Ease of Use
Everyday usage and multiple users
This one’s pretty easy to use—you can either enter a passcode, use a physical key, access the lock remotely through the Premis app, or use Siri voice commands to control the lock.
However, you do need to have an Apple Homepod or Apple TV in order to remotely control the lock beyond Bluetooth range.
Multiple users reported issues with touchscreen responsiveness, and noted that it can take several attempts at entering the code before the door will unlock.
And, since this smart lock is only compatible with Apple products, potential users who have Android smartphones won’t be able to use it, which is a fairly significant share of the smart lock market.
Other users noted that, since the app’s software is about two years old at this point (and hasn’t been updated recently), the lock is slow to respond, and the app has frequent connectivity issues.
On the plus side, if the batteries should die on you, there is a place to use a physical key.
For those reasons, we gave the Kwikset Premis smart lock a 7.5/10 in the ease of use category.
Smart Home System Integration
Which systems is this smart lock compatible with?
This smart lock is only compatible with Apple HomeKit (Apple Homepod or Apple TV must be purchased separately for remote access beyond Bluetooth range.)
This is a great lock for those with an existing HomeKit set up—but Android users need to look elsewhere as this lock isn’t compatible with Android smartphones, and it’s not compatible with any other smart home systems/devices.
Because this smart lock is only compatible with Apple HomeKit, and requires an Apple Homepod or Apple TV for remote accessibility, it gets a 7/10 here.
Ease of Installation
Once you remove the old lock, you can follow the installation instructions online or in the Premis app. (Note that users reported the app’s instructions were difficult to follow.)
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 portion of the lock, then the lock’s mounting plate.
- Once those are all in place, connect the cable inside the lock.
- Add the back assembly.
- Finally, add the batteries and attach the battery access panel.
Once the lock completes its door handing process, installation is complete, unless you want to connect it to an Apple hub for remote access beyond Bluetooth range.
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.
It should be noted that while physical installation wasn’t difficult, multiple users reported issues with setting up the app and getting it to work with HomeKit successfully.
For those reasons, this lock gets a 7.5/10 on ease of installation.
Robustness of the App
What the app can do and how easy it is to use
The Premis app only allows you to lock and unlock the door if you’re within Bluetooth range. In order to remotely control your lock from anywhere using the app, you will need to purchase the Apple Homepod (to control via iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad) or an Apple TV.
The app is free, but is only compatible with iPhones.
It allows you to enter up to 30 user codes, which is about average for most smart locks. You have four options for the codes
- One-time users
- Anytime users
- Time-limited (a set day for a specified time period, i.e. 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
- Date-limited (a set date range)
You can also see exactly who locked/unlocked door and when, and use the app to add and remove users.
Be aware, however, that at the time of our article, the app’s software hadn’t been updated in about two years.
The Apple Home app can also be used with this lock.
Because you can use both the Apple Home and Premis apps, and the app’s functionality is typical for a higher-end smart lock, the Kwikset Premis gets an 8.5/10 in this category.
How this smart lock opens the door
The Kwikset Premis smart lock gives you three keyless options for unlocking the door: remotely using the Premis app, via Siri voice commands, or with an access code.
And, there is a place to use a physical key if you’d prefer.
Because you have several options for getting in, but only if you’re an Apple user, the Kwikset Premis gets a 7.5/10 in this category.
$229 plus cost of Apple Homepod or Apple TV
This lock retails for $229, but we found it online for as low as $185.
This lock’s features are fairly standard, although a bonus is the Apple HomeKit integration—which, unfortunately, comes at the expense of integration with any other smart device/system, and usability for Android smartphone owners.
It does have a high security rating, however, which gives it a higher ranking here than some of the other smart locks we’ve reviewed.
Because of the lock’s strong security rating and HomeKit integration, we gave it an 8/10 in the value category.
Remote Connection Type
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?
This smart lock uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone. However, in order to have wi-fi access, you will need to purchase the Apple Homepod or an Apple TV.
Because you need to purchase a hub separately for wi-fi access, we gave the Kwikset Premis a 7.5/10 here.
The Kwikset Premis smart lock uses four AA batteries, which should have about a 12-month lifespan according to the manufacturer. Most users, however, reported that batteries only last about six months.
There is a low-battery indicator on the lock.
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 gave this smart lock a 7.5/10 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 BHMA AAA, meaning it was given the highest possible ratings for durability, material finishes, and security.
Because of the lock’s strong BHMA rating, and the fact that it’s a full locking system, we gave the Kwikset Premis a 9.5/10 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.
You can use a physical key, Siri voice commands, an access code, or the app to unlock or lock the door.
We gave this lock an 8/10 for having two physical keys and three keyless entry options.
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 Premis 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.