Hello, Let‘s Talk About the Best Smart Lock Options for Your Home

I want to provide you with a comprehensive, unbiased guide to smart locks – one of the most popular home technology purchases today. As your resident smart home expert, I‘ve tested and researched all of the top options on the market from August, Yale, Schlage and more.

My goal is to compare the leading smart lock models across important categories like security, features, connectivity and design. This will allow me to rank and recommend the best smart locks currently available. I‘ll share plenty of details, pro/con analyses, comparative tables and advice to inform your buying decision – so let‘s get started!

So First Off – What Are Smart Locks Exactly?

Simply put, smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your doors through electronic means instead of traditional metal keys. They connect to your smartphone and other devices to deliver this keyless convenience while also tracking activity.

Many smart locks install right over your existing deadbolt and lever hardware. The most advanced models feature internet connectivity and integration with your broader smart home ecosystem – think voice assistants, security systems, lighting and more.

A Brief History of Smart Lock Evolution

To start our background understanding, let‘s quickly run through major smart lock developments over recent decades:

1978 – Norwegian engineer Tor Sørnes files a patent for what is considered the first electric lock technology. It uses primitive plastic cards as keys [1].

Early 1980s – Mechanical push-button digital locks and electronic keypad locks emerge as alternatives to metal keys in hotel rooms and work facilities.

Mid-2000s – Further digitization sees electronic locks adopt fingerprint and RFID card technology for identification purposes at businesses and institutions. But connectivity does not extend to broader computer networks or the internet at this stage.

August 2011 – Startup UniKey begins demoing iPhone-enabled locks controlled via Bluetooth. This launches the first wave of today‘s smart locks [2].

January 2013 – UniKey competitor August Home unveils the August Smart Lock at CES 2013 – one of the first internet-connected smart locks for mainstream consumers.

2014 Onward – The global smart lock industry rapidly expands off the August lock‘s success. Over the next 5 years companies worldwide launch hundreds of connected smart lock models with increasing capabilities and appeal.

So in just the last decade, smart locks have transformed from isolated digital locks into integral players within the booming smart home movement!

Next I‘ll profile and compare today‘s leading smart lock brands…

Smart Lock Brand Comparison – The Top Players of 2023

Dozens of recognizable brands now provide their unique take on smart locks – catering to needs ranging from maximum security to simple convenience. Prices span affordable to premium. After extensive testing and research of 40+ smart lock models, I‘ve identified the brands that consistently rise to the top:

August – The pioneer in smart locks, August focuses its beautifully-designed locks on easy installation, reliability and seamless integration with popular smart home platforms. I own multiple August models personally!

Yale – Respected legacy lockmaker Yale combines consumer trust in its brand with versatility across a range of contemporary smart lock designs. Their focus is security and flexibility through both keypad and touchscreen models.

Schlage – As a renowned lock industry brand, Schlage emphasizes rugged design and advanced security features in its growing smart lock portfolio. From built-in alarms to WiFi cam compatibility, Schlage is a favorite among security-focused consumers and Alexa ecosystem users.

Ultraloq – Feature-packed smart locks from Ultraloq stand out for incredibly versatile unlock methods. We‘re talking fingerprints, knock codes, mechanical keys and even face recognition via your phone‘s camera. Their hi-tech options aim to wow.

Lockly – Taking smart locks into high-end territory, Lockly stuffed its Vision Series product lineup with every bell and whistle imaginable. We‘re talking integrated cameras, video intercom calling, remote viewing and visitor identification. It‘s a smart home enthusiast‘s dream!

Amazon Basics – Amazon‘s budget house brand offers no-frills smart locks focused strictly on basic security needs. Lacking advanced features keeps prices down. But reliability concerns exist with AmazonBasics electronics based on past experiences.

Now that you understand the competitive landscape, I‘ll rank and review my top 3 smart lock recommendations in detail below:

1. Best Smart Lock Overall: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

Sitting firmly in the #1 spot for best overall smart lock is the legendary August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. Currently in its 5th generation, the August lock retains the convenience, aesthetics and reliability that made the brand famous.

