Kwikset Kevo

Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock Review

Read time: 12 minutes Last Updated: 10/04/2019

We look at the Kwikset Kevo Traditional Smart Lock and its features and options below. We rate each category on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best. Some categories are weighted more heavily than others based on importance. Check out how this lock scored.

Kwikset Kevo

Kwikset Kevo

7.6/10
  • ouch-to-open,entry
  • Compatible with iPhone 4S or higher and select Android 5.0 or higher devices
  • Works with Fob (sold separately) or traditional key with new advanced SmartKey security
  • Works with select iOS and Android devices
  • Unreliable
  • Doesn't really work as advertised
  • Battery runs out quickly
Ease of Use:
As simple as it gets, unless you’re an Android user
Smart Home Integration:
Alexa, ring video doorbell, Skybell video doorbell (only if wi-fi adapter is purchased); IFTTT enabled
Ease of Installation:
A screwdriver and the easy-to-follow instructions
App:
Kevo app
Door Unlocks By:
Touching the lock or a physical key
Remote Access Type:
Bluetooth AND WiFi (need to purchase WiFi separately
Power Options:
4 AA batteries with 2 low-battery warnings on lock and warnings in Kevo app
Lock Type:
Deadbolt; thorough safety testing
Keys or Keyless:
Allows both options; optional key fob allows for keyless entry without a smartphone
Warranty:
Limited lifetime on mechanical & finish; 1-year on electronics

Our Review

the Kwikset Kevo Traditional smart lock earned a 7.6/10 average weighted score.  This a good lock for people who don’t already have a smart home hub since none is required to use the lock, although there is no remote functionality without one.

We really liked that this looks like a normal lock.  Looking at it from the outside, it’s nearly impossible to tell this apart from a regular deadbolt.

Another plus is the small size of the interior portion of the lock—it’s not bulky or distracting. 

However, this may not be the best lock for Android users.

The Kevo is advertised as a “Touch-to-Open Bluetooth Smart Lock” with advanced technology designed to make your life easier. However, many users claim the opposite. The Kwikset Kevo is supposed to recognize when your phone is nearby and you can open the door by touching the lock. It is able to tell whether you and your phone are inside or outside before it unlocks. The Kevo works with Alexa and requires the Kevo Plus hub, sold separately for about $100.

You can use the Kevo smartphone app to track who is locking and unlocking your door and give eKeys to guests. The owner of the lock is also issued two Anytime eKeys that work with a compatible smartphone. If your guests do not have smartphones, you will have to purchase a Kevo fob. The Kevo fob will act just like your phone — all you have to do is touch the lock…supposedly.

This lock is not reliable enough to go completely keyless. If you’re trying to eliminate the hassle of putting a key under the welcome mat or coming to your Airbnb to unlock it for guests, this lock probably isn’t your solution. Guests will likely have quite a few issues learning to work it and even if it does work, the connection is often slow.

Ease of Use

Everyday usage and multiple users

This one’s about as simple to use on a daily basis as it gets. You simply touch the lock and it will lock and unlock the door.

You can add unlimited users, which is the best option out there.

If the batteries should die on you, there is a place to use a physical key—so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck outside your own home.

It should be noted that there are known issues with Android OS compatibility (only works with 5.0 or higher) and the vast majority of the issues reported with this lock in online reviews have been from Android users.

Some users also report issues with remote access — complaining they have to hang around their front door for a while until the connection is identified. However, when it does work, this lock is pretty nifty.

For those reasons, we gave the Kwikset Kevo Traditional (2nd Gen) smart lock an 7/10 in the ease of use category.

Smart Home System Integration

Which systems is this smart lock compatible with?

In order to connect to smart devices, you will need to purchase the Kevo Plus that allows you to have wi-fi access and can interface with several smart devices.
With the hub, the Kwikset Kevo Traditional 2nd Gen lock is compatible with the following:

  • Ring video doorbell (lock and unlock the door)
  • Skybell video doorbell (lock and unlock the door)
  • Amazon Alexa (locking the door through voice control)

However, the Kwikset Kevo Traditional (2nd Gen) smart lock is not compatible with Google Home or Apple HomeKit, to name a few.

