Home Technology Wyze Lock Bolt Brings Biometric Unlock For Under $70

Wyze Lock Bolt Brings Biometric Unlock For Under $70

Wyze Lock Bolt Brings Biometric Unlock For Under $70

Wyze’s latest product is sort of a starting point for the smart home business. The Wyze carriage bolt is a smart lock that ditches cloud connectivity in favor of local control via 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 keeping with Wyze’s reputation for quality technology at rock bottom prices. The lack of an internet connection may be a wise move for Wyze at this point, given the recent controversy surrounding the company’s failure to disclose a security flaw with its original cloud-connected Wyze Cam.

Available today, the Wyze Lock Bolt is a motorized deadbolt that can be unlocked with your fingerprint or by entering a code on the integrated, backlit keypad. The lock has two accessible parts: a keypad/fingerprint reader mounted on the front of your door and a rear housing where the batteries and motor are located. It doesn’t have the ability to use a traditional key; you program codes and fingerprints for the lock via 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 5m of the Bluetooth 5.0 radio (i.e. on the couch or maybe in your car in the driveway). Furthermore, there is no WiFi or other connectivity and therefore no smart home integration. You can’t add the lock to home automation routines, lock or unlock it when you’re not at home, or control it with voice assistants.

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

The lack of any connectivity outside of Bluetooth helps keep the price down; most smart door locks run from $150 to over $300. For example, the comparable Eufy Smart Lock Touch with WiFi is $220, and Kwikset’s Smart Fingerprint / Keyed In Option costs $240. Wyze’s other smart lock, the Wyze lock costs $130. It uses Zigbee and Wi-Fi to enable smart home integration, such as adding the lock to a Goodnight routine or letting Alexa or Google Assistant lock the door with a voice command. However, that lock is not a complete replacement for the deadbolt, it is an addition to your existing deadbolt.

Fingerprint access is my preferred option for a smart door lock; it’s a much faster way to unlock the door than typing a code, and Wyze says the lock unlocks in under a second. The Wyze Bolt can store up to 50 prints locally on the lock, in addition to 20 keypad codes. The keypad also has an anti-beep feature – where you can add some random extra digits to either side of your code, in case someone is looking over your shoulder.

The Wyze app can record who has accessed the lock, how and when, which can be useful to keep track of the comings and goings in your home. (Although you will only get that information when you are at home, within Bluetooth range). The 20 access codes and 50 fingerprints can be assigned to different people and you can schedule access for specific days or times of the day.

The rear housing of the lock allows manual operation of the deadbolt.
Image: Wyze

It runs on 4 AA batteries which Wyze says will power it for up to a year.
Image: Wyze

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

A lack of outside control can be a deal breaker, as a big advantage of a smart lock is that you can lock and unlock it remotely. But Wyze has partially addressed this with a new “One-Time Code Algorithm” that allows you to remotely generate a code in the Wyze app and give it to anyone at your door for them to unlock. These can even be generated outside of Bluetooth range, similar to how two-factor codes can be generated offline to give someone access.

The door is locked with a traditional knob on the inside and a lock knob on the outside. You can also use the app when you’re within Bluetooth range, and there’s an auto-lock option that automatically locks the door after a custom period. You can disable the auto-lock for certain hours, but there’s no door detection technology to determine if your door is open or closed, so it will still “lock” your deadbolt even if the door is wide open.

Launching a smart door lock that lacks some of the key features of a smart door lock is an odd move for a smart home company. But for those homeowners reluctant to put their home security online, the Wyze Lock Bolt makes it easier to ditch the keys in favor of a good selection of easy, secure ways to unlock your door. It is also competitively priced. Standard, disconnected keypad deadbolts from Schlage or Kwikset runs about $100and you have to program these manually and they don’t have the option of a fingerprint reader which is the easiest and fastest way to unlock your door.