Between PIN, fingerprint reader, voice commands, an app, and a physical key, the Lockly Secure Pro smart lock has no shortage of ways to unlock your door. And while more options usually mean more convenience, it also means more complications.
Lockly’s Secure Pro is unlike other smart locks I’ve tried. It doesn’t have a standard keypad. Instead, it features a touch screen that randomly generates numbered circles for you to push.
It also features a fingerprint reader on the side so you can skip the PIN entirely, which is a faster way to unlock your door. For added convenience, the touchscreen serves as a lock button, just touch it anywhere and the door locks. With so many features, this should be one of the most convenient smart locks on the market. But it’s not quite there.
Installing is Fairly Easy for a Smart Lock
When I opened the Lockly box, I felt a little intimidated despite having installed many locks and multiple smart locks. The box includes a giant instruction booklet, complete with guides for measuring your door’s holes and cavities. The good news is, the book is a little bit overkill, I was able to install the lock without much trouble.
Typically the most challenging part of installing a smart lock is balancing the keypad and battery pack on either side of the door before you get them fully secured. The sheer weight of the two pieces will fight you and want to fall out of the door, leaving you trying to clamp them while driving screws awkwardly.
Lockly addressed that issue with two options. They added extra screw holes to the top of the two components so you can secure them directly to the door, which should add stability. I didn’t like that idea, so I went with option two: 3M sticky tape, which worked surprisingly well. Thanks to the tape, I installed the lock in 15 minutes, and without any feelings of frustration.
After installing the lock, you plug in the included Wi-Fi hub and connect the largest contact sensor I’ve ever seen to your door. The sensor helps the lock track your door’s open and close state for automated locking.
The battery compartment hardware isn’t very inspiring. It’s plastic, which gives the lock a less premium feel. And the thumb turn is incredibly small, which is only emphasized by the giant plastic box it’s attached to. Every time I turn it to lock or unlock the door, I feel like I’m going to snap it off. To be clear, I highly doubt I could snap it off, but it feels like I could.
The outside hardware, on the other hand, screams smart gadget and feels a little more premium with its large black touchscreen that displays the keypad.
The Keypad is Unique and Mildly Frustrating
One of the most unusual aspects of this smart lock is the keypad. Instead of a standard 1-9 keypad for typing codes, you get a random set of numbers on the touchscreen every time it activates. The lock groups the numbers in circles, and you touch those circles (not the number) to enter your code. The next time you use the keypad, the lock will jumble the numbers in the circles.
That means no one can peek from nearby to learn your code. Even if someone were standing directly next to you, they wouldn’t learn your PIN since your touching circles full of numbers. In theory, this works well to prevent PIN theft. In practice, it feels like overkill, especially on my relatively quiet street. I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to spy on my keypad. But I could see the potential usefulness if you installed this lock on an apartment or condo door (whether or not you’d be allowed is another matter). That’s a scenario where someone might have a legitimate reason to be standing close enough to see your type in a PIN.
It’s not very much benefit for me, and using the keypad is a pain. Every time I type my PIN, I have to spend a few moments figuring out where my numbers are now. Did you slip up and hit a wrong circle? Well, they’ll jumble again. It’s mildly annoying. That Lockly requires a six-digit key only adds to that time spent, though admittedly, a six-digit key is more secure than the standard four-digit PIN most smart locks allow.
My family is less patient than I am. When I told them I was writing this review and would soon take the lock off the door, they cheered. They’d rather have a standard keypad that’s simple to use.
The fingerprint reader, on the other hand, bypasses all that frustration—usually. I try to use this every time instead of the keypad. When it works, it’s great. I put my finger on, and within a second, the door unlocks. That’s faster than a standard PIN on other smart locks.
But you’ll notice the words “when it works.” About 85 percent of the time, the fingerprint reader unlocks the door nearly instantly. But the rest of the time, it doesn’t accept my fingerprint. Sometimes I’ll get lucky if I try again. But usually, the second attempt fails, too, and I have to use the keypad. On those occasions, I’m left frustrated because now I’ve spent a lot of time trying to unlock my door.
In a lot of ways, that’s the story of Lockly Secure Pro: when it works, it’s great. But the clever add-ons lead to moments of frustrations.
