A lot of the top security companies like Yale and Schlage have made huge inroads to the smart lock market, making it tricky for lesser-known brands to compete. Although considering the brand is very important for choosing a smart lock as I mentioned in my recent buying guide, it is also good to keep an eye out for other brands in this space because innovation can overshadow brand recognition. The Lockly Vision Elite is one such example of a product that goes beyond what you would expect from a smart lock and hopes its feature set will tower over its popular and similarly priced competitors.
What is Lockly Vision Elite?
The Lockly describes the Vision Elite as a “Video Smart Lock” which is essentially a smart lock and video doorbell fused into a single device. It is an interesting approach and could hit several birds with one stone providing your front door doesn’t have yet a smart lock or a smart doorbell. By having the Lockly Vision Elite installed on your door, you have a single smart device requiring a single power source and only using a single IP address on the network. The real question is how well the Lockly Vision Elite performs in each area.
What’s in the box?
There are a lot of included documents you need to keep track of and take your time to read especially if you never set up a Lockly product before. The Welcome guide contains a good summary of what you must do after unboxing and it also contains a unique activation code which you’ll need for setting up the Vision Elite. Also included are dedicated installation and user guides along with a guest quick guide with a hole so you can hang it on your door for visitors to read. The package also contains another copy of your activation code on a card so you can safely keep it. I recommend adding this code to your favorite password manager utility or service in case you lose your physical copies.
In addition to the video smart lock itself, you also get the Vision Connect Hub which serves as the control center for the Lockly Vision Elite. This compact device resembles a small media player and comes equipped with a single external antenna along with an Ethernet port, microSD card slot, DC jack, and a reset button. Surprisingly, the card slot has a 32 GB microSD card preinstalled which gives off a good hint that the built-in camera on the smart lock can store video locally. Another pleasant surprise I encountered when unboxing is the inclusion of a second battery for the unit so you can swap the first battery when it’s low and charge it via USB-C while the smart lock runs on the extra battery.
All the installation tools and brackets can be found in a dedicated box within the package. While the installation guide is very detailed, be sure to set aside a bit of time because getting this smart lock up and running is a bit of a project, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Of course you can always have a locksmith come and take care of it for you.
Lockly Vision Features
The top of the Lockly Vision Elite unit features a camera array consisting of a 1080p lens, an IR motion sensor, and a trio of infrared LEDs for night vision. There is a tiny hole next to one of the infrared LEDs functioning as the microphone. Below the array is a glass touchscreen for interacting with the lock and a physical button below for triggering the doorbell. The bottom portion of the Lockly Vision Elite is a solar panel and you can rotate it to reveal the physical keyhole! Neat! If by any chance, you don’t have the physical key with you and the smart lock’s battery is fully drained, you can also take a 9-volt and place it against the contact points found on the bottom of the lock to activate the screen.
Using Lockly Vision
The Lockly Vision Elite’s entire security system revolves around a sophisticated access system where you can assign up to 33 sets of access codes made up of 6 to 8 digits. From the Lockly mobile app, you can optionally assign certain access codes with special permissions for certain types of visitors such as tenants or friends. You can specify date or time ranges when these codes work or you can configure them to work only once or force them to work only if the smart lock is offline.
The smart lock interface on the touchscreen consists of 4 circular sections containing 3 numbers each for entering the access code. If you activated the “PIN Genie” interface, these numbers should appear in random spots, making it more difficult for onlookers to guess the pin. There is also a “Fixed Digit” layout which arranges the numbers in order allowing for quicker pin entry at the expense of security.
If PIN entry isn’t your cup of tea, you can also rely on the lock’s fingerprint sensor built into the right side of the unit. The lock can store up to 99 fingerprints.
The doorbell feature of the Lockly Vision Elite is a little bit of an afterthought and Lockly could have done more to make it compete better with the dedicated doorbells. The doorbell button will immediately trigger an electronic chime but the chime will only sound on the rear of the unit and the sound isn’t all that loud. The most useful part of the doorbell is the push notification that it triggers on all mobile devices linked to the doorbell via the Lockly app. Opening that notification will immediately bring up the video camera view along with some quick options where you can conveniently unlock the door or engage in a conversation.
App and Voice Assistant
The Lockly app is filled with all sorts of features highlighting just how functional this smart lock / doorbell / outdoor camera hybrid is. The “Control” section lets you remotely change the state of the lock and offers one-tap access to the live video feed. The “History” section shows a friendly timeline of all the smart lock events including some cool monitoring features such as the last time someone tried to incorrectly enter a pin or detected an unrecognized fingerprint. These attempts along with motion detection features can trigger push notifications as well. The Lockly Vision Elite also integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant but the voice commands only control the smart lock functions and not the doorbell or video camera.
**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.