For the past several years, we’ve put dozens of smart locks through the gauntlet (ok, not literally) in our test homes. We test for things like ease of installation (can we do it ourselves or is a professional required?) and quality of the product overall.
While having smarts is required for a smart lock, the thing we consider first and foremost is whether the device features strong hardware that will protect us. We’ll admit it, though, we’re also on the lookout for good-looking hardware. After all, who wants an ugly, clunky lock on their front door?
Next we test for functionality. Does the device work as promised? Is it easy to use? Are there any issues with connectivity? Is there a backup for when the batteries die or the Wi-Fi goes down? After all, getting locked out of your house is a huge drag.
One final thing we look for is the smart home piece, which often comes in the form of an app. Does the app work as promised? Is it user friendly? Is it laid out nicely? Does it work with voice assistant? Can it work seamlessly with smart home hubs?
After all of that, we take a hammer and try to hack off the lock. Ok, not really, but we definitely let the locks weather the elements over time to make sure that they’re tamper-proof, waterproof, or whatever-proof they claim to be.