We tested Wyze’s new Lock Bolt to see if this too-cheap-to-be-true smart lock was the one we wanted on our front door.
When I first heard about the Wyze Lock Bolt, I wasn’t sure what the folks at Wyze were up to. That’s because Wyze had already put out a Wi-Fi smart lock I liked a lot — Wyze Lock. The Wyze Lock works with Google Assistant (or Alexa). You can access it from anywhere. And at $150 with the keypad, it’s pretty cheap.
The Wyze Lock Bolt, which dropped last year, might have been a little nicer to look at. And it’s even better now that it comes in two colors: satin nickel and matte black. But word on the street was — how do I put this nicely? — the Bluetooth-only Lock Bolt just wasn’t that smart.
Then again, the Lock Bolt came with a cutting-edge fingerprint sensor and was at least half the price of the brainier Wyze Lock — or most other top smart locks we’ve reviewed in these pages, for that matter. So the question I had was pretty simple: Is the rock-bottom Wyze Lock Bolt smart enough on the day to day to make me say goodbye to my pricier Wi-Fi-enabled deadbolt?
In this hands-on Wyze Lock Bolt review, we’re going to find out.
Did You Know? Bluetooth hacking is a pretty low security risk for smart lock users. Criminals need to be nearby and have only a few seconds to attack. Still, to keep absolutely safe, you can disconnect your Lock Bolt from Bluetooth when you’re not communicating with it.1
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I’ll just say that with a Bluetooth smart lock like the Lock Bolt, you’re sacrificing two key smart lock features. The first is remote unlocking, which I’ll get into more below because the Lock Bolt does have a clever workaround for this.
The second possible deal breaker is no smart home integration. Without Wi-Fi, the Wyze Lock Bolt is simply walled off from your connected home. So if you’ve been steadily building a smart home that runs like a digital Swiss clock, you may want to consider a smart lock that works with your other smart stuff.
With that out of the way, I’ll also say that the cheap, stylish Wyze Lock Bolt was more than enough for my needs, and it may very well be for yours too.
As far as major hardware goes, the Wyze Lock Bolt doesn’t have that much. Besides the deadbolt itself, my box came with a keypad (for outside) and a thumb turn lock (for inside). So, in terms of actual assembly time, the Lock Bolt is easier than it looks.
That said, there are smaller parts involved, including mounting plates and screws. So make sure you don’t toss any of them by accident — especially the measuring template. That little rectangle of paper will come in very handy if you’re having trouble making the Lock Bolt fit your door!
FYI: Wyze makes a lot more than just smart locks. If you’re considering adding a budget camera or two to your home security arsenal — always a good idea — we’ve also tested Wyze’s indoor and outdoor security cameras.
I’m always hesitant to describe any hardware installation as easy. With small parts and screwdrivers, plenty can go wrong.
But I will say that if you’re replacing an existing deadbolt, the Wyze Lock Bolt is pretty darn easy to get up and running. You may have to adjust the length of the deadbolt a little. But it’s as simple as turning the housing over and extending its length.
The only other part of this otherwise pain-free installation that might rattle your nerves is holding the keypad in place while you fit and screw in the interior assembly. If it’s too many parts to juggle at once, just get someone to hold the keypad while you install the lock. It takes only a minute or two.
Installation Tip No. 1: What we call the “backset” is the distance from the edge of your door to the bore hole (the big hole on the face of your door). Standard backset measurements are 2 ¾ inches (70mm) and 2 ⅜ inches (60 mm). If your backset is 2 ¾ inches, you’ll have to extend the length of Wyze’s deadbolt.
Connecting the Wyze Lock Bolt to the Wyze app was a piece of cake. You will need the app and a Wyze account to set up your Lock Bolt, so if you don’t have them, go ahead and get those ready first.
Once I was online and inside the app, I added the Wyze Lock Bolt to my system and pressed the pairing button above the lock for three seconds. My keypad lit up and beeped immediately.
It took the app under 10 seconds to locate my Lock Bolt, and then a minute or two more to wrap up the configuration. After that, Wyze walked me through the final steps, prompting me to add my first code (more on this below) and fingerprint.
Installation Tip No. 2: You may be tempted to stick the batteries into your Lock Bolt before you’ve got the interior assembly screwed in place. Hold off on that. The way the Lock Bolt is set up, you won’t be able to get the screws in if the batteries are already inside.
|Matte black or satin nickel
|Dimensions (interior assembly)
|7.3" x 5.3" x 2.3"
|4.5" x 2.75" x 0.75"
|4 AA batteries (included)
|Up to 12 months
As you can see from the specs above, the Wyze Lock Bolt is fairly compact, sports great battery life, and works with fingerprints. That last is a standout feature I haven’t seen elsewhere. But it’s the Lock Bolt’s budget pricing that really demolishes the competition.
At $74, the Wyze Lock Bolt is half the price of the Wyze Lock and a good 100-plus dollars cheaper than anything else you might be thinking about sticking on your front door to keep the bad guys out.
To make this concrete, the entry-level August Smart Lock, our No. 1 pick for smart locks this year, sells for around $200. That’s not even that expensive, considering the August’s quality, but it’s still an arm and a leg more than the $74 Lock Bolt. Another of our favorite locks of 2023, the Yale Assure Lock 2, starts at $239, while the Schlage Encode is a hair cheaper at $236.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. The Wi-Fi-less Lock Bolt is a garage sale find compared to the rest of the best smart locks we’ve tested.
