Alfred DB2-B smart lock review: Better, but still troublesome

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A relative newcomer to the sensible dwelling market, Alfred now has two traces of sensible deadbolts: Its authentic DB1 line (you’ll discover our overview of the Z-Wave-compatible DB1-C on this different article), and the newer DB2 line. This overview seems particularly on the DB2-B, which features a typical key cylinder behind a swinging cowl.

From the surface, Alfred’s DB2 collection is significantly extra engaging than the somewhat dated DB1, with a curvy, extra streamlined look and an general extra polished look. And in contrast to the DB1, which is offered solely in black, the DB2 is offered trimmed in your selection of black, chrome, or gold. The inside escutcheon, sadly, hasn’t modified a lot. It’s nonetheless an enormous hunk of plastic with a decidedly industrial really feel.

This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the perfect sensible locks, the place you’ll discover critiques of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options it’s best to contemplate when looking for any such product.

I used to be disillusioned to find that set up hasn’t modified meaningfully because the DB1. The design nonetheless requires a detachable part of the tailpiece to be aligned simply so earlier than the escutcheons will have interaction correctly, and it nonetheless requires a bolt to be screwed in from the underside of the inside escutcheon, each tough processes.

There’s additionally nonetheless a change inside the inside escutcheon that dictates the route the deadbolt ought to flip, and—to my vital disbelief—that is nonetheless not talked about within the set up information. (Fortuitously, my earlier expertise with the DB1 ensured I flipped the change from the get-go.)

alfred db2 b bl Alfred, Inc.

The brand new {hardware} design includes a extra fashionable, interesting silhouette, even with the bodily key cylinder.

The usual DB2, like the usual DB1, comes with solely a keypad or cellular app as choices for entry. As I’ve already talked about, the mannequin DB2-B reviewed right here comes with a key cylinder and two keys. At press time, each it and the non-keyed model have been promoting for $169. If you need Z-Wave connectivity for a SmartThings or comparable hub, you’ll want so as to add Alfred’s $29 Z-Wave module to your buying cart. This will get put in beneath the lock’s financial institution of 4 AA batteries.

alfred z wave moduleAlfred, Inc.

Should you want to management the Alfred DB2-B sensible lock along with your sensible dwelling hub, you’ll want the elective Alfred Z-Wave module, which prices $29.

You possibly can join a cellular battery pack to the micro-USB port on the DB2’s exterior escutcheon to unlock the door if the lock’s batteries fail when you’re out. Should you additionally need Wi-Fi connectivity, you’ll want Alfred’s elective 2.4GHz Alfred Join WiFi Bridge ($49). It hasn’t modified since our overview of the DB1.

One of many largest enhancements with the DB2 is the inclusion of voice know-how within the lock. Whereas the DB1 merely beeped in response to instructions, the DB2 audibly tells you what’s happening. That will not be an enormous deal while you’re opening and shutting the lock, however when utilizing the keypad to carry out programming operations it’s useful to have an audio information alongside for the trip.

alfred app 2 Christopher Null / IDG

Alfred’s easy app covers the fundamentals with little alternative for confusion.

Whereas the lock carried out nicely on the entire, I once more had bother with Z-Wave pairing, first by failing to understand the wanted QR code was printed on the again of the Z-Wave module (so remember to write down the included PIN prior to installing it).


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