Danalock Smart Door Lock review

A sleek lock with HomeKit support

Danalock Smart Door Lock
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Hailing from Denmark, the Danalock V3 ($230) is a smart door lock with an eye-catching, sleek design. Available in a HomeKit, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Bluetooth-only version, this lock fits into pretty much any smart home setup.

A retro-fit solution, the Danalock replaces the interior portion of your door lock, making installation a snap and meaning you can still use your existing key. Just remove your thumb turn, screw in Danalock’s backplate (using your existing screws) and attach the Danalock. It takes five minutes.

We tested a Z-Wave version of the lock, which has a lot of the same functionality as the other retrofit option in this space – August. While Danalock is a lot smaller than August’s lock (just 2.63 inches), it’s still just as noisy when locking and unlocking.

The slimmer form factor does look nicer on the back of your door, and will fit better on smaller door frames, plus with white and black versions coming later this year, there are more options for coordinating with your décor. Here's my verdict on the Danalock.

Danalock Smart Door Lock review

Danalock Smart Door Lock: Features

The Danalock has most of the features you might want in a smart door lock, except one.

Auto-unlock will unlock your door as soon as you’re in Bluetooth range, sending a notification when you enter a user-set geofence radius, as well as once it’s completed the unlocking. Auto-lock automatically locks your door up to 180 seconds after it’s been opened (you can choose your time length).

Twist assist uses the internal motor to complete the locking or unlocking from inside the house with just a light touch (useful for those with limited motion in their hands), and e-keys and pin codes (for the optional extra key pad) can be sent from the app, giving residents or visitors permanent or temporary access.

What Danalock is missing is the ability to tell if the door is open or not, making it possible for you to think your door is locked (the app will say it is) but in fact it’s ajar with the deadbolt sticking out.

Danalock Smart Door Lock review

The optional Danapad, a Bluetooth LE keypad, can help avoid this by letting you lock the door by pressing a lock button on the keypad when you leave – so you don’t have to rely on keys. The keypad also lets you give out pin codes, so visitors don’t have to download an app to get in. (The Danapad doesn’t currently work with the HomeKit version, which also doesn’t support auto-unlock features or sharing of digital keys).

The other feature that’s half missing is voice control. If you have a HomeKit lock you can use Siri, but there’s no native compatibility for the Z-Wave lock, unless your hub works with Alexa (such as SmartThings or Wink). Pairing the Zigbee lock with an Echo Plus or Echo Show, which have a Zigbee radio in, will give you Alexa voice control, should you want it.

Danalock Smart Door Lock: Setup and installation

Once the lock was installed, we used Danalock’s app (iOS and Android) to calibrate the lock and pair the Bluetooth keypad (which installs with screws or double-sided tape). In the app, we added some pin codes and enabled features like auto-unlock and auto-lock. The smallest distance you can set the geofencing radius for auto-unlock is 300 metres, but the lock won’t actually unlock until you are right in front of the door, as it operates over Bluetooth.

Auto-locking and unlocking all works without the need for a hub, but if you want to control your lock away from home, you need to pair it with a compatible hub (a Danalock bridge, like August’s Connect, is coming soon according to the company). We paired it easily with a SmartThings hub to gain remote access, which lets you lock and unlock remotely through the SmartThings app, as well as add your lock to smart home routines.

Danalock Smart Door Lock review

Danalock Smart Door Lock: In use

The key feature for a smart lock is the ability to lock and unlock without a key. The auto unlocking worked reliably in our testing – we received a notification when we entered our unlock zone and then the lock unlocked as we arrived at the door.

Danalock Smart Door Lock
Danalock Smart Door Lock

The auto-lock was a little trickier, as the only built-in option is to choose a certain length of time after the door is unlocked to lock again. However, if the door was left open it would still lock, as the Danalock has no way to know if the door is open or closed (August has a feature called DoorSense which does this).

This means if you just checked the app, you could easily think your door was locked when it’s actually wide open. We found the keypad a more reliable way to lock the door – just press the lock button and it locks instantly, in front of you.

Danalock Smart Door Lock
Auto-unlock and a wide range of interoperability with smart home systems make this a great smart lock. Its slimmer form factor is also a plus, and if you add a Danapad you have multiple smart ways to access your door – but it’s a little pricey. A lack of direct Alexa control (you can set it up through IFTTT or a hub) or any Google integration is a shame, but voice control really isn’t essential on a smart door lock.
  • Auto-unlock feature is excellent
  • Small design – fits on most doors
  • Can still use keys
  • No way to know if the door is open
  • No direct Alexa/Google voice control
  • No remote access without hub

TAGGED    smart home    Smart Locks

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