When it’s time to lock the door as you’re leaving, just touch the keypad anywhere, and the door will lock. That’s handy for when you’re in a hurry to leave, and you don’t have to spend time searching for a lock button in the dark. But it also meant I occasionally “locked the door” with the door open while I was walking into the house because my hand or arm brushed the screen. So I had to stop, unlock the door, then close it.
Once again, when it works, I like it; when it doesn’t, I’m frustrated. By default, the door locks itself shortly after you unlock it. The door sensor should let the lock know when you close the door, but sometimes that didn’t work correctly, and the lock engaged while the door was open. Thankfully, you can turn that and other features off in the app.
A Competent App Held Up By Two Wireless Standards
You can’t ask for more controls and options in a smart lock app. The Lockly app (available for iOS and Android) lets you change just about any setting you want. You don’t like that touching the keypad locks the door? You can turn that off. Do you find all the beeps the locks makes when using the app annoying? You can turn that off. Want the keypad to jumble the numbers after every circle push? You can make it do that if you really want to. The only thing you can’t turn off that I would have liked is the keypad scramble feature. You’re stuck with that for better or worse.
You even get the usual smart lock features: remote lock and unlock, ability to generate PINs, and in this case, the ability to create fingerprint scans.
Another thing I like is code generation: You can choose between trusted users, guests, and one-time access PINs. Trusted users keep their codes until you revoke them. You can set guest users to expire automatically and to work just during the times you allow. And one-time access PINs expire immediately after the first use. Lockly lets you generate codes that only by downloading the app, or “offline codes” that are just standard six-digit PINs you tell or text to the person. It’s a lot choice, and the app does good of letting which options does exactly what.
Altogether it’s a well put together app, barring one exception: you can either connect to the lock via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is great for remote access when you’re away from your door. But for some reason, Wi-Fi can’t do everything that Bluetooth can. If the app notifies you of a firmware update, for instance, you’ll need to switch back to Bluetooth to install it. The Bluetooth connection has a very short range, though, so I often need to use the Wi-Fi connection. I never know which connection I need to be in to make changes, and that’s frustrating.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Alexa and Google Assistant integrations. When it comes to Alexa, you get what you’d expect out of it. You can lock by voice and unlock by voice with a PIN. By default, unlocking by voice is off.
Google Assistant integration, on the other hand, is something special. Google doesn’t provide much in the way of APIs for locks, and usually, the best you can do is check on the status of the lock and maybe lock the door by voice. It’s up to the company to implement anything more.
And Lockly went above and beyond here; the company added an unlock by voice feature, using a PIN. It’s fast, reliable, and works well. And that makes it the only lock I’ve tested yet with unlocking capabilities for Google Assistant. That’s a massive win if you’re in a Google Home.
The Lockly Secure Pro is Mostly Good
Overall the Lockly Secure Pro isn’t a perfect lock. I’m not in love with the plastic hardware or the jumbling PN scheme. But I do love the fingerprint scanner—when it works. It falls short of being a great lock for me, in part because I don’t benefit from some of its most unique features.
But if you do worry about someone watching you type in a PIN, you might like this lock a lot. It does a great job of obfuscating your passcode even as you type it. If you think a Wi-Fi lock is another avenue of access for the bad guys, you can leave the Wi-Fi hub unplugged. And if you don’t like any of the default settings, there’s a decent chance you can change its behavior in the app.
Just keep in mind, you’re paying a premium for those extra security features. At $300, this smart lock costs $50 or more than other great smart lock options like the Schlage Encode, the Kwikset Kevo, or the Yale Assure lock. And the Schlage Encode includes a built-in Wi-Fi hub, which is one more reason it’s nearly perfect.
If a customizable smart lock with PIN protection and fingerprint reader sounds like your idea of a smart lock, then you should undoubtedly consider the Lockly Secure Pro. That goes double if you want the most voice control possible with Google Assistant. But if you want something with more simplicity, you should look elsewhere. You might even save money in the process.
Here’s What We Like
- Fingerprint scanner is faster than a pin
- App has all the customizations
- Google Assistant Voice unlock commands!
And What We Don't
- Fingerprint scanner doesn't always work
- Jumbled keypad is a little frustrating to use
- Wi-Fi versus Bluetooth connection app differences is annoying