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Wyze has quickly made a name for itself by producing solid smart home products at rock-bottom pricing that approaches that of generics. Its smart light bulbs, sensors, and security cameras have received solid reviews, including here at TechHive.
Now, Wyze is setting its sights on a more complicated market, the smart lock, but with the same value proposition: Give buyers the basics and dramatically undercut the competition’s price. The Wyze Lock costs less than about $100. In a market where similarly featured locks commonly run $200 or more, that’s a serious bargain. The bigger question: Is it a good value?
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart locks, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.
The Wyze Lock is a retrofit lock like the August and Friday smart locks, meaning it does not replace the exterior portion of your door’s lock mechanism. You use your existing hardware to connect the interior escutcheon to your door and use the mobile app (or the original key) to operate the lock from outside.
The hardware isn’t much to look at, its utilitarian design reminiscent of an IKEA product—as well as August’s 3rd Generation low-end smart lock. The blocky design isn’t attractive, and the material feels a bit cheap and plasticky, not characteristics one often appreciates in a lock.
Setup takes place in two stages. First, you plug in the included gateway to a socket near the door where you’re installing the lock. This gateway, much like the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, forms a bridge between the lock’s Bluetooth radio and your Wi-Fi network. This then must be configured in the Wyze app before you set up the lock itself. My gateway setup failed at first because I didn’t notice the app autocorrected my Wi-Fi password into an actual word (a rookie development mistake), but other than the process taking a rather long time to complete, I got the gateway up and running without additional trouble.
With the gateway configured, it’s time to turn to the lock itself. Wyze provides setup instructions within the app, and the hardware configuration went smoothly. The hardware design is slightly unorthodox, with a clever system that lets the lock intuitively attach via various types of existing hardware. A unique position for its four AA batteries also helps to keep the size to a minimum. Once attached to the door, the lock is paired to the app via a press of a button underneath the magnetic faceplate on the interior escutcheon.
I initially had no luck pairing the lock to the app—again, a lengthy process—until I happened to realize that the gateway had abruptly disconnected from my Wi-Fi network. The app offered no clues as to the reason for the pairing failure, but once I unplugged the gateway and powered it back up again, everything began to operate seamlessly.
After calibration, using the Wyze app to operate the lock was simple and intuitive. With no keypad to configure, there are also no users or PINs to manage; adding additional users is simply a matter of sharing a copy of the app with them. A quick tap opens or shuts the lock, and an automatic locking system lets you set the lock to engage after a length of time that you decide. Inarguably the most exciting feature of the lock is that it can detect whether the door is open or shut based on its position (no additional sensors required).
The auto-locking mechanism can even be configured to engage instantly when the door closes, and this feature worked perfectly in my testing. Wyze also includes a geofencing feature allowing the door to unlock automatically when you come home, and though geofencing is often buggy, it worked reliably on the Wyze Lock. Detailed logging—available directly on the app’s home screen—keeps tabs of all this for you.
Now for the downside: The Wyze Lock currently operates in a vacuum: There’s no Alexa or Google Assistant support, though Wyze says it’s coming this year. There’s also support for a sold-separately numeric keypad, letting you access the door from the outside without using the app, though the accessory had not been released at the time of our review.
The price is, of course, the main attraction here: You’re getting a great piece of equipment for $100. Compare it to products like the aforementioned August 3rd Gen lock, which is now selling for an average street price of $93—without the Wi-Fi bridge you’ll need to control it with your smart speaker. That will add another $68 to your cost.
The other catch is that the Wyze Lock just isn’t much to look at. Maybe the enterprising homeowner can dress it up with some stickers.
Updated February 25, 2021 to report current pricing and the availability of the numeric keypad that wasn’t shipping at the time of our review.