Level Lock Review: A sequel to Smart meets stylish
RRP $ 249.00
“Your neighbors won’t know. The Level Lock looks something like a standard lock. ”
Cheaper in levels lineup
Geofencing settings cannot be adjusted
I just don’t like Level’s smart locks, I absolutely love them. Why do you ask this? Well, it’s mainly because they don’t follow the traditional smart-lock design, which tends to have huge casings over the latch and an obvious keyboard on the outside. Quite simply, the intelligent locks from Level look like conventional locks. It would be hard for you to even tell the difference.
The Level Lock is the company’s latest offering that follows the same principles as its siblings. Some people might be confused by the differences within the current offerings, but the Level Lock is in the middle of the lineup at $ 249 – complimenting the hotel key-like Level Lock Touch Edition for $ 329 and the original Level Bolt for the Price of $ 199. Of course, having tested the previous locks, I have high expectations for the latest level lock.
After installing two previous level smartlocks this was a breeze and it took me no more than seven minutes to install. The Level Lock consists of three main components: striking plate, motor and lock cylinder housing. It’s a pretty straightforward process, and for the average person, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to install from start to finish.
Unlike Level Bolt’s original smart lock, which essentially turned your existing lock into a smart one, the Level Lock is an all-in-one complete solution that replaces your existing bolt. This means that you will need to carry a new set of physical keys with you, unlike the one you have been using before. This is basically the biggest differentiator between the two smart locks. Conversely, the Level Lock Touch Edition is similar to the Level Lock, but adds NFC-based key cards as an alternative form of unlocking.
As always, Level does a wonderful job with their designs and this latest one doesn’t change the recipe. Level claims it’s the smallest Smart Lock ever, but honestly, it’s not that different from the Touch Edition.
From the outside, I still love that it looks like a normal lock that you can find on every door. It doesn’t attract the same amount of attention as other smart locks with fancy fingerprint sensors or bulky outdoor keyboards, which is a way to deter potential hackers.
There really isn’t anyone out there designing smart locks that keep the look and decor of your existing lock. Hence, it is difficult to find fault with a design that is elegant, beautiful and contemporary. Level offers it in four versions: satin nickel, satin chrome, polished brass and matt black, to match any decor.
To complete the setup, you need to connect the Level Lock to your home’s Wi-Fi network using the Level app, which is available for iOS and Android. I know the app quite well as I’ve been using the Level Lock Touch Edition for 8 months.
I still love the fact that it looks like a regular lock that you can find on every door.
Much like the design of the lock, the app itself follows the same simple and straightforward approach. From the main screen of the app, I can unlock the lock, set up passes to grant temporary access, and change some of its settings – e.g. do it myself.
Functionally, the Level Lock works exactly like the other Smart Locks in Levels lineup. While you can access the lock using the mobile apps, I really appreciate that the Level Lock still has an automatic unlock feature when I get near the door with my phone in my pocket. It is able to do this because it creates a geofence around my location. When exiting, you can choose how long the self-locking will take after opening.
The only persistent problem that I hope will eventually be resolved is the example of having to re-enter my apartment because I forgot something while walking out the door. Since I’ve set the Level Lock to automatically lock after a minute, it knows I haven’t left the geofenced area – so the lock doesn’t automatically unlock when I approach the door. I just wish there was a way to customize this, but there isn’t one yet.
Otherwise, the Level Lock offers all the comfort you could want from a Smart Lock. It comes in handy when I come back from a store with both hands carrying groceries or packages so I don’t have to hunt for keys. It just starts to unlock automatically when I’m about 10 feet away. The best part is that the mechanism is smooth and fluid – so the bolt is locked correctly every time.
Just like Level’s other Smart Locks, the Level Lock is powered by a single CR2 battery that is included. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t give you a percentage, so it’s impossible to measure its performance at this point. Instead, the app only shows that it is in a “healthy” status.
On its landing page, Level claims that the battery life is over a year, but I’m a little skeptical as the Level Lock Touch edition had to be replaced after 9 months. Even so, I still think it’s commendable to achieve more than six months.
If you want to use the fancy touch unlock features of the Level Lock Touch Edition, then the new Level Lock will meet all your needs. It’s still one of the best-designed smart locks out there, accompanied by all the smarts you’d expect from a modern smart lock – like automatic unlocking, voice control (works great with HomeKit), and temporary guest badges.
Considering this is $ 80 less than the touch-enabled version, this level lock will save you money while still delivering great features with a modern design that few can match.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, it’s still expensive, which is why affordable smart locks like the Wyze Lock are great alternatives. You pay less for similar features, but the design follows traditional smart locks.
At the other end of the spectrum, some people will appreciate the more-is-better approach. Smart locks like the Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch, Lockly Duo and Kwikset Halo Touch all have fingerprint sensors as another way to unlock them. These fingerprint sensor locks come in handy when you forget to take your smartphone with you.
How long it will take?
The Level Lock feels well made and consists mainly of metal components. Level states that it uses a patent-pending, six-stage stainless steel gearbox to withstand almost all conditions. It comes with a two-year limited warranty in the event of a defect, which is generous as most others offer a one-year warranty.
Should you buy it?
You bet! Level has three options to choose from, but for those looking for a brand new lock to swap out everything they have now, the Level Lock is an excellent choice that doesn’t have the clunky looks or controls that I get with Standard -Smart see locks. It eliminates the extra baggage by cutting off the fat.