Review: Make Your Home Smarter and Safer with Kwikset

I've always wanted a smart home, perhaps since I first saw Star Trek as a child. After smart light bulbs, one of the first smart home accessory you should get for your home is a smart door lock. I love the ability to unlock my door, or make sure I locked it, from my app. I can do this now with the Kevo Touch-to-Open Smart Lock ($229) from Kwikset. What I like most about the Kevo is that it's from a trusted door lock security vendor, so you can feel safe. For example, they include serious security features like BumpGuard protection. This prevents bad guys from trying to use traditional burglar techniques to override the mechanical key mechanism.

On the software side, they offer a convenient, easy-to-use app that is straightforward. This is important because not everyone in my household is a computer engineer. The app, like the lock, has to just work without requiring a training manual or class. In addition to the app, you can unlock the door using a Kevo Fob (sold separately), which you could give to your kids or other relatives who may not have a smartphone. You can generate eKeys for guests, contractors, cleaning crews, etc., to use from their smartphone, with scheduled access times.

I always worry about battery life, and the good news is that batteries last a long time and then you'll get warnings on the device and in the app. Homeowners will get plenty of notice to change the AA batteries, which is done on the inside of the door. 

The Kevo has an impressive Touch-to-Open capability which works like a lot of modern cars. As long as your phone is in your pocket or purse, your touch will lock or unlock the door. The Kevo works with my Ring Video Doorbells and other accessories like my Honeywell thermostats and more. The attractive door lock is also available in assorted finishes. I've installed doorknobs, doorbells, and more; however, some homeowners might need a handyman to install theirs. 

Pros

  • Serious security with BumpGuard protection
  • Touch-to-Open capability
  • Works with Ring, Honeywell, and more
  • Easy access app
  • Assorted finishes available

Cons

  • Might need a handyman to install

Final Verdict

If you want to make your home smarter and safer, the Kevo Touch-to-Open Smart Lock from Kwikset is a strong contender. 

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.