Eufy Security — Anker sub-brand spanning just about everything from video doorbells and baby monitor security cameras — has now moved to the world of smart locks, hitting the market with a svelte piece of hardware that’s packed with features. And stronger of them work well.
Bluetooth-only lock offers a quite attractive design, decorated entirely in black. Adopting the now-standard straight rectangle design, Eufy keeps the chassis thin both inside and outside your door, where the escutcheons come from the surface only about 1.5 inches and 1 inch respectively.
This review is part of TechHive’s protection of the best smart locks, where you will find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.
Installation is described in a detailed manual, printing, and the numbered boxes inside the kit to help novices keep track of what’s in it. The whole affair goes together simply and traditionally: You bolt the outer escutcheon to a mounting inner plate, and then connect this inner escutcheon. Four AA batteries power the unit, and Eufy says they should last a full year.
You’ll need the Eufy Security app — not the EufyLife or EufyHome apps, which are reserved for other Eufy smart-home gear in the series setup. Unfortunately, the app didn’t work when I first tried to install the lock; it wouldn’t even let me set up a username and password. After some troubleshooting, the company said it was a temporary server issue on its end.
The next day, the app chokes again during setup, a bit further along. Again, the company blamed a server error. Since I tested the series a few days before its official launch, it’s tempting to chalk this up to beta pain, but since the app (and Eufy’s servers) have been around since at least 2018, the multi-day hiccup feels alarming.
After the server issues were resolved, I had no other real issues with setup except for a buggy calibration process that would not turn the deadbolt off at all. Carefully loosening some of the bolts — a common fix — got things moving, though Eufy’s engine sounds like it struggles more than most when operating the lock.
Again, the range is Bluetooth only, so it’s not really integrated with other smart home gear (out of anything you might already be using in the Eufy Security app), including voice assistants. Apple HomeKit support is also not in the cards. In addition to using the app to operate the lock, you also get three other methods of accessing: numeric keypad, physical key, and fingerprint reader.
Eufy’s app is fairly straightforward, making it easy to operate the lock on demand, set up access for additional users, and see a story of who comes and goes. The settings menu offers a significant depth of extra options, including a lock-out system that limits the use of the lock when wrong PINs or fingerprints are recorded to check with a scaling system that allows users to input misleading digits before or after their PINs as an extra security measure (reducing the chance of a criminal deducting the real pin by examining which number has fingerprints on them).
Auto-locking can automatically close the door after up to three minutes and can even be set to operate only during specific hours. One of the killer lock features is an integrated gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor that can determine whether the door is open — without requiring a typical, external magnetic sensor — that allows it to close the door automatically when closed.
A fingerprint reader
All of these features worked well in my testing, with one exception: the fingerprint reader is decidedly irregular. While it’s easy to register prints, it felt almost random whether the lock would actually read my print when I tried scanning it and unlocking the door. Careful placement of my thumb or finger improves my success rate, but some of the closing time would just refuse to identify my print no matter what I did.
I’ve never found much of a model in any of this. One moment the print wouldn’t scan, the next it would work fine, although it definitely worked better with thumb against smaller fingers. Using the automatic lock-out feature can create a real problem. With curiosity, while the system supports up to 100 users, it can store only 50 fingerprints.
Another handy feature is the inclusion of a microUSB port on the bottom of the exterior. This can be used to temporarily turn off the power from any other connected USB device, in place of the more typical 9-volt terminal, if its internal AA battery dies. Arguably, it’s easier today to scare a microUSB cable than it is a 9-volt battery; Then again, you can still keep a physical key as your emergency access method, too. Eufy’s key mechanism is a type of security that is more difficult to select or copy.
At $ 249, the Eufy Smart Lock Touch is competitive in price with other fingerprint-reading locks, but the secret sauce of any lock is its ability to work perfectly every time — or at least close to it. As it stands, close the Eufy good enough to pass pick up, but it needs to work a bit better before earning a strong recommendation.