This ultra-affordable smart deadbolt converter covers the basics well

Wyze has quickly made a name for itself by producing solid smart home products at rock-bottom pricing that approaches that of generics. Its smart light bulbs, sensors, and security cameras have received solid reviews, including here at TechHive.

Now, Wyze is setting its sights on a more complicated market, the smart lock, but with the same value proposition: Give buyers the basics and dramatically undercut the competition’s price. The Wyze Lock costs less than $100. In a market where similarly featured locks commonly run up to $200, that’s a serious bargain. The bigger question: Is it a good value?

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart locks, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

The Wyze Lock is a retrofit lock like the August and Friday smart locks, meaning it does not replace the exterior portion of your door’s lock mechanism. You use your existing hardware to connect the interior escutcheon to your door and use the mobile app (or the original key) to operate the lock from outside.

wyze lock gateway frontWyze Labs

A big chunk of the Wyze Lock’s value is the fact that this Bluetooth-to-Wi-Fi bridge is included in the already low purchase price.

The hardware isn’t much to look at, its utilitarian design reminiscent of an IKEA product—as well as August’s 3rd Generation low-end smart lock. The blocky design isn’t attractive, and the material feels a bit cheap and plasticky, not characteristics one often appreciates in a lock.

Setup takes place in two stages. First, you plug in the included gateway to a socket near the door where you’re installing the lock. This gateway, much like the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, forms a bridge between the lock’s Bluetooth radio and your Wi-Fi network. This then must be configured in the Wyze app before you set up the lock itself. My gateway setup failed at first because I didn’t notice the app autocorrected my Wi-Fi password into an actual word (a rookie development mistake), but other than the process taking a rather long time to complete, I got the gateway up and running without additional trouble.

wyze lock app 2Christopher Null / IDG

Push notifications alert you when the door is opened, without requiring a separate sensor or smart home hub.

With the gateway configured, it’s time to turn to the lock itself. Wyze provides setup instructions within the app, and the hardware configuration went smoothly. The hardware design is slightly unorthodox, with a clever system that lets the lock intuitively attach via various types of existing hardware. A unique position for its four AA batteries also helps to keep the size to a minimum. Once attached to the door, the lock is paired to the app via a press of a button underneath the magnetic faceplate on the interior escutcheon.

I initially had no luck pairing the lock to the app—again, a lengthy process—until I happened to realize that the…

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