Review: Kwikset Premis HomeKit lock chews through batteries, disappoints

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 42
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 770editor

    webmonger said:
    nhughes said:
    etc etc etc 
    A whopping two comments on your account, but you seem to think you have a lot of historical perspective on where AI has been and where it is going. 

    This is post is in violation of a number of our commenter guidelines, including insulting the author and disparaging the site. You're right, I think it's time for you to stop commenting. Two was enough. 
    You forgot the "Boom!!  Drop mic..."  at the end there. 

    But more seriously..  It seems that all of these products are just "ok" with none of them being spectacular enough to make everyone run out and get one.  In concept absolutely, in final execution, not even close.  I am sorry but my current deadbolt requires no maintenance, no hassles, no needing to babysit it every 2-3 months, no quirks as they key always works.  I don't have to check it periodically or be worried that someone with only the bluetooth key can't get in.  So if everyone has to have a physical key just in case...  then this thing is just a novelty and misses the point. It is never going to reinvent the category and dominate with this level of performance.  I suppose that is why Apple is Apple.  If it doesn't work beyond just checking the satisfactory boxes, they don't ship it.  

    Sure, I casually read reviews on these products so maybe i missed the killer device. If i did please share which i should look at.  But i doubt it. There is always some quirk and the battery life sucks on all of them. Sorry but even a battery change twice a year means it is not dependable enough.  These things are still for the early adopters and tinkerers.  

    As I said earlier, I've had my Schlage Sense for a little while now, and I am extremely happy with it. I seriously haven't had any issues regarding battery life or performance. I add and remove guest keys all of the time to allow visitors access to my apartment, and none of them have had problems getting into my place either. As a connected lock + keypad it works perfectly for me.

    Strangely, not everyone has had the same experience — check the user reviews online. Even Victor had issues with the Schlage Sense.

    I swapped my batteries for the first time last week, even though the battery life was still around 25 percent. Replacing them was extremely simple — I just popped off a plastic cover, slid out the battery tray, and swapped batteries. I was done in under a minute.

    I wonder if people who experience battery drain and connectivity issues are encountering wireless interference over Bluetooth. My apartment is quite small, so my Apple TV is not very far from the lock. I've changed codes on the door both at home and remotely countless times now, and never had an issue. And I've never had a guest locked out.

    Is it a killer device? I'm hesitant to say that, because other people's experiences have been so awful. But my experience has been essentially flawless, so who knows. For me it's a great HomeKit addition.
  • Reply 22 of 42
    jayword said:
    YMMV I switched to Kwikset Premis a month or so ago from Schlage Sense because the Schlage Sense ate at least 5 sets of batteries in a month. By the end after Schlage replaced it with a new unit to try to correct the issue, the new one ate battery sets in < 2 days.

    Needless to say, I'm on battery set 1 with Premis still, and the battery readout says 85% so I'm not concerned.

    I can't surmise what caused the reviewer's issue, but I would say my overall experience (even excluding battery) was significantly better with Premis than Sense. That may be influenced as well by the fact every other lock in my house is Kwikset so it was nice to have an easily keyed lock to everything else, and it matches perfectly. I strongly recommend Premis at 4 stars and Sense at 2 stars due to the same battery issue. But even without that, the Sense would have been 3 stars.
    I installed 3 Schlage Sense units on our house 3 years ago and average about a year between battery replacement.  This is the older non homekit compatible version though.  Was yours the newer homekit version?

    I ask because I was thinking of replacing the front door unit with the homekit version. 
  • Reply 23 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,961member
    These electronic locks wil never gain serious traction unless they can be hardwired into the electrical system.

