Lockly Vision Elite review: Lockly adds an HD camera to its already excellent smart lock

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Smarthome products have been increasing in popularity over the past few years. Some of them are great, and others are, well, silly. Lockly is one of those products I have always been keen on reviewing and using. I had the opportunity last year, but my network would not work with the product at the time. Now we have the Lockly Vision Elite, and I live somewhere new, and my Starlink network is compatible.

The previous Lockly product I intended to review piqued my interest because of the company’s PIN Genie technology. The new Lockly Vision Elite has this feature plus much more, making the company’s already excellent smart lock even better. My time with the Vision Elite has been fantastic, and the number of features this smart lock offers make it a no-brainer for our Editor’s Choice award. Read on for our full Lockly Vision Elite review.

Specifications

The Lockly Vision Elite has the following features and specifications:

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  • Self-Install
  • Motion Sensor
  • Night Vision
  • PIN Genie
  • 1080p video
  • Doorbell with 2-Way Talk
  • Voice Control
  • Auto-Lock
  • 2 Rechargeable Batteries Included
  • Solar-Enhanced Charging
  • Fingerprint Entry
  • Local TF Card Storage, no Cloud Storage required

What’s In The Box

  • Lockly Vision Elite
  • Bolt Assembly
  • Screws
  • Strike Plate + Housing
  • Physical Keys x 2
  • Rechargeable Lithium Battery x 2
  • Vision Connect Hub
  • Vision Door Sensor
  • USB &LAN Cables
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Installation & User Manual
  • Doorbell Decal

Design

Lockly Vision Elite review: Lockly adds an HD camera to its already excellent smart lock

The Lockly Vision Elite design is clean and minimal. The unit only comes in a matte black color which looks elegant and simple. The front of the unit, which faces out, has the 1080p camera, IR sensors, microphones, PIN Genie touchpad, physical key lock, solar panels, speaker, LED indicators, and 9V battery terminal.

The front of the unit looks big, but it’s not much bigger than most other smart or regular deadbolt locks. The build quality of the front portion is rugged and made to withstand the elements. The back of the unit, which faces in, has a speaker, lock/unlocked indicator, rechargeable battery, and lock turning mechanism is made of plastic but is still high quality.

The back of the unit is also big, but it is not abnormally large, and it looks nice, so the size didn’t bother me. The entirety of the Lockly Vision Elite is well-built and uses premium materials, and I feel the company has taken great care to create a solidly built device.

Overall, the Lockly Vision Elite looks very nice on any door and is built well with premium materials which help justify its US$500 price point. I don’t think anyone will not like the looks and build of this lock.

Setup/Install

Lockly Vision Elite review: Lockly adds an HD camera to its already excellent smart lock

Setting up and installing the Lockly Vision Elite will be different for everyone. This procedure is going to highly depend on what your current door and lock look like. In some cases, you may be able to do a quick and simple swap of your existing deadbolt, which should take you no more than 30-minutes. That is if you’ve done this sort of work before. In this scenario, you should only need simple tools like a screwdriver and possibly a small pry tool if your old lock might be stuck to the door.

In my case, I had a bit more work to do. The deadbolt I had installed on my door had a shorter locking mechanism, and the door’s hole was smaller. That meant I had to make the deadbolt receiver in the door jam broader and deeper to accommodate the Lockly Vision Elite’s wider and longer bolt. I also had to make the hole in the door larger so that the front part of the lock would fit. The back of the lock worked fine, and I did not have to make that hole wider.

I used a Dremel tool to bore out the wood in the door jam; since it was a minor adjustment that needed to be made, I felt the Dremel was the perfect tool. Widening the hole in the door was a bit harder; this was also a minor adjustment as I only needed a slight increase in the diameter. I used the Dremel for this again. I was shaving off what was necessary for the Lockly Vision Elite to fit.

The good news is that once the fitment is correct, the rest of the physical installation is easy. If you do not have to adjust, you’re in fantastic shape!

