Yale Assure Lock 2 – Review 2022

Yale Assure Lock 2 – Review 2022

Whether you rent out your home to guests, want to monitor the comings and goings of your dog walker, or you’re just tired of fumbling around with keys, a smart lock can add a great deal of convenience to your life. Assure Lock 2 from Yale is slimmer and smarter than the previous generation and supports Apple HomeKit on all models. It starts at $159.99 for a Bluetooth-only version, while the top-of-the-line touchscreen model with Wi-Fi costs $259.99. Whatever you choose, Assure Lock 2 lets you lock and unlock your door in multiple ways, create and manage access codes for guests, and view a timeline of door and lock activity. The $249 Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock remains our Editors’ Choice winner for its biometric fingerprint scanner, but the Assure Lock 2 is a strong contender with a striking design.

Slimmer and smarter

The Assure Lock 2 collection ranges from $159.99 to $259.99 and consists of four models, which are up to 30% smaller than their predecessors.

Insure the Lock 2 series

Base models have a keyboard with physical buttons, though you can upgrade to a touchscreen for $20 more. Each is available keyless or keyed, the latter of which has a mechanical key cylinder that works with a physical key. Keyless and keyless models cost the same. The Assure Lock 2 is available in three finishes: black suede, oil rubbed bronze or satin nickel.

All models work with the Yale Access app (available for Android, iOS and watchOS) via Bluetooth and support Apple HomeKit. In the Assure Lock 2 box, you also get Yale’s DoorSense device, which uses a magnetic sensor to track when your door is open and closed.

Assure Lock 2 internal lock

To control the lock beyond the limited Bluetooth range (about 30 feet), you need a Wi-Fi Smart module, which is inserted into the back of the lock and allows for remote control via the Yale Access app from wherever you are. For added convenience, the Wi-Fi Smart module no longer requires a Wi-Fi Connect Bridge, so it’s easier to set up and doesn’t use a power outlet. Yale sells a version of the Assure Lock 2 with the Wi-Fi Smart Module preinstalled (starting at $239.99), or you can buy it separately for $79.99 and add it to the lock yourself.

Secure lock 2 with the battery cover off

Install the Wi-Fi Smart module

For this review, Yale sent me the Assure Lock 2 Keyless Touch Screen with Wi-Fi in Satin Nickel ($259.99).

Yale also plans to release Z-Wave and Matter Smart modules (priced at $79.99 each), which should make it easier to integrate the Assure Lock 2 with your preferred smart home ecosystem. With a Wi-Fi, Z-Wave or Matter Smart module, the lock works with Airbnb and a wide range of third-party security and automation systems, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Philips Hue, Ring and Samsung SmartThings.

The Assure Lock 2 assembly fits doors that measure 1-3/8 to 2-1/4 inches thick with a lock hole of 2-1/8 inches (standard US size) or 1-1/2 inches (commonly found in Canada ), and a 2-3/8 inch or 2-3/4 inch backset.

Keep extra batteries on hand

Whichever model you choose, the lock is powered by four AA batteries, which are included in the box. Only Bluetooth locks should last between six and nine months before you need to replace the batteries. However, adding the Wi-Fi module shortens battery life to just three months, Yale says. Battery life varies depending on usage and other factors such as Wi-Fi signal strength and the internal friction of the deadbolt. I burned through the batteries in my Wi-Fi-enabled device in just seven weeks, but I locked and unlocked it dozens of times each day while working on this review.

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Unfortunately, the app doesn’t show the battery level at all until it drops below 20%. When the batteries reach the critical level, Assure Lock 2 warns you via a notification in the app, a red light on the device itself and an audible sound. I wish it pushed these notifications much earlier. In testing, I was locked out – during a torrential downpour while only wearing socks – before receiving one of the app’s low-battery warnings.

Low battery warning

When I got a low battery notification in the app, I was already banned

If the batteries die and you get locked out, you can still open the door in one of two ways. With the key model, you can simply use the key. With the keyless model, you can use a standard 9V battery to power it from the outside. When I got banned I used the latter method (after my kind neighbor drove me to the store) and it worked. You simply place a 9V battery against the terminal on the bottom of the external keypad or touch screen and the screen should light up so you can enter your code to enter.

Charges Assure Lock 2 with 9V battery

Powers the Assure Lock 2 from the outside with a 9V battery

Replacing the batteries is easy: just slide the battery cover off the internal latch, pull the band to remove the old ones, insert the new ones and put the cover back on.

A Yale spokesperson says the majority of buyers go with a key model because they want the physical backup for peace of mind. If the battery dies and you don’t have the key with you, you’ll need to call a locksmith to get back in. The risk of being locked out is actually lower with the keyless model because you can always pick up a 9V battery at store to turn it back on. The choice is up to you, but I chose the keyless model for its more streamlined design and 9V battery backup option.

Allow some time for installation

Most people should be able to install the Assure Lock 2 on most doors themselves with just a standard Phillips screwdriver, provided it fits in place of the previous lock. Adjusting an existing door or preparing a new door for the Assure Lock 2 complicates the process and requires some additional tools, including a drill, a utility knife, a wood chisel, a tape measure, and a spirit level.

