Ease of Use
Everyday usage and multiple users
This one’s pretty easy to use—you simply enter an access code on the touchscreen.
Users reported that the touchscreen can be slow to activate, however, and sometimes takes several attempts before the code is recognized.
If you have the Home Connect version, you can connect the lock to your Z-wave enabled smart home system/controlling smart device and remotely access the lock through your existing system.
While there are installation instructions for a Zigbee version of this lock on the manufacturer’s website, the only Home Connect version that appears to be available for purchase is the Z-wave compatible lock.
If you have the stand-alone version of this lock, then you are only able to input 16 different user codes, which feels a bit stingy. If you have the Home Connect version, you can enter 30.
There’s also no way to lock/unlock the phone using a smartphone.
On the plus side, if the batteries should die on you, there’s a 9-volt battery back-up system on the exterior of the lock.
For those reasons, we gave the Kwikset Obsidian smart lock a 7/10 in the ease of use category.
Smart Home System Integration
Which systems is this smart lock compatible with?
The stand-alone lock isn’t compatible with any smart home systems or smart devices (including smartphones). The Home Connect version is compatible with Z-wave enabled smart home systems and smart devices.
For instance, you can control the lock via Amazon Alexa if you already have an Amazon Echo. And, because the lock doesn’t have its own app, any monitoring or status information would be through Alexa or Echo.
Because the Home Connect version is compatible with Z-wave systems, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to which smart home systems/smart devices you’d like to integrate with the lock.
Note, however, that this smart lock isn’t compatible with Apple HomeKit.
Because the Home Connect version is compatible with any Z-wave enabled hub or smart device, it gets an 8.5/10 here.
Ease of Installation
Once you remove the old lock, you can follow the installation instructions online. The online instruction video has no sound, so be aware of that when installing this lock.
There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.
- Install the new deadbolt and strike plate that come with this lock.
- Next, install the exterior touchscreen, then the lock’s mounting plate.
- Once those are all in place, connect the cable inside the lock.
- Then install the interior assembly.
- Next, add the batteries and battery pack.
- Finally, attach the interior cover.
That’s it—unless you want to add the Home Connect version to your existing Z-wave smart home system. It’s a quick and easy install with simple online instructions, in spite of not having sound.
For those reasons, this lock gets a 9/10 on ease of installation.
Robustness of the App
What the app can do and how easy it is to use
There is no app for either version of this lock, and no ability to pair either version with a smartphone.
Because there’s no app, and no smartphone access to the lock, the Kwikset Obsidian gets 1/10 in this category.
How this smart lock opens the door
The Kwikset Obsidian smart lock lets you in by entering an access code. If you have the more expensive Home Connect version, you can remotely access the lock through your Z-wave enabled smart home system/controlling smart device.
Because the base model only gives you one option for getting in, and there’s no option to use a physical key, the Kwikset Obsidian gets a 6.5/10 in this category.
$172-$214 (Z-wave plus version)
The stand-alone version of this lock retails for $172, but we found it online for as low as $109. The Home Connect version is roughly $70 more, at $214.
This lock’s main feature is the touchscreen access code entry. Several users did report that the screen was slow to wake up or respond, especially in hot weather.
You do have remote access if the Home Connect version is purchased, and users reported that it integrates well with systems like ring, Amazon Echo, and Samsung SmartThings.
However, because it’s so lacking in many other standard features offered on most smart locks, such as smartphone locking/unlocking ability, and doesn’t have a place for a physical key, we gave this lock a 7/10 in the value category.
Remote Connection Type
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?
The stand-alone version of this lock has no remote capabilities.
In order to remotely access the lock, you’ll need to purchase the more expensive Home Connect version, which allows you to use Z-wave technology to integrate the lock with an existing smart home system/controlling smart device.
Because you do have the option of Z-wave technology, but you need to purchase the more expensive version of this lock to get it, we gave the Kwikset Obsidian a 7.5/10 here.
The Kwikset Obsidian smart lock uses four AA batteries, which users reported lasting around two to six months depending on usage.
There’s a low-battery indicator on the lock, and a battery back-up system on the exterior of the lock, with a terminal for a 9-volt battery to charge up the keypad should the regular batteries die on you.
We balanced the cost of replacing 4 batteries at once (and the frequency of replacing the batteries) against the low-battery warning feature on the lock and the battery back-up system, and gave this smart lock an 8.5/10 in this category.
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.
It has been rated at ANSI 2, meaning it’s a good, strong lock, but not the best lock (ANSI 1).
Because of the lock’s ANSI 2 rating, and the fact that it’s a full locking system, we gave the Kwikset Obsidian a 9/10 here.
Keys or Completely Keyless Entry?
This lock only allows for keyless entry by typing in an access code. If you have the Home Connect version of this lock, you can remotely control it via your Z-wave enabled smart home system/controlling smart device.
We gave this lock a 6/10 for not having any physical key and only providing one keyless option unless you spend more for the Home Connect version.
This lock comes with a lifetime warranty on the mechanical parts and finish, and a one-year limited warranty on the electronic components.
While not bad, other smart locks on the market come with two- or three-year warranties on the electronic components.
Because of the decent warranty, the Kwikset Obsidian earns itself an 8/10.
This lock will sound an alarm after a code has been entered incorrectly three times in a row.
It also has “SecureScreen” technology, meaning two random digits appear when you activate the screen that must be pressed prior to entering the access code. This helps disguise the actual numbers used in the access code.