    We purchased a bunch of commercial-grade electronic locks for external doors of an apartment building and while functionally they are great, we got so fed up with having to install new batteries every few months - a LOT of them - that we simply bought 5v AC adaptors and wired them into the electrical system.  Case closed.

    the market is ripe for a vendor to make easy tools to drill the proper holes in doors for the cabling, or for door manufacturers to include conduit inside the door so that this is no longer an issue.

    its extremely wasteful to keep replacing batteries.  The battery companies must love it
    though!! 
  • Reply 24 of 42
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 770editor
    jayword said:
    YMMV I switched to Kwikset Premis a month or so ago from Schlage Sense because the Schlage Sense ate at least 5 sets of batteries in a month. By the end after Schlage replaced it with a new unit to try to correct the issue, the new one ate battery sets in < 2 days.

    Needless to say, I'm on battery set 1 with Premis still, and the battery readout says 85% so I'm not concerned.

    I can't surmise what caused the reviewer's issue, but I would say my overall experience (even excluding battery) was significantly better with Premis than Sense. That may be influenced as well by the fact every other lock in my house is Kwikset so it was nice to have an easily keyed lock to everything else, and it matches perfectly. I strongly recommend Premis at 4 stars and Sense at 2 stars due to the same battery issue. But even without that, the Sense would have been 3 stars.
    I installed 3 Schlage Sense units on our house 3 years ago and average about a year between battery replacement.  This is the older non homekit compatible version though.  Was yours the newer homekit version?

    I ask because I was thinking of replacing the front door unit with the homekit version. 
    Yep, mine is HomeKit. Works great. Even with 8 months of battery life (without pushing it past that last 25%), I'm pleased. 
  • Reply 25 of 42
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 770editor
    sflocal said:
    These electronic locks wil never gain serious traction unless they can be hardwired into the electrical system.

    We purchased a bunch of commercial-grade electronic locks for external doors of an apartment building and while functionally they are great, we got so fed up with having to install new batteries every few months - a LOT of them - that we simply bought 5v AC adaptors and wired them into the electrical system.  Case closed.

    the market is ripe for a vendor to make easy tools to drill the proper holes in doors for the cabling, or for door manufacturers to include conduit inside the door so that this is no longer an issue.

    its extremely wasteful to keep replacing batteries.  The battery companies must love it
    though!! 
    As someone who used to own a Sega Game Gear, 8+ months of battery life out of four AA batteries on the Schlage Sense is pretty great. 
  • Reply 26 of 42
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Recommendation: use the damn conventional locks, no battery to replace ir any concern whatsoever! Smart Lock is the most gimmicky smart gadget of all.
  • Reply 27 of 42
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    fallenjt said:
    Recommendation: use the damn conventional locks, no battery to replace ir any concern whatsoever! Smart Lock is the most gimmicky smart gadget of all.
    Smart locks are awesome for kids that lose keys, guests, housekeepers and folks that like to go running without needing to worry about carrying keys.

    Are they perfect? No.  But neither are they gimmicks.
    StrangeDaysjust cruisinmacgui
  • Reply 28 of 42
    I have to chime in. First of all, rewinding and fast-forwarding through a YouTube video is hardly "guesswork." Making use of the duration time and the scrub-bar makes the process a bit more accurate than that. I get that replacing batteries every six weeks is sub-par performance for a 'smart' lock set but I wouldn't consider removing and replacing three screws and replacing a battery to be particularly onerous. The review initially comments that Kwikset's solution to the fingerprint on gloss surface number pad to be "a nice one." The conclusion then states that in certain instances (arms full) it's "a none-starter." Huh? I'm not sure that conclusion is warranted anyway. I'm guessing that if you can punch in four numbers (or whatever) two additional can't be that big of a deal. I'm not defending all the comments, but FOUR editorial responses? Wow.
    thejokell
  • Reply 29 of 42
    Daniel_ScottDaniel_Scott Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I had similar problems until I removed the metal adapter between the outside lock and the door. Everything still fits snugly but there is no more friction, grinding, or getting stuck. That may also help with the battery.
  • Reply 30 of 42
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    I like the idea of a smart lock, particularly one that knows to unlock based on proximity to your approaching device (reminds me of the early Tesla models that would pop out their door handles as you approached). But as this article points out, I really don’t like the idea of having to worry about yet another set of batteries to replace. Are there any lock systems that work on mains power? Maybe the deadbolt itself could be the conduit for said power. That’d dissuade lock pickers, for sure.  :p
  • Reply 31 of 42
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,840member
    When we bought our home a couple years ago and started to remodel, I was kind of excited about the smart-home possibilities.