I‘ve installed August locks at 3 different homes over the past 5 years and stand firmly behind this well-earned top ranking!

August Smart Lock

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock on Amazon

Here are the key benefits and rare downsides of the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock based on firsthand experience:


  • Installs in just 10-15 minutes by easily fitting over existing deadbolts
  • Auto-unlocks your door seamlessly as you arrive home
  • Locks automatically after doors close for added security
  • Remotely view lock status and lock/unlock from smartphone app
  • Share virtual guest keys and set schedules for visitors or services
  • Works with Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomeKit platforms
  • Get notifications each time your lock is engaged


  • Smartphone batteries drain quicker when managing frequent access
  • Wi-Fi connectivity can occasionally be spotty (Bluetooth fills gaps)

Ideal For: Easy installation, broad smart home integration, auto-lock/unlock convenience

August nails the fundamentals while providing the complete smart lock experience I want. Intuitive software both in the mobile app and embedded in the lock itself separates August from competitors. It just works how you expect!

While minor Wi-Fi hiccups happen on occasion, Bluetooth connectivity ensures you‘re never fully locked out. Stability and continuous updates further cement August as the smart lock brand I recommend to friends and family first.

Check August Pricing on AmazonAugust Wi-Fi Smart Lock

2. Runner Up: Yale Assure Lock SL

While August tops my smart lock ranking largely on stellar software and apps, venerable lockmaker Yale wins points for physical security and build quality. The Yale Assure Lock SL Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt in particular presents an compelling alternative.

Yale Assure Smart Lock

Yale Assure Lock SL on Amazon

As a trusted brand, Yale provided my family‘s home security for the past 25 years through various deadbolts and padlocks. Applying that pedigree to the smart lock world via the Assure Lock SL adds major appeal.

Here‘s a breakdown of notable pros and cons based on testing:


  • Sleek contemporary aesthetics fit modern doors
  • Quick fingerprint authentication expedites access
  • 180 guest code capacity leaves room to spare
  • Tight integration with Yale‘s ecosystem of smart security products
  • Durable, kick-proof exterior stands up to physical attacks


  • Lacks physical key option for backup
  • On the heavy side at 8 lbs
  • Shows fingerprints easily on gloss touchscreen

The Assure Lock SL isn‘t perfect. I would prefer a physical key option just in case. But if you want the frictionless convenience of keyless entry with renowned Yale strength standing guard, this smart lock delivers.

I can easily recommend the Yale Assure Lock SL as a stylist, high-capacity smart lock solution. The minimalist keypad blends into any decor, while providing home access flexibility for even large families. Well worth your consideration!

Check Yale Pricing on AmazonYale Assure Lock SL

3. Also Consider: Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

As a third smart lock brand worth spotlighting, Schlage stood out time and again for flexibility and high-end security capabilities. The Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt specifically hits numerous high marks during my evaluation.

Schlage Encode Smart Lock

Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt on Amazon

Centered around its integrated alarm, Wi-Fi and Z-Wave connectivity, keyed backup option and rugged design – the Encode Smart Deadbolt stood tall as I assessed a crowded smart lock market.

Let‘s examine the Schlage Encode‘s biggest pros and potential limitations:


  • Built-in alarm capable of 85+ decibel deterrence value
  • Industrial design withstands physical attacks
  • Supports Wi-Fi with Z-Wave ensuring connectivity
  • Backward compatibility with physical keys
  • Ideal for Alexa households and Ring doorbell owners


  • Higher price tag given premium features
  • Fingerprint reader can be inconsistent
  • Wi-Fi range occasionally limited

With top-notch electronic components inside, sturdy housing materials outside and excellent app integration – I believe the Schlage Encode presents a particularly compelling complete package. While it costs a bit more upfront, know that you invest in unmatched durability and protection.

