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Kwikset Obsidian Keywayless Smart Lock review: Aiming for keyless convenience

Locking and unlocking it with the keypad is pretty intuitive. To lock the door, press the lock button on the bottom right corner of the keypad. To unlock, activate the keypad by touching it and enter your code. I was also able to lock and unlock via the SmartThings app. You can add locking the Obsidian to an Alexa routine, but unlocking isn't available there nor as a voice command.

Kwikset's automatic relock feature locks the door 30 seconds after it's unlocked. This worked every time for me. The SecureScreen function also worked well. When entering your code, Obsidian will prompt you with two decoy digits. Press those, followed by your code. SecureScreen defends against would-be intruders inspecting fingerprints, and I'm a fan of it, especially given the shiny touchpad is prone to fingerprint trails.

An LED on the interior side of the lock lets you know if the deadbolt is locked or unlocked. Every 6 seconds, the LED will flash amber for locked and green for unlocked. You can turn this feature off, as you can with SecureScreen, audio and automatic relock. It's a bit annoying to access these switches. A small board of tiny switches under the interior side cover control each of these features. You'll need to unscrew three screws on the faceplate to get to it. If you want to disable automatic relocking to leave your door open for a party or special circumstance, you'll need to find a screwdriver.


Obsidian's small switchboard controls SecureScreen, auto lock, status LED and keypad audio features. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Neither model of the Kwikset Obsidian offers a Bluetooth connection, so there aren't any keyfobs or walking up to your door to unlock it with a phone, like we saw in the Kevo. I don't mind the absence of Bluetooth as an unlocking method, but it could deter some of you.

Overall, the Obsidian is just what you would expect from a touchscreen deadbolt, and the added Z-Wave smarts and IFTTT possibilities of the Home Connect version make it a welcome addition to smart home routines with Alexa. The Obsidian doesn't include any door-sensing capabilities for open or closed door alerts, like August's line of HomeKit-compatible locks does. You also may or may not get remote code creation depending on your platform, but it does come with added convenience and security features like SecureScreen, automatic relocking and those 30 user codes. 

There's no Bluetooth key or remote access with the standalone version. It's just a deadbolt. There's also no physical key at all, for that matter. No key means no fumbling for things in your pocket or purse. If you like the comfort of a physical key, however, or you're looking for Bluetooth capability, Kwikset's Premis or Kevo might be more your style.

The Home Connect, Z-Wave Plus-equipped Obsidian expands this lock to include Z-Wave hubs, Alexa and IFTTT possibilities. If Z-Wave smarts are what you need, Kwikset's Obsidian is a stylish option that performs well and easily integrates into your existing smart home platform. If you're looking for a HomeKit-friendly lock, consider August's line of locks or Yale's Assure Lock SL for $129 with a $50 iM1 network module.

Are we ready for keyless entry? Personally, I've always liked the look and functionality of keypads. If you're anything like me, you'll appreciate the elegance and responsiveness of Kwikset's latest lock.

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