    Well, our home is still pretty darn dumb. Everything I looked at had huge flaws, and it makes one wonder if the people actually designing these things even own homes or live in the real world.

    This brand was the best I saw, as well, but too limited and didn't even connect to anything else until recently. The Nest smoke-alarm, from what I've read, is a nightmare. The Nest thermostat (aside from being of little use to the average person) has major design flaws as well, which could end up ruining your home or AC system unless you happen to live in the Bay Area.

    I think the stuff that more interests me these days, would be trying to implement stuff like smart-blinds or an exhaust fan that could get some free 'air-conditioning' in the evenings once the outside temp drops below the inside (but the latter is more a problem of home modification, as the tech is insanely easy).

    But, for a lot of the best stuff technology can do, the whole building industry needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into this century.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 32 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    sflocal said:
    These electronic locks wil never gain serious traction unless they can be hardwired into the electrical system.

    We purchased a bunch of commercial-grade electronic locks for external doors of an apartment building and while functionally they are great, we got so fed up with having to install new batteries every few months - a LOT of them - that we simply bought 5v AC adaptors and wired them into the electrical system.  Case closed.

    the market is ripe for a vendor to make easy tools to drill the proper holes in doors for the cabling, or for door manufacturers to include conduit inside the door so that this is no longer an issue.

    its extremely wasteful to keep replacing batteries.  The battery companies must love it
    though!! 
    I agree...
    All of these products have the fatal flaw of putting all the active, operating parts on the door.   Not only does it look ugly (no matter how shiny the face plate is), but that restricts their functionality and power.

    Commercial locks are often magnetic where the only thing on the door is a steel plate and all the operating parts are on the wall wired into A/C current.   If losing A/C power is a problem, then a rechargeable battery could easily be added since size is much less of an issue if it is mounted in or on a wall rather than the door.
  • Reply 33 of 42
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,148member
    nhughes said:
    Nothing wrong with only having a few posts. Just don't insult the author, or the site. We have no interest in hosting those kinds of comments, as it cheapens the discussion, and drives away new visitors or first-time commenters who want to engage.
    Hear, hear. I wish more sites were this proactive.
  • Reply 34 of 42
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,148member
    nht said:
    fallenjt said:
    Recommendation: use the damn conventional locks, no battery to replace ir any concern whatsoever! Smart Lock is the most gimmicky smart gadget of all.
    Smart locks are awesome for kids that lose keys, guests, housekeepers and folks that like to go running without needing to worry about carrying keys.

    Are they perfect? No.  But neither are they gimmicks.
    They're still somewhat in infancy but they have great promise. Just like cellphones and electric starters for cars.

    Also, they can be a great help to physically impaired— say someone who's mobility is limited by shrapnel from a ChiCom mortar shell or any other unfortunate circumstance. 

  • Reply 35 of 42
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,148member
    I'm interested in the August lock because it's HomeKit compatible and it will install on my door with no additional drilling, a mandatory feature.

    Another plus is the fact that it doesn't have a keypad, although a separate one is optional. The keypad is a giveaway that there's a BT lock, and while not likely, it might be hacked were someone looking for a challenge. 

    There are already a dozen ways to get past most home security, especially locksets and even deadbolts. I'd just as soon not advertise that one more has been added.
  • Reply 36 of 42
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,035member

    VMarks,

    First, I can not believe you hack your door to make this lock work, you know the easiest thing to do was to not put in the bottom screw. However, this does point to a fundamental issue with designers and we see it all the time. They do not actually use the product they way most people would. I bet the guy who design the thing had one in a mock up on his desk with out the door knob just below it, He probably only had the smartlock and nothing else.

