Kwikset Halo WiFi Touchscreen Smart Lock Review
Very nice looks; plenty of Smart Home features; no third-party hub required
Touchscreen is hard to turn on; battery life claims are questionable; packaging needs to be improved
We’ve tested a huge range of smart locks, from Schlage, to Kwikset, to August, and over the several years we’ve been using them, we’ve found Schlage to be our favorite. But Schlage hasn’t done a lot of innovation lately, leaving an opportunity for its competitors to break through for the win. The cutting-edge Kwikset Halo WiFi was announced at CES 2019, but not released until about a year later, and we got one for review at launch.
The big news here is that given its integrated WiFi radio, the Kwikset Halo WiFi doesn’t need to rely on a third-party Smart Home hub, like SmartThings or an Amazon Echo Plus. Instead, it’s a completely stand-alone smart lock solution, so even consumers who have no interest in setting up complicated Smart Home installations can take advantage of a smart lock that can be operated remotely, set to automatically lock, and programmed from afar with permanent, temporary, or limited-access codes for up to 250 users.
The Kwikset Halo WiFi Touchscreen Smart Lock is available for $230 from Amazon, as our latest update.
To cover all that the Kwikset Halo WiFi Touchscreen Smart Lock has to offer, we’ve put together a full unboxing, setup, and review video, which you can see below:
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So, is the Kwikset Halo WiFi a winner? Well first, it looks fantastic, perfect for any modern home. Second, like a lot of the latest Smart Home gear to hit the market in 2019 and 2020, it uses WiFi rather than a Smart Home radio standard like Zigbee or Z-Wave. The major advantage there is that users can pick it up and start using it without having to buy any other third-party products, like a SmartThings hub or an Echo Plus with integrated Zigbee. That’s very appealing for consumers who are new to the Smart Home market. We think a smart lock is probably one of the very first things anyone should consider getting, so it makes sense to have a WiFi option.
In our testing, the Halo did seem a bit slower to operate remotely than our Z-Wave locks from Kwikset and other manufacturers, but the trade-off is reasonable enough. The three other concerns we have with it are that the touchscreen can be a bit dodgy, as on previous Kwikset 916 models that we’ve tested, the packaging is terrible and needs a serious update to appeal to consumers in the 21st century, let alone 2020, and the battery life claims (up to 6 months) sound unrealistic to us based on previous experience with Kwikset’s Z-Wave locks. Since the product has only been out one month, no one is going to be able to verify this yet, but we’d estimate it at 3 months with frequent use.
The Kwikset Halo WiFi Touchscreen Smart Lock is available for $230 from Amazon, as our latest update. As always, if you’re looking for guidance picking out the best Smart Home gear in every product category, see our Smart Home Buyer’s Guide, updated on a regular basis.