Utraloq told us it needs to be plugged into an outlet that is close by and has direct line of sight to your lock—though even within these parameters, we couldn't get it to connect properly (and we tested two units). After many emails back and forth with the support team, Utraloq was finally able to get our bridge working flawlessly, but it took a few days to get there. Many Amazon reviews bring up this same issue, so it's clear remote access over Wi-Fi is a bit finicky with this lock, which is not an issue we experienced with other competing products. If you mostly plan on using the code and fingerprint, it’s fantastic, and one of the most versatile locks on this list. Just be prepared for some potential setup quirks.

Pros

  • Numeric codes

  • Fingerprint unlocking

  • Works with traditional key

Cons

  • Bridge required for WiFi access

  • Bridge is tricky to setup

  • WiFi can be finicky

August WiFi Smart Lock

August’s latest WiFi lock refines the design that put August on the map. Its round locking mechanism replaces your deadbolt knob without requiring you to remove the deadbolt itself, or the keyhole on the outside of the door. Its design looks a little ugly compared to the more traditional looking locks on this list, but its built-in WiFi means you can control it from anywhere, and the location-based auto-unlock feature worked flawlessly in our testing. Virtual keys worked similarly well, though we found that invites didn’t work property unless our invitee already had an August account, which is easy enough to work around.

We also found the iOS app slightly more confusing to use if you had more than one lock, and the lock seemed to prefer WiFi over Bluetooth—the opposite of most locks—which means there’s sometimes a weird lag when you’re close to the lock and it switches from one to the other. Still, you'll rarely need to use the app when you're standing in front of the lock, so we're okay with this quirk for how reliable the WiFi connectivity was.

Pros

  • Built-in WiFi

  • Reliable over WiFi

  • Location-based features work well

Cons

  • iOS is slightly confusing

  • Lags behind when using Bluetooth

Kwikset Premis

The Premis is the ideal Kwikset lock for anyone with an iPhone and an established HomeKit household. Through the iOS-only app, you'll be able to lock/unlock your door, check a history log of who's come and gone, send virtual keys. The included touchscreen keypad lets you create up to 30 unique codes that could be permanent (for your family) or temporary (for visiting friends or Airbnb guests). Plus, if you own a 3rd generation or later Apple TV, you can control the Premis remotely.

It didn't have the fastest unlock/lock times, but it also never stretched past 5 seconds, which isn't something that can be said for all of the locks we tested. Still, if you're looking for a HomeKit compatible WiFi smart lock that performs exceptionally well, I'd recommend our number one pick, the Schlage Encode.

Pros

  • Activity timeline

  • Up to 30 unique codes

  • HomeKit compatible

Cons

  • App is iOS only

  • Slow response time

August WiFi Smart Lock + Connect

August’s standard Smart Lock is more affordable than August’s other locks, with many of the same features: you can unlock from the app or using geofencing, and virtual keys allow you to give access to friends and family. It doesn’t have WiFi built-in, but it comes with a Connect bridge that connects the lock to your WiFi network, as long as you have an outlet near your door. (Strangely, it kept telling us the signal from the bridge was weak, even though it worked just fine.) Setting the Connect up on Android was a bit quirky, though, since you have to turn off the “Smart WiFi Connect” setting, which may exist in different spots on different phones.

Once you get it set up, though, locking and unlocking works as reliably as the other August locks we tested. It does, however, make an incredibly loud, nails-on-a-chalkboard style noise whenever it locks or unlocks, more so than any other lock we tested—locking it by hand doesn’t produce the noise, but if you’re in the house when it goes off, it’s rather grating.

Pros

  • More affordable than other August smart locks

  • Geofencing

  • Remote unlock

Cons

  • Android setup can be tricky

Lockly Secure Pro Deadbolt

The Lockly Secure Pro has some promising features. It comes in latch and deadbolt versions, and you have your choice of Satin Nickel or Venetian Bronze finish. But this is more than just a pretty lock. The keypad has a unique security feature that helps protect your entry code from would-be lock hackers.

The numbers on the virtual keypad randomly group together to make up four buttons. The numbers on each button are different each time the lock is used, so someone watching your hand in an attempt to figure out your entry code will see different movements each time you enter. Pretty smart.

Lockly comes with a WiFi hub, a lifetime limited warranty covering the finish and mechanics, an easy-to-install door sensor, a fingerprint sensor, and a two-year warranty covering the electronics. We loved the Lockly's PIN protection and thoughtful features, but locking and unlocking from the app was slow and finicky. Sometimes our phone wouldn't connect to it at all.

