Level Lock Touch Edition review

Level Lock Touch Edition review

When we reviewed the Level Lock back in 2020, we appreciated its ease of installation and Apple HomeKit support, but we weren’t crazy about its limited third-party platform options and use of a semi-hollow locking bolt. The new Level Lock Touch Edition ($329) offers one-touch access via your finger or a keycard and looks as stylish as ever, but it still relies on a HomeKit hub or a Ring Sidewalk-compatible camera for remote access. If you don’t already own such a device or otherwise want more varied third-party platform options, the less expensive Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi ($249) is a better option, as well as our Editors’ Choice winner for smart locks.


Elegant appearance, few integrations

While the original Level Lock uses your existing lock components and replaces the lock with a motorized gearbox, the Level Lock Touch replaces the entire lock. It comes with an IPX4 waterproof external keyway housing, an internal thumb turn, a motorized gearbox, a deadbolt lock, a strike plate, two keys, two key cards, a long cap for the battery compartment, a CR2 battery and various screws. The lock is encased in four elegant finishes, including matte black, polished brass, satin chrome or satin nickel.

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The round exterior uses a mix of stainless steel and metal alloy, and houses a key slot that measures 2.5 inches wide and 1.2 inches deep. A smooth, slanted collar surrounds it and lets you lock and unlock the door with the tap of your finger (as long as you have your phone with you). You can also program the included key cards to lock and unlock the door.

Level Touch Smart Lock deadbolt

The inner housing is also round and has the same finish as the outer. It measures 2.5 inches wide and 1.3 inches deep, and has a thumb turn for manual locking and unlocking of the door. The lock fits doors that are 1-3/4 to 2 inches thick with a standard 2-1/8-inch diameter drill hole. A single CR2 battery powers the lock and should last up to a year before you need to replace it. As with the original level lock, the locking bolt is semi-hollow to accommodate the battery. Again, I question the durability of a semi-hollow deadbolt compared to a solid, but according to the folks at Level, the deadbolt meets or exceeds ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards for grade 1/A locks.

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The Level Touch supports Bluetooth, but does not have a Wi-Fi radio. You can still control it remotely if you connect it to an Apple HomeKit hub (compatible hub devices include Apple TV, HomePod and iPad). Alternatively, you can connect it to the Ring Sidewalk network via a compatible Ring Video Doorbell as a bridge and control it remotely from the Ring app. Just note that you cannot use the lock with both HomeKit and Ring Sidewalk at the same time.

The aforementioned Touch to Unlock feature requires you to enable location services on your phone and only works when you return home from away mode. The lock also offers automatic locking and automatic unlocking functions. Auto-Lock allows you to configure the door to lock after being open for any period of time between 30 seconds and an hour. The Auto-Unlock feature uses location services (geofencing) to unlock the door automatically when you get home. Note that you cannot enable both Auto-Lock and Press to unlock options at the same time.

As mentioned, Level Touch supports HomeKit (and thus Siri voice commands). That means you can set it up to work with other HomeKit devices via Scenes and Automations in the Apple Home app. The lock does not work with Alexa, Google Assistant or IFTTT, which limits interoperability.


Level Lock App Experience

The Touch Edition lock uses the same Level Home mobile app (available for Android and iOS) as the standard model. The lock appears in a panel on the home screen that shows the name, status (locked or unlocked), last access time and last user. Press and hold the square icon to lock and unlock the device.

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Level Home app screens showing recent activity, lock settings and invite settings

Tap the gear icon in the lower right corner to configure Auto-Lock, Auto-Unlock and Touch settings. Here you can adjust the lock’s sound and beep volume, calibrate the lock, add an optional keyboard ($79), and enable Boost Range (which provides a stronger Bluetooth signal for more consistent performance, but reduces battery life by about a month).

To add users and assign full-time, recurring, or date-limited access, tap the person icon at the top right of the home screen. When you send an access invitation via email, the recipient receives a link to accept the invitation and instructions to download the app. For non-phone users, you can create a key card that can lock and unlock the door, but you cannot configure any restrictions or time limits for the cards. You can purchase additional key cards in a pack of four for $20.


Easy to install and use

I had no problems installing Level Lock Touch Edition. I started by removing the existing lock and deadbolt assembly. I then installed the new deadbolt with the supplied screws. I slid the motor assembly through the drill hole and tightened the connection screw to secure it to the bolt. I then attached the end piece to the door frame, fed the outer housing through the motor assembly, and attached the inner and outer housings with the supplied bolts. I inserted the battery into the bolt compartment, heard a chirp, and downloaded the Level Home app.

After creating an account, I tapped Add Lock on the welcome screen and then Pair. Once the app recognized the lock, I gave it a name and added it to a room. A short chirp confirmed that the installation was complete. I updated the firmware and then chose between the HomeKit or Ring Sidewalk platforms. I selected HomeKit, scanned the HomeKit code in the installation guide and enabled the Touch to Lock and Touch to Unlock features.

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Level Touch worked well in testing. It responded instantly to my touch key to lock and touch to unlock commands. The Auto-Lock and Auto-Unlock options worked perfectly too. In-app commands to lock and unlock the door also worked as intended, as did key card access and Siri voice commands.

The lock was very quiet during testing, worked smoothly, and paired seamlessly with other HomeKit devices. For example, an automation I made for an Eve smart power strip to turn on when someone unlocked the door worked without issue. I also encountered no problems when I added the lock to a Goodnight scene that both turned off certain lights and locked the door.


Works best for HomeKit-centric homes

If you use Apple HomeKit and/or own a compatible Ring Sidewalk device, the Level Lock Touch Edition could be a worthy addition to your smart home. It works with Siri voice commands and Apple Home automation, and offers multiple unlock options. But it lacks a Wi-Fi radio and requires a HomeKit hub or Ring Sidewalk bridge for remote control. If you can give up HomeKit support, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi is a stronger choice as it offers more unlocking options, doesn’t require a hub and supports Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Does not work with Alexa, Google Assistant or IFTTT

  • Requires bridge for external access

The bottom line

The Level Lock Touch Edition supports HomeKit and several unlocking options, including keycards, but it lacks Wi-Fi and doesn’t work with many other third-party services.

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