It's been about a year since our review of the Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 and the Nuki Opener, two smart devices capable of making the door and intercom of the house (really) intelligent, without the need to change keys or run into complicated assembly chemotherapy. And yes, I realize that, with nearly 100 IoT devices in my home, I probably went too far in organizing my home automation. But if there is one certainty that I have for some time now, it is that the future of keys is digital: we are starting to see it with cars and, for years now, the number of companies that produce systems to automate the opening and closing doors in the house are many.
But if there is a brand that over time has managed to combine safety and ease of use, it can only be Nuki, which with its new Smart Lock 3.0 e Door Sensor, has been even more successful in making the user experience easier. It is an intelligent (universal) lock and a sensor to be applied to your door that for some weeks I have been greatly appreciating not only for the production quality, but also for the "philosophy" that gave birth to them. Because, as I have said a thousand times by now, this is precisely the point of IoT devices: simplifying and automating home management (also) with intelligent functions.
And for people like me, quite pretentious when it comes to the internet of things, Nuki's products have been doing it for over a year.
Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro and Door Sensor review: the smart lock and the door sensor work in unison
Both in the packaging of the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro than in that of Nuki Door Sensor, all the necessary accessories are present to be able to immediately start using the products. Of course, given its simplicity, the Nuki Door Sensor it will arrive home in a very small package, which cannot be said about the smart lock. The packaging of the Nuki SmartLock 3.0 BESS continues to integrate the steel plates to be mounted around the lock and all the accessories already seen with the previous version, accompanied by a nice novelty: a battery pack rechargeable via USB-C. A very welcome new one, however, present only in the "Pro" version of the new smart locks just presented by the company (there is also a Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 "non pro" that works with 4 AA batteries just like the previous generation).
Installation and operation
As for installation, with the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro there are no substantial differences with the previous generation. The new smart lock is also compatible with virtually all popular locks in Europe. My advice, however, is to make sure of compatibility through the dedicated section on the manufacturer's website, in order to be totally certain that you can use the smart lock once purchased.
To install the Nuki Door Sensor instead, all you have to do is apply the two sensors on the fixed leaf and on the mobile leaf, paying attention to their centering.
In any case, as I anticipated, the installation of the two products is very simple, and will allow you to use them in no time, but let's go in order. The concept of operation of the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro does not change: it is a device that "incorporates" your house key and must therefore be positioned right next to the lock, with the key inserted. If you have a plate that covers the lock, you will have to disassemble it and then fix the steel plate using the double-sided tape (already pre-installed) and make sure to lock the rotation mechanism of the old lock with three Allen screws. And that's it.
However, one fundamental thing changes: in addition to using a rechargeable battery pack, unlike the previous generation (and the new "non pro" version), in addition to Bluetooth, the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro integrates a WiFi module. This means that it will not be necessary to use a Nuki Bridge to connect the smart lock to your home network and take advantage of all its smart features, such as compatibility with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
Once the products have been physically installed on the lock and on the door leaves, it will be necessary to pass to the application configuration phase with which the automation of the door itself can then be managed. App that continues to be not entirely "cloud-centric" and that does not require the creation of a user to manage smart devices.
And this is a very important detail, because it allows the management of the smart lock even in the absence of an internet network, simply using the integrated Bluetooth module, as long as you are close enough to your door. However, it also has a cons: every time you install the app you will have to activate the pairing mode of the devices, then add them and start using them.
However, there is also the possibility of using the so-called "Invitation code", a code with which you can "share" the product and which will allow it to be used on different devices (a very convenient thing if there are more people in the house), or the service Nuki Web: it is available only if a bridge is used, and allows the management of smart locks via a web interface and digital assistants.
A number of advanced features, such as automation of the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro according to geolocation: if you leave the house, the system could automatically close the lock and reopen it when you return. And things get even faster and more intuitive using the Nuki app widget in Android or iOS.
But the opening of the lock or the door / gate of the house it can also happen physically, without the use of electronic devices: Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro integrates a crown that can be rotated and which will start the rotation of the key it contains.
Il Nuki Door Sensor instead it is a very simple product. Its purpose is to accurately detect the opening or closing of the door, and it does so in the most traditional way possible: using a magnet sensor able to understand when the system is open or closed. But it is its integration with the lock that makes everything more functional: in addition to the possibility of receiving a notification each time the door is closed and opened (and to see the history of openings through the activity log in the app), the Nuki Door Sensor allows you to use the Auto Lock function more intelligently.
In a nutshell, if you decide to activate this feature through the app settings, using the sensor for the door Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro you will be able to lock the lock completely automatically once you have entered the house and closed the door. It is a sort of Lock 'n' go function but on the contrary: in this way, with the smart lock the now well-known function with which the door could be locked automatically once left home, is enriched with a ' very comfortable option.
Finally a small note, which left me a little perplexed: despite the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro integrates a WiFi module and Bluetooth, it cannot be used as a replacement (or coupled) to the “old” Nuki Bridge. It would have been nice that the company had thought of such a solution, so that all other accessories (which only integrate Bluetooth) could be connected to the cloud without the need to install the proprietary adapter. But hey, it's marketing baby.
The limits of the system
But although the new version of the smart lock has definitely improved, even from a mechanical point of view, there are still limits to this system. And no, these are not intrinsic limits to Nuki products, but they are rather important constraints that are found in any smart lock, of any brand.
to work it requires that the key is always inserted in the lock and, once installed, it can no longer be removed unless the smart lock is removed. And the point is simple: if there is a lock in your door that allows the insertion of two keys at the same time, the problem would not arise, but in the vast majority of cases you will no longer be able to insert the key of the house on the outside of the lock.
Which means that if you had to go home with your smartphone totally empty, or if it got lost or broken, you could find yourself in extreme difficulty precisely because you would no longer be able to use the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro and you could not put the house key in the lock. Of course, the solution would be to use the service Nuki Web, but it should be done via a computer connected to the network. In short, the situation could become rather uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact that you could get totally blocked if the smart lock breaks.
There is also a downside to the rechargeable battery pack. Because yes, it is true, despite the average duration of about 6/10 months and the inconvenience of having to buy spare batteries, the reality of the facts is very simple: using the battery pack, you will have to connect it to a power supply and wait for it to be fully recharged. (period of about 10 hours in which the smart lock will lose all its smart features). Using the normal AA batteries instead, just replace them to have the smart lock working again immediately.
Price and considerations
The price of the Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro is 249,00 euros (the “non pro version costs 149.00), while that of Nuki Door Sensor is 39 euros. All models can be purchased directly through the official company store and on Amazon (find the box below) And yes, they certainly cannot be called cheap products. And no, they are not perfect, but with the new version of the smart lock, steps forward in terms of integration and smart functions have been made. And for about a year things have been like this (for me):
regardless of the fact that I am someone who often forgets the keys at home before going out, or who returns with my hands full of shopping bags (and, in these situations, finding the keys could be quite stressful), use together Nuki Smart Lock 3.0 Pro, Nuki Door Sensor e Nuki Opener it made my life easier, especially in certain situations.
If I wasn't at home and I wanted to let someone in, I could manage door and gate opening directly from your smartphone, or - even better - share the management of the locks with my closest relatives, so they can enter in total autonomy. Or I could open the front door remotely, so that the packages can be deposited by the couriers. And with the sensor I could always check the status of the door, set automatic opening and closing and receive a notification every time someone enters or leaves. In short, very comfortable.
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