Wyze sells some of the most affordable smart bulbs, plugs, sensors, and Wi-Fi cameras on the market. So, it’s no surprise the company has launched a new smart lock that’s simple to install, easy to use, and costs under $100.
When I previously wrote that Wyze is poised to rule the smart home world, I mentioned smart locks were the missing piece of the puzzle. Wyze must have read me! There’s a lot to like about the company’s just-announced smart lock: it’s affordable, easy to install and use, and you can keep your deadbolt.
Early access orders start today, with full sales set to launch in February 2020 on both Wyze.com and Amazon.
It’s Half the Price of the Competition
After testing quite a few smart locks, we expect standard pricing to be around $200, give or take $50. Some smart locks, like the Schlage Encode, go as high as $250, while others, like August’s Third Generation Smart Lock and Wi-Fi hub, you can snag for as low as $180.
However, you rarely find a smart lock within the $100 to $150 range. If you do, you usually have to give up important features, like Wi-Fi connectivity.
Wyze somehow always comes in at a price far lower than its competition, and this time is no exception. At this writing, you can get the Wyze Smart Lock for $90, and that includes a Wi-Fi bridge. Wyze plans to release an optional keypad later—no word on pricing just yet.
You Keep Your Deadbolt
Most smart locks require that you completely disassemble and remove your existing deadbolt. While not incredibly difficult, this does take some effort and know-how, and it potentially raises a few issues. For example, your existing deadbolt might be more pickproof than your new smart lock, or, if you rent, you might not be allowed to change your deadbolt.
The one exception thus far has been August’s Smart Lock Pro, which you slip over your existing lock’s turnkey. With the third-generation version, the company slightly changed up the installation process. You now remove the turnkey portion of the hardware but leave the deadbolt and external hardware in place.
Wyze followed in August’s footsteps with its near-identical installation process (as shown above, the two locks also look somewhat similar). You uninstall the inner hardware turnkey for your lock, and then replace it with the Wyze lock. It takes roughly 15 minutes to install and set up, and all you need is a screwdriver and some tape. Four AA batteries power the lock for (Wyze claims) five to six months, depending on how often you use your lock.
Given the similarities, you might be considering August’s Smart Lock, but Wyze’s not only costs less, but also includes hardware—August charges more to include the bridge, and like Wyze, charges extra for things like a Smart Keypad. To get within spitting distance of Wyze’s price, you’d also have to give up August’s Wi-Fi bridge, which is included with the Wyze lock.
The Wyze lock also features a Zigbee radio, which is a first for the company. We asked if that meant the lock would work with smart hubs like SmartThings or Hubitat, but the company says that’s solely to connect with the Wyze Wi-Fi gateway—for now.
The Wyze Lock includes an optional keypad you can mount to your wall, but you don’t have to install it. You can use the company’s app (available for iOS and Android) to control the lock instead. When you close the door, Wyze detects that you’ve left, and the smart lock automatically locks the door for you—either immediately or within one minute.
The smart lock also detects if the door is partially open and warns you. The August Smart Lock has a similar feature, but it requires an extra sensor to accomplish this task.
When you come home, the Wyze app and lock communicate and automatically unlock the door for you. After you enter your home, the Wyze app engages the smart lock. You can share app access with other people, just like the rest of Wyze’s products.
If you don’t trust the app process, you can install the keypad. It’s handy if you need to let a cleaning service or contractor into your home because you can create single-use codes that will only work for a specified time.
The Wyze lock also works with Alexa, giving you the ability to unlock your door with your PIN, and Wyze promises the same feature for Google Assistant. This is surprising as Google doesn’t provide APIs for voice unlock, so some smart locks (like the Schlage Encode) don’t support this feature.
Unfortunately, those skills won’t be available in time for Early Access buyers, Wyze is currently going through the approval process with Amazon and Google. But the company expects the process to complete before the full launch in February.
Altogether, the Wyze lock looks fairly solid on paper. Of course, we’ll reserve full judgment until after we’ve tested the lock. For under $100, though, it’s positioned to be a solid entry in the smart lock market.