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Lockly Vision Review: The Swiss Army knife of smart locks

Lockly Vision
MSRP $400.00
“The Lockly Vision packs a ton of innovative features into one smart lock.”
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Voice commands
  • Digital and real key options
  • Extra-secure keypad
  • Good battery life
  • Hard to install
  • No night vision
  • Grainy camera footage

The Lockly Vision has more features than any other smart lock on the market right now. At $400, it’s a bit more than we’re used to seeing for a smart lock, but it has so many great features, it may be worth it if you want quality and versatility. Here’s everything I learned when trying out this lock at home.

Lock options galore

Many smart locks have just a couple of locking and unlocking features. The Lockly Vision has six. No matter what your smart lock style, this lock has you covered. You can lock it or unlock it using the app, a PIN number on the keypad, a key, your fingerprint, voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant, or digital keys that you can share with others through the app.

The problem with other locks that have a keypad is that eventually, your fingers will rub spots over the numbers you use for your PIN, which makes it just a smidgen easier for a thief to figure out your code. So, I think it’s pretty genius that the Vision shuffles the numbers on the keypad so that each time you tap the pad, the numbers are in a different area. No other lock on the market does this. There are also three numbers per button, so even if someone was looking over your shoulder while you key in your PIN, they still wouldn’t be able to figure it out. As a precaution, the lock will go into Safe Mode after three consecutive wrong attempts and the camera will record video whoever is at the door. The right code must be entered twice, or a fingerprint must be used to get it out of Safe Mode.

Lockly Vision fingerprint sensor

Another standout feature is the fingerprint sensor. This sensor can make a 3D scan and store up to 99 different fingerprints. The 3D design prevents potential crooks from holding up an image of your fingerprint for the scan. The sensor can actually tell the difference between a finger and an image. I loved that it scanned and unlocked the door quickly with just a touch.

The digital keys can be customized so that they only work for a certain amount of time. Even better, these keys work when the lock isn’t connected to the internet, which is pretty handy if your home’s internet service is glitchy. Of course, if you don’t trust digital keys, you can always use real ones. The keyhole has a little cover for when it isn’t in use, which gives the whole device a sleek look.

Doorbell camera convenience

Unlike most other smart locks, the Vision has a built-in doorbell camera, which adds another layer of security. You can go to the app, tap the camera and see whoever is at your door. While you’re viewing the livestream, you can start a video recording, call for help, or operate the lock. You can also hear the person at your door and talk to them through the two-way audio feature. I found the sound to be loud and clear.

For $400, I expected more from the camera. The images, both in HD mode and normal mode, weren’t fantastic when you compare them to a dedicated video doorbell like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, but were still decent. The footage was a little pixelated. There wasn’t much curvature or “fish-eye” distortion around the edges of the image, though, so that was nice.

Lockly Vision doorbell camera on app
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another problem I had with the camera is that there is no night vision. Basically, you need to leave your porch light on or else it won’t be able to “see” anyone or anything in front of your door. With my porch light on, the black and white footage was grainy, but I could still make out what I was looking at. This isn’t uncommon for smart lock/doorbell camera combos. Another combo lock, the Gate All-In-One, also has no night vision, for example. A top-of-the-line standalone doorbell camera, though, like the Arlo Video Doorbell, typically does have night vision.

The field of vision is limited, as well. While you can see the faces of visitors, you won’t be able to see if there is a package on your porch. Unlike many doorbell cameras, it also doesn’t have detection capabilities that can alert you to a human, animal, or package on your porch. Furthermore, you can’t adjust the area where the camera records either.

Lengthy installation

The only thing that really annoyed me about the Vision was the installation. I have to admit, it had me gritting my teeth and swearing just a little by the end.

There are 52 steps before you can get this lock up and running.

Most smart locks have the installation guide in the app, but not this one. You have to download the separate BILT app, then search for the Vision lock to get the installation instructions. There are basic instructions to follow in the quick start guide that comes in the box with the lock, but they aren’t great.

Lockly Vision installation parts
Alina Bradford/Digital Trends

Also, there are 52 steps before you can get this lock up and running. If you don’t have a lot of patience (like me) installing this lock will frustrate you. It will take about 30 minutes from start to finish for a level-headed person, or quite a bit longer if you’re an impatient person like myself.

Why are there so many steps to installing the Vision? Well, in addition to the actual lock, the Vision also needs a door sensor attached to the door frame and a Vision Connect Hub connected. You need the hub to get the camera and voice command features to work. I would mention that the time spent installing the lock here would be just as long/lengthy as installing a separate door lock & video doorbell.

Battery life

My biggest problem with smart locks is when the batteries go dead. Who really wants to maintain their door lock on a frequent basis? I was happy to learn that the Vision can run up to 1 year with a set of fresh AA batteries. I had really hoped that it would have a rechargeable battery, but smart locks don’t typically have that option, so I can’t be too miffed. After using the lock for about a week, the battery level is still at 100%, according to the app. That’s comforting to know given that video streaming is typically draining for the battery, but we’re still curious to see how it fairs after a month.

Our take

The Lockly Vision seems to have everything. It has tons of automation choices, a camera, two-way audio, a keypad, a key option, and even a fingerprint sensor. While most of the features were awesome, I was a bit let down by the camera. It just wasn’t very clear and the lack of night vision concerned me. Overall, though, I think anyone who purchases the Vision will be very pleased with it. It’s an innovative smart lock in almost every way and even if the camera isn’t the best, it’s still a nice addition to a fantastic smart lock.

Is there a better alternative?

When it comes to smart lock features, no. On the other hand, great doorbell cameras like the Ring Video Doorbell 2 or the Arlo Video Doorbell combined with a more affordable smart lock, like August Wi-Fi Smart Lock or the Nest X Yale lock, may be a good option if you’re concerned about the camera.

Will it last?

The Lockly Vision is very sturdy and will work in temperatures from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so it seems like it will last a very long time. It also has a limited 5-year mechanical and finish warranty, and a 2-year electronics warranty.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you can afford the price, this is a fantastic smart lock if you can live with so-so camera quality.

Editors' Recommendations

Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been a tech, lifestyle and science writer for more than 20 years. Her work is read by millions each month…
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