FYI: It might seem like smart locks, with all their moving parts, are more vulnerable to break-ins than traditional locks. This isn’t the case, however. Underneath all that tech, a sturdy smart lock uses the same quality deadbolt as a traditional lock, making it just as tough to bust through.
At the end of the day, what most of us are looking for in a smart lock — after complete security — is ease of use. At least, that’s how I approach smart locks. Wyze threw no curveballs here. The Lock Bolt was pretty much as easy to integrate into my daily routine as it was to set up.
It’s true that the Lock Bolt’s fingerprint sensor — the one feature that nudges this borderline dumb lock into smart lock territory — took some time getting used to. But after a week of practice, it wasn’t any more of a pain to pop open my door with my finger than to open my Android phone. Every once in a while, there’s a miss.
After you get used to opening your door with your finger, you probably won’t be going back to the “old-fashioned” keypad. But it was there if I wanted it — with the capacity to store up to 20 passcodes.
To lock my door, I also had two options. I could hit the lock button on the keypad manually whenever I left the house. Or I could program the Lock Bolt to lock itself after, say, a minute, two minutes, or whenever. If you’ve got kids, I think you know which option I chose. That said, my inner security stickler appreciated that lock button as a failsafe.
Did You Know? If you like the deadbolt you already have — and don’t like screwdrivers — check out the Sesame smart lock. At $119, it’s pretty cheap and you can literally fit it over your trusted deadbolt in seconds.
Now, about the elephant in the room: remote unlocking. This is a feature you get with Wi-Fi smart locks that lets you lock or unlock your door from wherever you are.
To zoom out a bit, we’ve tested top-of-the-line home security systems that used this technology to arm and disarm themselves when we got within 20 feet of the front door. It’s called geofencing and it can come in very handy if you’re a home automation buff.2
The Wyze Lock Bolt isn’t equipped with geofencing. In fact, the Lock Bolt doesn’t even use proximity locking and unlocking. That’s the technology that locks and unlocks your car doors automatically via RFID (radio frequency identification) if you have remote access.
Did not having this tech bother me? Not really. I tested my Lock Bolt for a week and got used to not being able to unlock the door remotely or automatically when I was nearby. Using my finger was simple and quick enough. (I feel kind of silly even having to say that.)
However, since this is my front door we’re talking about, I did flash-forward uncomfortably to a possible scenario in the future where someone — a guest or even my own child — is standing outside my door and I’m running errands and can’t let them in. Fortunately, I found a solution to this problem that worked great.
Pro Tip: If entrusting your children with a password is too risky or you think they won’t remember it, the Wyze Lock Bolt allows you to store up to 50 fingerprints.
The Wyze Lock Bolt has a pretty brilliant hack for a not-so-smart lock that doesn’t work remotely. It lets you generate throwaway passcodes via the app that you can give to any visitors stranded on your porch. They work for an hour or two and then disappear. This was a great move on Wyze’s part because it basically eliminates the most stressful part about not owning a Wi-Fi-enabled smart lock: being locked out.
The Lock Bolt has one more feature that I really liked. When using the keypad, I could enter as many numbers as I wanted. As long as my four-digit passcode was embedded in the mix of gibberish in the right order, the Lock Bolt would recognize it and let me in.
I’ll be honest, the chances of anyone ogling my passcode is pretty slim. But it could happen. I’ve got kids. They’re not totally security-savvy. And you never know who might be peeping over your shoulder at the door. So while it isn’t a Pentagon-level addition to my security arsenal, having this ruse in my back pocket gave me even more peace of mind.
Did You Know? If you have a Wyze Video Doorbell Pro installed, you can add a locking/unlocking button to your Doorbell Pro’s live feed. This will let you lock and unlock your Wyze Lock Bolt remotely via the Wyze app.
I’ve used Bluetooth smart locks before, and I still use one on my office door. Mine is totally hassle-free, and so is the Wyze Lock Bolt.
What makes the Lock Bolt even better value for money than your run-of-the-mill Bluetooth-enabled lock is that it comes with a fingerprint sensor, locks automatically, and generates passcodes remotely for emergencies. And if you’ve already got a Wyze Video Doorbell Pro, you’ve just added remote unlocking to your Lock Bolt. What more do you need your smart lock to do?
Well, maybe you need it to integrate with your smart home? If that’s you, then the Wyze Lock Bolt is probably not going to make the best choice for your next smart lock. But for anyone else — kids or no kids — this is one ridiculously affordable smart lock that gets the job done.
No, it doesn’t. It uses Bluetooth 5.0
There are three main differences between the Wyze Lock and the Wyze Lock Bolt: price, connectivity, and smart home compatibility. The Wyze Lock uses Wi-Fi, integrates with smart home systems, and costs about double the price of the Lock Bolt. The much cheaper Lock Bolt, on the other hand, uses Bluetooth, so isn’t compatible with smart home systems.
Yes and no. It uses a fingerprint scanner, can generate passcodes remotely, and locks automatically. But it doesn’t use Wi-Fi, so you can’t connect the Lock Bolt to your smart home.
You can either lock the door manually (by pressing the lock button on the keypad) or program your Lock Bolt to lock itself after a period of time.
At $74, the Lock Bolt is far and away one of the cheapest smart locks we’ve tested.
Yes, the Lock Bolt is easy to install, especially if you’re replacing an existing deadbolt.
Most of us will be able to get the Lock Bolt up and running in between 30 and 60 minutes.
CIO. (2017, Nov 1). What is geofencing? Putting location to work.
NordVPN. (2021, Jan 21). All you need to know about Bluetooth security.