You can forget the moat! Lockly is the perfect way to bar entrance to your castle.

The Christmas season is over, trees are put away, decorations have been taken down, and we have started a new year.  As we put things away, many will clean, organize, and possibly upgrade. This past Christmas one of my favorite things was a new Lockly deadbolt system.  Everybody raves about smart tech, but I do not want something just because it is “smart.”  I do not want to simply keep up with the Jone’s; I want technology that will make my life a little bit easier, and I want something because it is useful, functional, and reliable. Having previously tested and trusted other Lockley deadbolt systems, I was excited to evaluate their new Vision Smart Lock and video Doorbell deadbolt.  If perchance, you have any gift cards saved up, I would highly encourage you to check out the various Lockley devices. 

Amazingly, the oldest known lock can be traced back to around 4000 years ago, from the ruins of a palace near Nineveh (britannica.com).  Over time, there has been a cat-and-mouse struggle to thwart invaders by building better locks/key systems. We have evolved our castle-defense to both protect access to our domicile and to visualize those who may request entry.  The Lockly Vision Smart Lock and Video Doorbell, Deadbolt Edition, is the latest in a long line of high-tech Lockly devices. The Vision Smart Lock arrived in an attractive 9 5/16 inches wide by 8 7/8 inches tall by 4 1/2 inches thick retail box. The company name was proudly displayed along the top left of the cover panel, and “Home/office/Rental” was listed just to the right. Beneath the company name, you will find two icons, which detailed the advanced 3D fingerprint option and the ability to control/monitor the device from anywhere. The main focal point of the cover panel was the raised, glossy, image of the Lockly deadbolt, the crisp smartphone video, and the blue-green wrap-around accent with the product name.  Along the bottom of the panel, I was able to discover that the device allowed Alexa/Google integration and that it could be installed on both left/right swinging doors.  I was pleased with the cover panel and felt that it provided a strong representation of the device and its features. 

Turning to the left side panel, you will find a photograph-quality image of a phone and live HD video from the Lockly camera.  In addition to knowing “who’s at your door,” the panel showed examples of Alexa/Google Commands and hinted at the App control through the iOS App or Google Play Store App. The opposite side panel provided all of the tech information about the device.  They listed the product contents (Vision Smart Lock, Bolt Assembly, Screws, Strike Plate, and housing, Backplate, physical keys x2, 8 AA alkaline batteries, vision connect hub, door sensor, LAN cable, quick start guide, and installation manual), as well as the product dimensions (7.05 inches/179mm tall by 2.84 inches/72mm wide).  Along the middle of the panel, they included a diagram denoting the Plug-n-play network setup between the Vision Connect Hub and your Wi-Fi Router.  Lastly, the panel provided copyright information, product SKU barcodes, and a table of product specifications: HD camera 720 P recording, Private video storage available, fingerprint/keypad/voice control/smartphone/key access, store up to 99 fingerprints, temporary access, IOS/Android App integration, External 9V emergency terminal, Door Pro 2 1/8 inch face hole/1 inch latch hold, door thickness 1 3/8 inches to 2 14 inches, left/right door swing, and working temperatures -4F to 140F (-20 to 60C). The rear panel, my favorite of the slipcover panels, provided a detailed, diagramed-image of the door lock features (Live HD video camera, internal SD and cloud video storage, 2-way audio, pin genie touchscreen keypad, App support, grant offline access codes, tamper notification, unlock/lock from anywhere, real-time door access info, one-touch and auto-lock, voice assistant integration, 3D fingerprint reader, doorbell with unlocking, unlock with a physical key).   Lastly, the lower half of the panel provided a wonderful how-it-works section. 

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The outer slipcover proved to be quite useful.  I cut the 3 pieces of tape that held the slip cover to the plain-white inner box, removed it, and then cut the warning seal on the inner flap.  If you have ever purchased an item from a brick-and-mortal facility and found the seal broken, you may understand the frustration of getting home and realizing that the box was missing parts.  To give users the best experience, the sticker alerts the retailer to return this to Lockly to repackage appropriately.  Although this may seem like a small gesture, this tiny detail is what inspires brand loyalty. The inner baby-blue panel provided a reassuring pledge from Lockly, while the white flaps provided QR codes to the 3D BILT application (IOS and Android), and the PDF user manual.  I removed the white instruction manual box (see below), and found the Lockly ownership/activation card (Do not Lose that card).   Do not throw away the card because without it, you will not be able to reset the lock.  Underneath of the last flap, you will find the components of the lock packaged into individual foam/cardboard cutouts.  Prior to removing the two plastic wrapped components and the three boxes, I turned to the BILT APP to learn about the installation process.  This App is not part of Lockly and thus I will not go into a lot of detail about the App, other than it was a highly useful tool.  Type Lockly into the search bar, and a long list of Lockly devices will appear.  When complete, you can tap the PGD798 and the installation instructions will appear.  The App promised that the installation process should take a person roughly 30 minutes to complete the 42 step process.  The App will use a variety of video/pictorial steps to complete the installation.  Additionally, you will not need to buy a variety of tools for this setup.  All you will need is a Flathead Screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, and a ruler. 

