Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The $500 Lockly Vision Elite is a video doorbell and smart door lock in one

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Shreya Christina
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Smart door locks and video doorbells are useful for keeping an eye on and monitoring what’s happening at your front door. But few really work together, meaning you have two different apps or two different taps in your smart home app to both see a visitor and unlock (or lock) your door.

Smart door locksmith Lockly has a three-in-one solution to this problem: the $499 Lockly Vision Elite. A camera and doorbell built into a door lock, the Lockly Vision Elite launched this week and is the company’s successor Lockly Vision video smart lock.

The Vision Elite has a number of improvements over its predecessor, including full 1080p HD video, a wider viewing angle, night vision and a motion sensor. It also has a new integrated solar panel for trickle charging the lithium battery (the first generation used eight AA batteries). It also costs $100 more.

As a smart lock, the Lockly Vision Elite is a complete replacement for deadbolts operated by a key, an app, the built-in keypad or the fingerprint sensor. The keyboard has a rotating display to confuse anyone looking over your shoulder trying to guess your code, and it works with offline passcodes so your visitor doesn’t have to download an app to get in.

The Lockly Vision Elite has an adjustable solar panel that covers the keyhole of the lock.
Image: Lockly

The lock also has a fingerprint reader and a small “doorbell” button.
Image: Lockly

The Lockly app allows you to remotely lock and unlock the door once it is connected to Wi-Fi using the included plug-in hub. An integrated door sensor tells you if your door is open or closed and the lock can be programmed to lock automatically.

The video doorbell component consists of a very small button on the keypad that activates the doorbell. There is two-way audio to talk to your visitor and all recordings are stored locally in the lock. This means that there are no cloud storage costs. The door lock works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

I have the first generation Lockly Vision tested and was largely impressed, but the new model has some significant improvements – namely higher resolution video, night vision and wider view. But most importantly, it now has a motion sensor. Previously, you had to rely on someone pressing a little button on the door lock to trigger the camera to record, something that, when I tried it out, absolutely no one ever did.

The Lockly Vision and Lockly Vision Elite are the only smart video locks currently available in the US. I’m still not sure if it’s because they cornered the market or because this whole concept just doesn’t work as well as two separate specialty products. After reviewing the original Lockly Vision, my recommendation was to buy it only if there was a limitation that prevented you from installing both a smart doorbell and lock on your door.

However, Eufy recently announced the $399 Eufy Security Video Smart Lock, a model with similar capabilities to the Lockly, and I’m curious to see if any of these new models make this category more appealing. One major difference I can already see is that the Eufy has its fingerprint sensor on top of the lock; Lockly’s is still on the right. When I tested the original Lockly Vision, I couldn’t access the fingerprint reader because the lock bumped too close to my door frame. I plan to test both models and will report back with a full review.

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