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Published on February 1st, 2017 | by Greg

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Kevo 2nd Gen: A Smarter Lock With The Same Great Looks

A few years ago, smart locks started appearing on the market, in all sort of shapes and sizes and with a wide range of capabilities. Every major lock maker seemed to want to join the club, and for good reason- home automation seemed like a natural growth category and a great way to grab new business. The next generation of products has begun to hit the market, and we’re seeing the sort of technological improvements you might see between upgrades of your smart phone.

The Kevo Touch-to-Open Second Generation Smart Lock is available now, and manufactured by Kwikset, so the hardware is pretty solid. The unit that goes on the outside of your door looks about the same as the predecessor, but the inside handle and mechanism are redesigned and a bit sleeker. As with most smart locks, the real advantage is that you can create and easily share limited-use electronic keys, allowing visitors and guests restricted access- perfect for an AirBnb for example, or  for your cat sitter or when you family comes to town. You can also have the system send you notifications, and

The Kevo works with a limited number of other smart home devices- like the Nest thermostat, Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat, the Ring Wi-Fi and Skybell video doorbells. But there’s no Apple HomeKit support, or a broader ecosystem like Z-wave. We tested out the previous version a couple of years back, and some of the quirks we mentioned in that review remain- device compatibility isn’t universal, so your parents might have trouble getting their eKey to work. You’ll need to setup the bridge (called Kevo Plus, connected to your network) in order to make full use of Kevo, but there are no monthly fees or subscription costs, which is nice. There is often a noticeable delay between pushing the button and the door unlocking though, depending on how you’re connecting.

Available in the same three finishes, nickel, bronze, and brass, the price tag and the cool blue light haven’t changed either. Fobs are sold separately, though, at about $25 each, but extra e-keys have just been made free for users, rather than the $1.99 they cost previously (updated 2/1). Battery life shouldn’t be an issue, up to a year, and batteries are included as well. The Kevo 2nd Generation probably isn’t for everyone- you need to be comfortable with technology and not the sort of person who loses their smartphone regularly, though you can still use an old-fashioned key if the need arises. Installation isn’t bad, and the system was pretty reliable in our tests with newer iOS devices. Expect to spend around $229, online and in stores, for the newly updated Kevo from Kwikset.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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