Android & iOS Review

Yale Assure Lock 2, Plus, and Touch review: a smart lock for every smart home

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I would like three issues from a wise lock: a slim, enticing design, greater than two methods to regulate it, and the flexibility to hook up with my good residence, with no single-purpose Wi-Fi bridge taking on an outlet in my home. Yale’s flagship good lock collection, the Guarantee Lock 2, ticks all these bins. Plus, they work with all the main good residence platforms if you happen to add the fitting networking module, they usually now are available in fingerprint or Apple House Key variants.

The Yale Assure Lock 2 starts at $159.99, the Assure Lock 2 Touch (from $199.99) provides a fingerprint reader, and the Assure Lock 2 Plus (from $209.99) has Apple House Key. However you’ll be able to’t get each in a single lock, which is a disgrace, and Yale nonetheless hasn’t delivered on its promise of bringing Matter and Thread to its flagship locks.

Every lock within the collection is a full deadbolt substitute lock with the identical ultra-slim exterior, the keyed fashions being barely longer to make room for the keyway (total, it’s the smallest keypad good lock I’ve examined). All of them share a pleasant, neat rear housing containing the 4 AA batteries and thumb flip (that is additionally one of many smallest I’ve seen), they usually can all be managed with the built-in keypad or through Bluetooth utilizing the Yale Entry app (iOS or Android) or the Apple House app (together with Siri voice instructions).

Assist for different platforms comes through Yale’s ingenious swappable networking modules. The Wi-Fi module helps you to hook up with Amazon Alexa, Google House, and others, whereas the Z-Wave module is for Ring Alarm, Samsung SmartThings, and different Z-Wave programs. Yale has stated it should provide a module for Matter over Thread, but it surely’s been delayed pending higher assist for locks inside Matter.

How we price and evaluate merchandise
How we price and evaluate merchandise

Yale Guarantee Lock 2 good lock overview

The Guarantee Lock 2 line is available in a couple of configurations on high of the bottom fashions. Right here’s the present lineup:

I examined all three fashions, putting in the Contact on the entrance door (as fingerprint unlocking is my favourite entry technique and the most suitable choice for my youngsters), the Plus on the again door (which I exploit each morning whereas taking good care of my flock of chickens), and the Guarantee 2 on the door from our storage (I’d beforehand examined this on my entrance door, too). Whereas all three are wonderful locks, the Assure 2 Touch is my favourite as a result of fingerprint unlocking is the quickest, most dependable strategy to open a door. Whereas not completely hands-free, it by no means failed in my testing.

The Yale Guarantee 2 Contact and Yale Guarantee 2 Plus good locks.

The Guarantee 2 good locks are the slimmest, least obtrusive keypad good locks I’ve examined.

I discover fingerprint unlock extra dependable than House Key (my Apple Watch Sequence 6 is often useless by the point I get residence after a day trip); it’s additionally simpler than pulling my telephone out, and faster than typing in a code. Plus, my youngsters always remember their fingers or allow them to run out of battery.

Whereas Yale’s implementation is tremendous quick and dependable, the draw back is that the fingerprint reader is tiny and a little bit of a difficult goal. Establishing the fingerprint was additionally buggy. You do it via the Yale app, and it saved timing out on me, though it did finally work. You can also’t add a number of prints to a consumer; you need to create a brand new profile for every finger. I wish to register three or 4 fingerprints per particular person, two per hand. There’s additionally a restrict of 20 fingerprints.

The bottom Assure 2 at $159.99 is a superb choice if you are able to do with out a fingerprint reader, and also you additionally get a bodily keypad at that value. Whereas the touchscreen seems to be higher, it’s dearer and fewer intuitive to make use of. When you get the dangle of it, it’s responsive, and I’ve not had any points within the six months I examined the Guarantee 2, however the bodily keypad will likely be simpler for visitors to become familiar with (or renters if you happen to had been utilizing this for an AirBnB).

Unlocking the House Key-enabled Guarantee 2 Plus with my Apple Watch was very quick.

Utilizing the iPhone works promptly, too, and can work for a couple of hours after your telephone has run out of battery.

When you love the convenience of unlocking your door by merely tapping your Apple Watch or iPhone on the lock, the Assure 2 Plus ($209.99) with Apple Home Key does this very properly. However it’s disappointing there’s no fingerprint reader nor the choice of a bodily keyway (which you may get on the opposite two fashions). You can also’t get a bodily keypad — it is touchscreen solely. It does make it a sleek-looking lock, although, and it is fingers down the best-looking House Key lock with a built-in keypad.

In testing, House Key labored immediately to unlock the door. Utilizing my watch is my favourite technique, because it’s primarily hands-free (though twisting your wrist is a tad awkward). I want you could possibly share House Keys with folks outdoors your Apple House; at present the Apple House app solely helps you to share codes.

