I’ve reviewed more than ten different smart locks over the last five years.
I just finished four months of testing the Eufy Smart Lock Touch that has two features that I’ve never seen in a smart lock that I’ve tested: a replaceable battery and a fingerprint reader.
Plus, the Eufy Lock has all the features that you’d expect from premium smart locks like August or Nest. Including guided installation via a phone app, full lock and unlock history, access codes for guests, auto-lock, and control while away from home.
My conclusion? Eufy’s rechargeable battery is awesome and the fingerprint reader is a smart addition. But I still lean towards one of the five August lock models (learn more), specifically the Yale Assure Connected by August because of its more refined phone app and extra features.
Now, let’s go more in-depth with the Eufy Lock. First, I’ll talk about its three design advantages, then five shortcomings, and finally, I’ll summarize all the ways that Eufy can unlock and lock.
Three Design Advantages
1. Rechargeable Battery
Most smart locks use AA batteries, which last just a few months before needing to be replaced.
But the Eufy Lock comes with a rechargeable battery pack that gets recharged with its micro-USB port.
So far, I’ve had the lock installed for four months and the battery level in the app displays two out of five bars. It’s safe to say you should get close to six months of battery per charge.
Eufy sells a backup battery for $50 to eliminate downtime, but this doesn’t make a ton of sense considering how infrequently you’ll have to charge.
I plan to charge mine just before going to sleep, to eliminate downtime, once my battery gets low. But if I forget to charge before the battery dies, the lock will work as a traditional lock and require a key to unlock.
2. Fingerprint Reader
Multiple people can have access to the lock and each person can have multiple fingers in the system. Adding new fingerprints to the system is easy. Just tap on a profile, then “fingerprint,” then “add new print.” The app will lead you through the setup as you place your finger on the reader eight times.
When my finger is placed perfectly square on the reader, it works on the first try 99% of the time. But it’s not like an iPhone or a Mac Touch ID where it’ll unlock with just the side of your finger. You need to be a little more calculated with your placement.
Sometimes the reader didn’t work on the first try because the lock wasn’t fully awake, so it had to be activated first.
Overall, the fingerprint reader works well and is a smart addition to a lock.
As for its security? I don’t know how to measure this. However, it has two smart security features that make me feel better.
First, the fingerprint data isn’t stored in the cloud. It’s stored locally on the device.
Secondly, “Wrong-Try Protection” limits the number of fingerprint attempts you’re allowed. In the app, the attempt limit can be modified from 3-10 attempts, and the amount of time where the user is locked out can be modified between 1-3 minutes.
It’s worth noting that the lock isn’t made by a company that has the experience or reputation for securing tech devices with fingerprints, like Apple, Google, or Samsung. But if you’re comfortable using something like August’s Auto Unlock feature, the fingerprint reader shouldn’t be any more or less secure.
Eufy also has a hidden keyhole. Just lift the black circular metal to find the keyhole, then use the included key. Locks like the Nest x Yale have skipped keyholes for aesthetics, but Eufy’s method preserves some coolness but also works practically. A key is a nice failsafe option if something with the tech went wrong.
Five Issues With Eufy Lock
1. No HomeKit Support
The Eufy Lock doesn’t offer Apple HomeKit support, which means that it won’t work with Siri or inside the Home app. For me, this is a deal-breaker. As someone with all HomeKit smart home devices, I like to have the status of all my devices in one spot, in one app.
I like the assurance of knowing that my house can be secure and shut down (turns off my lights, closes the blinds, turns down the thermostat, then locks the door) with just one command before sleep in my end-of-night automation.
But if you’re not a heavy Apple user, HomeKit support won’t be important to have. Plus, Eufy works with other digital assistants like Alexa and Google.
August is one of the only smart locks to have Auto-Unlock, while Eufy doesn’t have this feature. With August, your lock goes into away mode when you leave the house, then when you come back home, it automatically unlocks once you get close to the door.
Auto-Unlock keeps your house locked and secure while simultaneously making it feel like you don’t even have a lock. It’s awesome to come home to an unlocked door when coming home with lots of grocery bags.
But with Eufy’s fingerprint reader, Auto Unlock isn’t a huge loss because it offers close to the same convenience. If anything the fingerprint reader can be more convenient if you have lots of household members.
3. Door Sensing
Eufy has no way of knowing if your door is open. August has a small magnetic device that goes in the door jam that alerts you if your door is still open. Theoretically, the Eufy app could show your door as locked and secure, but it could be wide open with just the lock latch slid over.
