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Smart home device maker Aqara today announced the launch of the Smart Lock U200, its latest HomeKit-compatible lock option. The U200 has a number of smart features, including compatibility with home key for hands-free door unlocking.

aqara-u200-smart-lock.jpg

Aqara's latest smart lock uses the Matter smart home protocol, so it works with HomeKit and other Matter-compatible smart home platforms. Aqara says the Smart Lock U200 is one of the first Matter-over-Thread locks that supports the NFC-based home key feature for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

Home key is designed to allow the U200 to unlock when an iPhone or Apple Watch is tapped against the lock, with a digital key stored in the Wallet app. The feature can be set up to allow for unlocking without authentication thanks to an Express Mode feature for quick entry, and unlocking works even if the user's Apple Watch or iPhone runs out of battery.

Like last year's U100 Smart Lock, the U200 is able to sense if the door is open, sending an alert if someone forgets to close the door. It is also able to lock the door automatically after it is shut, which is a handy option.

Multiple entry methods are supported, including unlocking with an iPhone or Apple Watch, a mechanical key, PIN code, fingerprint scan, Aqara app, or an NFC card. There are options for providing one-time passwords and periodic passwords to guests. When enabled, the U200's Quiet Unlock mode disables all beeping and other notifications that typically accompany an unlock, with noise limited to the whir of the motor.

The U200 is sleeker and less industrial looking than the U100 Smart Lock, and it is designed to fit over existing locks without needing modification. There is a rechargeable battery inside that is designed to last for up to six months, and the keypad is powered by AAA batteries or a hardwired connection.

As a Matter-over-Thread device, using the Aqara U200 with a HomeKit setup will require a home hub like the HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV 4K Wi-Fi + Ethernet.

The Smart Lock U200 is available from Amazon for $270. It comes in either black or silver.

Article Link: Aqara Launches Smart Lock U200 With Apple Home Key Support
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,736
1,266
Hmmm, give them to 'The Lock Picking Lawer' on YouTube then we'll see how robust they are.
There isn’t a lock with this but an arm to use the inside lever. And then a keypad outside. At least that’s how I saw it earlier.
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,736
1,266
On the Aqara site, it says that you can ask Siri to open the door. This might be a stupid question, but how does one prevent someone saying that fairly loudly from the crack at the bottom of the door into the house and have a HomePod unlock it?
You can ask Siri to unlock a door lock or open a garage but as a security feature you have to unlock your phone first. You can just ask an AppleWatch but that has already been unlocked via phone I think.
 

flexwithmarius

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2022
173
321
Over here waiting for August to release a new lock with ultra wideband home key support.

That would allow them to support home key while keeping the motor on the secure side of the door (inside) and nothing visible on the outside.

As the product is now, I don’t think they’d be able to support home key over NFC.
 
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jcooper17

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2015
17
51
So... This is the perfect smart lock? I don't see any downsides here or missing features.
I don't think so. The article says "compatibility with home key for hands-free door unlocking." But it doesn't acctailly seem to support hands free unlocking. There is no mention of the support for Ultra Wideband Bluetooth that would be required for HomeKey hands free unlock.
 

Menhir

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2003
24
9
New York City
You can ask Siri to unlock a door lock or open a garage but as a security feature you have to unlock your phone first. You can just ask an AppleWatch but that has already been unlocked via phone I think.
Valid point, but the site shows an illustration that you can use a HomePod to unlock the door. So if you have a HomePod sitting in the living room in listening distance from the front door, it wouldn't need to be unlocked first. Maybe there's a security feature there as well, but not sure what it could be.
 

jcooper17

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2015
17
51
Over here waiting for August to release a new lock with ultra wideband home key support.

That would allow them to support home key while keeping the motor on the secure side of the door (inside) and nothing visible on the outside.

As the product is now, I don’t think they’d be able to support home key over NFC.
Agreed. I hope August is able to do that.

The Macrumoers article says "including compatibility with home key for hands-free door unlocking." But it doesn't say anything about UWB support on the product page. So seems unlikely that it'll be supported.
 
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CrysisDeu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2018
761
1,108
On the Aqara site, it says that you can ask Siri to open the door. This might be a stupid question, but how does one prevent someone saying that fairly loudly from the crack at the bottom of the door into the house and have a HomePod unlock it?
Lol, this reminds me a time when I locked my roommate out. He didn’t have his phone with him so he asked my echo to call me.

I got the call and came back to open the door for him
 

CrysisDeu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2018
761
1,108
Over here waiting for August to release a new lock with ultra wideband home key support.

That would allow them to support home key while keeping the motor on the secure side of the door (inside) and nothing visible on the outside.

