The Kevo Smart lock and their smart fob solution is a simple, effective and elegant smart home security solution, bringing greater home security with easier access (for those who should be entering the home) – and today we’re going to dive in with the HomeTechStar Kevo review.
The Kevo Smart Lock at a glance
- Their trademarked One-Touch-Open does exactly what it says on the tin, enabling you to unlock your doors through the proximity of your bluetooth enabled smartphone – eliminating the need for fumbling around for your keys. If you ever find yourself getting close to home with your hands full, then this alone makes it worth the investment
- Lock with a single touch – no more having to worry about locking your door as you leave, making rushing out to make the school run faster and more carefree
- Share an ‘eKey’ – this is an interesting concept. We all have times when we may want to grant a family member, friend or colleague short-term access to our home (e.g. whilst away on holiday to keep an eye on the home’. The Kevo smart lock makes this process much easier – you simply remotely share the key with your neighbour, friend, family member, colleague or whoever the heck you’re trying to let into your home. Once done, you revoke access, eliminating any concerns that they may enter your home at times that you’d rather they didn’t. (the alternative is being more judicious with who you share the key with, but we all know some well meaning folks who can be a little nosey!)
- Alerts to your smartphone when people enter or leave – which brings peace of mind if you have an elderly relative who likes to wander, or kids that you’re expecting home from school. The Kevo smart lock will notify you via your smartphone to tell you that people have come or gone from the home, letting you take action where required or merely take the peace of mind of knowing they’re home safely.
The Kevo lock design
The kevo lock comes in three default colours – gold, silver and brass – and the design is similar to a Yale lock. SO you get the familiar twist to unlock design from the inside and a very standard looking lock interface for the exterior.
Below is the lock in ‘satin nickel’
Kevo smart lock app
As you’ll have gathered, the Kevo lock relies quite heavily on your bluetooth enabled smartphone, and its connection to your smartphone is powered by the Kevo app.
The app is really where the so-called smart stuff happens. It has an admin section which lets you assign user roles, such as mum, dad, eldest kid, grandma and the likes. This is where you can grant the short term access via the eKey. As a default the eKey works for 24 hours, but the workaround is that you can keep re-issuing them. The intention here is largely to prevent the guest feeling offended by the short term access, so your fallback becomes that ‘this is how the Kevo smart lock works’ and ‘its not about you’.
One use case that we love with the eKey is for cleaners. So we live in London and live a hectic lifestyle, and cleaning (bar smart home tech like this Samsung PowerBot hoover which does it for us) is not high up our agenda for use of our spare time. We therefore use a cleaning service, but the catch is that you either a) release a key to your cleaner and trust that all will be ok or B) you ensure you’re at home when they come around, which half defeats the purpose. It just feels weird to be sitting there whilst they clean your home, so this is precisely where scheduling an eKey comes into its own. Not only can we limit access but we can also track the access, knowing when they come and go. We therefore know whether they have properly fulfilled their quota and we also know that they have left, and whether they then sneak back. They have no idea that the front door lock is tracking them, so its a pretty discrete way to keep a close eye on proceedings. Below is a nice visual example;
Finally, the Kevo smart lock does a nice job within the home. When the doorbell rings, and you are expecting guests, then you can remotely unlock the front door from within the home. Naturally a smart doorbell works well here too – as you’d then know for sure who you’re opening your home too. The use case still stands though.
Kevo Smart lock review – our thoughts on this latest smart home security device
What we like about this lock;
- The tracking capabilities – there are so many uses cases for this its unreal.
- The eKey – this is a nice touch, and we love the short term ability to grant access to anybody with a compatible smartphone
- The design does not convey ‘smart home tech’, making it subtle, something we value in case such technology ever gets targeted by criminals
- Remote unlocking from within the home synergises with smart doorbells to power up the use cases
However, there are two major downsides to this lock.
- At £125 it is an expensive home solution, and for all the positives, its major downside is sadly, the quality of the lock itself. How many times will smart home tech, which turns mundane ‘dumb’ objects into all singing all dancing mega appliances be let down by the quality of the core-components used? This has to change and change fast.
- The app is limited to iOS and ‘select Android devices’, which is a significant distance form covering the whole market.