If you’re all in on Apple House, which is probably going if you’re utilizing House Key, then there’s no must pay $80 for the Wi-Fi module. Nevertheless, in my testing, locking and unlocking the Guarantee 2 Plus remotely simply utilizing Apple House — no Wi-Fi module — was much less dependable. It generally timed out and failed. This has occurred with different House Key locks I’ve examined, so it’s not particularly a Yale situation.

How we price and evaluate merchandise
How we price and evaluate merchandise

Yale Guarantee 2 lock options

Good residence connectivity

All three Guarantee 2 locks work over Bluetooth and might be managed with the Yale and Apple House apps out of the field. In case you have an Apple House hub (HomePod or Apple TV), you’ll be able to management your lock away from residence, however in any other case, you’ll want a Yale connectivity module, so as to add assist for different good residence platforms.

I examined the Wi-Fi Module ($80), which works with any Guarantee 2 lock and provides compatibility with extra platforms, together with Amazon Alexa, Google House, Samsung SmartThings (over Wi-Fi), Airbnb, and Philips Hue (to show your lights on while you unlock and off while you lock).

The Wi-Fi module for the Guarantee 2. There’s additionally a Z-Wave model, and a Matter / Thread choice is within the works.

Controlling the locks over Wi-Fi was noticeably slower than Bluetooth, taking about 10 seconds to reply, but it surely labored reliably. I might additionally lock and unlock with voice utilizing Alexa or Google (pin codes are required for unlocking) and add the lock to good residence Scenes and Routines.

A Z-Wave module works with the Guarantee 2 and Guarantee 2 Contact so as to add compatibility with Ring Alarm, Samsung SmartThings hubs, and different Z-Wave programs (on the expense of Wi-Fi; you’ll be able to’t have each). The Z-Wave module won’t work with the Guarantee 2 Plus. Yale says a Matter over Thread module will come in some unspecified time in the future to hook up with many of the above (hopefully).

All Entry

All three locks have built-in touchscreen keypads, apart from the bottom Guarantee 2 mannequin, which has a bodily keypad. The touchscreen keypad is matte and really clean-looking; it’s so unobtrusive that it’s a shock when the keys mild up.

The draw back is that it doesn’t mild up with a single contact. I found this at 6:30AM after I was rudely awoken by a loud banging on the door. My husband was again from work, and I hadn’t but educated him on the brand new lock. In his post-24-hour-shift exhaustion, he couldn’t determine the right way to get the keypad to point out up. 

I can’t keep in mind after I final used a bodily key to get into my residence

As I ought to have informed him earlier, he wanted to place his palm over the lock or press the Yale button to get the keypad to point out. (For the file, I hate branding on door locks; it’s one thing good locks have launched and must go away. My entrance door isn’t a billboard.) All of that is pointless. Simply let me faucet the display screen. If that sounds prefer it’ll be a difficulty for you, go for the usual keypad model on the Guarantee 2. It has bodily buttons that are much less discreet however simpler for everybody to make use of.

Whichever lock you employ, the Yale Entry app helps you to add limitless visitors to the lock and permit full app entry or give them a code and schedule the time they will use it. You get 250 codes, and you’ll revoke them anytime. It is value noting that you may’t schedule entry for anybody with a fingerprint on the Contact mannequin; it’s all entry for them.

All of the Guarantee 2 locks work with a DoorSense magnet that may inform you within the app in case your door is open or closed.

DoorSense is one other function obtainable on all of the locks; it’s arrange within the Yale Entry app and allows you to see if the door is open or closed earlier than locking it remotely — the locks include a magnetic contact sensor that’s straightforward to put in on the door body. The app can be the place you’ll be able to arrange auto-lock and auto-unlock and consider a log of each interplay with the door, together with who unlocked it and the way (except they use a key). 

The Yale app isn’t nice; it’s sluggish to load and never intuitive. Whereas the walkthrough for bodily putting in the lock is detailed and straightforward to comply with, the app makes little try to point out you the right way to arrange the lock’s options. With the Contact, it by no means prompted me to arrange fingerprints, so I needed to dig round to learn the way to do this (and, as famous, had bother getting it arrange). Having stated that, I’ve but to discover a good good lock app, and Yale’s is among the finest within the scheme of issues. The excellent news is when you’re set-up, you’ll hardly ever want to make use of the app.

All of the locks work with Yale’s auto-unlock function, which makes use of your telephone’s location and the lock’s Bluetooth radio to unlock the door while you strategy. That is by far the simplest technique, utterly hands-free, as your door routinely unlocks itself as you strategy… in concept.

I’ve been testing auto-unlock on Yale and August locks (August and Yale are sister corporations, and the locks share the identical apps) for years now, and when it really works, it’s nice, however it’s not reliable.