Installation/BILT APP

The company provided two distinct methods to install the deadbolt system, a white/blue Installation Guide and the BILT App. For those more fluent in old-school instruction manual utility, this method will not let you down. The well-written manual will walk you through each successive step of the installation process. Remove the old hardware, make sure the cutouts are the correct size ( 2 1/4″ cross bore, 1″ deadbolt diameter, and a 1 3/8 inches to 2″ wide door), and then slide the new deadbolt into the deadbolt slot. The manual noted several cautionary pitfalls and how to successfully navigate them. As an example, it recommended making sure that the deadbolt was extended, and discussed how the deadbolt slot could be adjusted to rest in the center of the cutout. It then walked you through the step-by-step process to install the exterior assembly followed by the interior assembly. Guide the wires, align the screws, and stick the tape against the door. If you follow the instructions, it will be very hard for you to go astray. Once the door lock was installed, the manual reviewed the utility/installation of the wired sensor and sensor magnet. With the entire locking system installed, the manual requested you to test the deadbolt with the turn-knob and with the keys. Install the batteries, press and hold the program button and the lock will auto detect left/right door. Swipe the hand over the panel to lock the lock and then use one of the various methods to unlock the lock (More below). To install the door open/close sensor, align the arrows located on the sensor and the sensor magnet. Once finished with the hardware installation, go to the Wi-FI router, plug in the LAN cable between the router and the Vision Connect module, and then plug in the included AC 5V adaptor with USB-A power cable. With a little bit of know-how, the installation took less than 20 minutes. I think the App (below) had more of a learning-curve than the installation manual.

If you get most of your instruction from YouTube, or you find yourself more of a visual/story learner, look to the BILT App. My father-in-law was incredibly impressed with the App, the calm language, and the clear/concise instructions. Open the App, type Lockly into the search, and then select Lockly Vision Lock PGD798 from the top of the last. A female assistant will then walk you through each of the steps above. You can tap the door, the lock, pinch to zoom in, and interact with the App. Each aspect of the diagram is labeled and there is no rush between panels. When done press the right arrow, or repeat the verbiage by pressing the redo button. The application was smooth and incredibly useful. I loved the ability to move the door, to see the installation mechanism, and to visualize the mistakes that could go wrong. Similar to the instruction manual above, the BILT app walked you through the installation process for the exterior component (step 3-10), the interior component (steps 11-14), followed by the door open/closed sensor (step 15-18). Lastly, it walked me through the installation of the battery compartment, the use of the battery ribbon, the test phase (steps 19-25), and striker plate installation (step 28). Once complete, the App also walked me through the step-by-step process of installation of the Vision Connect Hub (step 29). I downloaded the App, plugged the device into the LAN port, then attached the AC power adaptor to a wall outlet, and the USB-A to DC power cord. The Vision Connect self-calibrated over the course of two minutes and the setup was essentially complete. Whether you choose the written instruction manual or the more advanced, more modern, YouTube-esque BILT setup, I doubt you will face any significant obstacles outside of a wrong door size/cutout.

The App

With the Lockly Vision SmartLock and the Vision Connect Hub installed, I navigated to the iOS App store to download the 4* App. The App walked me through several educational panels before asking me to sign up. All you will need is an email and a phone number to finalize the App. The App will send a code to your email to authenticate the account, and then you can choose a password. Once you have signed in, choose “Vision Deadbolt Edition” from atop the list, scan the QR code on the bottom of the Hub (or from the manual), and then set up the six-digit admin code. The App will ask you to type the matching code into a faux Pin Genie screen on your phone. Throughout this process, you will need to maintain ~100 feet between the Hub and the lock. Once the setup is complete, tell the App if the device will be on your Front Door, Back Door, Office Door, or a Custom location. This setup was as intuitive as the installation of the hardware and did not require too many if-then steps. Knowing that the setup phase can be daunting, this should not provide any significant issue for the average tech/App user