Install Assure Lock 2

As mentioned, if you’ve replaced a deadbolt lock in the past, you should have no problem installing the Assure Lock 2. I’m not good at such tasks, so I enlisted my handy neighbor Ali, who has installed several smart locks by different brands in the past.

Yale includes a written and illustrated installation guide in the box, and the Yale Access app can also guide you through the process. From start to finish, Ali completed the installation of my review unit in about two hours, although he noted that he took his time.

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Holding the DoorSense unit and the paddle piece needed to install it

Installing the optional DoorSense device, which may require drilling a hole with a 5/8-inch paddle bit, as my door did, was the hardest part. DoorSense can be installed on wooden or metal door frames.

DoorSense installed

DoorSense installed

In testing, I had no problems pairing the Assure Lock 2 with the accompanying Yale Access app. If you’re new to the app, you’ll need to create an account, then verify both your email address and phone number with one-time codes. Next, tap Set up a new device and then use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code on the lock (inside the battery compartment or on the quick launch guide).

After the app finds your device, it asks if you want to see the installation instructions or start the setup. The first step in the process is to name your house in the app and specify which door the lock is on. The app then asks you to open and unlock the door so it can calibrate the device. The calibration only takes a minute or so. When you’re done, you should be able to control the lock via the app via Bluetooth. If you choose to use the DoorSense device, it will also need to be calibrated, but this step is just as quick and easy.

Ensure the Lock 2 configuration process

If you have the Wi-Fi Smart module, you must enter the Wi-Fi password in the app to connect the lock to your home network. Note that the Wi-Fi Smart module only supports the 2.4 GHz frequency and does not work with 5 GHz networks.

During the setup process, the app asks you to create the four- to eight-digit passcode you’ll use to unlock the door. At this point I created unique codes for myself, my neighbor and my dog ​​walker. When you invite others to use the lock, you can give them full app access or just a personal passcode. You can choose your own numbers to customize the codes so they are easy to remember.

Yale Access app lock settings

The Yale Access app is simple and well organized, making it easy to manage your lock. The app has tabs at the bottom that allow you to quickly check the lock and door’s current status, lock and unlock the lock with a tap, view a timeline of lock and door activity, and create and manage access codes.

In the app’s Lock Settings menu, you can set up automations like Auto Unlock and Auto Lock, and enable Apple HomeKit so you can control the lock with Siri voice commands and Apple’s Home app. Here you can also activate Smart Alerts to be notified of certain events, such as when the door is locked/unlocked manually, locked/unlocked by a specific user, left ajar, automatically locked or the keypad locked.

Smart notifications from the Yale Access app

Keyless with Assure Lock 2

Secure lock 2

When not in use, the external touchscreen turns off, so all you see is the Yale logo at the top. To unlock it with the touch screen, simply tap the Yale logo, enter your code using the number buttons on the screen, and then tap the check mark. Neither I nor any of my guests with an access code had any problems unlocking the door this way. The lock came in handy when I traveled to Berlin to cover the IFA consumer electronics show, so my dog ​​walker could easily come and go twice a day to look after my dog ​​Bradley.

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Auto-unlock setup and notifications

The Auto Unlock feature, which uses Bluetooth to detect when you’re nearby to automatically unlock the door, is particularly useful – I’m usually still collecting things from my car when I hear it unlock automatically. With notifications from the Yale Access app enabled, it sends a notification when it automatically unlocks the door. That said, when used with the Wi-Fi module, the lock sometimes failed to unlock automatically during testing, in which case I had to enter the code to open the door.

Assure Lock 2 is controlled via Apple Watch

Controlling Assure Lock 2 from an Apple Watch SE

As mentioned, you can lock and unlock the Assure Lock 2 with one tap via the Yale Access app on your smartphone or Apple Watch, and this feature worked reliably in testing, but I almost never used it because the other methods are easier.

The Wi-Fi Smart module is a nice addition, but I wouldn’t call it a must-have feature since I spend most of my time at home. For me, the main advantage of the Wi-Fi connection is being able to check the door and lock status wherever I am. With a Wi-Fi connection, you can also remotely lock and unlock the door, monitor your activity feed and continue to receive notifications when you’re out and about. Without a Wi-Fi connection, these features will only work within Bluetooth range. And, as mentioned above, the Wi-Fi module sometimes interfered with the Bluetooth Auto Unlock function.

Secure Lock 2 in the iOS Home app

Control of Assure Lock 2 via Apple’s Home app

In testing, I had no problem connecting the Assure Lock 2 to several third-party smart home platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, via their respective mobile apps. I could then control and monitor the lock with voice commands such as “Siri, lock my front door” via a HomePod mini, “Hey Google, what’s the status of my front door” via a Nest Mini, and “Alexa, lock my front door” via an Echo Show 8.

Smart appearance and functionality

The Yale Assure Lock 2 can elevate the look of your door while adding comfort to your life. Ranging from $159.99 to $259.99, it offers a good selection to meet your needs, preferences and budget, including keyless and keyed models with physical buttons or a touchscreen. All models have Bluetooth and work with the Yale Assure app and Apple HomeKit, and you have the option of adding Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring and control. Battery life for the Wi-Fi version could be better, but otherwise we have few complaints. The competing Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi ($249) has the edge thanks to the fingerprint scanner, but the Assure Lock 2 is an excellent alternative, especially if the minimal aesthetic strikes you.

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