Kwikset Premis Review: One Of The Worst Smart Locks

Kwikset Premis Review: One Of The Worst Smart Locks

Kwikset Premis has a sleek design, but the keypad doesn’t work well in many circumstances.

Setup (C+):

  • There are interactive hardware instructions, similar to the Premis app and much better than Schlage’s.
  • For installation, you need to remove your existing deadbolt. Then, drill a bigger hole if your previous hole isn’t 2-⅛” (most are 2-⅛” already), install a new deadbolt latch, mount the front and back plates, attach the wires, and install a new strike on the door frame. It took me 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • I had difficulty aligning the keypad.

Unlocking (D):

  • You need to wake up the screen to enter the code, but it doesn’t work well. It takes at least 5-10 seconds for the screen to turn on.
  • You type in your 4-8 digit unlock code once the keys are visible.
  • The keypad doesn’t work with gloves and it doesn’t work well in the cold.
  • You can ask Siri to unlock if your phone is unlocked.
  • You can unlock with the included key.

Locking (C):

  • You can set it to auto-lock after 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, or 4 minutes.
  • I suggest leaving the Secure Keypad Randomizer off because it requires using an extra two buttons to lock. Otherwise, with the randomizer off, you just tap the lock button on the keypad.
  • You can ask Siri, use the Home app or the Premis app to lock.
  • You can lock with the included key.

Inside Design (B-):

  • The interior design is similar to Kevo’s, with a thin metal cover that goes over the plastic base. It looks alright but it’s nothing special.
  • You have to unscrew the metal cover with three screws to access the battery, then the pack slides right out.

Outside Design (B-):

  • The design is sleek and the digits are big and easy to read.

Software (C-):

  • The Premis app on iPhone is a mess.Setup: You’ll need to replace your previous lock setup, but the app has easy-to-follow interactive instructions.
  • You don’t get smarts or remote control from afar without an Apple TV or HomePod as your hub. It’ll just function as a keypad lock without an Apple hub.
  • It sometimes has issues connecting to HomeKit. In my experience, Premis needs to be closer to the Apple TV than other locks for it to work properly.
  • There’s a cool “Secure Mode” to indefinitely disable all codes you’ve given to other people.
  • The activity log that lets you know when the door was locked and unlocked isn’t always accurate. In my activity log, it says the door was unlocked in December of 1999.

Quick Review (TL;DR)

  • Setup: You’ll need to replace your previous lock setup, but the app has easy-to-follow interactive instructions.
  • Unlocking: You enter codes, ask Siri, or use the app. It doesn’t work well in the cold.
  • Locking: You can set auto-lock, ask Siri, use the app, or tap the lock button once the screen is awake.
  • Inside Design: It’s slim and looks well-designed.
  • Outside Design: It’s sleek and the digits are easy to read, but it’s slow to respond.
  • Software: Secure mode is cool. The activity log gets messed up sometimes.

Who is this for?

Kwikset Premis is best for you if you’re willing to sacrifice usability for aesthetics. Premis looks better from the inside and the outside and has a touchscreen. You need to wake up the screen before punching in the code (which can take longer than you’d think). The keypad responds slowly in cold weather.



Cam is a 31-year-old tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, and the brains behind Power Moves. Since 2016, he's been on a mission to deliver honest, unfiltered insights into the latest tech gadgets—without the influence of big tech sponsorships. From smart home devices to wearable tech, Cam dives deep into each product, offering readers in-depth analyses and genuine recommendations.