It fails about two occasions out of 10, in my expertise — and standing in entrance of your door for a couple of seconds ready for it to do its factor is past irritating. Right here’s the place I discover a fingerprint reader or House Key extra dependable and virtually as quick.

Putting in the Yale good lock was easy and took me about 10 minutes.

To key or to not key

The Guarantee 2 and Guarantee 2 Contact each have the choice of a bodily keyway. There’s no key on the Guarantee 2 Plus.

When you go for the keyed mannequin, which doesn’t value extra, Yale sells replacement cylinders for Schlage and Kwikset keyways and may key them to your current locks. However in case you have a number of exterior doorways, you don’t really want a keyhole on the one with the good lock, do you? I’ve been testing good door locks for over a decade, and I can’t keep in mind after I final used a bodily key to get into my residence. My teenage youngsters have by no means used one, as I came upon with some embarrassment after I dropped my son off at a university dorm for summer time camp.

The one state of affairs I can consider — past some catastrophic mechanical failure — is that if I managed to let the lock run out of battery. Even then, you’ll be able to jolt the Yale lock again to life with a 9-volt battery lengthy sufficient to enter your code.

Whereas retaining a 9-volt battery readily available feels weirder than sticking a spare key below a flower pot, it’s positively safer, and 9-volt batteries are simpler to get ahold of in a pinch.

The Yale Guarantee Lock 2 blends proper in on my entrance door. All three locks are available in three finishes — black suede, bronze, and satin nickel (bronze is coming quickly for the Plus).

Decide a lock

The Guarantee 2 line presents one thing for everybody. From a $160 lock with Apple House and auto-unlock to a $290 lock that does all that plus works with Apple’s House Key, Alexa, and Google House. However the $200 Guarantee Lock 2 Contact with a fingerprint reader is the lock I’d choose.

Whereas I’d wish to see a lock with House Key and a fingerprint reader, the fingerprint-only Guarantee 2 Contact will work properly for most individuals. It’s a superb good lock with a very good design that may mix in with most door {hardware}. It presents a number of straightforward and dependable methods to entry your door whereas ditching your keys, however you’ll use the fingerprint choice probably the most.

At $200, it’s additionally one of many least costly good locks that works with Apple House, so that you get away-from-home management if you have already got an iPhone and Apple House hub. When you’re an Android family, you’ll need to think about upgrading to the Wi-Fi module for good residence integrations and locking and unlocking outdoors of Bluetooth vary.

Virtually excellent

I do want Yale had one lock that did all of it — a keypad, fingerprint reader, keyed choice, and Apple House Key assist. After I requested Yale about this, it cited value; one lock that does all of it will likely be very costly. However there may be already a lock with all these options for below $200 — the Aqara U100 (it additionally helps Matter!).

Nevertheless, Yale’s lock feels sturdier than Aqara’s, and I don’t suggest Aqara’s for most individuals as its design could be very techie, and it wants an Aqara Zigbee hub for many of its options, which bumps up the value and complexity. (Although an Aqara U100 lock and M2 hub are nonetheless round $20 lower than any of the touchscreen Guarantee 2 locks with a Wi-Fi module.) 

The $200 Guarantee Lock 2 Contact with a fingerprint reader is the lock I’d choose

It’s additionally disappointing that there’s no Matter / Thread module for the Guarantee 2 but. The corporate’s causes for the delay make sense: Matter assist for locks is at present very restricted. Whereas I’m assured they’ll comply with via as soon as that adjustments (Yale already has one lock that supports Matter and Thread — a first-gen Guarantee lock, and it’s on the board of the group that runs the brand new normal) everyone knows to not purchase a product in the present day based mostly on the promise of a future replace.

I’m enthusiastic about this, although, as a result of the Thread connectivity might clear up the issues that plague most good locks in the present day — battery life (swapping your batteries out twice a yr is extra tiresome than it sounds), vary (I couldn’t management the Yale lock from my bed room over Bluetooth), responsiveness (Wi-Fi connectivity might be very sluggish), and the necessity for additional modules and bridges to regulate a lock remotely or with voice assistants.

However there may be nonetheless no good lock within the US with a fingerprint reader, House Key, a built-in keypad, and Thread/Matter connectivity — that’s kind of the Holy Grail of locks for me proper now. (The Schlage Encode at $300 has Thread, House Key, and Wi-Fi however no fingerprint reader and gained’t assist Matter.)

Most individuals will likely be very pleased with whichever of the Yale Guarantee 2 locks most closely fits their wants and funds, however when (okay, if) Yale releases its promised Matter / Thread module for the Guarantee 2, I’ll be first in line to check it.

Images by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

Replace October sixth, 2023, 10AM: This evaluate was initially printed on September twenty fourth, 2022 as a evaluate of the Guarantee Lock 2. We have up to date the evaluate following testing the brand new Guarantee Lock 2 Contact and Guarantee Lock 2 Plus.

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