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TechnologyTell Review: Okidokeys Smart Lock System

Sections: Internet of Things, Remote control, Reviews, Security, Smart Home

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Doors and locks are no strangers to advanced methods of operation and security. For years, homeowners could purchase and have installed locks with pinpad access. But with recent tech and the internet of things making its way into the home, options are plentiful and more affordable.

If you’ve ever found yourself fumbling around for house keys in the dark, you should be able to appreciate Bluetooth-operated locks. Most of us already have a smartphone in hand, which serves a variety of purposes with all the apps and tools available. Why not let it open doors for you too? Read on to see how the Okidokeys Smart Lock system performs!

Design & Installation

The Okidokeys Access Pack Bluetooth Smart Lock System is a bundled version of the Okidokeys Smart Lock and Okidokeys Smart Reader. It’s a great combination, since it provides everything you need to turn your home into a smart-entry one. Not only are tools and batteries included, but no drilling or wiring is involved with the installation. Also, the set up doesn’t use any local home network to operate either. It’s completely independent.

Okidokeys Smart Lock System Reader box

Don’t be fooled, it’s easier than it looks!

The main part of the Okidokeys Smart Lock is made up of metal and plastic. Don’t worry. The metal pieces are the ones that count in terms of durability and longevity. It’s quite sturdy and put together well.

Considering that it’s sort of like a deadbolt lock overlay, one wouldn’t expect heavy handed use. And it’s not like someone is going to break into the home just to bust the Okidokeys Smart Lock so they can go outside and use the front door properly. It doesn’t need to be all metal.

Three plastic lock covers are included, which match the most common colors of door hardware. If you don’t stare too hard at it, you can pretend that it’s really brushed metal. It’s not that bad, though I’m sure there are many who may disagree. Who knows? Maybe the company will create brushed aluminum metal covers for a separate fee in the future. I know I’d buy one.

Okidokeys Smart Lock System Reader covers

Plastic covers are only oki-dokey (get it??)

It doesn’t take too long to have the Okidokeys Smart Lock System installed and set up. Maybe about 30 minutes, which also includes account creation and registration. The Smart Reader simply sticks somewhere outside, but within 10 feet of the door lock. Easiest installation ever. This device permits the use of the included RFID access keys (keychain, bracelet, and card) for entry, which is akin to card readers at most hotels. And, as always, your traditional metal key still works too.

Although I didn’t hit any snags, I can see how some people might. It’s strongly recommended to carefully read every bit of the included documentation for the Okidokeys Smart Lock System, since everything you need to know is right there. Alternatively, the website provides videos that show you how to set everything up. Even though I didn’t need to watch it, I did anyway. The step-by-step video instructions are clear with good pacing.

Okidokeys Smart Lock System Reader door open

You get metal parts where it counts

Once the hardware has been set up, it takes creating an account and registration of the parts in order to finalize everything so that it works. This also includes downloading the Okidokeys app. Registration is simple, and the site guides you in understanding how to add users and assign keys. With this basic Okidokeys Smart Lock system, you’d likely be drag-dropping all users to the one door. However, those with additional smart locks can set separate access options.

So, for example, if I were to have a second lock it would secure the door to my sekrit fort. No kids. Just adults. While the main entry door would permit all users to access via access keys and/or smartphone, the door for my sekrit fort would allow only me and one other. If you don’t want someone to have always-access, time limits can also be set between a start and stop date and time (time is only in half-hour increments).

The Okidokeys app is critical for the lock system, since that’s where you must sync changes. Any time a door has a key and/or user change, it requires a resync. Aside from that, the app provides remote lock and unlock via Bluetooth connection. Remember, any user who wants to use their smartphone for door access must also create an Okidokeys account (when you set them up, they receive an email to click and finish from there).

There isn’t a whole lot with the Okidokeys app. Aside from syncing and toggling the lock, you can also see a list of people who’ve recently accessed doors via smartphone or access keys.

Performance

The Okidokeys Smart Lock System works consistently and quickly (mostly). Once in awhile the lock can take an extra second or two to register a smartphone button press or the presence of one of the access keys. Either way, if you compare it to the time it takes to dig for keys and manually unlock, Okidokeys is still faster and easier. This counts double if I’m also carrying groceries or a sleeping child.

