You actually want to say “Open sesame” in advance every time you come up the stairs.
Because in our test, as if by magic, the door to the apartment opens when you come within a few meters.
This is of course not magic.
We have been testing the smart Nuki Smartlock 2.0 door lock for several weeks.
And it does just that: it opens the door just before you reach it.
At least, most of the time.
That is a real gain in comfort.
The Smartlock from the Austrian manufacturer Nuki is a retrofit solution that does not require any structural changes.
It is simply mounted with a few small screws from the inside on the door lock, which must contain a key.
Basically, it's a networked motor drive.
Because when Nuki opens the door, it mechanically turns the key on the inside of the door.
If you move out of the apartment again, the solution can be removed without leaving any residue.
The lock fits the usual Euro profile cylinders, oval cylinders and the Swiss round cylinders that are also widespread.
However, they have to master the so-called emergency and hazard function.
This is the case if they can still be closed from the other side even when the key is inserted and the inserted key also turns.
The Nuki Smartlock 2.0 is basically a motor that turns a key stuck in the door
Once everything is installed, you install the Nuki smartphone app and follow the setup.
Everything is done in a few minutes.
You can then do a lot with this lock, because the smartphone now replaces the key.
Of course, only if you so wish.
The lock can still be opened from the outside with the key.
The Nuki lock can also be turned manually from the inside.
Nuki Smart Lock 2.0
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The advantages only come when you get involved in networking.
The settings for this can be made in the smartphone app.
In our case, we configured the Nuki lock in such a way that it recognizes our smartphone via Bluetooth when it is in the immediate vicinity.
In this case, it opens the door.
Connect the lock to the intercom
The prerequisite is that we have previously entered a geofencing circle, which is located with a radius of 100 meters around the apartment.
The smartphone recognizes this area using GPS satellite positioning.
Otherwise, without geofencing, the door would always open when you move around the apartment.
The automatic door opening only works once when you enter this area.
After that, it is only activated again when you have left the circle.
Many other settings can be made in the app.
The door can be locked on a schedule, for example every evening at 11 p.m.
It also closes automatically after 20 seconds if you press the lock twice from the inside when leaving.
Other people can also be invited to open it from the app.
In this case, you must also install the application on your smartphone and enter the invitation code sent there.
This digital key for opening the door can be released by the sender of the key only for certain time windows and days and withdrawn at any time.
Users can also open the door remotely via the Internet.
To do this, they have to install a so-called bridge, which is simply plugged into the socket near the lock.
As an option, the manufacturer also offers a keypad that is attached to the outside of the door and opens the lock when the correct code is entered.
There is also a small remote control for the key fob, which also opens the door at the push of a button.
The advantage over the key: If you lose the remote control, it can simply be locked in the app.
For multi-family houses that still have an intercom system with a door opener at the push of a button, Nuki has come up with another accessory, the Opener.
It is glued right next to the system and connected directly to it with a few cables.
Then the front door can also be opened from the app.
The opener can also be configured in the application so that the buzzer on the front door is switched directly with the bell.
As soon as you ring the doorbell, the front door opens.
This function is only activated when you enter the geofence area, so that the door does not open every time the doorbell rings.
However, depending on the model, wiring the opener to the intercom is not that easy.
But here too the app guides you through the process.
The opener costs 99 euros.
The compatible intercom systems can be found on the manufacturer's website.
The Nuki Opener can be connected to the intercom to also open the front door of apartment buildings
The Nuki lock can also be connected to other platforms, which in turn enable their own control of the networked home.
The lock is HomeKit-capable, so it can be used with Apple's smart home solution.
And it can also be controlled by voice via Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant.
These settings must be made in the corresponding Google Home and Alexa apps.
In order to open the lock by voice, however, a security code must first be set, which you then have to say.
That makes the process cumbersome again.
Otherwise, strangers could possibly shout a corresponding command through a tilted window into the apartment - and the apartment door opens for them.
The connection between the lock and the IFTTT service (“If this than that”) is also extremely interesting.
If-then rules can be set on this internet platform, which also work with the Nuki lock.
For example, a networked vacuum cleaner robot could automatically start cleaning as soon as the Nuki apartment door is locked.
And after unlocking, the vacuum cleaner could automatically return to its charging station.
Nuki Keypad, Nuki Fob, Nuki Bridge and Nuki Smartlock 2.0 (from left)
The Nuki Smartlock is a real gain in convenience.
In our test, the automatic opening worked when approaching in the vast majority of cases, but not always.
Why she had these dropouts could not be found out.
In these cases we were able to open the door directly from the app.
The motor in the lock is relatively loud, so entering or leaving the apartment really quietly is not possible.
The four batteries in the lock last around three months, depending on the lock and the number of openings.
So it can make sense to use rechargeable batteries for the sake of the environment.
Networked devices are of course particularly susceptible to hacking attacks, which is particularly critical with locks.
According to the manufacturer, all data that is exchanged between the smartphone app and the lock is encrypted end-to-end.
The Nuki lock together with the bridge, so that the lock can also be opened from a distance, costs 299 euros.
This article was first published in February 2020.
This article was first published in February 2020.