Hands-on Gear Review

Kwikset Kevo Review

Did not deliver on promises in our during our testing
By: Max Mutter ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 4, 2018
Price:   $240 List  |  $201.07 at Amazon - 16% off
Pros:  Can use physical key when lock malfunctions
Cons:  Glitchy app, finicky keyless entry, Circuitous and unreliable remote access sharing
Manufacturer:   Kwikset
39
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 6
  • Smart Features - 35% 4
  • Keyless Entry - 25% 3
  • Security - 25% 4
  • Installation - 15% 5
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Our Verdict

Unfortunately our experience with the Kwikset Kevo left us with very few positive things to say about it. After a few weeks of glitchy keyless entry, failed attempts at remote access sharing, and many instances of the randomly crashing, we just can't recommend this lock to anyone. We think a $50 dumb keypad lock would be a better investment, or the Schlage Sense if you're sold on getting a lock with smart features.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Kwikset Kevo presented us with many difficulties in our testing, and failed to cancel those difficulties out with any endearing qualities.


Performance Comparison


The Kwikset Kevo was the worst lock we tested, failing to impress us in any capacity. If you're looking for a smart lock we would suggest that you steer clear.

Smart Features


The Kwikset Kevo checks off all the basic boxes when it comes to smart features, but those features generally don't come without major annoyances. The Kevo is compatible with Alexa (but not Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit), allows for remote locking and unlocking, and gives you an activity log of when the lock was opened and closed and by whom. However, we consistently ran into problems with the Kevo app crashing while we were using it, which made accessing any of these features difficult. These crashes were persistent on all of the iOS and Android devices we installed the app on, and this was a problem that we didn't encounter with any other smart lock apps.


Remote access sharing with the Kevo worked in our testing, but again not without some annoyances. You can easily share time constrained access through the app, but you can only send that invite via email. Also, once the recipient gets that email they have to download the Kwikset app and create an account before they can unlock the door. While this process technically worked in our testing, combining it with a glitchy, sometimes crashing app and a finicky keyless entry system was a less than pleasant experience.

Keyless Entry


Opening the Kevo without a key involves opening the app on your phone while within Bluetooth range of the lock, and then tapping the lock with your finger. This may add some convenience if you remember to open the app before you load up your arms with groceries, but otherwise the process felt no more convenient than pulling out a key and using that (luckily the Kevo lets you use a physical key as a backup).

This system is fine when it works, which in our experience was about half the time. The other half of the time we would tap the lock, wait a few seconds with nothing happening, tap again, and then resort to furiously tapping over and over until the lock finally unlocked. This made us wish we could just use a physical key instead, and would likely frustrate anyone that you remotely shared access with.


One of the times the Kevo's keylee entry worked as advertised. Unfortunately the frustrated tapping was already an ingrained behavior.

Security


The Kwikset Kevo has and ANSI Grade 2 security certification. This is one grade above the minimum requirements of a residential lock (the Schlage Sense occupies this grade), but one grade below the requirements of a commercial lock (the Schlage Camelot occupies this grade). This makes the Kevo physically more secure than the average residential lock, but it is not the most secure deadbolt you can get for your home. Notably the Kevo does not have any sort of auto lock feature, so you're just as likely to forget to lock it as you are with a dumb lock. The only advantage is the fact that you can check on its status remotely, and then lock it from your phone if you did in fact forget to do so on your way out the door.

The Kevo is slightly more secure than most residential locks.
The Kevo is slightly more secure than most residential locks.

Installation


We found the Kevo to be a bit finicky to install. Getting everything lined up and working was more difficult than with other locks. It took us a full 25 minutes to get it all seated properly, whereas most lock took 10-15 minutes. The app setup was also a bit glitchy, and the app crashed a couple of times while we were going through the setup process.

We found the installation process for the Kwikset Kevo to be somewhat slow and complicated.
We found the installation process for the Kwikset Kevo to be somewhat slow and complicated.

Value


The Kwikset Kevo costs $150, and requires purchasing an additional smart hub to use its smart features. Seeing as we found all these feature quite cumbersome and unreliable in day to day use, we find this to be a poor value.

Conclusion


We regret to say that the Kwikset Kevo is one of the very few products we've tested that really didn't show us any redeeming qualities.

Max Mutter

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