Okidokeys Smart Lock System Reader button

The Smart Reader is small’ish, a bit gaudy maybe?

Even then, I don’t necessarily need to have my smartphone in hand as I walk up to the door. The Bluetooth wireless range for the Okidokeys Smart Lock System is good for at least 35 feet. I’ve been able to unlock the front door before stepping out of my car, and then grabbing groceries and/or a sleeping child. No keys, no phone, no fumbling around.

Operation of the Okidokeys Smart Reader is also good. The RFID chip within each of the access keys requires that you hold each key no more than a finger’s width from the reader. Otherwise it doesn’t register. What’s neat about the Smart Reader is its ability to unlock via a generated tone. If a registered user doesn’t have Bluetooth available (or working) in their cell phone, the app generates an unlock tone. It works like a charm.

One thing that may irritate some is that the Okidokeys Smart Lock is noisy. Each time it goes through a lock or unlock cycle, you can hear the whirring and clicks of the internal gears and servos. It sort of sounds like one of those battery-operated, robotic pets you’d find at a toy store. To be fair, it’s not that much noisier than what is made by the jostling of keys and turning of tumblers and bolts. However, it still sounds like a toy going off.

The Okidokeys Smart Reader provides a built-in door chime as well as a tamper alarm. The volume is only one level, which is more towards the quiet side in a busy house. If you’re reading a book in the same room, each are immediately recognizable. But since you can’t adjust the volume, it’s easy to miss if you’re somewhere else in the house. Except for the alarm, since it won’t stop until you shut it off. The doorbell chimes just once.

Tips

Do follow the instructions explicitly and read everything. There’s two booklets – one for installation and the other for registration. The part that you glossed over is likely going to be the point where you get stuck.

Okidokeys Smart Lock System Reader door

Not bad once it’s all set and finished

Make sure the deadbolt is all the way in the door and that the switch is indeed vertical. You’ll know what I mean when you install. It makes a big difference.

Ignore the hex screws until you’re certain that everything is 100 percent done and working. You might have/want to perform a reset or two during the process (for familiarity and such), and extra work is a PITA.

Be patient with the Okidokeys Smart Reader and let it sync before you start mashing buttons or testing access keys. Otherwise, it’s likely to sit and do nothing until you perform a reset and do it right the next time around (guilty, happened to me).

The Okidokeys Smart Lock System has 5 different modes of operation. If you have kids – especially the younger kind that love to press all sorts of buttons and change things without your knowledge – KNOW THOSE MODES. Or, at the very least, know how to check and change the mode back to the one you want. Trust me. Those kids turn the flashing lights on the Okidokeys lock into a game as easy as anything else.

Verdict

While the Okidokeys Access Pack Bluetooth Smart Lock System may not be the most visually appealing hardware to have stuck to the door, you can’t argue against results. It’s got the chops to drive that bolt.

Okidokeys Smart Lock System Reader key

Easy access, just like that

The installation and account set up is easy, the smart lock works via Bluetooth at a respectable 35 feet (or more), and the Smart Reader is equally effective with the included access keys. When it comes to having a wirelessly-automated deadbolt, the Okidokeys Smart Lock System delivers.

I like how there is no additional cost for granting users mobile access keys. Although the included access keys are convenient, just three may not be enough for large households. Or maybe even small businesses with a dozen or so employees. I do think that the app could mirror the functionality from the web site and vice versa.

Most of us own smartphones anyway (some of us are even glued to one), so the access keys can be for those who don’t. Like kids. You can always buy more Okidokeys access tags, access cards, and child wristbands to replace lost ones. Deleting the old ones is as easy as drag-n-drop.

There’s no physical touching involved, no pad with an access code to memorize, and no button remote. The Okidokeys Smart Lock system works with normal keys, smartphones, cell phones, and Okidokeys access keys. Aside from getting accustomed to the gear noises, I haven’t had a single issue with the lock’s operation. So if you’re interested in easy, dependable hardware, Okidokeys is a great choice to upgrade with.

 

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