5 Smart Locks For People Who Hate Carrying Keys
Where are my keys?
It's a scenario that's all too familiar to everyone. You're standing outside the door, racking, fumbling through your bags and pockets for your keys. And you just can't find them. Either you: 1. Lost them, 2. Forgot to bring them out, 3. Forgot where you even put it.
That's right, those noisy, tiny metal keys are the bane to one's existence, and will determine whether or not you get to sleep at home tonight. While they still remain the security measure du jour for most homes - keys aren't exactly the most convenient tool for the shed! Hate bringing keys around or are the forgetful type? Thank god for technology - here are 5 of the best rated keyless smart locks to save you from being locked out for the 134th time.
Interior Designer: ELPIS Interior Design
Best For: Patriotic souls who love a well thought out product
Can we say, #localpride? Home-grown security startup Igloohome definitely doesn’t lose out to the big boys with the Deadbolt Version 2. The sleek, compact smart lock features multiple entry modes - via touchscreen PIN pad, remote bluetooth keys on phone or the traditional turn key.
Additional features also include 'Privacy Mode' which can restrict electronic access from outside when you want some 'alone' time. And if any intruders plan to mess around - the Deadbolt will sound an alarm. Combined with the Igloohome app, this smart lock provides all-round security, and you can monitor who enters or leaves through the door.
Image Credit: Zit Seng Blog
Set-Up: 5/5 for free installation, 2/5 for DIY
For buyers in Singapore, free installation comes with every purchase of the Deadbolt Version 2. But if you're doing it yourself, things can get pretty complex - you may need to drill an additional hole to fit it in.
Ease of Use: 3/5
The conventional turn key and intuitive touch pad should be an easy pickup for most users. However, the amount of features and its Bluetooth enabled locking system may take some getting used to, and some settings cannot be set via the app, only on the lock itself.
Battery Life: 4/5
While the Deadbolt Version 2 does run on 4 AA Batteries, it does provide a backup power system, in the form of a separate, 9 V Alkaline battery for those what ifs.
Not the cheapest product in the market, but not terribly overpriced as well. For all the multi-access functions and app features it offers, Igloohome’s Deadbolt is a worthy, full-fledged alternative to big name brands which may cost from anywhere from $500 and above.
Buy Now: $349, from Igloohome
Best For: Those who seek function and form
Maybe you don’t like the long term commitment of a smart lock. Or you can’t stand the thought of ruining your hardwood door with another gaping hole. The August Smart Lock is just what you need. All you need to do is to replace your old interior lock mechanism with it - using a screwdriver.
Now, August is not replacing your original key lock system, but supplementing it. Homeowners can enjoy keyless access, provide visitors limited rights and track activities via a smartphone app. Users can even choose to auto lock/unlock when the smart lock senses a presence. And unlike Igloohome's model, August Smart Lock can be synced to other smart home platforms, like Amazon Alexa and Google.
Cross section of the August Smart Lock. Source
Set Up: 4/5
Installation instructions require little tools or equipment (just a screwdriver) and only took a few steps. However, do note that the device may not be compatible with certain dead bolts - check if yours is under their approved list.
Ease of Use: 4/5
A plus point is perhaps the wide range of platforms which August can be controlled by. Users don’t necessarily need to use the August app to unlock, making it versatile and convenient. However, some users have highlighted that if your door is not perfectly aligned - its locking mechanism may require a few tries to get it properly secured.
Battery Life: 3/5
Utilises 4 AA Batteries, placed at the bottom of the faceplate. While there’s no back up power, the August app will notify you when your batteries are low - so you can fix things before it’s too late.
Slightly more affordable, at about S$250. But do note that it isn’t like other smart locks which may come with touch screen pads or card inserts - it’s merely an add-on.
Buy Now: US $294, on Amazon
Best For: Fuss-free minimalists who just want the keyless job done
What it lacks in smart home connectivity and fancy features, it does with solid security measures. Technically, the Samsung Digital Lock isn’t a smart one per se, but it’s intuitive enough to make access difficult for unwanted guests. Foregoing keys altogether, the SHS-2920 provides touch PIN or card access, even both for the extra paranoid.
The digital lock comes with a whole host of alarms and security settings, which can only be controlled by the touch screen panel itself. Fire alarm, emergency alarm, intruder to even anti-prank alarms, there’s one for any sort of trouble. Even the touchscreen keypad is designed to confuse - numbers appear randomly each time, making it near impossible to figure out the right key position.
The interior end of Samsung's SHS-2920 digital lock. Source
Set Up: 3/5
Before we move on - do know that the Samsung Digital Lock deadbolt component is placed outside of the door, not within it. While that means less drilling into your doors, it also means more work attaching it to your door frame and keeping it sturdy. Installation may prove tricky, especially trying to fit the lock attachment and the strike plate.
