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Array by Hampton Connected Door Lock review: This sliding smart lock includes solar panel power

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The Array by Hampton app controls the smart lock remotely. 

Screenshot by Molly Price/CNET

The Array includes a geofencing feature (still in beta) that detects when your phone has left or returns home and sends a notification to ask if you'd like to lock or unlock the door. It's not a perfectly automated solution like an autolock, but it is a helpful reminder should you forget to lock the door on your way out. 

The Array lock works with Amazon Alexa for voice commands with the Array by Hampton Connected Door Lock skill. You can ask Alexa if the door is locked or unlocked or tell Alexa to lock the door. You won't be able to unlock the door with a voice command and PIN.

What I didn't like

There are a few areas where the Array fell short of my expectations. It's a sturdy lock with thoughtful features, but it isn't perfect by any means.

As I mentioned, the Array isn't compatible with Google Assistant or Siri yet. The team at Hampton Products told me these integrations are in the works and should be available later this year or next via software upgrades. Still, that's a risk consumers in those smart-assistant spaces likely won't want to take when there are well-tested, well-reviewed compatible smart locks out there.

Because there is no Z-Wave or Zigbee option for the Array, you won't be able to connect this lock to smart home hubs. There isn't an IFTTT service to customize functionality or link it with other smart devices, either. Let's say you'd like your thermostat or lights to adjust when you unlock the front door. The Array can't do that yet.

On the physical side of things, I had just a few issues with the feel of the product. While I do like the sliding cover and the hidden keypad, it takes a bit more effort than feels right to slide it up and down. On the interior side of the lock, the battery cover is a flimsy-feeling plastic, and I worried about breaking it each time I removed and inserted the battery.

The bottom line

I don't think this is a bad smart lock. I just think its appeal is limited. If you're an Alexa enthusiast, then you'll get full access to all the capabilities of the Array, though they are few. If you control your smart home with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit, this lock isn't for you. Future updates might bring the Array to your platform, but you could be waiting for a while.

If you love the design of this lock and you don't need it to work with other smart-home devices like lights or thermostats, you won't be disappointed. If you're looking for a smart lock that plays well with others, this one isn't it. You'll be better off with a retrofit model like the August Smart Lock Pro ($210 at Amazon) or one of Yale's Assure smart locks. 

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