As the product is now, I don’t think they’d be able to support home key over NFC.
August’s products are awful, the battery life and stability is so bad, especially for a lock
 
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jcooper17

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2015
17
51
Valid point, but the site shows an illustration that you can use a HomePod to unlock the door. So if you have a HomePod sitting in the living room in listening distance from the front door, it wouldn't need to be unlocked first. Maybe there's a security feature there as well, but not sure what it could be.
If you just directly ask a HomePod to unlock the front door it will say you'll have to use your iPhone. If you ask HomePod and you standing nearby with an unlocked iPhone (also Watch?) it will do it.
 

MacRumorUser78

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2014
192
112
I want a smart lock, but it has to be 110% reliable and fuss free. Requiring battery charging every six months doesn't cut it. What if we leave for a month? And the battery dies then? If it's outdoors why not a solar charger added?

Probably not in my lifetime, but I can hope. We've been in this house 11 years. We changed the keys when we moved in and that is the last time we did anything (almost) related to house locks. The one addition was a lock box outside with a key for us if we lose our keys (or lock ourselves out) or need to let someone in while we gone. Low tech but maintenance free. We have four keyed entries, one is the door into the garage and the door into the house is keyed.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G5
Jan 5, 2006
12,732
1,901
Redondo Beach, California
August’s products are awful, the battery life and stability is so bad, especially for a lock
THis is because they are all target nearly helpless consummers. The best locks are powered by AC mains, not batteries. But for that you need more skill to install the lock and Aquara would not be able to sell many locks if they required profesional installation.

But better locks are availabler. maybe the best place ordinary people can see them is in hospitals where they use badge reads or keypads to open doors. I've also used Near Feil and other methods. But I doubt you will find these better, industrial locks on Amazon.

This is the same reason that home seccurity camera all suck compared to profesional systems. The home systems are designed for simple installed by end users. So they are battery powered an us WiFi. The pro systems typically use POE but don't actualy cost much more but are harder to install.
 
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bg1419

macrumors member
May 7, 2019
52
73
So is it hands free unlock or not? The article says hands free but he current implementation of HomeKey requires you to tap your phone on the lock? If they will be first to market with support for UWB and actual hands free that would be fabulous. But there is no mention of that?
I think this is an example of macrumors using intentionally misleading phrasing. They don’t mention the UWB feature, so I assume they’re meaning “hands free if you use an Apple Watch”. Lazy reporting.
 

allenvanhellen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2015
622
1,257
So is it hands free unlock or not? The article says hands free but he current implementation of HomeKey requires you to tap your phone on the lock? If they will be first to market with support for UWB and actual hands free that would be fabulous. But there is no mention of that?
It’s confusing trying to find out which locks have UWB.
 

CrysisDeu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2018
761
1,108
I have tried so many locks. August has been by far the most reliable. To fair though they all suck.
I bought two august, almost unusable. Eufy and Wyze has been much better for me.

Problem faced:
Battery only lasts a month, and the small battery is really expensive.
The phone/watch connection is crap, sometimes it doesn’t unlock the door. Sometime it shows the lock is unlocked while it’s locked.
The geofence is worthless. It needs higher precision.
Auto unlock doesn’t really work if I just go out to throw some garbage
 

CrysisDeu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2018
761
1,108
THis is because they are all target nearly helpless consummers. The best locks are powered by AC mains, not batteries. But for that you need more skill to install the lock and Aquara would not be able to sell many locks if they required profesional installation.

But better locks are availabler. maybe the best place ordinary people can see them is in hospitals where they use badge reads or keypads to open doors. I've also used Near Feil and other methods. But I doubt you will find these better, industrial locks on Amazon.

This is the same reason that home seccurity camera all suck compared to profesional systems. The home systems are designed for simple installed by end users. So they are battery powered an us WiFi. The pro systems typically use POE but don't actualy cost much more but are harder to install.
Partially agree, but no, locks doesn’t need to be hardwired to not suck. All smartlocks in China are battery powered and they are stable as hell.

They can also connect to hubs with zigbee, bluetooth LE, thread. Wifi locks are bad, that is true.

Eufy and Wyze locks are also very stable. No issues so far.
 

porscherain

macrumors newbie
Apr 2, 2013
20
57
I have tried so many locks. August has been by far the most reliable. To fair though they all suck.
My fourth gen would eat batteries, and Apple Home integration refused to work. Then the built in WiFi stopped working. Rather than toss the lock in the bin, I decided to bandaid it by purchasing the August WiFi Bridge.

Behold, batteries last for months and Apple Home Integration works a treat! For now, nothing beats August when it comes to aesthetics, keypad and Apple Home integration.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 601
Jun 9, 2021
4,493
8,246
Maybe don't use the latch-key skater kid who was court ordered to wear dress shirts to school on the marketing material.
 
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