Level Lock Review: Innovation at a Significant Price

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“A marvel of technology that stows away all the components of an intelligent lock.”

  • Discreet, minimalist design

  • Quick installation

  • Shared access with guests

  • Locks itself automatically

  • Expensive

  • I can’t tell if the door stays open

Smart locks have become sophisticated. Some high-end models offer fingerprint unlocking, shared access codes, traffic jam protection, and other innovative features. While they all strive to provide homeowners with comfort and security, they still have something in common. A distinctive design. You know it’s a smart lock as it’s obviously like a keyboard. Smart locks come in all options and configurations. So, when choosing the right lock, you need to understand what best suits your needs.

This can accidentally target them, especially to some cunning hackers with a nefarious agenda. Who wants to come home to find a compromised smart lock? Against this trend, the Level Lock pays off as an invisible Smart Lock and represents a drastic deviation from the norm. It is an intelligent lock like no other that is proud of its design.

Just recently, the company announced an expansion of its product range – the Level Touch, which takes the same approach with its invisible design but adds a few new touch options to unlock it. The new Level Touch is available online for $ 329.

Complete the installation in less than 10 minutes

The beauty of the Level Lock is its quick and easy installation, which took me no more than 10 minutes to complete. From start to finish, the process is far more rational than any other Smart Lock installation I’ve done. All you have to do is replace the deadbolt, attach the new motor, and then attach the lock housing.

All of the components are hidden and not visible, so my door has the same look and finish as before – something I can’t say about other smart locks. How is it powered? There is a single CR2 battery that fits discreetly into the latch and enables the six-stage stainless steel gear to operate. While this is unusual, the CR2 battery is rated for over a year of “normal” use. It has taken me two months so far, but there is no indication in the app of how much juice is left.

Level lock in the doorJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

The best thing about the Level Lock is that you can’t tell it’s a smart lock just by looking at the door. So there is no reason for anyone to concern themselves with it. You are still using most of the original components of your existing lock, such as the knob, lock cylinder and keys.

Simple functions

Unlike its contemporaries, the Level Lock pales in comparison to features, especially when you consider the $ 229 price tag. It works like any other smart lock as you can lock / unlock it with a smartphone. As for the rest? There is the automatic locking function that locks my door within a set period of time after it is broken into. It’s useful when you’re in a rush, but even the longest setting (1 minute) is pretty short – so it would be nice to have longer options.

All components are hidden and not visible.

Homeowners will appreciate Level Lock shared access through an invitation. This is useful if you are planning on going away and need a friend, neighbor, or family member to check your spot – or if you happen to be listing your home on Airbnb. You can grant them either administrator or guest rights and set specific dates and times for access to the lock.

Apple users get an extra incentive as the level lock supports HomeKit and gives iPhone or Apple Watch owners the ability to lock / unlock by asking Siri to do so. It’s a bummer that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant aren’t supported. I reached out to Level and although there are plans to expand to other platforms in the future, there are currently no details.

These features are standard on today’s smart locks, and a gross omission would notify me if my door was left ajar. In all cases where I have intentionally kept it open, the automatic locking function is activated and the locking process is initiated – even though the door is open. I would expect a smart lock to be smart enough to tell if a door is actually closed or not, but that doesn’t happen here. Notifications are sent to me in case the lock is blocked and cannot be completely locked.

A hollow bolt

As mentioned above, Level can achieve a minimalist design by hollowing out the latch to double as a battery compartment. The integrity of the lock is addressed. I haven’t tried kicking my door down to test it, but Level assures that it is designed from the ground up for strength and durability. In fact, the company is brave enough to claim that it exceeds the highest industry standards and has been stress tested over 1,000,000 cycles to maintain structural and operational shape.

Level Lock hollow boltJohn Velasco / Digital Trends

Our opinion

The Level Lock doesn’t seem too different from its competitors because of its list of features, but it does set a technical benchmark for design. That alone makes it disruptive and innovative for those who don’t want to dramatically change the aesthetics of their door.

Is there a better alternative?

For the price? Yes! The Level Lock is expensive at $ 229. In the same price range, the Lockly Secure Pro for $ 300 has an extensive array of features like fingerprint unlocking and a digital keyboard for access for a little more. And for a little bit more, Lockly recently released the Vision – a $ 400 lock that has everything in the Secure Pro but also includes a video doorbell camera.

Another example to consider is the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, which for $ 250 offers a full experience that supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s HomeKit.

Conversely, on the other end of the spectrum is the $ 100 Wyze Lock. You spend a lot less on the same functions as the level lock.

How long it will take?

There is a two year limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship under normal use.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The level lock is hidden in your door – there is no keypad outside of your door to make it clear that it is a smart lock.

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