Wyze's Lock Bolt smart lock does nearly everything you want it to -- for a better price than most competing products.
What makes home security device maker Wyze special isn’t actually its low prices — though that’s the enticement that usually gets people clicking “buy” as quickly as they do. No, it’s the confident judgment evident in the company’s product design.
Take the Wyze Lock Bolt. It’s a $70 smart lock that offers a nice-looking and nice-feeling keypad and deadbolt thumb-turn, and includes a fingerprint scanner. But it doesn’t have voice control, Wi-Fi connection or geo-fencing — those higher-end features that make more expensive smart locks shine.
The result: Wyze’s lock isn’t the best on the market, but it’s laser-focused at a broad audience that doesn’t need all the smart features in the world. That target audience needs a lock that works, with core components that add serious convenience. And no lock will serve this audience better than the Wyze Lock Bolt.
Wyze includes a deadbolt, a keypad and a fingerprint reader on its new lock. David Priest/CNET
What you get and what you don’t
The Wyze Lock Bolt is a fairly straightforward device. You replace your existing deadbolt lock with it, gaining an IPX5 weather-resistant, backlit keypad on the exterior and a thumb-turn on the interior. The keypad also includes a fingerprint scanner.
You connect to the lock via Bluetooth, setting it up on the Wyze app. Here you can set permanent or temporary entry codes (up to 20), add recognized fingerprints (up to 50) and check the lock history. In addition, you can set an autolock timer (ranging from 15 seconds to 15 minutes) or schedule times for locking or unlocking.
While the Bluetooth-only approach can lead to problems if someone isn’t able to get in while you’re away, Wyze gets around this by generating emergency single-use codes, so you can check them remotely and send them to someone who needs entry in case of emergency. Bluetooth also means longer battery life than Wi-Fi. Wyze says the Lock Bolt will last up to twelve months on four AA batteries, and if the lock does die while you’re out, you can plug in a USB-C charger to power it enough to input a passcode.
Energy efficiency aside, the lack of Wi-Fi connection means that you won’t have robust remote control or monitoring access to the Wyze Lock Bolt. You also won’t be able to use it with voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant, or to trigger routines in the Wyze app. That means you simply can’t treat the Wyze Lock Bolt in the same way you would a device that supports more of these integrations, like the August Smart Lock. While August’s is one of our favorite locks, though, it also costs more at $200.
Installing the Wyze Lock Bolt
If you already have a deadbolt installed in your door, installing the Wyze Lock Bolt takes less than half an hour. If you don’t have a deadbolt, Wyze includes a template for drilling the holes and a dust box to install in the doorjamb — which is more than most competitors that I’ve tested offer.
You can follow the paper guide or the video installation guide on the Wyze app. Both are easy to understand, and the installation is pretty painless, even if you’re not a particularly handy person like me.
Once you connect the app to your lock, you can add fingerprints and access codes. I appreciated that the app won’t even allow you choose an easy-to-guess code like 1234, which isn’t always the case for home security developers. For added security, when you enter the code, you can input any sequence of numbers as long as the four-digit PIN is included, and the door will unlock. That means you can obscure your actual code from prying eyes by simply adding more numbers before and after it.
I tested the Lock Bolt for most of a week, and my family, including a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, immediately grasped how to use it.
It was simple, and all the features worked as advertised. I quickly warmed to using my finger to unlock the door rather than a key — and you’ll have to be okay with that, since the Wyze Lock Bolt doesn’t include a keyhole.
Is the Wyze Lock Bolt for you?
If you’re looking for something to integrate more fully with your existing smart home, something that will respond to various voice assistants, will trigger connected lightbulbs or will send you notifications while you’re away on vacation, the Wyze Lock Bolt isn’t going to be for you.
But if you’re looking for a smart lock that adds convenience, and that you can set and forget, there aren’t many other devices on the market that will beat Wyze’s Lock Bolt for value. It offers solid design, admirable performance and rock-solid features.
If you want to read more about the other smart locks on the market, check out our list of the best smart locks of the year. If you’re interested in home security more generally, read more about home security systems.
Keyword: Wyze Lock Bolt Review: $70 Well Spent for a Simple, Smart Deadbolt>