Wyze’s new door lock is not that smart, but it might be a good thing

Wyze’s latest product is something of a departure for the smart home business. Wyze Lock Bolt is a smart lock that removes cloud connectivity in favor of local control over Bluetooth. A rectangular matte black keyboard with a fingerprint reader, the Wyze Lock Bolt replaces your entire deadbolt and costs $ 69.99 (plus $ 10 shipping), in line with Wyze’s reputation for high-end, low-cost technology. The lack of an Internet connection may be a wise move for Wyze right now, given the recent controversy surrounding the company’s failure to detect a security flaw with its original cloud-connected Wyze Cam.

Available from today, the Wyze Lock Bolt is a motorized deadbolt that can be unlocked with your fingerprint or with a code entered on the integrated, backlit keyboard. The lock has two accessible parts: a keyboard / fingerprint reader mounted on the front of your door, and a back case where the batteries and engine are located. It does not have the option to use a traditional key; you program codes and fingerprints for the lock over Bluetooth using the Wyze app on your smartphone (iOS or Android).

You can use the app to lock or unlock the door if you are within 16 feet of the Bluetooth 5.0 radio (i.e. on the couch or perhaps in your car in the driveway). Other than that, there is no Wi-Fi or other connection and therefore no smart home integration. You can not add the lock to any home automation routine, lock or unlock it when you are away from home, or control it with voice assistants.

The Wyze Lock Bolt fingerprint reader unlocks your door in less than a second, says Wyze.
Photo: Wyze

The lack of connectivity beyond Bluetooth helps keep the price low; Most smart door locks run from $ 150 to over $ 300. For example, the similar Eufy Smart Lock Touch with WiFi is $ 220, and Kwikset’s smart fingerprint / key setting is $ 240. Wyze’s second smart lock, Wyze Lock, costs $ 130. It uses Zigbee and Wi-Fi to enable the integration of smart homes, such as adding the lock to a goodnight routine or having Alexa or Google Assistant lock the door for you with a voice command. However, that lock is not a complete replacement of the deadbolt, it is an addition to your existing deadbolt.

Fingerprint access is my favorite option for a smart door lock; it’s a much faster way to unlock the door than to enter a code, and Wyze says its lock is unlocked in under a second. Wyze Bolt can store up to 50 prints locally on the lock along with 20 keyboard codes. The keyboard also has an anti-peep feature – where you can add some random extra digits to each side of your code if someone looks over your shoulder.

The Wyze app can record who gained access to the lock, how and when, which can be handy for keeping track of what’s coming and going in your home. (Even if you only get that information when you are at home within Bluetooth range). The 20 passwords and 50 fingerprints can be assigned to different people and you can schedule access for specific days or specific times of the day.

The rear housing of the lock allows for manual control of the lock.
Photo: Wyze

It runs on 4 AA batteries, which Wyze says will run it for up to a year.
Photo: Wyze

Without a power-hungry Wi-Fi radio inside, the Wyze Lock Bolt promises impressive battery life – Wyze says you get 10 to 12 months on 4 AAs (which are included). Most lures I have tested get between three and six months before they need more juice. If the Wyze lock runs out of power, there is a USB-C charging port on the bottom of the lock that gives you a short boost, enough to enter a code.

Lack of control away from home can be a dealbreaker, as a big advantage of a smart lock is that you can lock and unlock it remotely. But Wyze has partially solved this with a new “One-Time Code Algorithm” that lets you generate code remotely in the Wyze app and pass it to the person at your door so they can unlock it. These can be generated even out of Bluetooth range, similar to how two-factor codes can be generated offline, to give someone access.

The door is locked with a traditional thumb turn on the inside and with a lock button on the outside. You can also use the app if you are within Bluetooth range and there is an automatic locking option that locks the door automatically after a custom time. You can disable automatic locking for certain hours, but there is no door-sensitive technology to determine if your door is open or closed, so it will still “lock” your lock even when the door is fully open.

Launching a smart door lock that lacks some of the key features of a smart door lock is a strange move for a smart home company. But for those homeowners who are reluctant to put the security of their home online, the Wyze Lock Bolt makes it easier to drop the keys in favor of a good selection of easy, secure ways to unlock your door. It’s also competitive prices. Standard unconnected keyboard deadbolts from Schlage or Kwikset run around $ 100 and you have to program them manually and they do not have the option of a fingerprint reader, which is the simplest, fastest way to unlock your door.