Is the Kevo Gen 2 worth extra money? In short, yes. But, we’d wait on purchasing it. Let’s get to our in-depth comparison between the Kevo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 to see exactly why.
About Kwikset Kevo Locks
The Kwikset Kevo is the industry’s first Bluetooth-enabled smart lock. With this lock, you can forget about traditional keys — just touch the exterior part of the lock to lock/unlock the Kevo deadbolt. It’s that simple.
The first generation was introduced to the market four year ago and it’s still available online. The Kevo’s Gen 1 features were so ahead of its time that the lock holds up to competition even today.
Kwikset has never stopped improving their products, so in August 2016, Kwikset launched the Kevo Gen 2 with a more appealing look and improved security. Besides the Kevo Gen 2 lock, Kwikset also introduced the Kwikset Premis (for HomeKit fans) and the Kevo Convert (a simplified version of Kevo Touch-to-Open locks). You can learn more about all three smart locks in our Kwikset Premis vs. Kevo Lock vs. Kevo Convert comparison.
And before we get to compare Kevo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2, let’s highlight the features that the Gen 1 and Gen 2 locks have in common.
Kwikset Kevo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 — Things in Common
Both the Kwikset Gen 1 and Gen 2 smart locks come with a Touch-To-Open feature that allows you to lock and unlock a door just by touching it. The lock connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth, so it can detect when you approach or leave.
Moreover, Kevo locks are intelligent enough to determine whether you and your smartphone are inside or outside of your home. So if you and your smartphone are inside, Kevo will not unlock if touched — Unless, of course, the person who tries to unlock Kevo has an eKey.
You can share up to 25 eKeys with your family, friends, and any other visitors. Recipients of the eKeys will need to install the Kevo app and create an account to be able to use their invitations. The Kevo app keeps track of who comes and goes, so you’ll never miss a visitor.
The only downfall the Kevo Gen 1 and Gen 2 have in common is that they’re incompatible with HomeKit. So, if you have your home set up around HomeKit, we’d recommend checking the Kwikset Premis or August Smart Lock Pro instead.
Kwikset Kevo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 — Differences
Difference #1: Dimensions – Kwikset has dramatically reduced the interior part of the Kevo Gen 2. The new lock is smaller and sleeker when compared to Kevo Gen 1 which is 7.4″ x 3.25″ x 1.75″ vs. Gen 2’s 5.75″ x 2.75″ x 2″.
The outside portion of the lock remains the same when it comes to size.
Difference #2: Installation – The first major addition to the Kevo Gen 2 is the improved installation process. The Kevo in-app installation guide streamlines a step-by-step instruction providing interactive installation experience. The hardware of the Kevo Gen 2 is color-coded, so you’ll know exactly which parts and bits to use.
Also, the Kevo Gen 2 features auto-calibration — the lock auto-detects where you keep your smartphone and adjusts its activation range accordingly to provide the most secure setting.
The Kevo Gen 1, on the other hand, requires manual calibration which is pretty time consuming and intricate to say the least. You’ll need to press a calibration button on the inside portion of the Kevo lock then test the Touch-to-Open feature a few times from different distances from the Kevo lock.
The calibration is very important because it helps the Kevo lock to detect whether you’re inside or outside of your home before unlocking the door. So, if you’re worried about unauthorized entry, make sure to calibrate the Kevo Gen 1 smart lock well. The other option is to order Deadbolt Installation Service for fast and simple setup.
Difference #3: Security – The Kevo Gen 1 features SmartKey Security deadbolt. The technology provides high-level security against lock picking and lock bumping.
The latest Kevo Gen 2 features Advanced SmartKey Security, which adds protection against uncommon forced entry techniques.
With the latest version of SmartKey Security, you get to enjoy piece of mind knowing that your home is safe and secure.
Though, the Kevo Gen 2 Smart Lock features UL 20 minute fire rating and is certified Grade 2 by ANSI — which is the second best grade a lock can get. So, if you’re looking for more secure Grade 1 smart lock, we’d recommend checking out the Schlage Sense or Schlage Connect.
The Kwikset Kevo Gen 1 does not have a BHMA grade or fire rating.
Difference #4: Hardware – The 1st Gen of Kevo Smart Lock comes with a plastic interior, whereas the 2nd Gen has an all-metal housing. The all-metal interior of Kevo Gen 2 looks more attractive when compared to plastic. Plus, it adds durability to the Kevo Gen 2 Smart Lock.
Difference #5: Auto-Lock – With a new generation come new features. The Kevo Gen 2 features optional 30-second auto-locking. You can activate the smart auto-locking feature by turning on dip switch number 4. However, keep an eye out for lockouts! Make sure you have your phone or a backup key when you leave your home.
The Kevo Gen 1 will not automatically lock behind you.
Difference #6: App – The 2nd Gen Kevo lock responds faster to app commands due to an update in the Bluetooth protocol implementation. However, both Gen 1 and Gen 2 get a lot of criticism on Amazon about malfunctioning. It might be just a temporary issue until they roll out a new app update. But for now, Kwikset Kevo doesn’t seem like a safe & sound option to have.
Kwikset Kevo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 — Comparison Chart
|Kwikset Kevo Gen 1||Kwikset Kevo Gen 2|
|Dimensions||7.4″ x 3.25″ x 1.75″||5.75″ x 2.75″ x 2″|
|Lock Grade||No Grade||Grade 2|
|Shared Access||25 eKeys/fobs max.||25 eKeys/fobs max.|
|Price||$129.99||Check on Amazon|
Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock Accessories
All Kwikset Kevo Smart Locks offer out-of-Bluetooth-range control. You just need to get the Kevo Plus, which is a combination of a service and a gateway. The gateway plugs into an outlet and connects to your router via an ethernet cable to pair the Kevo lock with your home’s Wifi Network. Once it’s all set up, you’ll have the ability to receive instant notifications whenever the Kevo lock is used, and even control the lock remotely from anywhere you are (assuming you have an Internet connection).
Kwikset also offers an alternative way to open Kevo Gen 1 and Gen 2 locks — the Kevo Key Fobs. The fob is a perfect solution for guests without smartphones. It offers the same Touch-to-Open convenience. Plus, you don’t need to worry about copied keys.
The only downfall is that in the event that the fob is lost or stolen you’ll need to perform a reset of the Kevo Smart Lock to unenroll the lost/stolen Kevo fob from your Kevo lock. The reset will delete all issued eKeys and unenroll all connected Kevo fobs. So yeah, Kwikset really needs to create a simpler way of unenrolling the Key Fobs.
Kwikset Kevo Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 — Our Thoughts
The Kwikset Gen 2 is an improved version of Gen 1. The newer version offers interactive installation, auto-calibration, more durable housing, advanced protection against lock bumping and torque attacks, and auto-locking. Is it worth the extra money? We think, yes.
However, in the same price range, or even less, you can find a more reliable smart lock. Consider the August Smart Lock Pro as another option; you can read more about it in our comparison article Kwikset Kevo vs. August Smart Lock Pro.