It will also work with Honeywell WiFi thermostats, setting the inside temperature to away or at-home depending on your lock status, and is compatible with Android Wear 1.0.

This is also one of the few locks we reviewed that has IFTTT functionality (which requires an IFTTT app or new account creation on the IFTTT site).

What is IFTTT, you ask? It stands for “If This, Then That,” and can be accessed either via their website or their app. With IFTTT, you can create mini programs that tell your devices to do certain things together at certain times, like having the lights turn on when the door is unlocked.

Because this smart lock is compatible with Alexa, ring, and Skybell, but only with the additional purchase of a wi-fi adapter, and is not compatible with Google Home, Apple HomeKit or other smart home systems, it gets a 7/10.
Ease of Installation

Installing this smart lock is pretty simple: you just need a screwdriver. Yep, that’s it! You do, of course, need to remove your old lock prior to installing this one.

The online installation video is one of the best we’ve seen and clearly shows you what needs to be done at each step.

There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.

  1. Install the new deadbolt that comes with this lock.
  2. Then install the new strike plate.
  3. Next, install the exterior portion of the lock, then the lock’s support plate.
  4. Once those are all in place, you connect the cable inside the lock.
  5. Add the back assembly.
  6. Next, while adding the batteries, press the button on the back of the inside cover until it beeps. (The door will then determine which way the lock needs to open/close.)
  7. Once the lock determines which way to turn the deadbolt, a green light will flash, and you can install the exterior housing for the electronic components.

That’s it! Unless you want to connect this lock to your home’s wi-fi network, and then you need to plug in the optional wi-fi adapter to a nearby outlet. After that, it’s ready to connect to your home’s network.

The only caveat, which is the same for all smart locks, is to be sure that your door is aligned properly so the hole for the deadbolt lines up with the deadbolt. Otherwise, you may have issues with the deadbolt not going in properly, jamming, or getting stuck in a locked position.

We liked how easy the installation video was to follow. We also liked that it’s an easy one-person job—just grab a screwdriver and the lock parts, and you’re all set.
This lock gets a 9/10 on installation because of ease to install, but needing an additional WiFi adapter to access the lock remotely kept it from getting a 10/10.

Robustness of the App

What the app can do and how easy it is to use

This lock uses the Kevo app, which allows you to lock and unlock the door from your phone, as long as you are within Bluetooth range. The app is free and works with both Android phones and iPhones.

In addition, the app allows you to check the activity on your smart lock to see who has locked or unlocked the door. You also have the ability to add an unlimited number of users by sending them “ekeys,” which is a huge step up from some of the other smart locks we’ve reviewed.

The ekeys provide three types of access:

  1. Unlimited, which allows users to lock/unlock your door until you remove them
  2. 24-hour, which is only good for 24 hours and then expires
  3. Scheduled, which only works during a scheduled time frame

However, if you go beyond Bluetooth range, you won’t be able to remotely unlock or lock the door, get status updates on the lock’s usage, or share ekeys.

If you add the Kevo Plus bridge, a wi-fi adapter for your Kevo smart lock, you’ll have true remote access to your lock, and adding a hub is also the only way to connect with other smart home devices.

Because you can only use one app (Kevo), but the app does have unlimited ekeys, which is a great feature, the Kwikset Kevo Traditional smart lock gets a 7/10 in this category.

Getting In

How this smart lock opens the door

This smart lock is fairly unique in that it uses touch to open the door.

Once you’ve downloaded the Kevo app to your phone, the lock uses Bluetooth to determine your phone’s location. If it locates your phone outside the door, then it will allow you to unlock the door by touching the side of the lock.

While the lock is communicating with your phone, it displays a blue light around the lock. Once access is granted, the lock’s light changes to green, signaling that the door can be opened.