Ease of Use: 4/5
There’s beauty in simplicity, as is the case with Samsung’s Digital Lock, with its all-in-one touchscreen which allows users to control settings like resetting the pass code and adding alarms. It definitely loses out in the informative aspect - it can’t provide access feeds or be remotely controlled. But when you’re standing right outside your door, a quick swipe of the card or punching of numbers is all you need.
Battery Life: 5/5
Samsung claims that the AA Batteries provided can last up to 12 months (considering if you use the lock about 10 times a day). But even if that doesn’t turn out to be true for everyone, the Digital Lock includes a nifty external 9V Battery terminal for any emergencies.
It’s affordable price makes it a good starter kit for homes just getting used to the whole digital/smart lock thing. Otherwise, it’s cost is pretty much justified considering it doesn’t have ‘smart’ features that provide more functionality and information.
Buy Now: S$415.31 on Lazada
Best For: Those who want the best and latest of everything - but at a pocket friendly price.
Full-fledged security features, well-established brand with a budget friendly price? Bringing the best of smart locks into one ultimate package, the Schlage Connect Century includes three modes of entry (Key, touchpad PIN or remote phone access), connectivity to other smart home devices on Amazon Alexa or Z-Wave.
Customisation is brought up a notch, as the lock can record up to 30 different passcodes, allowing users and their loved ones to set personalised codes. It even comes with a set of alarms for various scenarios (activity, tampering or break-ins), and an anti-fingerprint touch screen to ensure malicious intruders are kept off the scent.
Interior shot of the Schlage Connect smart lock. Source
Set Up: 4/5
It’s lock design fits the standard cut-out holes already provided on most doors, so there’s no need for any additional door works. You’ll need a screwdriver to secure it, though.
The Schlage Connect shines when it’s able to connect to a broader, much widely used platform like Amazon Alexa or Samsung SmartThings. This basically allows any compatible device (including your smartphone) to remotely control the lock - totally eclipsing the need to use any dedicated app which could take up your phone’s space.
Battery Life: 2/5
Leaves much to be desired. Many have noted that the interface sucks your battery life pretty fast - as quick as within 8 days. This may be due to the device’s energy fluctuations during active and down-times.
Slightly on the higher end. However, the ratings don’t lie - it’s one of the most highly rated products on Amazon with good reason. It has all the trimmings and functions a useful smart lock should have, at a reasonable price point. Now, if only they can fix the issue of battery consumption - which could eat into your expenses.
Buy Now: US$168.88 on Amazon
Best For: People who prefer simple, un-flashy styles.
Foregoing a key cylinder, the Yale Button Smart Lock totally eliminates the risk of breaking in through lock picking or bumping. What it relies on is a trusty keypad, which you can share up to 19 codes for punching in, and remotely access via Alexa, SmartThings and Wink enabled smart devices.
But what stands out is its relative simplicity - the body is compact, and the B1L Lock features one of the smallest residential keypads (whether that’s a blessing or a curse - it depends). It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles like Igloohome’s app or Schlage Connect’s range of alarms, but smart lock essentials like alerts showing when your battery’s low can be accessed through your connecting smart home automation systems.
Set Up: 3.5/5
The B1L Lock is compatible with most door types and thicknesses, and even comes with a tapered bolt which accommodates any misaligned door types. You won’t need to do extensive drilling or cutting, but if you’re not particularly the handy type, call a handyman to fix it up and cut installation time.
Ease of Use: 4/5
Despite the lack of an app, the Yale B1L can be synced to a wide range of smart devices that support Z-wave Technologies (Alexa, SmartThings), which at least makes things convenient. Instead of a sleek tempered glass touchpad, users have praised the tactile keypad. Sure it's old-fashioned but it does the trick in helping users punch in their codes fast and without fuss.
Battery Life: 3/5
Uses the standard 4 AA Batteries. But if it runs out of juice, you can still power it up temporarily with a 9V battery. However, because it doesn’t have a manual keyhole - you might have to call a locksmith to get it unlocked if the 9V option turns faulty.
At about S$200, the Yale B1L isn’t exactly the most value-for-money option once you compare it with the feature-packed Schlage Connect, which is merely an additional $60-70 top-up. Nevertheless, it’s quality design, durability and big-brand familiarity probably accounts for this price.
Buy Now: US$158.88 on Amazon
Hey there - just so you know, all products listed in this article are independently curated by us. By clicking and purchasing from our Lazada and Amazon links, you will help to support our research and work by allowing us to earn a share of sales - here's a big thank you in advance! Do note that prices listed are accurate as of 24 August 2018.