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Aqara’s Smart Lock U200: Is it time to ditch your keys for good?

Aqara’s new Smart Lock U200 offers a range of unlocking options, compatibility with Matter and Apple Home Key, and a sleek design, but some users have reported connectivity issues with HomeKit.

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aqara smart lock u200

Aqara’s new Smart Lock U200 just hit the market, and it’s got me thinking: Are we finally at the point where ditching our keys makes sense?

This retrofit smart lock is waving the Apple Home Key flag, playing nice with Matter, and promising to turn your iPhone into your new house key.

But before you toss your keyring, let’s dig into what this lock is really bringing to your front door.

Aqara Smart Lock U200
$269.99

The Aqara Smart Lock U200 is a retrofit smart lock offering Apple Home Key and Matter compatibility. It features multiple unlocking methods, including fingerprint and PIN codes.

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KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
07/11/2024 01:44 pm GMT

So, What’s the Big Deal?

First off, this isn’t your typical “rip out your old lock” smart lock. The U200 is all about working with what you’ve got. It’s like giving your existing lock a high-tech makeover. Here’s why it’s catching my eye:

  1. Apple Home Key: As an iPhone user, the idea of tapping my phone to unlock my door is pretty sweet. But is it just a gimmick, or a game-changer?
  2. Matter Compatibility: It’s one of the first locks to jump on the Matter bandwagon. In theory, this means it’ll play nice with just about any smart home setup. But we all know how “universal standards” tend to go in tech…
  3. Multiple Unlock Options: Fingerprint, PIN code, app control, voice commands, NFC card, and yes, your old-school key. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of locks. But do we really need all these options?

Installation: DIY Dream or Nightmare?

Aqara claims you can slap this thing on your door with just a screwdriver. Sounds great, but I’ve heard that line before. They say it works with most common lock types, so renters, you might be in luck.

But let’s be real – how many of us are going to end up calling a locksmith anyway?

Security: Fort Knox or False Sense of Security?

Now, Aqara’s throwing around some big security claims:

  • “Advanced encryption” (Aren’t they all?)
  • Tamper alerts (Hope you like notifications)
  • Auto-lock (For when you forget… again)
  • Local data storage (No cloud shenanigans here)

Sounds solid, but remember, every lock is only as good as its weakest link. And sometimes, that weak link is us forgetting to charge the darn thing.

Battery Life: The Real MVP?

Speaking of charging, Aqara says the U200 will last about 6 months on a charge.

Not bad, but I can already hear the collective groan of people realizing they have a new device to keep juiced up. At least the keypad can use good old AAA batteries or even piggyback off your doorbell wiring.

Now, I always like to keep it real with you folks. The U200 is getting some mixed reviews. On the plus side, many users love the sleek design and the variety of unlocking options. But it’s not all smooth sailing.

Aqara Smart Lock U200 with packaging.
Image: KnowTechie

Some early adopters have reported HomeKit connection issues with the U200. For instance, a user on Reddit mentioned their lock disconnecting twice and struggling to reconnect, even after multiple attempts.

However, it’s worth noting that experiences seem to vary. Other users, especially those with Thread-enabled HomePods or Apple TVs, report no connectivity problems at all.

These hiccups might be ironed out with future updates, but early birds, consider yourselves warned. As with any new tech, your mileage may vary

So, how much is it?

Alright, let’s talk numbers. The Aqara Smart Lock U200 is currently retailing for $269.99 on Amazon. That’s firmly in the premium smart lock category, but not as wallet-busting as some might fear.

At $270, it’s not exactly impulse buy territory. But considering it’s packed with features like Apple Home Key and Matter compatibility, it’s actually pretty competitive. For comparison, some other high-end smart locks can cost well over $300.

Is it worth the investment? That depends on how much you value those fancy features and the convenience they bring. For some, it might be a fair price for never fumbling with keys again. For others, it might still seem a bit steep for a high-tech door opener.

Remember, though, that with smart home tech, you’re not just paying for the hardware. You’re investing in future software updates and integrations. Whether that’s worth $270 to you… well, that’s the $270 question.

Aqara Smart Lock U200
$269.99

The Aqara Smart Lock U200 is a retrofit smart lock offering Apple Home Key and Matter compatibility. It features multiple unlocking methods, including fingerprint and PIN codes.

What We Like:
  • Apple Home Key support for seamless iPhone/Apple Watch unlocking
  • Matter compatibility for broad smart home ecosystem integration
  • Retrofit design works with existing locks, simplifying installation
  • Multiple unlock options (fingerprint, PIN, app, voice) for flexibility
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
07/11/2024 01:44 pm GMT

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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