    The other thing about this and your door definitely show signs of this, most people are not going to want to hack up their door to install one of these. It look like you live in an apartment so you probably doe not care what your front door looks like. But I for one will not put screw holes into my door just to mount one of these things, in side of my door is nice wood. None of these follow a standard like the lock set so if this one fails in a few year the next one may not look the same and mount completely differently and show all the mess created by the last one. Also, my deadbolt and lock set work together and have a common metal plate on the out side so these things would look ugly against them.

    Lastly, you bondo work need some improvement. This is come from a guy who use to restore cars.



  • Reply 37 of 42
    svanthem said:
    I have to chime in. First of all, rewinding and fast-forwarding through a YouTube video is hardly "guesswork." Making use of the duration time and the scrub-bar makes the process a bit more accurate than that. I get that replacing batteries every six weeks is sub-par performance for a 'smart' lock set but I wouldn't consider removing and replacing three screws and replacing a battery to be particularly onerous. The review initially comments that Kwikset's solution to the fingerprint on gloss surface number pad to be "a nice one." The conclusion then states that in certain instances (arms full) it's "a none-starter." Huh? I'm not sure that conclusion is warranted anyway. I'm guessing that if you can punch in four numbers (or whatever) two additional can't be that big of a deal. I'm not defending all the comments, but FOUR editorial responses? Wow.
    100% agreed with this comment. I own the Kwikset Premis and found this review to be very confusing. The box that came with mine was well packaged and items were in their own sections and properly labeled. Instructions in the box clearly said to download the app. I'm just as confused as to how the "nice" number pad fingerprint solution is then listed as a negative in the conclusion. 

    Also, what is with the "raining or hands are full with groceries" downside to entering the numbers? Isn't that the same for any keypad? And isn't that why you buy a home kit compatible lock so you can just ask Siri to open the door???

    I'm on my first set of batteries and just checked - 70% and I've had it installed for almost two months. 

    I think AppleInsider needs to take another look at this "review."
  • Reply 38 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,464administrator
    thejokell said:
    svanthem said:
    I have to chime in. First of all, rewinding and fast-forwarding through a YouTube video is hardly "guesswork." Making use of the duration time and the scrub-bar makes the process a bit more accurate than that. I get that replacing batteries every six weeks is sub-par performance for a 'smart' lock set but I wouldn't consider removing and replacing three screws and replacing a battery to be particularly onerous. The review initially comments that Kwikset's solution to the fingerprint on gloss surface number pad to be "a nice one." The conclusion then states that in certain instances (arms full) it's "a none-starter." Huh? I'm not sure that conclusion is warranted anyway. I'm guessing that if you can punch in four numbers (or whatever) two additional can't be that big of a deal. I'm not defending all the comments, but FOUR editorial responses? Wow.
    100% agreed with this comment. I own the Kwikset Premis and found this review to be very confusing. The box that came with mine was well packaged and items were in their own sections and properly labeled. Instructions in the box clearly said to download the app. I'm just as confused as to how the "nice" number pad fingerprint solution is then listed as a negative in the conclusion. 

    Also, what is with the "raining or hands are full with groceries" downside to entering the numbers? Isn't that the same for any keypad? And isn't that why you buy a home kit compatible lock so you can just ask Siri to open the door???

    I'm on my first set of batteries and just checked - 70% and I've had it installed for almost two months. 

    I think AppleInsider needs to take another look at this "review."
    As I mentioned before, your experiences don't match our reviewers. That doesn't nullify the experience that Victor had with the lock.

