I’ll explain how I reached my conclusion by comparing two smart locks (Schlage Connect vs. Kwikset Kevo) while evaluating six categories: setup, unlocking, locking, interior design, exterior design, and software.
- Unlock Options: Schlage App or the keypad. It’s way too loud.
- Lock Options: Auto-lock, Schlage App, Schlage button, Alexa or Google.
- Design: The inside part is huge and attracts attention. The outside has a push-button keypad with a keyhole, but it's ugly.
- Software: You get guest access codes, but the app is messy.
Best for you if...
You’re on a budget and not bothered by ugly aesthetics. It's bulky and loud. The app is poorly designed, but you won't need the app much if you rely on the Google and Alexa apps instead. Schlage Sense has the same look, but it works with Siri instead. Look at August or Nest if money's not a concern.
Kwikset Kevo (2nd Gen)
- Unlock Options: Tap Kevo to lock if your phone’s with you, but it fails most times.
- Lock Options: Tap Kevo, Auto-lock, Kevo App, Alexa or Google.
- Design: It has a sturdy-looking, thin metal cover that goes over the plastic base. It looks like an ordinary lock from the outside.
- Software: It requires guests to download an app, and you can't control remotely.
Best for you if...
Kevo is perfect for you if you want a lock that’s unreliable and unintelligent with no benefits over a conventional lock. Instead of searching for your keys, you’ll be getting out your phone to get a better connection with Kevo. Even then, Kevo won’t always unlock on the first try.
- There wasn’t a walkthrough tutorial in the app, but the paper instructions were fine.
- For installation, you need to remove the existing deadbolt. Then, drill a bigger hole if your previous hole isn’t 2-⅛” (most are 2-⅛” already), install a new deadbolt latch, mount the front and back plates, attach the wires, and install a new strike on the door frame. It took 30 minutes from start to finish.
- You hit the Schlage button and type in your 4-8 digit code. There’s no need to tap any other buttons afterward.
- Locking and unlocking is loud. It’s annoying and can be heard throughout the house.
- You can unlock with the included key.
- If you have Schlage Sense, you can use Siri to assist after your phone is unlocked.
- If you have Schlage Connect, you can use Google or Alexa once you’ve authorized.
- The easiest way to lock is to tap the big Schlage button.
- You can lock with the included key.
- With Schlage Sense, you can ask Siri, use the Home app or the Schlage app to lock.
- With Schlage Connect, you can ask Google or Alexa or use their respective apps.
Inside Design (F):
- It’s huge, ugly, and definitely attracts attention.
- There’s only one small screw to get battery access, but the battery case doesn’t slide out well because it’s connect by a wire.
Outside Design (D):
- The keypad is not a traditional touchscreen. It’s more of a push-button display, so it works well with gloves or in the cold.
- It’s ugly and looks like an old-school keypad.
- From far away, you can’t tell it’s a keypad because there isn’t a screen and the numbers don’t light up until you tap the Schlage button.
- Other users have reported issues with moisture (from humidity or rain) causing the lock to malfunction. Make sure your lock has overhead coverage and don’t use this lock if you live in a humid climate.
- The app is messy, but you can make it work.
- You can create scheduled times for certain codes to work for specific guests. They don’t need to download an app, just know the code.
- Schlage Connect and Schlage Sense have the same functionality. The one minor difference is the keypad design, but the only major difference is that Schlage Connect can work with Z-Wave devices like Alexa (if you buy a $100 hub), while Schlage Sense works with HomeKit out of the box.
- There’s an alarm that sounds when a forced entry is detected.
- An interactive guide in the app walks you through installation. It gets the job done, but the directions weren’t perfect. The app implies you sync Kevo to your phone first, but that isn’t correct. You sync after the lock is installed.
- For installation, you need to remove your existing deadbolt. Then, drill a bigger hole if your previous hole isn’t 2-⅛” (most are 2-⅛” already), install a new deadbolt latch, mount the front and back plates, attach the wires, and install a new strike on the door frame. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
- Once your household members have the Kevo app on their phone and are signed in, they tap the top of the lock and, if their phone is nearby, Kevo unlocks the door.
- When it works, there’s nothing more satisfying. It’s like you’re living in the future.
- But Kevo only works on the first try 50% of the time. It usually works on the second try, but I’ve had it fail on the second try too. I’ve never had to try more than three times to get in, but others on Amazon say differently. If an attempt fails, you’re waiting a solid 20-30 seconds. At that point, why not just use a key?
- Kevo won’t work if you’re on a phone call or listening to music via Bluetooth because it uses Bluetooth as well.
- The app needs to be running in the background for a tap to unlock the door. If your phone’s battery dies or you close your apps, you’ll need to restart Kevo in the background. You shouldn’t close your apps because it doesn’t save battery life. But most of my friends, girlfriend included, are compulsive app-closers, and I’m sure lots of others do this out of habit too.
- If you have family members without smartphones, you can buy a key fob to keep in their pocket which allows them to tap and open.
- You can use a standard key as a failsafe.
- There’s auto-lock, but you can only set it to 30 seconds.
- The only way to lock is by tapping Kevo, opening the app or using a standard key.
- You can’t lock yourself out because Kevo senses when your phone is on the other side of the door.
- Unfortunately, you’ll face the same connectivity issues as with unlocking.
Inside Design (B-):
- It has a sturdy-looking, thin metal cover that goes over the plastic base.
- You have to unscrew the three screws to take the battery cover off. Then, slide the battery pack out.
Outside Design (B):
- From the outside, Kevo looks like an ordinary lock with a keyhole. When you tap the top of it, there’s a blue ring that lights up, then turns green when it’s unlocked.
- It doesn’t look fancy and won’t attract unwanted attention.
- You can give someone scheduled access on Kevo, but they need to sign up for an account, download the app, keep it on their phone, and have the app open when they tap. That’s too much to ask of a guest.
- You can’t control anything remotely, and it doesn’t work with Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri (HomeKit) out of the box.
- For an extra $100, the Kevo Plus Hub gives you remote access and smart assistant controls. Unfortunately, even with the hub, it isn’t compatible with HomeKit. Also, the Alexa command is wordy, “Alexa, tell Kevo to lock the back door.”
- Because of limited features, Kevo’s batteries seem to last longer than others.