Last month, the Kwikset smart lock that came installed in the back door of my house when we moved in two years ago broke. I wasn’t in love with the lock, but I was even less happy with the timing of it breaking. I would have preferred to wait for Matter to come out before investing in a new door lock.
But since the back door is our main way of getting in and out of the house when we walk the dog or dump our trash, the loss of this lock forced us to quickly replace it. We ended up with the Eufy Wi-Fi lock, which I’m not super excited about, either. But as you’ll see, shopping for connected locks today is somewhat of a nightmare, especially as we await the Matter standard.
We have a Schlage smart lock on our front door, so I wanted to try something different on the back door. My first choice was a Level Touch, but the high price and lack of a keypad was a deal killer for my husband because we don’t always carry a smartphone with us when we leave the house. I thought about the August lock and keypad, but I don’t like the lack of potential support for Matter down the road. So I was initially trying to choose between a Schlage Encode, which is a Wi-Fi lock, or a Yale Assure lock, which Yale swears will get a retrofit that will convert it to Matter.
Since I was confident I knew what I wanted and I needed the lock immediately, I went to the Best Buy website to see if there was an appropriate one in stock near me. Sadly, the color options weren’t right. So I ended up on Amazon where I proceeded to goggle at the search results, which were an absolute mess.
My search for a “wi-fi smart lock” turned up a jumble of Bluetooth, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and other smart locks with a mix of no-name brands and the ones I was used to. Since I’ve tried locks from every major lock vendor except Level, I felt pretty confident that I knew what I was looking for. And yet, after about 30 minutes of searching I gave up and decided that I should just get the Eufy Smart Lock Touch with Wi-Fi simply because I hadn’t tried it, it has a keypad, and it has Wi-Fi, and thus might get upgraded to Matter.
The shopping experience was confusing even though I knew what I wanted, and the extended wait for Matter made the experience a little more of a crapshoot than I would have liked. But we spent $250 on the Eufy, after which my husband installed it. So I’m going to let him take over here and describe his experience, which I’ve put in quotes, for added clarity.
“I get frustrated when devices are difficult to install. Stacey can attest to hearing many expletives when something doesn’t fit right or instructions are hard to follow. I had high hopes for this lock, though, because I installed our Eufy doorbell and it took under 15 minutes.
Eufy delivered on making the process idiot-proof. The package was split into individual boxes for each step. Instead of dumping out a bag of screws and parts that I needed to identify at each step, I could open box one for the first step, box two for the second, and so on.
Fortunately, the deadbolt cutout on our door and the door core was the default size Eufy plans for. Even if it wasn’t, Eufy had clear instructions for how to make simple changes to adapt to the door.
It took about 20 minutes to put the lock on. The only moment of frustration was affixing the interior module because the wire between the outside and inside kept getting in the way. But this was minor.
Once installed, setting up the connected features was easy. The lock has three access mechanisms: code, fingerprint, and key. Setting up access codes was easy in the app. Setting up the fingerprint reader was similar to setting up touch access on a smartphone; just touch your finger to the reader multiple times at different angles. The keyhole has a cover on it that makes the unit look slick, although I wonder if keyholes will go the way of headset jacks on phones. We have never used a physical key to unlock one of our doors.
The lock functions mostly as you’d expect. One minor quibble is that fingerprint readers can be difficult to use when a lock is next to the door frame. I found that I could most easily use my thumb.
And the first few times I tried to unlock the door, the lock was confused about the lock state and tried to lock when I wanted to unlock it. I was a bit confused about what was happening. Eufy includes a speaker on the lock to audibly let you know the issue, but it’s on the inside of the door and I couldn’t hear it well. Regardless, the issue magically worked itself out after a few unlocks.
Finally, I should mention this is a hefty unit. At 7.9 inches tall and 2.8 inches wide, it will stand out on your door. Thankfully, it has a nice design.”
Joe Nickence says
I truly hope that keyholes don’t go the way of headset jacks. Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy the reassurance of having a physical key as a back up for any unforseen connection issues.
kev needham says
We’ve been pretty happy with the Yale Assures network-wise. We have two (front and back in the house) using the August Connect app, and one in a detached garage using Zwave. I like the ability to swap mosules, even though they’re a little pricey. We did have a problem with one of the locks hardware, where the bolt mechanism was faulty, and it seems to be a pretty common quality control issue and we got a replacement pretty quickly. I like the thought of being able to upgrade to Matter, but the NIMs are around $150 (Cad) here, so that makes me less excited. We’ll see how it goes.