    While I'm glad you like your lock, and am also glad that you posted your opinion of it, we're not here to validate anybody's purchase.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 39 of 42
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member
    thejokell said:
    svanthem said:
    I have to chime in. First of all, rewinding and fast-forwarding through a YouTube video is hardly "guesswork." Making use of the duration time and the scrub-bar makes the process a bit more accurate than that. I get that replacing batteries every six weeks is sub-par performance for a 'smart' lock set but I wouldn't consider removing and replacing three screws and replacing a battery to be particularly onerous. The review initially comments that Kwikset's solution to the fingerprint on gloss surface number pad to be "a nice one." The conclusion then states that in certain instances (arms full) it's "a none-starter." Huh? I'm not sure that conclusion is warranted anyway. I'm guessing that if you can punch in four numbers (or whatever) two additional can't be that big of a deal. I'm not defending all the comments, but FOUR editorial responses? Wow.
    100% agreed with this comment. I own the Kwikset Premis and found this review to be very confusing. The box that came with mine was well packaged and items were in their own sections and properly labeled. Instructions in the box clearly said to download the app. I'm just as confused as to how the "nice" number pad fingerprint solution is then listed as a negative in the conclusion. 

    Also, what is with the "raining or hands are full with groceries" downside to entering the numbers? Isn't that the same for any keypad? And isn't that why you buy a home kit compatible lock so you can just ask Siri to open the door???

    I'm on my first set of batteries and just checked - 70% and I've had it installed for almost two months. 

    I think AppleInsider needs to take another look at this "review."
    As I mentioned before, your experiences don't match our reviewers. That doesn't nullify the experience that Victor had with the lock.

    While I'm glad you like your lock, and am also glad that you posted your opinion of it, we're not here to validate anybody's purchase.
    If multiple users report a different experience then most likely you had a bad unit for review.  Rather than multiple overly defensive posts over a poorly written review of a HomeKit device that mentions Siri only once in passing, the kwikset app not at all nor how well (or poorly) it works with the HomeKit app. 

    Other reviews also touched on how well it resisted brute force attacks, bumping and lock picking.

    So from a basic lock review perspective this review was worthless.

    And more damnably, from a HomeKit perspective where you would expect AppleInsider to spend more time addressing vs other sites because, you know it's an Apple related tech site, it is also worthless.

    Congrats on jumping on the bandwagon to defend an epic fail of a HomeKit device review.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 40 of 42
    derekknightderekknight Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I've got the same lock.  Installed it on July 3.  

    Going into our third month, we are going strong on the same set of batteries.  Software reports 60% available but I suspect it is down to 30% or 20%.  I feel like the hardware that polls the batteries is not that sophisticated and it can only report battery life in broad increments.

    As for usage, I was out of the country for 5 weeks.  In that time I had a house sitter and daily dog walker (3 times a day), so the lock was used extensively.  I'm actually surprised I haven't had to rotate the batteries yet.  So far that's not been my issue.  Paired with an Arlo Q camera (in the living room, of course), I could keep an eye on the hired dog walker and my naughty pups in the few hours they were alone.

    I had an install issue caused by poor quality control.  I actually had to dismantle the lock to correct an alignment issue.  This was BAD and others had to do the same thing so shame on Kwikset for not pulling the affected batches of product.

    I also have an issue concerning the keypad operation.  When tapping on the touch screen to wake it from outside, my unit takes 12 full long seconds to wake up before it will accept input.  Since I use Siri and Homekit (AppleTV is required), which I love, the keypad issue only inconveniences guests.  Speaking of love, I really like the notifications when the lock is used.  And we like the auto-lock feature.

    The lock doesn't support Alexa, yet.  To me this is a good thing because it prevents somebody yelling through my door, "Alexa, unlock the front door."

    The quality control issue is the real shame here.  It's obvious a lot of love and engineering went into this product, so to see a stumble in the final assembly/QA process, it kind of sucks for the whole team that designed and engineered this nice lock!  This can be fixed and should be addressed right away by Kwikset.

    We really like the unit.  The battery life has been acceptable for us so far.  It's nice to have the app, multiple combos, timed access and a log of accesses.  I felt I was somewhat in control even though I was across the ocean!

    If the price were about $180, I would enthusiastically recommend.  At $200 it would be a decent deal.  The retail price is a bit high in my opinion.  I paid full price.  After a few weeks of use, any thought of returning this product were easily dismissed.

    Still, it's a capable unit that supports Homekit.  There's not many units that do that yet.  

    Hope this helps others make their choice!  


    edited September 2017
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