Smart door locks and video doorbells are useful for keeping an eye on and controlling what’s going on at your front door. But there are very few that actually work together, meaning you end up with two different apps or two different taps in your smart home app to both see a visitor and then unlock (or lock) your door.
Smart door lock maker Lockly has a three-in-one solution for this problem: the $499 Lockly Vision Elite. A camera and a doorbell built into a door lock, the Lockly Vision Elite launched this week and is the successor to the company’s Lockly Vision video smart lock.
The Vision Elite has a number of improvements over its predecessor, including full 1080p HD video, a wider viewing angle, night vision, and a motion sensor. It also has a new integrated solar panel to trickle charge the lithium battery (the first gen used eight AA batteries). It also costs $100 more.
As a smart lock, the Lockly Vision Elite is a full deadbolt replacement that’s operated by a key, an app, the built-in keypad, or the fingerprint sensor. The keypad features a rotating display to confound anyone peeking over your shoulder trying to guess your code, and it works with offline access codes, so your visitor doesn’t have to download an app to get in.
With the Lockly app, you can lock and unlock the door remotely once it’s connected to Wi-Fi using the included plug-in hub. An integrated door sensor tells you if your door is open or closed, and the lock can be programmed to auto-lock.
The video doorbell component consists of a very small button on the keypad that triggers the doorbell. There’s two-way audio for talking to your visitor, and any recordings are stored locally to the lock. This means there’s no cloud storage fee. The door lock works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
I have tested the first generation Lockly Vision and was largely underwhelmed, but the new model boasts a couple of key improvements — namely higher resolution video, night vision, and a wider view. But most importantly, it now has a motion sensor. Previously, you had to rely on someone pushing a tiny button on the door lock to trigger the camera to record, something that, when I tried it out, absolutely no one did ever.
The Lockly Vision and Lockly Vision Elite are the only video smart locks currently available in the US. I’m still undecided whether this is because they’ve cornered the market or because this whole concept just doesn’t work as well as two separate dedicated products. After reviewing the original Lockly Vision, my recommendation was only to get it if there were some limitation that meant you couldn’t install both a smart doorbell and lock at your door.
However, Eufy recently announced the $399 Eufy Security Video Smart Lock, a model with similar capabilities to the Lockly, and I’ll be interested to see if either of these new models makes this category more compelling. One key difference I can see already is that the Eufy has its fingerprint sensor on top of the lock; Lockly’s is on the right side still. When I tested the original Lockly Vision, I couldn’t access the fingerprint reader as the lock butted up too close to my door jamb. I plan to test both models and will report back with a full review.