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The 4 Best Smart Locks of 2023 (Local Tips & Reviews)

Deadbolt-replacement smart locks

Our pick

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi

This compact, versatile, and quiet smart lock’s top feature is a fast (though sometimes faulty) fingerprint reader, and its rubber number keys will please most anyone.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $0.

Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi is a versatile smart lock with precision hardware and a pleasing low-profile design. This model has Wi-Fi built in, so it doesn’t require a plug-in Bluetooth bridge like our previous pick, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro. You can unlock the U-Bolt Pro WiFi six different ways, including with a numerical code, using an app, through a physical keyway, and—the pièce de résistance—via fingerprint.

We found the feel and function of the lock’s number buttons to be superior to pecking numbers on the glass touchscreen of many keypad models. That said, the fingerprint ID remains our preferred way to unlock it (even if that feature is sometimes finicky). No matter which method you use to trigger the U-Bolt Pro WiFi, it responds quickly. It also has a comparatively quiet mechanism, and from an aesthetic perspective we like that it’s small and unobtrusive. We encountered a few issues during setup and recently have experienced battery drain issues that the company has confirmed (see Flaws but not dealbreakers), but none of those hiccups prevent us from recommending it.

If you can’t find this model, and if you don’t mind having to use Ultraloq’s plug-in Bridge to connect your smart lock to your Wi-Fi network, the original Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is a perfectly great substitute and is less expensive, too (see Other good smart locks).


Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

If you want a keypad smart lock that works with Apple HomeKit, The Schlage Encode Plus Smart WiFi Deadbolt is an updated version of our previous also-great pick, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt. Beyond modest cosmetic updates, this revamped model gives you the ability to unlock it by holding your iPhone or Apple Watch nearby, through Apple’s Home Key feature. Of the many locks we’ve tested, the Encode Plus is one of the easiest smart locks to install and one of the simplest models to use. We tend to prefer the tactile feel of keypads like the Encode Plus’s keypad over that of a glass touchscreen, and that feature makes this lock less fussy to use, so it’s a good choice for rental properties—especially as it’s an extra-tough commercial-grade lock and has a built-in alarm. If this model is backordered, our previous choice, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, remains a good option, though it lacks Apple Home Key support.

Deadbolt-adapter smart locks

Budget pick

Wyze Lock

For anyone who wants to keep an existing keyway, the Wyze Lock is fast and quiet. It also has a built-in sensor to detect when your door is ajar and comes with a tiny plug-in Wi-Fi adapter.

Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

If you are a renter and not allowed to change your locks, or if you simply don’t want to change yours for any reason, the Wyze Lock is a low-cost yet full-featured model that connects easily to an existing deadbolt. The hardware installs quickly, and in our testing it consistently worked well and was whisper-quiet. The package includes a tiny puck-like plug-in Wi-Fi adapter to enable remote access and smartphone notifications. The Wyze Lock offers some impressive features, such as a built-in door sensor that alerts you via a chime and a smartphone notification when someone has left the door open or ajar. Wyze also sells the Wyze Lock Keypad, a small brick with number buttons that connects wirelessly to the Wyze Lock so you can trigger the lock without relying on an app or geolocation. In our tests the keypad has worked flawlessly, so we recommend it as an upgrade.

Without the addition of the keypad, the Wyze Lock requires that you use an app to unlock it—which for everyday use isn’t much more convenient than using a key—or you have to enable geofencing, a system that uses your phone’s location to determine where you are and then lock or unlock the door automatically. Geofencing may work fine for some owners, but we worry about the innate security risk of accidental triggers. Additionally, some owners of the Wyze Lock report that auto-unlocking doesn’t work consistently, sometimes forcing them to rely on the app instead.

Lever-handle smart lock

Our pick

Ultraloq Latch 5 Fingerprint

This keypad smart lock replaces a doorknob—not a deadbolt—with an accessibility-friendly lever handle, and it has a fingerprint reader to make unlocking speedy.

Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Most front doors have a deadbolt in addition to a doorknob or lever, but for those who don’t have a deadbolt on their door, we recommend the Ultraloq Latch 5 Fingerprint smart lever lock. It’s a full replacement for a doorknob or lever, and like our top pick, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi, it has a keypad, a fingerprint reader, a hidden physical keyway, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for remote access via an app. The Latch 5 is substantially chunkier than any of our other picks, and the touchscreen isn’t as responsive or comfortable to use as other picks’ keypads. Still, the fingerprint reader works well and quickly, the lock mechanism issues a brief and quiet whir, the lock is simple to manage through its app, and because it’s lever-based it’s especially helpful for anyone who has mobility issues, such as difficulty turning a knob.

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