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The Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is an Airbnb host's dream

The Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is an Airbnb host's dream

Shortly before Christmas 2018, Nuki released an improved version of its Smart Lock. Now that we have received the Nuki 2.0, we have been able to check it out extensively and test its suitability for everyday use. We particularly liked the new extras.

Rating

Good

  • Manages 200 users
  • Easy to install
  • Allows remote control
  • Integrates with smart home systems

Bad

  • High price

Nuki Smart Lock release date and price

The Nuki Smart Lock with door sensor and bridge still costs £259 as a set or you can buy them individually £199 and £89 respectively (advantages of the bridge). The new and optionally available keypad costs an additional £69. The Bluetooth-5 remote control Nuki Fob costs £39. Nuki has not launched in the US yet.

Nuki positions itself against competitors such as the Danalock or the Abus Smart Lock, both of which are much more complicated to install. Because only the Nuki Smart Lock can be simply put over your existing key without much installation effort, you're ready to go in no time.

Nuki Smart Lock design and build quality

Nuki describes this Smart Lock as a key turner. Ideally, you should attach it to a door that can be opened from the outside with a door handle. Nuki supports doors with:

  • Euro profile double cylinder
  • Swiss round cylinder
  • Shield fitting or rosette fitting
  • Knob or handle
  • Vertical key channel and multipoint lock
  • UK Oval cylinder (New in Nuki 2.0)
  • Knob cylinder on door fitting (New in Nuki 2.0)

The double cylinder is decisive here. Because a key is permanently stuck in the lock on the Nuki side of the door, you can only use a second key on the other side thanks to the double cylinder. Nuki does not support American dead bolt locks or doors with automatic locking.

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Nuki includes some adapters with the Smart Lock so that most European households can use it. / © AndroidPIT

The installation of the Nuki 1.0 was carried out by our talented office manager Johanna. But even with my two left hands, the installation for the follow-up test succeeded. Adapters, an illustrated manual and matching tools allow out-of-the-box setup. If you want to install the Nuki Smart Lock, you will only have to consult a craftsman in extreme exceptions .

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Often the adapter does not even have to be screwed on, the adhesive film will do. / © AndroidPIT

The door magnet and keypad of the Nuki Smart Lock are all glued together. The bridge, on the other hand, continues to be pressed directly onto the socket and covers it completely. Compared to the slim bridge of the Tado Smart thermostats, the Nuki Bridge is bulky. But there is hope that it could become obsolete for some households. However, the native ZigBee connection provided for this purpose in Smart Lock 2.0 has not yet been activated.

New extras for Airbnb hosts

Almost two years after our first test of the "smart upgrade for your door lock", we are again doing the office self-experiment. The improved version Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 doesn't change the external design of the original, but comes with well thought out improvements. The first one is visibly attached to the door frame next to the main unit.

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The small magnet indicates to the Nuki Smart Lock whether the door was really closed or only ajar. / © AndroidPIT

The door sensor, which is still in beta, is designed to prevent Nuki from locking doors that are partially open. First you calibrate the distance between the magnet and the main device in the Nuki companion app. From then on you should receive a notification when the door is open and cannot be locked.

That's the theory. In practice, however, we were still able to see that Nuki was happy to lock the ajar door. So you shouldn't trust the beta feature yet and instead check yourself if the door is closed correctly.

The next improvement is the keypad. The £69 extra is connected directly to the Smart Lock via the energy-saving Bluetooth 5 connection, which is also new. You type in a six-digit code of numbers from 1 to 9 (there's no zero) to unlock or lock the door.

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With the keypad you can open the Nuki Smart Lock without a smartphone or fob. / © AndroidPIT

Excitingly, you can configure up to 99 different codes that are valid at the same time. You can assign them to certain users, activate them only at certain times, and change or delete them individually.

Airbnb hosts, especially, will want to use Nuki with this feature. You could give your guests disposable codes to the holiday flat instead of the expensive physical key. Before the keypad, you could only do this via the Nuki app.

Also practical: the web services of Nuki and AirBnB talk to each other automatically if you link them accordingly. Thus, Airbnb guests automatically receive a code for the time of their stay via notification.

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The Nuki Keypad connects directly to the Smart Lock via Bluetooth. / © AndroidPIT

Nuki Smart Lock software

The Nuki Smart Lock is configured via the Android or iOS app. There you can ...

  • Calibrate the lock and the door magnet
  • Connect accessories like a bridge, fob or keypad
  • Set up and manage users (maximum 200, up from 100)
  • Open or close the door
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After the installation, you set up the Nuki Smart Lock in the app. / © AndroidPIT

The Smart Lock 2.0 allows the direct integration into Apple HomeKit; without further accessories. In addition to voice control via Siri, you can also connect it to your home automation system. In many cases, you can save yourself the trouble of buying the Nuki Bridge, as your Smart Lock can also be controlled remotely via HomePod, iPad or AppleTV. Your HomeKit device will then communicate directly with the Smart Lock via Bluetooth 5.0.

Outside the Apple ecosystem, we recommend purchasing the Nuki Bridge. They network the Smart Lock with your WLAN and thus also with the Internet. The advantages are:

  • You can also use the Nuki app to its full extent remotely
  • The Smart Lock also links to other web services via Nuki Web

If you've arranged to meet someone, arrive late at home and can't unlock it, the remote control becomes a big advantage. And via integration with systems such as IFTTT, Athom Homey, Conrad Connect and others, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can also integrate the Smart Lock into your automation systems.

For example, the Smart Lock 2.0 could also be linked a smart front doorbell or a Nello or Nest security camera to allow tradesmen or mailmen into your property. Or you can use IFTTT to create a Google sheet that records working times.

Overall, the integration of Nuki into the wider smart home ecosystem can be rated as pleasingly extensive. The usual safety standards seem to be observed. At least when authenticating third-party services, the manufacturer seems to adhere to the usual good practice of never exchanging passwords in plain text.

Nuki Web has the further advantage that you can control your Smart Lock 2.0 without your smartphone. Since display damage, empty batteries, theft and loss are all part of the life for a smartphone, you should definitely consider securing them with an alternative. As a last resort, there is of course always the option to open the door from the outside with a key.

Several basic functions of the Nuki lock and the app such as temporary lock codes, lock-and-go, user account management, and encryption have not been changed since the first version of the device. Only the smartwatch integration has been improved so that Apple Watches can now open the Nuki Smart Lock without a smartphone in addition to WearOS watches; however, this was not part of our tests.

Nuki Smart Lock battery

The four AA batteries that came with the device survived the first 50 days of our test. The manufacturer promises a six-month lifespanfor alkaline batteries when doing 8 to 10 locking operations per day. We'll keep checking to see if that's true. If you are using mignon batteries, battery life is likely to be shorter but is much more environmentally friendly.

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The Nuki Smart Lock works with four AA batteries. / © AndroidPIT

Once the batteries in the Nuki Smart Lock are empty, the door can still be opened effortlessly with the key from the outside.

Final verdict

Nuki is rightly one of the most successful smart home start-ups in Europe. The product has completely convinced our colleagues from our head office, especially thanks to the new combination option with the keypad.

The price, however, will make consumers think twice. The Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 pays off for all those who cannot or do not want to generously handle their keys and need access control. For Airbnb hosts, it would be a solid investment.

Since you can configure up to 200 users per lock, a Smart Lock 2.0 will eventually be cheaper than a corresponding number of key copies. There is also the security argument: you can delete a user more easily than taking a physical key from them.

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