Once you have the strike plate and door jam items in place, installing the rest is simple. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter for the best results. The video below is a walk-through of the installation and contains everything you need to know. Once you have the front in place, you’ll need to connect a few wires in the back and then button everything up.

You should also make sure to charge one of the two batteries to full before you use it. Then you can charge the second battery and have it ready, should you need it. We’ll go over the app/software setup in the next section.

Overall, the setup and installation of the Lockly Vision Elite can go a couple of different ways. Consider yourself lucky if you get a perfect fit out of the box. If you don’t have a perfect fit out of the box, expect to have to make adjustments. It’s not hard either way, but it will be different for everyone.

Lockly Vision Elite Installation Video

App/Software

The Lockly app allows you to add multiple Lockly devices to manage them all in one place. Setting up the app requires you to have a Lockly account which only takes a few minutes to get going. Once you have the app set up, you can move on to adding the Lockly Vision Elite.

It is straightforward, tap the add new button on the screen and follow the instructions. In the case of Vision Elite, it will ask you to set up the included Vision Connect Hub. The Hub is a small router-like device that transmits data from the lock to the TF-Card in the Hub and your smartphone.

Setting the Hub up is as simple as plugging a network cable into the Hub and connecting that to a router or access point. Then you plug the Hub into power, but you must have the Hub at least 36-inches off the ground. I tried to place it close to the ground, but it failed to connect every time. Once I got the Hub up to 36-inches or more, it connected OK.

When you have the Hub connected, you verify that in the app and then grab your Lockly activation card that is included inside the box, DO NOT LOSE THIS. The card has your unique code to identify your lock and pair it to your account in your app. Scan the QR code on the card, and the app will have you connect to your Wi-Fi. This does work on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The app may ask you to update the lock’s firmware; do this now, which will benefit you. Once the update is complete, it can take up to 10-minutes, you are ready to use your Lockly Vision Elite.

The app is decent, I think they could make it more aesthetically pleasing, but that is subjective. The Control screen shows the status of your lock and gives you access to the camera. Tap the eye icon, and you activate the camera where you can view what’s outside and speak to whoever might be at your door.

The Log screen shows you a detailed list of your lock’s activity. Here you can see manual locks/unlocks; motion detected alerts, auto locks, door jams, fingerprint unlocks with names, view camera movement, physical key unlocks, touchscreen unlocks, and even tamper alerts.

The access screen is where you can add users with special access codes. If you want to allow your in-laws to access the home but don’t want to give them your primary code, you can assign them a unique code. This is great to track who is accessing your home if you’re away. You could also add them to the fingerprint list and assign their name to each fingerprint. The Log screen will show when they unlock the door with their unique code or fingerprint. You can also revoke permissions any time you want.

The Access screen also allows you to add eBadges, Offline Access Code Users, and fingerprints. There are a good number of methods that you can use, which makes the Lockly Vision Elite software very robust.

Lastly, the Settings screen is where you can make adjustments to your lock’s name, change camera settings, check your TF card storage, change push notifications/alerts, change your primary access code, turn off/on Hub audio, turn on/off Fingerprint audio, turn on/off Touchscreen Locking, turn on/off Rain Mode, turn off/on Random Mode, and many other adjustments. While I appreciate the number of options, it was a bit overwhelming. I don’t have any ideas on how, but simplifying the options in settings might make things less overwhelming.

Overall, the app is super helpful and has many options and settings. But the sheer number of settings can get a bit overwhelming, and you may have to ease your way into it. I’m not sure how Lockly can improve on that, but it is something they might think about.

Ease of Use

Lockly Vision Elite review: Lockly adds an HD camera to its already excellent smart lock

Once you have the physical lock setup and the app/software setup, using the Lockly Vision Elite is straightforward. I love the fingerprint unlock feature, as it allows all six of our family members to open the lock quickly with a finger. We haven’t had any bad reads yet, and its fingerprint unlocking has worked perfectly, but if it does not, you have the PIN Genie option to fall back on.