Knowing your door’s status is just extra peace of mind.
4. Weird Syncing Issue
Eufy occasionally has strange syncing errors.
A warning message appeared 10-15 times in my four months of testing that said: “Unable to lock. The deadbolt may be stuck.” The interesting part is that the lock would work as intended and be locked when this warning appeared.
It could be a software bug. Or maybe the motor doesn’t have quite enough power to lock the door fully if the door isn’t perfectly shut. It was annoying either way.
5. Spotty Connection Away from Home
On more than one occasion, I wasn’t able to control my lock away from home when I wanted to. My lock was just offline and couldn’t be reached.
The Eufy lock that I bought (T8520) doesn’t need a bridge because it has built-in WiFi, which means that you can control the lock when you’re away from home without any other equipment.
I noticed that my lock couldn’t be reached when my lock hadn’t been used in a few hours. Maybe Eufy goes some kind of low power mode to preserve the battery. Or it could just be a bug that’ll get fixed down the line with a software update.
I’d be interested to see if the Eufy models with a bridge included have this issue too. Either way, it’s not a huge issue. Usually, when I’m checking the status of my lock, it’s within a few minutes of leaving home because I’m not sure if I remembered to lock the door.
Ways to Unlock
Like we talked about, Eufy doesn’t have Auto-Unlock or support for Siri, however, there are still plenty of ways to unlock the door.
- The easiest way is using one of your fingers. Just place a finger squarely on the reader after half a second, the reader will turn blue and unlock the door.
- The next easiest unlock method is to use the keypad. Just tap the keypad to wake it, then enter your code, followed by the checkmark.
- Just open the Eufy Security app, then drag the lock icon down to unlock. Sometimes the communication can be a bit laggy, but it works well overall.
- Unlock with Alexa or Google assistant apps or your voice by saying “unlock the back door.” You’ll need to provide your access code via your voice after asking with your voice.
- The final way to unlock is to use the key and keyhole. This is the last resort because you probably won’t have your key with you (considering the point of a smart lock is to remove the key). But it’s a great option if something goes wrong with the lock.
Keep in mind, if your battery dies before you have a chance to recharge, you can still get in your house if you have a USB power bank handy. Just plug the power bank into the bottom port via micro-USB, then enter in your code.
Ways to Lock
- The easiest way to lock the door is to place your finger on the reader.
- You can also push and hold the lock button, but this method requires you to first wake the screen, then hold the button for a couple of seconds, which seems like too long.
- You can lock inside the Eufy Security app by sliding the lock icon down.
- You can lock with the Google and Alexa assistant apps or via your voice. These assistants won’t require a code or need authentication.
- You can set an Auto-Lock timer between one second and three minutes. You can even schedule a time window when you want Auto Lock enabled. Keep in mind, Eufy doesn’t know if your door is shut, so using Auto-Lock can be risky. When I use Auto-Lock with a smart lock, I like the timer between 5-10 minutes, which isn’t even an option with Eufy unfortunately.
Who is this for?
Get the Eufy Smart lock if you want to open your door with your finger. The fingerprint reader is an easy way for everyone in your household to have access to the lock. Eufy’s rechargeable battery is another great idea that provides convenience and potentially saves money.
With the fingerprint sensor, you’ll have to sacrifice a few features that I love from other smart locks. For example, Eufy works just fine with iPhones, but it won’t work inside the Apple Home app or with Siri.
You won’t get the Auto-Unlock feature that August offers, which isn’t a huge loss due to the fingerprint reader. But you’ll miss out on August’s DoorSense feature that keeps track of whether the door is fully shut or not too.
For me, the lack of HomeKit, Auto-Unlock, and DoorSense are deal-breakers. But that doesn’t mean that the Eufy Lock is bad or that it’s not a good choice for you. Lots of people will prefer the fingerprint reader over any of August’s features.
So if you’re going with a Eufy lock, which one should you get?
Eufy T8520 is the most expensive model and comes with a rechargeable battery and built-in WiFi.
Eufy T8510 requires AA batteries rather than a rechargeable battery and it doesn’t have WiFi built-in, which means it can’t be controlled away from home unless you buy a Eufy bridge. But there’s a Eufy T8510 model that includes a bridge, which is a solid alternative to the T8520.
You definitely want control away from home, but the rechargeable battery probably isn’t worth the $60 to most.
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