Smart locks have changed the way we think about getting into our homes and the way we can “open” the doors for others. They give you the ability to wireless unlock your door in different ways like being in proximity, speaking out a PIN (previously setup), or even using a physical key fob and tapping the lock. To let our friends inside without us being there, we can simply assign them a code or unlock the smart lock remotely while we’re thousands of miles away.
Initially, it’ll seem like all smart locks are the same, but trust us – there are differences to pay attention to.
There are so many smart locks on the market, it’s easy to get lost in all of it.
My Absolute Favorite Smart Lock is the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect (3rd Gen) – Overall the best smart lock on the market. It does everything a standard smart lock can do like remote locking, auto locking when you forget, and guest access. It will make anyone happy with its sleek design, easy installation because it takes over your existing dead bolt, and unique Door Sense feature – Never get out of bed to double check if you locked the door.
My favorite quality is that August locks are highly highly smart compatible. They work with anything. There are different versions out there that are suitable for any home automation fanatic.
If my friend asked me what other smart locks I’d recommend, out of the hundreds available, there are 3 others that stand above the rest. They are perfect for different types of people who want a specific feature or price point.
Nest x Yale Assure Lock YRD 256 – The most stylish key-free touch screen smart lock available. We love the Yale Assure Lock (connected by August; which means Door Sense Included too). If you don’t have another entry way, get the alternative YRD 226 version with a key option.
Schlage Sense – A traditional style lock that allows people to still use keys if they want to, or use Siri if they want. A traditional style lock that allows people to use Apple Homekit or a standard key to unlock their smart lock. Schlage is tough, coming with a rating of Certified Commercial Grade 2 by BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association). Grab the Schlage Connect if you want Alexa/SmartThings/Wink compatibility.
The company Schlage is one of the oldest and trusted lock companies, dating back to 1920. It has a nostalgic feel that traditional people will enjoy with still allowing you to use a key if you want.
Ultraloq Ul3 – This is one of the rare smart locks that allows Finger Print access. This is also the cheapest smart lock on this list, so it is great for tight budgets! The features are also very limited compared to the other locks.
All 4 of these locks have great features, look great and would make homeowners happy with their lock. With the exception of the Ultraloq Ul3, the first 3 locks (August, Nest x Yale, and Schlage) come equipped with standard smart lock features like remote unlocking, keyless entry, and auto lock. Let’s go over the major differences.
What to look for in a smart door lock
These things might seem simple but there are a few different things you will want to keep in mind when you are purchasing one or multiple smart plugs. Here are a few things you will want to consider when shopping for that new smart thermostat:
- Ease of installation. Most of us are not professional handy-people so before deciding to upgrade your door lock, make sure you can re-install the new one. Thankfully, most smart locks can be completed within 30 minutes and only require a handful of tools. Some locks, only requiring a screw driver.
- Alternate Entry Way. How will you get into your home if you forget your phone to unlock it? Can you get in through your garage or back door? Locks with key entries and traditional keys are good for these situations.
- Geofencing. Want the lock to unlock when it detects your phone location getting close? No need to jumble for your keys when you have your hands full of grocery bags.
- Smart Compatibility. Make sure the new tech you are bringing home fits into your current smart home ecosystem. Most smart locks are compatible in one version or another with Alexa, HomeKit, Z-Wave or Zigbee. The big thing to pay attention to is IFTTT compatibility.
- Replace or Retrofit. Most smart locks will fit into your existing setup. It’s best to look at the manufacturers documentation and requirements to make sure your smart lock will fit on your door.
- Battery Life. Most smart locks have a battery life of 1 year. They usually take 3-4 double AA batteries and can be installed on the actual device (facing the inside of your home).
- Aesthetics. Do you like the round modern look of the August locks? Or the traditional and classic Schlage look? Maybe you want a touch screen keypad. How your smart looks is important.
August smart lock pro+ Connect (3rd gen)
Here we take a closer look at one of the most popular smart locks, the August smart lock. We enjoy it’s unique feature of Door Sense to double check if you locked your door.
- Compatible with Alexa, Z-Wave, Homekit, IFTTT, Simplisafe, and more
- Guest Access
- Door Sense
- Auto lock
- No Tamper Alarm
- No Touchpad
One thing to note is that this smart lock is actually on the door – facing inside your home. This is not exposed on the outside of your home. Thus, allowing you to still normally use your key to enter your home.
nest x yale assure yrd 256
- Compatible with other Nest devices (Nest Secure)
- Compatible with HomeKit, SmartThings & Wink
- Tamper Alarm
- Guest Access
- No Voice Activation (Alexa)
- No Geofencing
- No IFTTT Compatibility
The biggest takeaway is that the Nest Yale smart lock is not IFTTT or Alexa compatible. If you are a home automation fan, you will want to avoid this lock, otherwise, it’s great. FYI – You will need the Nest Connect to communicate with Apple Homekit. If you don’t have another entry way, get the alternative YRD 226 version with a key option.
- IFTTT Integration
- Commercial Grade 2 Rating
- Tamper Alarm Enabled
- Compatible with Alexa
- Compatible with Apple HomeKit
- No Geofencing
- No Z-Wave/SmartThings, Wink or Iris (Grab the Connect if desired)
- Poor App Software
- Requires additional purchase of Schlage Sense Wi-Fi Adapter to use Mobile-wise
Schlage continues to make great locks as they have for a while. It seems that they do however fall short in the technology category. There have been numerous reports of poor software in the App. Outside of that, it is a good lock with HomeKit compatibility. Grab the Schlage Connect otherwise for further smart compatibility.
ultraloq l3 fingerprint
- Cheap and affordable
- Finger Print Access
- Reversible Handle (Left or Right handed people)
- 3 Entry Methods: Number Pad, Fingerprint, or hidden Key
- No Smart Compatbility at all (Alexa, HomeKit, SmartThings, Z-Wave, etc.)
- Finger Print sensor can be spotty
- Includes a room sensor at no extra cost
- No Remote Unlock Ability
The Ultraloq is the dumbest smart lock on the list, that is clear. But it shines in features that are not available in other locks. Fingerprint access and a reversible door handle are rare characteristics that the Ultraloq struts. Great for those who aren’t looking for technical compatibility and just want a quick way to get in the door.
Smart Compatibility – All brands (Except Ultraloq) have certain versions for compatibility with Alexa/Z-wave-Zigbee/HomeKit. The biggest technical note is the IFTTT integration, where Nest x Yale falls short and August stands tall. One of the few reasons why August smart locks are the #1 sellers of Smart Locks on Amazon.