There are now many ways to make your own four walls a little smarter. The focus is not only on convenience, as offered by robotic vacuum cleaners, for example. Security is also becoming increasingly important. The Internet makes this possible. Nowadays, alarm systems and the like no longer have to be installed in the house using complicated and costly wiring. Wireless networks make it easy to integrate them, which means that even non-professionals can create a high level of security. One of the most well-known manufacturers of smart home solutions that provide not only convenience but also security is SwitchBot. Today, we’re going to take a look at a smart door lock that has finally launched in our climes. In the SwitchBot Smart Lock review, we check how good, secure and user-friendly the gadget is.
SwitchBot Lock Test: Smart door lock finally also for tenants
Of course, other manufacturers also offer door locks that can be conveniently controlled via app and offer smart features. But SwitchBot has a very specific target group in its sights with its Smart Lock. While the competition often requires replacing the door handle, if not the entire lock, the Smart Lock can be integrated into the home without drilling, hammering and the like. Since you don’t have to make any changes to the building structure, it’s particularly interesting for rented apartments. What’s more, the Smart Lock is significantly cheaper than the competition and can be easily dismantled. Thus the product strikes into a quite similar notch as the smart automated curtain SwitchBot Curtain Rod (test).
|Dimensions||112 x 59 x 73 mm|
|Batteries||2x CR123A batteries (included)|
|Battery duration||six months|
|System requirements||As of iOS 11.0 and as of Android OS 5.0|
|Price||€ 110.49 * (SwitchBot Lock), € 99.99 (€ 99.99 / 个)* (Keypad Touch), € 30.59 * (SwitchBot Hub Mini), with code 20SBBASIC there’s an additional 5 percent savings|
Scope of delivery
When you look inside the high-quality box, which is reminiscent of Apple products, you will not only find the lock itself. On top of that, there are three different adapters, a small screwdriver, a magnet for registering the locking mechanism, NFC tags, double-sided adhesive tape, 4x replacement screws, wet wipe for cleaning, and an instruction manual.
SwitchBot Lock review: design and workmanship
- Available in black and silver
- High-quality workmanship
- 112 x 59 x 73 mm and 253 g
The idea behind the Smart Lock is as simple as it is ingenious. So it can be attached to almost any door lock to equip the same with smart functions. However, it is only suitable for indoor use. Since SwitchBot is aimed at residents of rented apartments anyway and the module is mounted on the inside of doors anyway, this should not be a problem. But homeowners could also find an inexpensive and uncomplicated way to the smart lock here. After all, the SwitchBot Lock can be conveniently attached to almost any door. With the help of the included adapters, the smart lock can be attached to various keys, but also door knobs. You can find out exactly what these are on the SwitchBot website.
I really like the look of the smart door lock. The manufacturer relies on a noble, matte black surface here. At 112 x 59 x 73 mm, it is pleasingly compact and also light at 253 g with inserted batteries. If you look at the front, you can see the rotary knob, which stands out well from the rest of the lock with its brushed silver tone. Above it is a status LED. If it glows green briefly, the lock has been successfully unlocked or locked. A red glow indicates that the battery is running low or that there is an error. Blue flashing, in turn, indicates that the lock is in pairing mode.
If you take a look at the sides, you will find the same matte black finish. If you take off the cover on the top, you can catch a glimpse of the inside. The battery compartment is located here, but according to the manufacturer, you only have to open it every half year. After all, one battery charge should last up to six months. Furthermore, four screws are found here, which serve to adjust the device to the existing lock.
The principle of the smart lock can be seen on the back. So SwitchBot relies here on a motor spindle, in which the respective adapter sits. This in turn then grips the key and turns it to the right or left. Up to 50,000 locking cycles should be possible. For average users, this should correspond to several years. Last but not least, Bluetooth 5.0 slumbers under the hood of the smart lock to establish a stable and reliable connection to smartphone or tablet. Overall, the smart lock is not only a chic product, but also one with a high-quality finish.
SwitchBot Lock Review: SwitchBot Hub Mini as a supplement
- Full feature set only with SwitchBot Hub Mini
- Network connection not possible without Hub Mini
- Makes voice assistant and other features possible
From the factory, the lock can only be unlocked and locked using your smartphone. For this, you need to be near the smart lock so that a Bluetooth connection can be established. If you want to get the maximum smart home feeling out of the SwitchBot Lock, you cannot avoid buying the SwitchBot Hub Mini. We already know this from other products of the manufacturer. This can be attributed to the fact that the smart door lock is not Wifi-enabled. It can only connect to the Internet with the help of the Hub Mini, which is used as a kind of middleman.
Only then can you, for example, also open and close conveniently by voice control with the help of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. On top of that, it is compatible with Smartthings – Samsung’s smart home application. Furthermore, the smart door lock can be conveniently integrated into the existing SwitchBot system. In particular, interaction with motion sensors or security cameras can make additional unlocking methods possible here. We did not only have the Hub Mini for testing. We were also able to use the SwitchBot KeyPad Touch, which is probably the most practical unlocking method. Here, you can unlock the lock not only via code, but also via fingerprint.
SwitchBot Lock Test: Installation and Setup
- Easy to set up
- Installation without drilling
- Step-by-step instructions in the SwitchBot app
Installing the SwitchBot Lock is a breeze. First, it is necessary to remove the battery cover on the top and remove the four screws that are used to adjust the distance to the lock. Then you have to choose the right adapter. Insert it and place the SwitchBot Lock on the lock. Then the screws are used again.
