Traditional door locks have been around for about 200 years. Security techniques used in making traditional door locks have been advancing ever since offering users more control over access to their homes and belongings.
With the advancement in technology and the need for quicker, safer and smarter methods for living, traditional door locks are now giving way for smart locks.
Smart lock devices are no longer restricted to bank vaults and security companies. The common man on the street can now get a smart door lock that will suit his needs and budget.
A smart door lock is an electromechanical door access device designed to use wireless technologies to give users control over door access. Usually, a smart door lock is connected to a device such as a smartphone or a dedicated remote. Users can then control the lock from anywhere they are.
For instance, your friend suddenly calls that he or she is at your door on a surprise visit while you are quite far away. If you use the traditional door lock and you have the keys on you, of course, your friend will have to wait till you return before he or she can be granted access to your house.
What could have happened if you were using a smart door lock? You could have simply used your device to open the door for your friend right where you are. Your friend can then wait for you inside the house until you return. With a smart door lock, there is no need carrying a heavy bunch of keys around.
After successfully installing and pairing a smart door lock with your smartphone, you can lock and unlock without using a key. Different smart locks come with different features. Bluetooth keyless entry locks can be opened by simply waving your device in front of the lock. Some others may require using your fingerprint on the lock, using an app as control or using voice commands. Smart locks use at least one of the previously mentioned keyless access options. Some locks automatically secure your door the moment you leave the house.
Most smart locks use Lithium-ion batteries with a lifespan ranging from 6 to 12 months. Some come with an external jack to provide alternative power should the internal battery run down unexpectedly. Usually, users would be alerted when the need to replace batteries arise. You can rest assured that you won't be left stranded outside your door because of a failed door lock battery.
When you are away from home, all smart locks give you the option to send virtual keys to persons you want to grant access to your door lock usually for a specific time. Authorized persons are required to have the smart lock app on their device. The app alerts users of visitors approaching. It also takes the log of who goes in or out of the door and time of entry and exit.
Improved security: The use of smart locks gives improved security against burglars and the unauthorized person who wants to gain access through the door. Smart home security is now the in thing at present.
Ease of use: With a simple fingerprint scan, some smart door locks will give users access in a few seconds. There is no need to carry a bunch of keys around when you upgrade to a smart door lock.
Reliability: Common lock can be a source of frustration when they go bad. Since most smart door locks offer more than one way to gain access through the door, you can be sure you will not be locked out even if something goes wrong.
Ease of surveillance: Using apps of smart home security locks can give real-time logs of people who try to access the door. This helps to narrow down suspects should the need to identify one arises.
Smart locks pair with the home Wifi network and users’ smartphone. Users can control the smart lock using their smartphones. Most smart locks will require that the user download their app control on their smartphones.
Smart door locks can also be connected with other smart home appliances such as sound systems, air conditioners, and vacuum cleaner. This usually requires connecting all the devices to a smart home hub. The smart hub serves as the ultimate command center.
Quite a number of smart door lock models offer similar features, but knowing which feature to compare can help you get a good deal on your purchase.
Ease of installation: Some door locks can fit on your existing common door lock. This is probably the easiest to install and cheapest (since you are not paying for installation if you do it yourself). Some other types of door locks require complete replacement of your old lock with the smart lock. Installation may be quite pricey for these types of smart locks. Bluetooth keyless locks do not require keys and installing them most times means replacing your old lock completely.
Bluetooth/ Wifi connectivity: Bluetooth connectivity ensures a longer battery life than Wifi connectivity. The disadvantage of using Bluetooth is its low range. Wifi connectivity offers a wider range but lower battery life. To connect your smart door lock with other smart appliances in your home, you will need a hub in addition to using Wifi. However, if you only choose to unlock your door using your phone’s Bluetooth, you can save a good deal of money.
Door thickness: Choose smart door locks that are compatible with your door in terms of size and weight. A lightweight smart door lock will work with doors with smaller thickness. Doors with a higher thickness generally require heavier locks. This will help your smart lock last longer.
|Model||Aqara N100||Xiaomi Mijia||Aqara S2 Pro ||PINEWORLD E21|
|Weight ||4.2kg ||5.0kg ||7.0kg||0.2kg|
|Size||38.00 x 7.60 x 2.50 cm||40.00 x 35.00 x 20.00 cm||37.00 x 7.50 x 2.50cm||30.50 x 20.00 x 15.00 cm|
|Access modes||mobile phone Bluetooth, Fingerprint, password, temporary|
password, mechanical key, NFC, HomeKit
|mobile phone Bluetooth, Fingerprint, password, temporary|
password, mechanical key, NFC
|mobile phone Bluetooth, Fingerprint, password, temporary|
password, mechanical key, NFC
|mobile phone Bluetooth, fingerprint, password|
|Fingerprint capacity||50||50||50||Less than 50|
|Estimated battery life||12 months||12 months||12 months||6 - 8 months|
|Door suitability||45 - 100mm thick||45 - 120mm thick||45 - 150mm thick||45 - 120mm thick|
Xiaomi Aqara N100 smart door lock comes in either left hand or right-hand type. It weighs about 4.2kg. It connects to mobile devices via Bluetooth 5.0. It can also be controlled using Mi Home app or Apple HomeKit. It is quite easy to install and has battery life of up to 12 months.
This door lock is able to identify up to 50 different fingerprints. Users will find two emergency keys in the pack of a brand new Aqara N100 smart door lock. Users can use emergency keys for quicker access in case of fire, burglary, etc. These emergency keys are simply mechanical in operation so there is no need to waste time to open the door during emergency situations.
Xiaomi Aqara N100 smart door lock also supports the use of temporary passwords to grant access to authorized persons.
This is a relatively new smart door lock from Xiaomi. It also connects to mobile devices via Bluetooth 5.0. It comes with door alarm which can also transmit warning signals via its control app. Xiaomi Mijia smart lock is very easy to use due to its nice push-pull design. The fingerprint module is integrated with the handle. Hence, even without keys, the user only needs to press his or her finger against the sensor to push or pull the door open.
Apart from fingerprint unlock capacity, Mijia also supports Bluetooth-mobile device unlock, numeric code unlocks and 2 other modes. Media can also be paired to work with other smart home appliances such as air conditioners and vacuum cleaners. This means the door lock can automatically open for your robot vacuum to clean around the door.
Aqara S2 Pro comes with three unlock modes. You can unlock with an electronic device, use numeric keys or fingerprints. Its intelligent fingerprint technology can detect and report false fingerprints real-time. Its real-time app monitor can alert you if you forget to lock the door or you left your key on the lock.
You can also get a log of persons who entered or came out through the door in real-time using its app. Apart from excellent functions, Aqara S2 Pro also puts a clean and artistic look on your door due to its sleek design.
E201 Smart door lock comes as either left or right handles. Its characteristic black and sleek design makes it fit nicely with the look of most door types. It comes with excellent fingerprint sensors for advanced security. Users can share temporary keys via routers. As such this smart door lock can be used in offices too.
PINWORLD E201 also supports app remote control access. With its app, users can enjoy more functions and automation. This includes access to real-time entry/exit logs and options to activate or deactivate security alarm.
Xiaomi products have an affinity for prolonged battery life. This quality is retained in the three models of Xiaomi door locks considered in this review. It should be noted that battery life is also affected by environmental temperature and other factors. Xiaomi door locks also apply to different door thickness range. It is better to go for any cheap one that your door thickness would fit with.
PINWORLD E21 door lock also offers decent security at a very cheap price. However, users who need more advanced features may consider Aqara N100, S2 Pro or the Xiaomi Mijia smart lock.