I have tested dozens of smart home products in my time here on Android Police, yet few of them have been as reliable and as effortless to use as Nuki. This smart lock that I reviewed back in December of 2017 has stayed on our door, offering us quick access to our house without any keys. So when the company told me it had a second generation available, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to try it out.

Nuki 2.0 doesn't change a lot, but improves a few features. The lock is still made for Euro Style/Profile Double Cylinders. It is now also compatible with knob and oval cylinders, uses Bluetooth 5.0 for better range, works with Apple HomeKit, has a Zigbee radio (though it's not active yet), and more conveniently, comes with a little sensor that detects when the door is physically open or closed. All small improvements that amount to an overall better experience.

The Good

Almost everything All the praise I had for the first-gen Nuki is still valid. This lock is built well, easy to install, convenient, has many security features, comes with an excellent app, and is compatible with Android, iOS, web, Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT.
Thoughtful It's hard to come across a smart home product as well thought-out as Nuki. Every time I have a concern, question, feature request, I look in the app or on the company's blog, and see it's already been addressed.
Door sensor Not only can you tell if the door is closed or not, you can also set it to automatically lock once it's closed.
Bluetooth 5.0 It improves range for the smart lock.

The Not So Good

Still loud I had hoped Nuki 2.0 would have a quieter motor. Unfortunately, this one is just as noisy.
Expensive €229 for the smart lock, €299 with the bridge, and even pricier if you want to add fobs or a keypad. That's more expensive than many other options.
Since the Nuki 2.0 is very similar to the first lock, I won't repeat a lot of the things that I discussed in my original review. I'll refer you to that if you want my thoughts on convenience vs security of any smart lock, some explanation of Nuki's encryption, or a super detailed review of the Android app, Wear OS, and web components.

Hardware and what's in the box

From the exterior, it's tough to differentiate between the second generation Nuki and the first one. The lock looks exactly the same with its round button, bulky base, and mix of silver and black. There are no other color options, so you might as well be happy with this look, no matter what your door is made of.

The big button in the middle can be set to perform any action (lock, unlock, open, smart, lock-and-go) with one and two clicks. Around it, you still find the LED light with customizable brightness. It blinks when the door is unlocked and lights up when you perform any action, whether you've physically interacted with it or used the app to trigger it.

Then there's the rotating knob. It was also there with the first-gen Nuki, but I'll admit I didn't know it actually rotated until my husband told me. While you won't likely use it often, it can come in handy if Nuki's batteries are near depleted and you don't want to burden the motor until you put new ones in.

Speaking of the batteries, they can be installed from the bottom. A little latch lets you remove them, and this is also where you can access the piston that removes the entire lock from your door. It's all quite convenient.

The back of the Nuki is where you'll find the rectangular slit where your key resides. The lock installs inside the door, over the key, and works by rotating it to close and open. It's a retrofit solution, but it works well and is compatible with many types of locks.

In the main Nuki box, you'll find the lock, two backplates (A and B) for different types of doors, the small magnetic door sensor, a screw and a hex screwdriver, and an installation guide. I also received a Nuki Bridge and Keypad for review. The first lets you access the lock while outside of Bluetooth range (when you're away), and the second uses access codes to let you unlock the door without a phone or key.

Setup and usage

Installing Nuki 2.0 on my door was very easy. Since I already had the first-gen on my door, I removed it, kept the same backplate installed, and put the new lock over it. Everything was compatible. Even if you didn't have the older model, the setup shouldn't take more than a few minutes. The app guides you through the process, explaining which plate to use and how to mount it to your door.

Then you go through the app's various, and properly explained steps to add your lock. Nuki doesn't require an account or login, it relies on your phone's security, so the option to add a fingerprint unlock layer before the app opens up would be welcome. After setting it up and calibrating it, you can add the door sensor and teach it when your door is open, closed, or slightly ajar. Then you can share access with other users, add the Bridge if you bought one, and set up a Keypad or Bluetooth Fob.

Setting up the lock, sensor, bridge, then keypad, in that respective order.

With Nuki installed and everything set, you can start using your new lock right away. From the inside, you open the door or lock it by rotating the knob, pressing the button, using your phone, or talking to Google Home.

From the outside, there are also several options. The keyhole is still there, so using the keys is possible if your lock's cylinder supports that. You can also use your phone, or the Keypad or Fob if you have them. Auto-unlock lets Nuki open the door when it detects you're nearby, based on your phone entering the geofence first then getting within Bluetooth range. If you'd rather not use that, a notification pops up each time you're in the geofence, which you manually approve to open the door.

