In this review we talk about WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock, an interesting accessory for the smart home. It is an electronic lock that allows you to open and close a door in a safe and intelligent way, with many different access methods and not only with the smartphone. But will it really be safe and functional?
Home automation will take up more and more space in the world of consumer electronics: smart speakers, smart lamps and much more. But home security will also play an important part. In fact, after the video intercoms there have been no big news in the last 20 years in this area. But in recent years, some devices have been appearing in the doors of our homes. They are the smart lock, like this WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock that allows you to manage your home lock with a numeric code, with your smartphone and even with magnetic cards. But will it be safe? How difficult is it to install? We will attempt to answer these and other questions later in our WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock review.
Installation | WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock Review
WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock will essentially go to completely replace the cylinder of your door. It will therefore be necessary to disassemble some pieces of the lock to remove the old cylinder and insert our smart lock into the slot. The operation is quite simple and is done with a standard screwdriver by removing a few screws. In the attached images you can see an example. WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock fits perfectly to European standard cylinders, although you will have to use a little force to make it fit into its housing in the lock. It will then be important to correctly fix the locking screw of the cylinder – the one located on the inside of the door. There is a special joint, but it must be taken blindly so you will have to go to touch a bit. In all installation should not take more than 15 to 20 minutes. However, you will have to work a bit because the instructions – poorly translated into Italian and English – are not exactly clear in some places. Fortunately, the operation is really simple!
Supplied there are two Allen keys to disassemble the smart lock, insert the batteries and install it. We also have a couple of spare screws and a plastic shell to protect the outer knob in case of rain. In case of flat batteries, a power bank can be connected via USB for emergency opening.
Build quality | WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock Review
Let’s start immediately with one of the fundamental aspects: the build quality. In this section we will see to deepen the design of the product, the materials used and above all its resistance from a mechanical point of view. It must be said that at first glance the product looks good: made entirely of well polished steel on the outside, pleasing to the eye. The design of the handles is quite ergonomic and the feeling is that of solidity. The numeric keypad is well assembled. Although made of plastic, the feedback is excellent thanks also to the sound. The small LCD screen, on the other hand, could be a bit difficult for those with some vision problems, but it provides all the information necessary to use the device. Thanks to the backlighting, WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock can be used even at night without limitations. We can be satisfied to hold this smart lock in hand. But will it be reliable to keep the bad guys out?
The answer is yes. This is due to the operating principle on which WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock is based. We said that the locker replaces the cylinder which is connected directly to the lock. Basically, by turning the locker shaft you can open and close the lock. Here the very interesting idea: when the WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock is simply closed the handle turns idle on the shaft, when it is open, it grips, allowing the lock to be opened and closed. Simple and effective. There isn’t much to force, the handle will simply turn freely. Furthermore, the inside of the cylinder remains inaccessible and it will not be possible to insert tools inside the lock. Everything is placed in the solidity of the same.
How to unlock the lock | WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock Review
One of the coolest things about this smart lock is the multiple ways in which you can unlock the device. We have the smartphone application, the magnetic cards and the numeric keypad. Let’s start with the least smart way: the keypad. Just enter the stored code to unlock the lock. Different passwords can be registered for different users. The keypad is certainly the simplest thing even for those who are a little old and maybe not familiar with modernity. It is also always there at our disposal, even if the smartphone is empty or we forget the magnetic card. Even the latter, however, is very simple to use: to enable it, just pass it in front of the locker and then approaching it, the latter will unlock it. The card is a quick alternative to the key as you will still have to carry it with you at all times.
Finally we have the smartphone application. We will elaborate on this point in the next section, but we anticipate that it is a sore point. Unlocking is not complicated: there is a big button in the center of the UI which unlocks WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock. A banner also appears telling us to turn the handle. However, the locker disconnects immediately after e it takes a few seconds to reconnect. A somewhat tedious behavior.
Software and security | WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock Review
Let’s start by saying that two types of users can be registered in the system. The administrator who has all the rights to modify, veto and enable other users. Other users, on the other hand, can only lock and unlock the locker. The UI of the handle is really minimal, but effective. You can navigate using the keypad and reading the directions on the mini-display. Access to the management menu is only possible for the administrator who can add new user passwords and new cards.
The accompanying application, on the other hand, as anticipated, is a really out of tune note gives goosebumps in a well-arranged symphony. Already from the first start you notice a really poorly maintained UI. But aside from the graphics that come straight from 15 years ago, usability is bad. Things cannot be found. The instructions do not help or are more confusing. To understand how to do anything essentially you have to go a little by intuition. But how it works is by no means intuitive. It was hell to associate the smart lock with the application. Plus it’s a bit jerky at times.
Yet there are really cool features implemented. For example every time someone uses the WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock we will get a notification with lots of useful information such as username and time. Users can be enabled for a limited period or with a limited number of unlocks. Basically a great idea, but the last 100 meters are missing to completely satisfy the user.
Finally we wanted to analyze the security of the bluetooth protocols. From what we have been able to learn sniffing packets with Wireshark, it appears that you are using the Simple Secure Pairing for data exchange, with OOB paring method (Out of Band) since it is necessary to register the device in the application using the QR code or the numeric code shown in the package. It is about a safe way to pair devices because it requires physical access to the package. Furthermore, the Secure Mode, the use of AES encryption and key generation with ECDH P-256 algorithm. So it is a robust device from this point of view that certainly cannot be easily hacked by just anyone.
Surely the build quality of this WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock is good. Installation is not difficult and it only takes a screwdriver and a few minutes, as long as you can interpret the instructions on the fly. A very good product from a mechanical point of view. On the other hand, the software side is bad, not so much for the features that are well implemented – also in terms of security -, but for the careless user interface and the translation errors that make the user experience tedious and very confusing. There is no sense of immediacy. The idea is good, but the software part must certainly be refined. It could also add some smarter features after all, such as timer opening and closing. In terms of security, both from a mechanical and IT point of view, we did not find any obvious shortcomings.
The price is slightly lower than the competition, but still much higher than that of a simple cylinder. Is it really worth it? sure we can forget about the keys and from a certain point of view we also increase the security of our lock. It can be a good investment in this regard, but don’t expect such a radical change in your life. This WE.LOCK Smart Door Lock will solve the problems of exchanging keys, moving them from one bag to another or simply forgetting them. A nice convenience, but not essential in conclusion. From the electronic section that’s all! Keep following us!
× Update: the company has developed a new version of the management application not yet available in the Play Store. The apk file must be downloaded and installed manually. The new application uses a more modern and intuitive graphical interface, even if the functionalities do not vary that much. The responsiveness also seems to have improved slightly. Beautiful on the outside, ugly on the inside
Points in favor
- Solid construction
- Lots of features for unlocking
- Good level of security
- Supplied application to be redesigned
- Sometimes unclear instructions
- Some useful features are missing