Published on February 1st, 2017 | by Greg0
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.