Kwikset Aura Bluetooth Smart Lock Review
Kwikset’s $149 Aura is a reasonably priced smart lock that lets you lock and unlock your door in several different ways. Aside from using its backlit keypad or a traditional key, you can control the lock from your phone via Bluetooth. The Aura works as expected and costs less than other Kwikset models like the $229 Halo Wi-Fi and the $249 Halo Touch, but it lacks many of the features that you get with most other smart locks including Wi-Fi connectivity, support for voice control, and interoperability with other smart home devices. Our Editors’ Choice winner, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, is pricier at $229.99, but it works with a wealth of third-party devices and supports Alexa, Google, and Siri voice commands.
Sleek Design, No Wi-Fi Support
The Aura lock is a complete lock assembly and replaces all of your current hardware. It comes in an Iron Black, Satin Nickel, or Venetian Bronze finish. The package includes interior and exterior escutcheons; a deadbolt latch and strike; two keys; assorted mounting screws; and an installation and user guide. It runs on four AA batteries (also in the box, though Kwikset doesn’t provide a battery life estimate) and has an embedded Bluetooth radio, but not one for Wi-Fi. That means you have to remain within 100 feet of the lock to control it with your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. The lock doesn’t support Alexa, Google, or Siri voice controls, nor does it integrate with other smart devices.
The Aura fits doors that are between 1-3/8 and 2 inches in thickness and use standard 1-1/2- or 2-inch hole cutouts. The exterior escutcheon measures 4.7 by 2.7 by 1.2 inches (HWD), has an 11-button backlit keypad (0-9 and Lock), and a keyway. The interior escutcheon measures 6.0 by 2.7 by 2.0 inches and has a thumb-turn knob for manual locking and unlocking; a status LED; and a removable black panel that hides the battery pack and three programmable buttons. The LED flashes green when the door is unlocked, amber when it is locked, red when the battery is low, and blue when it is in pairing mode.
App Configuration Options
With Kwikset’s mobile app (available for Android and iOS), you can lock and unlock your door; create up to 250 user codes with permanent, temporary, or one-time access privileges; and view a history of lock events. The lock appears on the app’s home screen, along with any other Kwikset locks you use. When you tap the lock, the app opens a screen with a large circle in the middle that can be used to lock and unlock the door. It also shows the lock’s current status: red when the door is locked and green when it is unlocked.
At the bottom of the screen are People, History, and Settings buttons. The People section lets you create users and assign them permanent, temporary, or one-time access codes. Here you can limit access by date, time, or day of the week, as well as set a one-time code that expires within 24 hours. Tap the History button to view lock and unlock events with dates and times. Each event shows who used the lock and the method they used to unlock it (manually, with the keypad, with the app, or with the Auto-Lock feature). In the Settings menu, you can edit the lock name, disable sounds, and configure Auto-Lock preferences. With that last option, you can set the lock to automatically engage after a set time (between 30 seconds and 10 minutes).
Simple Setup and Reliable Operation
Like its sibling, the Halo Touch, the Aura was easy to install. I started by removing all of my existing lock hardware and downloading the Kwikset mobile app. To create an account, I had to answer three security questions, verify my email twice, and create a Home. Then, I tapped Lock Installation Guide in the menu, selected the Aura from the list, and opened the web-based interactive installation guide; you can also download a PDF version if you prefer.
I followed the on-screen instructions to measure the door holes to make sure the lock would fit, and proceeded to install the latch assembly and the strike plate. To install the exterior escutcheon, I fed the data cable through the bottom of the mounting plate and attached the escutcheon to the mounting plate. I then plugged the data cable into the port on the interior escutcheon and attached it to the mounting plate. I installed the batteries, performed an automatic handing process, and secured the escutcheon cover.
Next, I tapped the plus icon in the upper right corner of the app to add a lock; removed the sliding cover from the interior escutcheon; and held down the A button for three seconds until the lock beeped and the LED began flashing blue. I tapped Next and the app immediately recognized the lock. I paired the lock to the app, updated the firmware, and gave the lock a name to complete the installation.
The Aura lock worked well in testing. The motor was relatively quiet and provided smooth operation. The lock responded instantly to app commands to lock and unlock the door, too. The keypad was also responsive and the backlight on the buttons made them easy to see even at night. My temporary and one-time access codes worked without issue, as did the Auto-Lock feature.
Solid, But Short on Features
The Kwikset Aura is a fine choice for anyone looking to use their phone to lock and unlock doors, as well as grant scheduled access to their home. It’s easy to install, worked well in our tests, and won’t break the bank at $149. However, it doesn’t support smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and voice commands, nor does it work with other smart devices. For those features, check out our Editors’ Choice winner, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock. For the extra $70, you get a stylish lock that has Wi-Fi, supports Alexa, Google, and HomeKit, and works with lots of third-party devices via IFTTT applets.
Kwikset Aura Bluetooth Smart Lock
The Bottom Line
The Kwikset Aura is a reasonably priced Bluetooth smart lock you can control with your phone, a keypad, or a key, but it doesn’t support voice control or work with other smart devices.
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