What is the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0?
Keys have an enduring popularity. So much so that most people will hesitate to replace a key lock with a smart one, despite the latter offering some clear benefits. The Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is slightly different, combining the best of both worlds.
Designed for UK Oval or EU cylinder locks, such as those used on multipoint locks, it works with your existing keys, rather than replacing them entirely. With a wireless keypad upgrade, key fobs, Apple HomeKit and Alexa and Google Assistant support, this lock integrates into your smart home well.
A large body and manual controls on the rear mean that it isn’t ideal for use in all locations, however.
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Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 – Design and build quality
Rather than replacing your existing lock, the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is designed to fit onto an existing door. You first fit in a key and then stick the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 to the mounting panel around the lock; the smart lock then turns your existing key.
Fitting the lock into place took a matter of minutes using the sticky back of the mounting plate. Once in place, my lock was securely attached to the rear of the door. That’s a far quicker installation than the Yale Conexis L1, which must replace your existing lock and handle.
The Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is quite bulky (110 x 60 x 60mm). I found it wouldn’t work on all outward-opening doors, bashing against the door frame. Inward-opening doors should be fine, however. Once in place, you have the option of adding in a key fob and wireless keypad for entry.
Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 – Features
One of the key benefits of the Nuke Smart Lock 2.0 is that you can operate it from inside your home. Just tap the button and the lock will automatically turn your key to lock or unlock your door. A double-tap turns on the Lock ‘n’ Go feature: the door is unlocked and locks again 20 seconds later, so you can quickly go out.
If the 2xAA batteries run dry, or the lock stops responding, you can just turn the handle manually yourself.
That’s a neat way of using the lock, since you don’t have to scramble for your phone to get out of your house. However, ensure that you don’t have easy access to the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 from outside, either through a fragile window or letterbox, as a criminal could easily unlock your door.
From the front of your door, you have a normal lock, which you can use with your standard key as a handy backup. Again, this is useful, as if things go wrong then it’s still possible to get into your home the normal way.
It isn’t always that easy to use a key, however. With my door, I found that I had to give the key a bash from the outside to dislodge the key connected to the Nuki before I could unlock it. Resetting the lock meant taking the Nuko Smart Lock 2.0 off and reinserting the key.
That’s a minor inconvenience compared to the Yale Conexis L1, which requires a 9V battery for temporary power and a locksmith if things go really wrong.
More likely, you’ll want to control the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 in a smarter way, which means connecting it to your phone Bluetooth. At its simplest, the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 can be operated via the app when you’re within Bluetooth range. It’s a handy backup but not that practical, taking time to unlock your phone, open the app and set the unlock option.
You can set the auto-unlock feature, which preps the app when you get within 100 metres of your door; the app unlocks your door when you’re within range. In my experience, this worked most of the time with my iPhone. However, there were a few occasions when it failed: sometimes, Apple’s power-saving stops the app from responding, and I had to manually turn the phone on first.
You can invite new users to your lock, prompting them to download the app. User access can be restricted to certain times of the day, which is handy if you want to give access to workmen or a cleaner.
As handy as the app is, I found it easier to use the key fobs. You can have your lock open automatically with a quick click of a button, which is a far more practical solution.
For backup, you can add a weatherproof keypad, which sticks where you want it. This requires a six-digit PIN. There’s no “0” key to prevent people from entering dates of birth or other easy-to-guess codes. Multiple codes can be added to the keypad, so you can give out a temporary code if you need to.
Since the lock is Bluetooth-only at the moment, there are two options for remote control. First, you can use Apple HomeKit. Provided you have an Apple TV or Apple HomePod nearby, these will automatically unlock the lock remotely. Alternatively, you can buy the Nuki Bridge, which connects to the web to provide remote access.
Zigbee is also supported, although this feature hasn’t been enabled yet. Once turned on, the lock could theoretically integrate with other systems, such as Samsung SmartThings.
Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 – Performance
I found the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 worked well, turning my key to unlock the door each time. The main issue is that to get it to lock my multi-point door, I had to have lifted the handle right the way up; if you don’t, the lock says it’s jammed and it may not be locked.
That’s a common problem with this type of product, and is down to the way multi-point locks work. There’s no way around the issue, so there’s still some manual effort required to lock your door. In this regard, this is one area where the Yale Conexis L1 is better – when you lift the handle, it locks automatically, so you don’t require an additional step.
There’s a bundled door sensor in the box, which can tell you when your door is open or closed. If you turn on the feature, you can have your door lock automatically when it’s closed. However, note that the same limitation applies for multi-point locks: you’ll have to have lifted the handle for this feature to work.
Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 – Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit
To use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant you’ll need the Nuki Bridge, since this provides a way for the smart assistants to interact with your lock. Both assistants support locking your door, although if you have a multi-point lock then you’ll need to have raised the handle first.
Google Assistant doesn’t support unlocking right now, although Amazon Alexa does, provided that you also say your PIN out loud.
Siri support is far more powerful. Using the Home app, you can lock or unlock your door. If you use Siri on your phone, you can lock and unlock the door. Using a HomePod, you can lock the door, but unlocking requires you to authenticate using your phone.
Once in the Home app, your Nuki lock can be used in Automations – say, turning off compatible lights, such as Philips Hue bulbs, when you lock the door. That’s powerful but I’d like to see Zigbee support enabled for integration into other smart home platforms.
Why buy the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0?
If you’re looking for a simple and smart upgrade to your door lock, the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is a great tool. Unlike previous smart locks I’ve tested, this model doesn’t require you to replace your lock. This is handy, since it helps to build confidence: in the worst-case scenario, you can just use your old-fashioned key.
Key fob, keypad and smart assistant integration are all good to see, although you’ll need the optional Hub for Alexa and Google Assistant support.
The main downside to this product is that because it’s so easy to operate from inside, you can’t realistically install the device where it can be reached through a letterbox or where a thin pane of glass could be broken. This is a similar problem to the Yale Conexis L1, which has an unlock knob inside.
Those restrictions aside, the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is a quick and simple way to turn a dumb lock into a smart once, while leaving the traditional method of access open. What more could you want?
Easy to fit, easy to use and with plenty of unlocking options, the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is the simple upgrade for your door – but security-wise it won’t be for everyone.