The PIN Genie is the touchscreen of the Lockly Vision Elite. It is a very clever method of securing the lock. There are four circles, each with four numbers within the circle. Using your primary access code, you use the PIN Genie to enter it. The numbers are never the same in each circle, making it harder for someone to steal your access code. Once you have your access code entered, tap the small circle at the center bottom of the screen, and the lock will open.

Lockly includes two small metal signs you can put near your old doorbell location that direct visitors and deliveries to ring the doorbell on the lock. The sign helps, as I did not uninstall the old doorbell; the sign has assisted visitors in pushing the correct button.

Overall, using the doorbell and the app is straightforward. There really are no issues here.

Performance

Lockly Vision Elite review: Lockly adds an HD camera to its already excellent smart lock

The Lockly Vision Elite is a stellar performer. The only thing I wasn’t fond of was the 1080p camera. The camera is more of a fisheye camera, and while it gives you a good range of sight, it’s weird to look at with the distorted lens. I get why Lockly used this lens, and it makes sense, but it does take some getting used to. You can set the motion sensors in the app so that the camera doesn’t go off every time a car goes by your house. I found that a helpful feature. The NightVision feature works well but has a range; the further someone or something is, the harder it is to see. Not a big deal; it is expected.

The push notifications are many and sometimes can get annoying. I appreciate that it can sense if someone might be tampering with the physical lock or the door isn’t closed. There are so many great features inside the Vision Elite that sometimes it is overwhelming. You can adjust your push notification to allow only what you want to see, so I forgive because they give you control.

The fingerprint sensor and PIN Genie touchscreen have worked flawlessly. The physical lock and key both work as intended. I love the solar panel charging, it has kept my lock charged, and I have not had to swap out for the spare battery.

The locking mechanism has never failed, and the auto-lock feature works perfectly. Overall, the performance of the lock, camera, doorbell, and everything included has been fantastic. There have been no issues since I started using the lock, and I don’t see anything terrible happening anytime soon.

Battery Life

I haven’t been able to gauge battery life as I have yet to even change out to the spare battery. The Lockly Vision Elite has a front solar panel, which helps keep it charged. My lock is exposed to sunlight for 3 to 6 hours a day, and my first original battery is still going strong. So I am giving battery life a massive 10 out of 10!

Price/Value

The Lockly Vision Elite is priced at US$499 and available at Best Buy. Yes, that is expensive. But there is a ton of value wrapped up in this lock. The Vision Elite replaces your doorbell, front security camera, and lock. The best part is that there are no subscriptions needed. Everything is stored on the included TF card in the Hub, and you can access it anytime. The price here is fair, given the value you are being given.

Wrap Up

Air, food, and water are something everyone needs. A smart lock isn’t for everyone. Not everyone is a fan of IoT devices; some find them intrusive. That’s OK. For those in the market for a smart lock, the Lockly Vision is the Lamborghini of smart locks, but it costs significantly less and offers more value. I’d recommend the Vision Elite to anyone looking for a smart lock. The addition of the 1080p camera and doorbell make this the smart lock to have.

Last Updated on October 2, 2022.

Lockly Vision Elite

US$499.99

Design

9.5/10

Installation and Setup

9.0/10

App/Software

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Performance

9.5/10

Battery Life

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Robust and tough build quality
  • Clean minimal design
  • Software/App setup is simple
  • Easy to Use
  • All functions perform well and there are a lot of functions here
  • Two rechargeable batteries included and solar enhanced charging
  • Lots of features for the price point
  • Local storage for video, no need for subscriptions or cloud storage
  • Combines a dead bolt smart lock, smart camera, and smart doorbell in one

Needs work

  • Installation can be involved, depending on your existing deadbolt, door, and door frame
  • While the app is decent, there could be improvements in the way it is structured and organized
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