If you are looking for a smart lock with an integrated camera, I have some good and some bad news for you.
I have been part of this industry for enough time to know that sometimes it is way better to cut down on the number of different devices we use. Things tend to get very complicated very quickly.
There are some excellent options on the market today. Some of which are well worth the investment. However, the number of such devices is still very small.
This is why we have looked at not just smart locks with integrated cameras but also at some possible combos that work together really well to give you more options to choose from.
Last update on 2023-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Smart Locks With Integrated Cameras
Currently, the best smart locks with integrated cameras are the Eufy S330 and the Lockly Vision Elite.
They are a combination of a smart lock and a smart doorbell camera allowing for excellent smart home features, automation, and remote operation.
Eufy S330 Video Smart Lock
The Eufy S330 can truly be called a 3-in-a product. It integrates a smart lock, a camera, and a doorbell all into one device.
Unsurprisingly it received attention from a lot of homeowners.
The S330 comes with a 2K camera capable of excellent day and night video quality.
When it comes to locking and unlocking your door, this can be done in several different ways.
There is a fingerprint scanner, a keypad, and it can also be operated remotely using the proprietary Eufy app. It can support up to 100 access key codes and 50 different fingerprints.
This lock can also be opened manually using physical keys. (Two keys are included.)
It has auto-lock with a built-in DoorSensor but no auto-unlock function.
If somebody is at the door, you will receive real-time notifications on your smartphone coupled with a small photo preview.
Thanks to the two-way audio, you can also talk to them.
The lock also keeps detailed log history of who opened it, how, and when they did it.
Initially, one of the frequent complaints with this lock was the motion sensor. However, the motion detection sensitivity issues seem to have been fixed with some of the latest firmware updates, and its reliability has improved.
A device like this should come with a beefy battery.
That’s why I was pleased to find that it has a 10,000 mAh rechargeable battery that tends to last at least a couple of months, depending on use frequency, which is good, especially when compared to other comparable smart locks.
One really good thing this lock has going on for it is that you can store data locally on an SD card. The SD card is inserted into the hub that comes with the lock. The central hub is used for connecting it to an existing WiFi network and also serves as a chime.
A cloud storage option is still available. However, local storage is a good option to have as this means no forced extra recurring subscription costs.
The design is beautiful and slick, yet the lock is sturdy and designed to last.
It is BHMA Certified, IP65 waterproof, and designed to work in all weather locations. It has a working temperature range of 158°F to -22°F (70°C to -30°C).
Currently, the lock works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. However, it is not compatible with IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, or Matter.
The price tag on this lock is pretty high but seems to be well-justified when considering the functionality, capabilities, and design of the lock.
Lockly Vision Elite Video Smart Lock
The Lockly Vision Elite comes with a 1080p Full HD camera with night vision capabilities.
It also has a motion sensor, which—while being an excellent feature—unfortunately, is not super reliable at times.
It comes with a fingerprint scanner, a touchscreen and can be used with a standard mechanical key. It can also be opened with a QR code.
Also available for purchase are eKeys and eBadges that can be shared with others for one-time access or specific time access.
Up to 33 different access codes can be generated and shared with other trusted people.
It can also be remotely used through the dedicated Lockly app or by using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
A neat feature is that the digital touchscreen will have its numbers self-randomized every time you use it.
This is a good way to prevent eavesdropping and people from easily figuring out what your pin code is.
You will receive real-time notifications and alerts when somebody is at the door, and you can also talk to them as it is capable of two-way audio—the sound quality is pretty good.
The lock keeps a detailed history log and recordings, so you will not miss important events and triggers. For example, you will also receive notifications when the door is locked or unlocked, when somebody entered multiple wrong codes, if they are using unregistered fingerprints, or if the lock is jammed.
The Lockly Vision Elite uses WiFi and Bluetooth to work. That said, it also works offline and can still provide access to people.
The lock comes with a hub that connects to your WiFi router. What is more important is that it has a built-in 32GB SD card which is used to store videos locally. On average, about 91 hours of footage can be kept on the card and can easily be viewed through the app.
It comes with two rechargeable batteries, which means zero downtime when one of the batteries needs to be recharged.
One neat feature is that the lock also has a small solar panel built into it that charges the battery.
And in the event of the battery completely running out of charge, there is a 9-volt battery port on the external unit that can be used to power the lock.
It has an auto-lock function.
However, a good addition is the door sensor that can be found on the deadbolt and strike plate. That way, the lock can sense whether the door is fully closed. It might not seem like much at first, but this prevents the lock from locking while the door is ajar.
The status of the door can be checked at any time through the app.
The installation process is easy, and the lock comes with a comprehensive and well thought-out installation guide.
Now while the 6-pin key cylinder the lock comes with is very decent, there are better and more lock-proof options out there. Switching to one is easy as the lock is rekeyable.
Unfortunately, the Lockly Vision Elite is noticeably on the more expensive end of the spectrum, which I can see being a deal breaker for many people looking for more of a budget-friendly option.
Lockly Vision Doorbell Camera Smart Lock
The Lockly Vision is the basic model.
It is cheaper than the Lockly Vision Elite. However, that comes at the cost of losing some important features and capabilities.
It still has a built-in camera and can be used as a doorbell.
However, the HD camera is subpar and not at the same level as the Full-HD camera of the Vision Elite, and the video quality at night and in low-light conditions is also not great.
In addition, there is no motion detection, which can be a deal breaker for many.