You can also use a physical key if you’d prefer, and interestingly, this lock has an optional key fob you can purchase separately.

NOTE

A word of caution for Android users—you will need to check with the manufacturer to ensure your smartphone is compatible with this smart lock before purchasing it.***
Because of how easy locking and unlocking your door is using this smart lock, it gets a 9/10 in this category.

Value

$220 for lock (cheaper on Amazon), $100 for WiFi adapter

This lock retails for around $220. However, if you want to connect the lock to your home network, you need to purchase the optional wi-fi adapter for around $100.
That actually makes this lock slightly more expensive than the Schlage Encode which comes with built-in wi-fi and retails for around $250.

We have to say, with how simple this lock is to use on a daily basis, and the ease of installation, it’s a pretty good lock.

However, the cost of adding the wi-fi adapter means it’s not as good a value as other locks out there.

And with the plethora of issues Android users have had with the lock, that brings down the value since a large portion of consumers either won’t be able to use it, or may end up having more issues with the lock.

Remote Connection Type

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?

This smart lock uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone, so you can lock or unlock the door anywhere within Bluetooth range.

Because it works on Bluetooth, you are not automatically connected to your home’s other smart systems.

For added security, the connection between your lock and phone uses military-grade encryption, which is a higher standard than that used by many other smart locks. This gives the Kevo an added plus here to offset the limitations of Bluetooth.
For this category, because of the securely encrypted Bluetooth connection and option to add WiFi connectivity, we wanted to give the Kevo a higher score. However, it earned a 7/10 here because lots of people seem to have issues with connectivity. When the whole point of a smart lock is to go keyless, problems like these can’t go unnoticed. However, with recent updates, and the right set of technology, the Kevo can make home access easier than ever. Just be cautious if you don’t have the trusted hubs or WiFi adapter.

Power Options

The Kwikset Kevo Traditional (2nd Gen) is battery powered, with a low-battery indicator built into the lock. The Kevo app also warns you when the batteries are low.

The exterior of the lock will show a solid red light at the top of the ring, while a blinking red light will show on the housing on the inside of the door.
It takes four AA batteries, which should have about a twelve-month lifespan according to the manufacturer.

We balanced the cost of replacing 4 batteries at once (and the frequency of replacing the batteries) against the low-battery warning features built into the lock, and gave this smart lock a 9/10 in this category.

Lock Type

Lock attachment or full lock?

This is a complete locking system and comes with a full deadbolt assembly. This is considered to be the safest type of smart lock when compared to those that simply attach to an existing lock.

In addition, the 2nd Gen lock has been redesigned to be more secure—in recent tests, it’s been found to be almost impossible to break into or force open this lock.
Because of the sturdiness of the lock, strenuous safety testing, and the fact that the deadbolt comes with the lock, we gave the Kwikset Kevo Traditional 9/10 here.

Keys or Completely Keyless Entry?

This lock gives you the best of both worlds, by allowing for keyless entry when you want it, while still giving you the option of using a key, for those who aren’t ready to toss their house keys just yet.

This way, you’ll never be locked out of your home. However, this is only barring the possibility that your Bluetooth or WiFi connection is reliable.

The optional key fob (around $27) will send a signal to the lock and let it know you are outside. Then, just like with your phone, you can touch the lock to get in.
The plus with using the key fob is that if you happen to forget your phone (or lose it!) you still have a way to get in without a physical key.

We gave this lock an 7/10 for having a physical key and for the optional key fob, as well as the “touch-to-open” feature which is awesome (in theory).

Warranty

Limited lifetime/1-year

This lock comes with an okay (not great) warranty. It’s got a limited lifetime warranty on the mechanical parts and finish, and a one-year warranty on the electronic components.

Other smart locks on the market come with two- or three-year warranties on the electronic components.

Because of the lackluster warranty, the Kwikset Kevo Traditional (2nd Gen) earns itself a 6.5/10.

Additional Feature

This lock has an optional key fob (that can be purchased separately) to unlock the smart lock when you don’t have your phone handy.

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