With their help, you now adjust the device stand so that there is a small distance between the key and the smart lock. Now clean the place where the SwitchBot Lock is to be attached. I used the damp cleaning cloth, which was included in the delivery, as well as the double-sided adhesive tape with which the smart lock is finally attached.
With the tape attached, you now press the SwitchBot Lock onto the appropriate spot for about two minutes. With me, the device held very well on the door. However, I came across other user opinions that were less satisfied. Particularly with heavily painted doors, the adhesive tape should not hold so well. Furthermore, you should pay attention to the fact that here like times the paint can come off the door. If necessary, it may be worthwhile to use a different adhesive tape. Tesa Powerstripes send their regards.
After the physical installation was done, it was time to pair the device with the smartphone. And that was no less simple. The first thing you do is download the SwitchBot app for iOS or AndroidOS. Once you have done that, you create a suitable account and add the SwitchBot Lock as a new device by tapping on the plus sign. In order for the lock to be recognized, you have to remove the battery tab. At the same moment, the status LED starts flashing blue. This signals pairing mode, which allows pairing with the app.
Now you can give the smart lock a name. Last but not least, the counterpart to the lock itself has to be attached. This is a magnet that lets the SwitchBot Lock know whether the door is open or locked. You simply attach it to the door frame. Now you have to calibrate the device. Just follow the step-by-step instructions in the app. Setting up the Hub Mini and the Keypad Touch was actually even easier. SwitchBot simply has the knack in this regard.
SwitchBot Lock Test: Practical Experience
Sometimes smart home gadgets fail to walk the fine line between fun gimmick and truly everyday device. But what about the SwitchBot Lock? In my everyday test, the smart lock worked extremely well. This is not only true for the hardware itself, which impressed me especially with its quiet motor. On top of that, the lock responded quickly to commands that I sent via the app. In practice, this looks like this. When you open the SwitchBot app, you can see the registered devices on the home screen. Here you can check if the lock is currently locked or unlocked. If you press the big round button, you can either unlock or lock. To be honest, I find this option interesting, but it is much more exciting in combination with the SwitchBot Hub Mini. This results in network functions that enable many other features. For example, you can also activate voice assistants in this way.
In my trial, for example, I opened my door by asking Siri to do so. Thanks to WatchOS compatibility, Apple Watch owners can also unlock the door via smartwatch. The Auto Lock function is also really cool. With this feature, the lock closes automatically when you leave the house. You no longer have to worry about whether you locked the door or not. In the SwitchBot app, you can set the number of seconds or minutes after which the door should lock automatically. It is a pity that Auto-Unlock is missing. This feature is offered by the Nuki Opener Combo (test) as well as the possibility to activate the buzzer of the front door of an apartment building. Let’s see if SwitchBot will still upgrade in this regard. My personal highlight, however, is using it via the SwitchBot Keypad Touch. It was just cool to be able to unlock your apartment door via PIN code, NFC card or fingerprint.
The NFC features are also cool. As mentioned earlier, the Keypad Touch comes with an NFC card that can be used to open the lock without a code or fingerprint. You only have to place it on the keypad. SwitchBot includes two additional NFC tags with the lock itself. With their help, you can lock or open the door by simply holding onto your smartphone’s NFC chip. For example, you could stick one in your car to unlock the door when you get home. When you get home, stick the second one in the hallway to let the door close. Alternatively, you can of course simply close the SwitchBot Lock manually. To do this, you simply turn the dial.
One small drawback that could certainly become a bit annoying in long-term use is the speed of the SwitchBot Lock. After all, it takes quite a long time for the smart door lock to unlock the door. This means that you sometimes have to wait a few seconds until the door can be opened in case of double-locked doors. The competition is definitely ahead here. However, the slow rotation also has its advantages. For example, the motor works as quiet as a whisper. By the way, the smart door lock emits a beep when locking or unlocking. If it bothers you, you can easily turn it off in the app. The SwitchBot Lock worked exceptionally well in practice. I was particularly impressed by the numerous unlocking options, all of which worked.
SwitchBot Lock review: conclusion
You want to give your home door lock a smart boost, but shy away from it because you don’t want to break anything in your rental apartment? Then the SwitchBot Lock is probably the perfect solution. But homeowners should also take a closer look at the smart lock. In addition to its chic design, great workmanship and unrivaled price-performance ratio, it scores points for its easy installation. The smart lock can be easily attached to your existing door lock and turns it into a smart door lock. This means that if you move house, you can remove it without leaving any residue and simply take it with you to your new home.
What I’m really missing is an auto-unlock feature that automatically opens the lock when I approach. Also, I hope SwitchBot is still working on a solution that includes the buzzer to open the main front door. It’s still a bit of a shame that you have to pay extra for the full feature set and buy the SwitchBot Hub Mini as well. However, this still results in a price that no other smart lock can currently compete with. Currently, the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 + Bridge costs just under 100 euros more. At Amazon, by the way, you can secure the SwitchBot Lock between December 12, 2022 and December 19, 2022 with a total savings of 20 percent. You can increase the basic discount of 15 percent by another five percent with the code 20SBBASIC .
Value for money
The SwitchBot Lock is a chic, practical and affordable way to make your own door lock smart. Another smart home highlight from SwitchBot!
SwitchBot Smart Lock price comparison
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