Kwikset Premis HomeKit-enabled Smart Lock review:

The premise is simple: Kwikset’s been making locks for generations now, and making smart locks for years. Now, it’s introducing a smart lock that works with Siri.

It’s called the Kwikset Premis, and it’s a touchpad deadbolt that works with Apple HomeKit, the smart-home control service built into to Apple’s iOS devices. With HomeKit compatibility, you can control and automate the Premis directly from Apple’s Home app or from your iPhone’s Control Center, alongside other HomeKit-compatible gadgets, and you can lock and unlock it using Siri voice commands, too.

At a retail price of $229, the Premis isn’t any less expensive than other popular smart locks, including ones from August that also work with HomeKit and Kwikset’s own touch-to-open Kevo smart lock, now in its 2nd generation. But it’s a very decent smart lock in its own right, boasting a good-looking build, a well-designed app filled with features, and terrific controls for managing multiple users without additional fees. If you’re buying in on the Siri-controlled smart home, the Premis is worth consideration.

Design and installation

If your door is properly aligned, you can install the Kwikset Premis in under a half an hour using only a screwdriver and some measuring tape.

Chris Monroe/CNET

I like the way this lock looks, but it isn’t a groundbreaking design. Essentially, Kwikset just took its existing touchpad smart lock and swapped out the Z-Wave radio for a Bluetooth radio and the necessary HomeKit chipset.

Still, like I said, it’s a decent design. Like we’ve seen with other recent smart locks, the interior housing is a little smaller than past generations, making it less of an eyesore. My only real complaint is that the touchpad is just slightly less responsive than I would like, occasionally requiring an extra stab of my thumb to enter a digit.

I didn’t have any trouble installing a Kwikset Premis at the CNET Smart Home, but like with other smart locks, I needed to make sure the door I wanted to smarten up was properly aligned with the latch. Smart locks turn the deadbolt on their own, without help from you. That means that they’ll jam if there isn’t a smooth path from the door to your door frame. In other words, if you need to push or pull on your doorknob in order to turn your key, that’s something you’ll need to fix before buying a smart lock like this one.

With that concern in mind, I picked out a particularly well-aligned door in the smart home’s mud room and got to work. The Premis doesn’t include any installation instructions in the box — instead, you’ll need to download the app for a step-by-step walkthrough. It’s definitely helpful, but I would have liked some physical instructions nonetheless.

Still, installation was straightforward, and only took me about twenty minutes or so. All I needed was a screwdriver and some measuring tape. The only steps in addition to what you’d expect from a standard deadbolt are connecting a small cable and inserting four AA batteries, which come included.