You may have seen photos or videos of the Level Lock+ over the last week and been surprised that more information about the lock wasn’t readily available on the Level website. But today, that changes.
Level on Friday officially announced the Level Lock+, only the second smart lock (that I know of) that supports the iPhone’s Home Key feature.
The $320 Schlage Encode Plus is the other lock I can find that supports using your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock your front door, just as you would when making a mobile payment.
The Level Lock+ has the same minimal design as the original Lock, and if you’ve also got an iPhone or Apple Watch, gaining entry into your home is as simple as buying something with Apple Pay.
I like the look of the Lock+ because on the outside it looks like a standard deadbolt — there isn’t a keyboard or any sort of screen. And on the back of the door, there isn’t a massive compartment for batteries. It’s all housed inside the lock and deadbolt itself, which is impressive.
Apple Home Key uses NFC to transmit data from a key in the Wallet app shared with fellow iPhone or Apple Watch users. Once a key is detected, the lock activates. However, that doesn’t mean that you can only share keys and grant access to Apple users.
You can still use touch or keyboard entry, as well as send invites to guests to grant them access to your home. There is a $79 keypad accessory you can place nearby if you’d rather have codes for unlocking your door.
I’ve been testing the Schlage Encode Plus for a few months now and it’s completely changed how we access our home. All of my kids have their own key on their iPhone or watch, eliminating the previous problem we had from using a smart lock — them forgetting their code. Walk up to the door, tap your phone or watch, and, boom, 2 seconds later you’re inside.