If you're away from home and have the Bridge, you can still access all functions: locking and opening remotely, checking the status of both lock and door, viewing the log of all actions performed, adding a new user or revoking access to an existing one, and so on.

Nuki app: Homescreen, menus, and all the settings you want.

Nuki also offers a few alternatives for automatically locking the door. One is with the sensor: each time it detects the door has been physically closed, it locks it. Easy peasy. If you have teenagers or live with people who forget to lock doors after they come in or go out, this is the best solution to make sure your home is safe at all times. Two is with a timer or schedule: the door can automatically lock at a certain time (10pm for example) or after a few minutes of being unlocked. Three is with geolocation: if the Nuki app detects you're away and the door is still unlocked, it triggers a lock.

The product's strength is in its app and versatile options. Think of any feature and there's a high chance it's already available. Want to limit the Keypad access code you gave to your dog walker to certain days and hours, but keep your personal code always functional? Sure. How about the unlatch duration when Nuki opens the door, to make sure you have time to push it and get in? Yup. Maybe disable Bluetooth pairing so that no one else can physically add another phone to Nuki without your approval? Definitely. There are dozens of examples just like this that show the team behind Nuki knows what it's doing. And with frequent app updates, new features get added in frequently.

The one thing I've always wished Nuki had and still isn't there are better notifications. I'd like to be told when the door is open for more than 2 minutes for example, or to get notified if it's open by intrusion without Nuki being unlocked, or even to get notified when the door is unlocked and by whom/what. I can set up IFTTT for some of these, but a native notification feature would be nicer.

Smart home integrations

Besides its apps for Android and Wear OS, iOS and Apple Watch, and web, Nuki also works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Airbnb.

Nuki is now natively integrated with Google Assistant. It shows up in my Google Home app, is part of my routines, and lets me ask, "Hey Google, lock the door," or "is the door locked?" or "unlock the door." The latter requires the PIN that I added when creating a Nuki Web account and won't unlock without it. Sadly, the Nuki sensor isn't supported yet, so I can't ask if the door is open or closed, which is possible with the open/close sensor in SmartThings (for example).

With IFTTT, even more smart home integrations are available. You can set up notifications to know when your door is unlocked or open, or when the batteries are near empty. There are automations that trigger when you arrive or leave, and others that can lock or unlock based on something else happening in your home.

I already mentioned that Nuki 2.0 has added a Zigbee radio. It's not yet active, and there's no hint of when it will be or what it will do. My hope is that it would allow the lock to directly integrate in third-party hubs like SmartThings or Wink, without the need for the Nuki Bridge.

Should you buy it?

Yes. Obviously, the pre-requisite is that your door lock is compatible and that you're not avert to having a smart lock. But with those two things in mind, I can wholeheartedly recommend Nuki 2.0. You won't find anything as well developed and supported in the European smart lock space, and to be frank, I even doubt many of the US solutions for deadbolts come close in their features and customizability.

I won't go into the benefits and issues of having a smart lock; I've already discussed my thoughts at length in my previous review and I maintain that this is a personal decision that only you and the people you live with can make. What I will say is that over the 18+ months that we've been using this smart lock (first and second gen), it hasn't misbehaved, opened the door without being told, or locked it without a reason.

We left our keys at home one night and thanked our lucky stars we had it, and it saved us a couple more times by automatically locking after we left and forgot to do it. There were also a dozen of nights when we heard it automatically lock at 10pm, reminding us of how terrible we are at securing the door when we come in. Nuki 2.0 is even better at most of this because of the new sensor.

The company is also working on Nuki Opener, a "retrofittable door opener for your intercom," which should land soon. Living in an apartment building, I'm excited to try it out as it would allow me to open my building's door even if I leave my keys at home, or remotely grant entry to my parents or friends should I need to. If it does what it promises, the Nuki solution is about to become better.

At the moment, the main reservation I have about Nuki is cost. At €299 with the rather necessary Bridge, it isn't cheap, but it doesn't require any subscription so the price is final. However, when it comes down to it, I'd rather pay a bit more knowing the money is being used for ongoing support, than buy a cheap product that might get abandoned soon. That's my two cents.

Buy if:

  • You want the smartest and best solution for your Euro-style door lock
  • You or your partner/roommate tend to misplace or leave keys behind
  • You are or live with someone who always forgets to lock the door
  • You have kids, teenagers, parents, a babysitter, a dog walker, etc... who need intermittent access to your home
  • You have an Airbnb

Don't buy if:

  • Your door lock isn't compatible
  • The idea of a smart door lock terrifies you
  • €299 for the lock and bridge is just too much

Where to buy