Kwikset Premis Contemporary ($229) is a HomeKit-enabled smart lock
that uses Bluetooth wireless technology to allow you to lock and unlock your
door using your iPhone, iPad, or Siri voice commands. This stylish lock is
easy to install and performed well in testing, but you can’t control it with an
Android device, it doesn’t support Alexa and Google voice commands, and it doesn’t interact
with other smart devices using IFTTT applets. If you’re not an Apple-only user, you’ll get much more compatibility with the $220 U-tec Ultraloq
Premis Contemporary is a complete lock set that includes an exterior escutcheon
with a touch-screen keypad, an interior escutcheon, a latch and strike
assembly, a mounting plate and mounting hardware, four AA batteries, and a set
of keys. Aptly named, the lock sports a sleek minimalist design and can be
ordered with a matte black or satin nickel finish.
The exterior component
measures 5.5 by 2.7 by 1.2 inches (HWD) and contains a 3.0-by-2.1-inch, 12-button touch screen that uses Kwikset’s SecureScreen technology to prevent
fingerprint code detection on the screen’s surface. To do this, SecureScreen
generates two random digits when you touch the screen. You have to tap each
digit before the full keypad is revealed, at which point you can enter your
programmed entry code. The exterior escutcheon also contains a keyed cylinder
for manually locking and unlocking using the supplied keys.
interior assembly contains a motorized lock/unlock mechanism, a data cable that
connects to the outer escutcheon, a latch tailpiece, and a Bluetooth radio. The lock doesn’t have a Wi-Fi radio and must be paired with an Apple TV
(fourth-gen or newer) or an Apple HomePod if you want to control it remotely.
Otherwise you’re limited to a typical Bluetooth range of around 40 feet or so.
The lock runs on four AA batteries and has a programming button and a built-in tamper
alarm speaker that also emits beeps when entering entry and programming codes. An
LED indicator flashes amber when the door is locked, flashes green when it is
unlocked, and flashes red when the batteries are low.
Premis is a HomeKit-only device, which means Android users are out of luck. It also means the lock doesn’t support Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
voice control, nor does it work with IFTTT applets. However, it does support
Siri voice commands and can be added to HomeKit scenes that allow you to
control multiple devices with the touch of a button. And, if you’re using an
Apple TV or HomePod, you can create Automations to have the lock work with
other HomeKit-compatible devices such as lights and smart plugs.
The lock is controlled and programmed using its own Kwikset Premis iOS
mobile app (not to be confused with the Kwikset Kevo and Kwikset Smart Lock
apps). You can also lock and unlock your door and create Scenes and Automations
with the Apple Home app.
The Premis app opens to a My Home screen that displays the lock’s name and has a large Lock/Unlock button. When the
button is green the Premis is unlocked, and when it is red it is locked. There’s
also a battery level gauge, a User Codes button, and a Settings button.
User Codes button to add users and give them a code. You can specify a 4-8
digit code, or let the app generate a random code, and you can select one of four Access Types including
Anytime (24/7), Limited by Date, Limited by Weekday and Time, or One Time
Within 24 Hours. In this screen you can also delete or temporarily disable user
codes and view lock activity for each user. To add a new lock, tap the lock
icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Tap the Settings (gear) icon to
edit the lock’s name, enable sounds, enable the LED indicator, and configure
the Auto Lock feature that automatically locks the door after a set period of
you’ve installed a traditional lock, then you’ll have no trouble installing the
Premis lock. It took me about 20 minutes from start to finish.
I started by
downloading the Premis app, tapped Setup Your Lock, and selected my model from
the list. At this point you can choose to view the interactive installation
guide or view a printable guide. I selected the interactive guide, which
tells you what tools you’ll need and provides detailed step-by-step
I followed the instructions to
completely remove my existing lock including the deadbolt assembly, the
exterior cylinder, and the internal thumb-turn mechanism. I answered a few
questions regarding the door thickness and whether the latch area was chiseled, and proceeded to install the new latch and strike (deadbolt) assembly. I slid
the exterior component into the hole, making sure to guide the data cable
through and attached it to the interior mounting plate using the provided
bolts. I connected the data cable to the cable on the interior component and
followed the door handing instructions. I then attached the cover and the interior
component to the mounting plate, and the physical lock installation was
After that I tapped done and was prompted to select my HomeKit Home and choose
(or add) a room where the lock would be installed. The app found the lock
immediately and I was prompted to scan the HomeKit code on the quick setup guide. The lock was added to My Home in the app, at which point I gave it a
Siri name and created a master keypad code and the installation was complete.
Premis lock worked well in testing. The touch-screen keypad is bright and very responsive, and the tamper alarm went off after three incorrect code entries. The lock also responded quickly to lock and
unlock commands using the app and with Siri voice requests, and the Auto-Lock
feature never failed to lock the door after my specified period of time. Push
alerts arrived immediately whenever the lock was engaged.
Kwikset Premis Contemporary Smart Lock is a solid choice for anyone that uses
Apple HomeKit as their home automation platform. It’s attractive, easy to easy to install, and performed well in testing, responding instantly to
Siri voice commands, touch-screen entries, and HomeKit Scenes and Automations.
That said, it lacks support for Wi-Fi, which means you’ll have to use an Apple
TV or HomePod to control the lock remotely and to use Automations.
Moreover, it doesn’t work with Android devices or support Alexa and Google
voice commands like our Editors’ Choice, the slightly less expensive U-tec Ultraloq
U-Bolt Pro. If you need a lock that supports HomeKit and
works with Android devices, meanwhile, the $280 August Smart
Lock Pro + Connect (also an Editors’ Choice) is your best bet.
Kwikset Premis Contemporary Smart Lock Specs
|Installation||Exterior Escutcheon, Interior Escutcheon|