Yale has expanded its Assure 2 line with two new smart locks: one compatible with Apple’s HomeKey and another with a fingerprint reader. Both are firsts for the company, but unfortunately, you have to choose one or the other: there is no model with a fingerprint reader. and House key. While the locks can work with all major smart home platforms, none work with Matter and there is no ETA upon arrival. But it’s not for lack of trying.
He Yale Assure Lock 2 touch ($199) It adds a fingerprint reader, but is otherwise identical to the existing Yale Assure Lock 2, one of our favorite smart locks. It comes in keyless or keyless versions, but only has a touchscreen (the standard Assure 2 has the option of a physical keyboard).
Like the other Assure 2 models, it’s compatible with Apple Home and the Yale app via Bluetooth and works with Yale’s interchangeable connectivity modules to add other options. At launch, you can use the Wi-Fi module, which comes bundled with the Assure Lock 2 Touch for $279.99 (or purchased separately for $79.99). This adds remote unlocking via the Yale app and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Z-Wave module support is coming soon.
He Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus ($209.99) supports Apple HomeKey, which lets you tap your iPhone or Apple Watch to open the door and is automatically added to the Apple Wallet of anyone who shares your Apple Home. The Plus also works with Bluetooth out of the box; It can be purchased with the Wi-Fi module for $289.99 but does not work with the Z-Wave module.
The Plus does not have a fingerprint reader or physical keyboard option. So Apple Home users will have to choose which input method they prefer. Personally, I find fingerprints easier; It never runs out of battery (although your HomeKey is available for a few hours after your phone’s battery dies).
Both locks will be available starting September 27 at storeyalehome.com.
I asked Yale’s director of hardware product management, Tiffany Mayo, why the company decided not to include both, and she said cost was the main reason. Adding a fingerprint reader and NFC antenna to the HomeKey makes the lock more expensive, and the line is one of the most affordable in the space right now, with prices ranging from $160 to $290.
Additionally, he said that because HomeKey is very Apple-focused, Yale felt it was important to keep the fingerprint reader separate, at least at first. “If, after this launch, everyone needs both, that’s a consideration we need to make,” she said. “But, if you’re a family with all Android devices, why should you pay more just to get a fingerprint lock because there’s an NFC antenna?”
“The issue is not yet fully cooked; “It’s not ready yet.”
Assure Lock 2 Plus is one of only four consumer-level HomeKey locks in the US. The $190 Aqara U100 It’s the closest price and includes a fingerprint reader, something Yale doesn’t have. Unlike Yale locks, it works with Matter but relies on an Aqara hub for compatibility.
The other two US options for HomeKey, Schlage Encode Plus and Level Lock Plus, cost around $329. Schlage works over Thread, while Level works over Bluetooth. Level has said that their locks will work with Thread, but that was in November 2022 and they still don’t support it as of this writing. Neither works with Matter yet, and Schlage has said its current model won’t be updated.
When we first reviewed the Assure Lock 2 series almost a year ago, Yale told us that a Thread/Matter module was in the works. Yale says he is fully committed to the standard but does not have a set date for the module’s release. “The standard is not yet fully approved; It’s not ready yet,” Mayo said. “As it stands, we’re not entirely happy with how it would work with Assure Lock 2.” Yale has a Matter lock: the Yale Assure Lock SL with a Matter Smart module for $229.99, but it’s strictly for early adopters.
Currently, the Matter standard only supports locking and unlocking, which leaves out many features people expect in a smart lock, including the ability to manage PINs (although SmartThings and Apple Home support it). “As newer versions of Matter are released, we expect to see additional locking features that will allow us to expand the Matter experience for our smart locks,” Mayo said.
I mean, everyone is waiting for Matter to get better.