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Hands on review: Dog & Bone LockSmart Padlock

11 Jan 2016

Padlocks have hardly changed for centuries. There’s a good reason for this: You snap ‘em closed then open then with a key. It’s simple and they work.

Dog and Bone decided that keys are so last century and have done away with them altogether. Instead of old-school keys, LockSmart uses encrypted electronic keys sent from smartphones over Bluetooth.

Look and Feel

When I say the LockSmart is solid, I’m not kidding. WMP pulses aside, it feels like it could survive a thermonuclear detonation. In short the LockSmart is hefty and built like a brick you-know-what house.

There are no surprises that looks-wise the LockSmart resembles an old school padlock. About the only noticeable difference is its lack of a key hole. On its underside is a silicon flap. This covers a charging port and reset button.

In use

The promo blurb says that the LockSmart can perform 3000 unlocks before it has to be charged. I spent an hour opening and closing the LockSmart, and its battery level didn't even flicker.

Even so, it is hard to say if 3,000 unlocks is accurate. I’d be locking and unlocking for a long, loooong time before I’d find out.

Getting set up proved so idiot-proof that even I got it right. After installing the LockSmart app (IOS or Android), my phone scanned for locks.  Once the LockSmart registered with the app, it worked as advertised. I was able to ping it with an unlock command and it’d spring open.

Where the LockSmart comes into its own is when you need to share access to it. While you’d usually leave a key with a house sitter to unlock a padlock, the LockSmart app allows you to send keys. This involves them receiving an SMS message that links to the LockSmart app. It also provides access to an encrypted key for your LockSmart.

While actually meeting up with someone to hand over keys is simpler, it isn’t always possible. If you’re away and your house sitter wants access to the locked garden shed, the LockSmart is ideal. It also keeps a log of who has unlocked it. A 007-like feature that appealed was its ability to unlock using the fingerprint sensor on my phone.

Verdict

There’s a lot to like with Locksmart lock and app. Its implementation is thoughtful, smart and its build feels secure and solid. There’s little I would change.

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