For example, this means that you will not be alerted or notified until somebody actually presses the doorbell button on the lock.
It is powered by eight AA batteries, which is another step down from the rechargeable batteries the Elite model has.
Other than that, it is pretty much the same lock offering the same features as the Lockly Vision Elite.
Smart Locks And Camera Combos
Many homeowners prefer to use a combo of different smart locks and video cameras. In certain cases, the price can be similar to or lower than going with one of the above-mentioned smart locks.
There are a few popular options that are worth considering.
Ring Doorbell and Schlage Smart Lock
Ring video doorbells are well-known in the smart home community. There are a few different doorbells to choose from, depending on what you are looking for.
Their standard Video Doorbell is still easily their most sought-after model. It is a very basic and budget-friendly model with a 1080p HD camera, two-way audio, real-time notifications, and motion detection.
Schlage smart locks can be used with Ring devices. Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Encode are two excellent examples. Schlage smart locks are easily among the best in terms of durability and offer everything that a modern smart lock should do.
Schlage Connect also works with Samsung SmartThings, Nexia, Wink, and Iris and can be used with AmazonAlexa, and Google Assistant.
Ring is owned by Amazon, so keep in mind that Ring is a good choice if you want to stay within Amazon’s ecosystem.
Yale Smart Lock and Google Nest
Google Nest Doorbell carries a very minimalistic design. There is a battery-powered model (with a very good battery life of a few months, on average) and a wired model.
It uses WiFi to work.
The video footage has a good quality, and the night vision quality is pretty standard. It allows you to check the video feed 24/7. The video resolution is 960×1280 (portrait mode).
There is also two-way audio and motion detection.
With the free plan, you can store up to 3 hours of video clips. There are also paid subscription plans which are priced well and offer extended event and video history, better alerts, and some other extra features.
The Nest x Yale is also very low profile and sleek—the keypad is the only thing that can be seen from the outside.
There is a low battery indicator light, but if the battery completely loses charge, you can power it up by using a 9-volt battery.
Up to 20 different entry codes can be assigned and shared with other people and guests, and it can be accessed remotely through the Nest app.
Also, you can check the lock’s status and receive notifications when the lock is locked or unlocked in case somebody tries to tamper with it.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Smart Lock With Camera
Although you probably already have some ideas as to what features you are looking for, it is worth going over some important factors to consider before making a purchasing decision.
Making a short list of everything you need and have to look for is recommended, as it is easy to overlook certain details when picking such devices.
Ideally, you want something that can be fully controlled and managed remotely.
Usually, this is done through a proprietary app that is installed on your smartphone and can communicate with your smart lock.
In most cases, in order for the smart lock to work properly, it would need internet access. So you also need to ensure you have a wireless network on the property.
This may be harder to achieve in certain cases, especially with remote properties. In those cases, it is better to look for other types of connectivity.
Not all devices will be able to connect directly to your WiFi, and some may work only on the 2.4 GHz band. So those details should also be kept in mind.
Also, when it comes to transferring video footage, WiFi is the way to go. Z-wave and Zigbee protocols are not designed to transfer that much data. So it is better to look for devices that work with WiFi that can handle video footage streaming.
One of the important questions is whether or not you want to retain physical key access. Not all smart locks can be opened with a physical key.
This is followed by certain advantages and disadvantages. Having a key cylinder means that you can always access your property, even if the battery dies on you. However, locks can be picked.
Not having a key cylinder makes picking those locks impossible, but ensuring the battery has enough charge becomes vital. Nonetheless, these locks usually have a way of being powered up externally.
This can be a huge list in and of its own, so make sure to spend some time jotting down what features you would consider a must-have. A few examples to go through are:
- Motion sensor capabilities and reliability. Ability to set up motion sensor zones and adjust the sensitivity.
- Video footage quality and night vision quality. How much detail does the video capture? This can be vital if you need to provide evidence.
- Real-time notifications and alerts.
- A detailed event and video history. Consider how long the log history is kept around and where it is being stored. Is it stored locally or on a cloud?
- The number of programmable entry codes or stored fingerprints. Can you provide recurring access to other people or specific time-frame access to guests, delivery, or maintenance people?
- Two-way audio.
- Battery life. If you are going with a hardwired device, does it work if the power is out?
- Since most smart devices today use the internet, check what happens if your internet is down. Can they still be used?
- Recurring subscription costs. Cost can add up very quickly. Check subscription plans, what they offer, how they are set up, and whether or not you can easily cancel your subscriptions if necessary.
- The level of integration with other systems and devices. Staying within the same ecosystem is usually better than trying to make multiple different devices work together. Not all smart home security devices work together. Sometimes they can be made to work together at the sacrifice of certain functionality.
The quality of the customer service should not be overlooked.
With such devices, especially when it comes to one’s security and safety, the quality and timeliness of the customer service are vital.
For example, Eufy seems to be doing pretty well in that category, while others not so much.
Lastly, consider how future-proof the lock is.
Go with something that will last and is offered by reputable sellers.
If you suspect you might need to expand and include more devices down the line, maybe it is worth investing in a security system instead.
Certain devices may seem good on paper but may later prove to be a bad investment.
For example, the Aqara H100 Smart Lock seemed like an interesting idea.
It also had an integrated camera.
However, many people found it disappointing that the camera was not exposed in HomeKit, there were some other concerns among homeowners, and the exceptionally high price was also a deal-breaker. It seemed like it never really caught on.