I’d be lying if I said most of the tech that I buy, or get for review, changes my life. A new phone is great, but it’s still a phone. Smart lights are nice, but they just turn on and off, or different colors.
But one thing I bought in the past year truly changed my life for the better, and it’s a product I cannot stop recommending. In fact, it’s such a good product that I bought two of them this year for family members whose houses I visit a lot — mainly to make things more convenient for me.
I’m talking, of course, about the Nest x Yale Smart Lock, an unassuming deadbolt with a lot of intelligence under the hood. I’m going to be honest, though: this only works so well for me because I’m already deeply integrated into Nest’s ecosystem — I have a Nest Thermostat, multiple cameras, and a Nest Hello doorbell. But the Nest x Yale lock is great for someone who has no other Nest stuff and just wants to get rid of keys.
And friends, let me tell you something: when you stop needing to carry house keys with you, it’s truly liberating.
The Nest x Yale lock is easy to install — the mechanism is practically identical to every other Yale lock from the past 100 years, which means it’s reliable and secure — with clear instructions and lots of video guidance through the Nest app. Nest knew that it couldn’t build its own lock because it just wasn’t in that business, so it partnered with Yale, which has been doing this exact thing since the 1800s.
But once it’s installed, it’s all Nest. You’re able to remotely lock and unlock the door, as well as set temporary passcodes for visitors. Your own passcode is easily shared amongst the family, but in case of emergency can be remotely changed. My favorite feature, though, is the auto-lock functionality, which kicks in after one, two or five minutes depending on your level of patience. I’m notorious for leaving my door unlocked after I come in from a dog walk, and auto-lock ensures my front door isn’t also open to strangers.
The front-facing capacitive screen is easy to see in all lighting conditions, and though there’s no fingerprint support, it is possible to unlock through the app should you not want to remove your gloves in the middle of winter. And while there is Google Assistant support included, you can’t unlock the door with voice, for obvious security reasons.
I reviewed the Nest x Yale smart lock earlier this year, and every positive thing I say in there stands true today:
For me, the value of being able to remotely lock and unlock my front door through the Nest app, or provide real-time temporary passcodes to visitors, is the lock’s biggest strength. It elevates a fairly quotidian product to something special. Google Assistant integration is the icing on the cake.