Kwikset Premis Review: Smart HomeKit Deadbolt

The Kwikset Premis is a smart lock from a well-known lock maker that allows you to lock and unlock a door using Siri, get notifications when your door is locked an unlocked and manage users. It also has an easy to use keypad with a feature that helps keep your home more secure.

We’ve been testing the Kwikset Premis on our back door for a while now and after living with this and the Schlage Sense, can help you decide if this is the best smart lock for your home.

Kwikset offers a number of smart locks, but the Premis is the one you want to get if you love using HomeKit to manage your smart home. The Kwikset Premis is $229 at Amazon and Best Buy.

Kwikset Premis Smart Deadbolt
The Kwikset Premis is a smart deadbolt that works with Apple Homekit and includes a smart security feature when you unlock with a code.
Pros
Easy Installation.
Voice, app and keypad unlock options.
Support for many users and timed access.
Keypad prevents fingerprints from giving away your code.
Cons
No Android Support
Keypad easier to use on Schlage Sense

Like most smart locks, this is one that you can use with your phone or with voice control, but you don’t have to use them to unlock. There is a keypad on the front and there is a standard key so you have many options to unlock your home. We like that the keypad allows you to add other users easily, and limit access so you can give a neighbor access with a special code that you turn on only when they need to let a dog out.

When you connect this lock to HomeKit and you have an Apple TV 3 or newer in the house you can even get alerts on your iPhone when the door is locked or unlocked when you are gone. It’s very handy for keeping an eye on your home or for simply knowing when someone gets home from work or school.

A highly visible touch screen and modern design greet visitors.
A highly visible touch screen and modern design greet visitors.

Installing the Kwikset Premis is straightforward and something most users can do on their own. There are no instructions in the packaging other than to install the Kwikset app and follow a video instruction or a PDF you can view on your iPhone. We’d prefer a printed set of instructions for easier use and for referring back to a step, but overall this took about 20 minutes including removing the old lock and making some minor modifications to the area where the doorplate sits.

Even if you have not replaced a deadbolt before you should be able to make this a weekend DIY project if you have a screwdriver and a little patience. The small cord that attaches the keypad to the controller board and batteries is a little shorter than on the Schlage, so you may want a second set of hands to help hold things while you finalize the installation.

The lock looks nice and features a very modern design. It’s easy to use the large tumbler inside to lock the door. We choose a matching doorknob for below it without a key. We’ve found that if you have a smart doorlock and you also have a key for the bottom doorknob you will at some point lock the doorknob and potentially lock yourself out until you find your key.

The interior is bigger than a traditional deadbolt, but it is not too big.
The interior is bigger than a traditional deadbolt, but it is not too big.

To use the lock, you can unlock using Siri or by opening the app. The iPhone can connect to the lock via Bluetooth or over the Internet if you have a 3rd generation or newer Apple TV. You can also use the touchpad on the outside to unlock it using codes that you set up in the Kwikset app. You can add up to 30 users and connect up to 15 iOS devices. Once you set a code for a user they can simply enter it on the touchpad without needing to use Siri or a phone, which is great for kids. Each kid can have their own code.

One unique feature is that you need to either press tow random digits or put your palm across the screen. This creates additional touches and prevents someone from looking at where fingerprints are on the screen to guess your passcode. The Schlage Sense does not have this feature. The buttons are slightly easier to press on the Schlage Sense.

Control the lock with the Kwikset app or with Siri.
Control the lock with the Kwikset app or with Siri.

With the App you can see the unlock history and you can manage the lock to set it to auto lock after a specific period. This is handy if someone in your house always forgets to lock the door. So far the battery life is good, which is important considering you will need to use a screwdriver to replace the batteries in this model. They should last six months with moderate use.

Ultimately you’ll be looking at deciding between the Kwikset Premis vs Schlage Sense. Both of these smart locks offer plenty of users, remote access, voice control and look nice. Schalge now supports Android, while the Kwikset Premis is an iPhone only affair. We like both of these locks, and are split on looks. I like the Kwikset Premis design more, while my wife prefers the Schlage Sense.

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