After a few app updates, this lock may prove to be one of our favorites. But until then, we'd recommend something a little more simple and reliable, like the Schlage Encode or Yale Assure SL.

Pros

  • Randomized number pad

  • Latch or deadbolt

  • Fingerprint sensor

Cons

  • Connectivity issues

Lockly Vision

The Lockly Vision combines a smart lock with a smart doorbell, packing in as many advanced features as possible into its rather bulky frame. Setup was a bit more difficult due to the way the internals are wired, and we found the app to be rather laggy, especially on Android—merely loading the lock status took longer than the other locks on this list. The locking mechanism was similarly slow, usually taking about 5 seconds to lock—again, more than most of the others we tested—though it never lost connectivity entirely. Voice controls worked well through Alexa and virtual keys were reliable, albeit a bit confusing to set up (mostly due to the sheer number of options, which is actually plus for users that want fine-grained control).

The keypad on the Lockly Vision is rather unique, allowing you to display digits in a random order every time so peeping neighbors can’t deduce your code. Some will find this more annoying than useful, but as with all of Lockly’s features, you can adjust it within the app. The fingerprint sensor allows up to 99 separate fingerprints, and you can issue codes even if your internet is down—though note that the fingerprint sensor's location on the side may make it difficult or unusable with certain doors. The Lockly Vision tries a bit too hard to be everything, without excelling at any one use case. Still, the sheer number of options available on the Vision is commendable, and picky users will be able to set it up exactly how they want—we just wish the app were a little more responsive.

Pros

  • Includes built-in smart doorbell

  • Stores up to 99 separate fingerprints

Cons

  • Wiring required

  • Can be slow

Kwikset Kevo Convert

The Kwikset Kevo Convert is a simple way to keep your exterior lock and keys, and instead replace only the interior deadbolt lock mechanism. Much like the Kevo 2nd Gen, the Kwikset app will guide you through an interactive installation process that should leave you with a fully functioning lock in about 10-15 minutes. It's a bit more affordable than a full assembly smart lock while keeping all of the same benefits.

The bad news is that in our testing, the Convert took upwards of 10 seconds to lock and unlock the door. That might not seem very long, but try saying that when it's 90 degrees outside and you're stuck waiting for your lock to let you inside.

Pros

  • Works with existing lock and keys

  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Slow response time

Best for Smart Home Hubs
Schlage Connect

The Schlage Connect is a great app if you're smart home is already set up with a Z-Wave-compatible hub like the Wink Hub 2, which we used to test the lock. It has a touchscreen keypad for multiple, unique codes, improved security through built-in alarms and sensors, and can even work with your Amazon Echo—with the Wink skill activated.

Unfortunately, our tests found that working through two systems, in this case, Wink and Alexa, will pretty severely delay any app commands and cause a higher chance of the app crashing, at least for Wink. The Connect was another lock that sometimes took up to 10 seconds to engage and lock/unlock my door.

Pros

  • Z-wave compatible

  • Built-in sensors and alarms

Cons

  • Unreliable app

  • Slow response time

Level Bolt

Most smart locks require a bulky panel on at least one side of your door, if not both. If you want a smart lock that’s truly incognito, the Level Lock replaces the deadbolt mechanism inside your door, without any other circuitry necessary—you use the same key hole and indoor lever you have right now, making for an incredibly sleek setup.

However, that does mean that the Level Lock is a bit short on features—it only works over Bluetooth, and doesn’t currently support virtual keys. It is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, though, and allows geofencing through that or through the app itself. (Though it does have a rather annoying always-on notification when geofencing is enabled on Android.) It’s a fascinating design, and if you’re building a HomeKit-powered smart home, it's worth a look—but other locks offer more features for the price.

Pros

  • Incognito design

  • Works with Apple HomeKit

Cons

  • No virtual keys

  • Bluetooth-only

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The Best Smart Outdoor Security Cameras

Meet the testers

Nick Schmiedicker

Nick Schmiedicker

Former Managing Editor

@@nschmiedicker

Coming from Buffalo, NY, Nick studied media production and arts journalism. When he’s not writing about tech Nick can be found playing video games and keeping up on the latest in pop culture.

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Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac

Editor, Smart Home

@sarahkovac

Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and smart home editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.

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Whitson Gordon

Whitson Gordon

Freelance Writer

Whitson Gordon is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

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Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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