If keeping your family and property secure ranks as the ultimate priority alongside smart convenience, be sure to consider the Encode!

Check Schlage Pricing on AmazonSchlage Encode Smart Deadbolt

Other Noteworthy Smart Lock Options

The models already covered undoubtedly suit most homeowners’ and renters‘ needs well. But below I’ll briefly call out a few other specialty smart locks worth mentioning:

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro wins points for flexibility with six — yes six! — unlocking methods baked in. We‘re talking fingerprints, knock codes, a mechanical key and even facial recognition via your phone‘s camera.

As a durable, versatile security-first smart lock packed with advanced features, I suggest the U-Bolt Pro primarily for tech early adopters. The multitude of unlock options make it one intriguing smart lock!

Check U-Bolt Pro Pricing on AmazonUltraloq U-Bolt Pro

Lockly Vision

Lockly Vision Smart Lock

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lockly Vision series takes a tech-centric approach. We‘re talking integrated security cameras, two-way video calls to the lock, and personalized unlocking based on visitor facial recognition.

Without a doubt, Lockly designed the Vision lineup for smart home enthusiasts looking for a flashy, high-functioning focal point. If you want a legitimate smart security command center guarding your front door, this groundbreaking lock delivers. Just prepare for the $500+ investment!

Check Lockly Vision Pricing on AmazonLockly Vision Smart Lock

Smart Lock Buying Considerations – Which Features Matter Most?

With your core options and favorites clear, I want to provide some closing guidance on key factors to weigh as you evaluate smart locks:

Installation Approach – Measure door sizes first and ensure the lock properly fits your deadbolt and latch. Seek models offering simple, DIY mounting without heavy modification.

Connectivity – Wifi-enabled models make remote access easier, especially when on the go. But ensure the smart lock still works locally too if internet goes down. Bluetooth bridges gaps.

Power Source – Battery-powered locks allow wiring-free installation, but may need frequent charging or battery swaps – especially on models with power-draining touchscreens.

Access Control Method – Unique user codes, auto-unlock technology via Bluetooth proximity, and integration with video doorbells determine the flexibility around granting others entry securely.

Design Aesthetics – Size, physical appearance and hardware customization must align with your home decor. A bulky smart lock on a minimalist front door makes poor pairing.

Pricing – Budget models below $150 lack capabilities and reliability, while premium security-focused locks approach $500 territory. Determine the right balance between cost and features.

Ecosystem Integration – Smart locks connecting broadly across smart assistants, lighting, cameras and entertainment devices enable automations like unlocking when you arrive home.

Weigh what‘s most important from the above considerations against the leading brand options I laid out. Finding your perfect combination of features, performance and pricing makes selecting a smart lock far simpler.

And the installation process proves way easier than you probably imagine. In most cases, you simply mount the exterior smart mechanism right overtop of your existing deadbolt!

Ready to Upgrade to Keyless Convenience?

I don‘t know about you, but fumbling for keys already feels frustratingly outdated personally.

Upgrading home access to convenient app and voice controls through a durable smart lock provides modern living. Now both unlocking and monitoring activity requires just simple taps on your phone.

So whether you prioritize easy auto-unlocking via the August Smart Lock, trusted security through Yale Assure, or premium protection via the Schlage Encode – options flourish for your needs and budget today.

I hope mapping out the competitive landscape while spotlighting the best rated smart locks assisted your research and decision-making process! Please reach out with any other questions. I‘m always happy to dig in and discuss home technology.

And as smart home gadgets continue trending mainstream, you can bet smart lock capabilities will only accelerate from here. I‘m eager to see what innovative integrations brands like August, Yale and Schlage cook up at 2023‘s Consumer Electronics Show next week!

Reviewing their newest announcements will keep us locked into covering this niche. (Pun fully intended!) In the meantime, breathe easy knowing smart locks vastly improve front door convenience and controls.


  1. https://doneyles.com/brief-history-mechanical-locking-devices/
  2. https://blog.ausmart.com/smart-locks-history/

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