Kwikset Obsidian Review: Minimalist Key-Free Smart Lock

Kwikset Obsidian Review: Setup and installation

Installation of the Obsidian is easy, thanks to thoughtful touches like color-coded screws for different door thicknesses. You can program up to 30 codes, which is far fewer than most other smart locks offer; also, none of the codes can be programmed to expire at a given time, which you can do with August’s smart locks. If the four AA batteries that power the lock run out, you can touch a 9-volt battery to the base of the front touch-screen panel and power the lock temporarily.

An anti-stick coating on the touch screen repels fingerprints. If you are really paranoid, you could take advantage of a feature called SecureScreen; it prompts you to touch random digits before you enter your code, so no one can guess the code by looking at fingerprint marks on the screen.

We did find that the Obsidian sometimes took a few touches to wake up and illuminate the keypad so you can enter the keycode. Once the device was awake, though, it sensed most touches without issues.

Kwikset Obsidian Review: Smart home compatibility

If you want to control or monitor the Obsidian remotely, you’ll have to connect it to a smart home hub with Z-Wave; for most people, this means getting Samsung’s SmartThings hub ($70). Once connected, you’ll be able to control the lock from your smartphone or with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Kwikset Obsidian Review: Verdict

The Kwikset Obsidian is an impressive-looking smart lock for a modernist house. It’s easy to use and has some nice security features, too. However, you’ll have to spend at least $70 on a smart home hub if you want to control this lock remotely or use it with Alexa or Google Home. And it can be programmed with only 30 codes, as opposed to the hundreds that other smart locks offer. 

Among the best smart locks, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is our favorite for its built-in Wi-Fi, its ease of installation, and its compatibility with the widest range of smart home devices. Among keyless locks, we prefer the Yale Real Living Assure SL, which has 250 codes and works with more smart-home systems. But, the Kwikset Obsidian is a capable smart lock for those who want a modern look.

Credit: Kwikset