The main App screen was divided into an upper 1/3 video screen and a lower 1/3 open/close and locked/unlocked status. Along the top of the App, you will find three horizontal bars and a left/right arrow. Along the bottom, you will find options for Control, Log, Access, and Setting. As my first action, I navigated to settings and completed the 7-minute firmware update. If you tap the three horizontal bars, you can access Home, set up a new device, add wi-fi to your lock, I received an invitation, app security, save and encrypt in PG vault, store, help, share the app, review the app, and an about us. Tapping the left/right arrow will allow you to move back one step in the App to get back to select which device you wanted to control. If you tap Log along the bottom of the screen, it will show you the details of the lock such as locks/unlocks and door openings/closings, as well as video recordings. Tapping “Access,” you can add a new user with a pin, create ebadge (did not complete this step), generate offline access codes, and Fingerprints. To set up a new fingerprint, tap “Add New Fingerprint” within the App. The door lock will then instruct you to press your finger Into the sensor (located on the left side of the device) a total of six times. The goal of this process was to make sure that the sensor could obtain an accurate representation of your finger. Since it can store up to 99 fingerprints, there is no reason that you could not use several of your fingers.

Locking/Unlocking

If you look at the main touch panel, you will see four circular touch-screen buttons and a lower “okay” button. To prevent someone from gaining unauthorized access to your home, Lockly designed a pin genie to change the numbers’ locations. Thus, you may have 692, 180, 574, 873 in the circles this time, and next time they may be 580, 192, 874, 563. Since the numbers rotate, someone has less chance of guessing your 6-8 digit code. When you are ready to leave, pull your door closed and gently wave your hand across the panel. If the lock is unlocked, it will trigger the locking mechanism. If the lock is locked, this will activate the touch screen. You can either enter your 6-8 digit code followed by the okay button, use your fingerprint on the sensor, or use a physical key. When a key is used or when the lock feels it is getting bumped, the Lockly vision will record activity as a bonus feature. If desired, you can also activate the GOOGLE ASSISTANT or Alexa Assistant and provide verbal commands for the device. As an example, you can say Alexa followed by Lock my Front Door, is my Front Door locked?, or is the Door closed? As a general rule, unlocking with voice recognition is much less common and typically requires additional voice authorization. If someone enters a code incorrectly three consecutive times, the lock will enter into safe mode and record a 15-second clip of the event. To disable this mode, you have to use a trusted fingerprint, enter the correct access code twice in a row, use the App, or use the key. Lastly, should your lock run out of power, you can gain access to your home by simply pressing a 9V battery along the lower 9V terminal for temporary power. Enter your home, remove the batteries and continue to enjoy a fantastic locking mechanism.

Camera/Video

If someone presses the small silver button just beneath the 1 5/8 inches wide by 2 1/4 inches tall touchscreen, you can activate the internal camera doorbell. The App will send an alert to your phone, and you can activate the camera. If someone has fiddled with your door or if they have entered the code too many times incorrectly, the App will record data for you. The company included a small metallic sign to alert people to the presence of the doorbell. When ready, they can push the button to tell you they are there. The App will alert you that there is a visitor and will make a chime. Unfortunately, this did not link with the home doorbell system. If someone is at your door already, you can open the App and communicate via two-way features. This system will allow you to unlock your door from work, while on vacation, or out on errands. You can view who may be at your door, converse with them, choose to grand them entry, or ask for them to depart. The setup will allow you to capture/store video for later or to view live HD video now. If you want to talk, you can slide the unmute slider to allow talking. You can then choose to leave the door locked or to open the lock remotely. When ready, tap the end call button to return to the App screen.

Summary

The setup allows for users to assign temporary pins, to open/close the deadbolt with the App, and to add/remove users and fingerprints. The Video addition was more than I expected. I loved the two-way communication and the crisp/clear imagery produced by the lock. With so many ways to enter/exit your home, you may think that this lock increases the chances of a breach. However, this setup enhances one’s interaction with their own door while simultaneously adding a complicated layer of protection. Whether you choose to use the paper manual or the BILT App, you should not struggle with the Lockly setup. With an easy to follow step-by-step guide, an intuitive app design, and solid integration with their hardware, it is a wonder that everyone does not already have a Lockly lock.

Learn more about the Lockly Vision Doorbell Camera Smart Lock.
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