CNET First Look
The most convenient smart lock doesn't come cheapThe second-gen Kwikset Kevo lets you unlock with just a touch, but the price is still offputtingly high.
[MUSIC] Hey I'm here outside of the CNet smart apartment with the second generation Kwikset Kevo. This is a Bluetooth enabled smart dead bolt that pairs with your phone and then lets you get inside your home just by tapping on your lock. Now, it won't let anybody, touch to unlock only works if it detects a phone you paired the lock with outside of the door. Or, if it detects the key fob. That key fob came standard in generation one, but now in generation two, you have to buy it separately, I'm not a big fan of that. One thing I am a fan of is the lock's ability to distinguish between phones and key fobs that are outside of the door and ones that are inside of the door. Performance is strong in general too. I tested this lock out in a variety of different locations, and across the board it was a very efficient performer. It was able to let me in when I tapped on it and locked when I tapped on it. Installations are all pretty easy. The one big problem that I and a lot of other Kevo users encountered was that the IOS 10 update from earlier this fall changed some things in Bluetooth and the IOS architecture and made it sot hat you have to have the Kevo app open and active on your phone in order for touch to unlock to work. So that's terrible. You gotta pull your phone out and open the app before touching on the unlock, I'd just use my key at that point. Fortunately, the recent tweaks to IOS 10 And have fixed that for the most part, but I still saw some occasional weirdness. Nothing that made the lock too terribly difficult to use, but just the occasional glitch where I'd have to tap more than once, maybe a couple of times, in order to get in. For those reasons, I really like the Kevo fob, the $25 Bluetooth Choose accessories that you put onto your keychain and use to get in. Once you've got that fob on your keychain, you don't need your phone at all. If they change things in Android or IOS, it won't affect your lock performance. And it's tape that you have to buy extra. The other big thing that I tested, was the strength of the deadbolt. With Generation One this was a problem. There was a specific method of entry. Brute force attack involving a screwdriver, a hammer and a little [UNKNOWN]. If you did it just right you could force the lock open. That's not the case in generation two, Kwikset has fixed that. We tried it ourselves again, we broke one of the keys that we were testing in the process. You can't use that attack on this lock now, that's a very good thing. Bottom line, this is a good lock and improved over generation one, but you really have to want that touch-to-unlock convenience in order to buy it. [MUSIC]