Best Smart Padlocks: Secure and high-tech? Or buyer beware?

Smart padlocks sound great in theory. Simply use your fingerprint or an app on your phone to unlock your gate or gym locker, eliminating the need to remember a combination or key. 

Just about every smart padlock I looked at for this review suffers from some issue from battery life, to fingerprint scanning, to app security. In my view these issues cancel out any of the supposed convenience of smart biometric padlocks. However if you’re still interested in smart padlocks continue reading to learn more.


What Are the Best Smart Padlocks?

The best locks I’ve found are the Megafeis smart padlock for indoor uses and the Prezlock smart padlock for outdoor use. Although I’ve listed these as the “best” in their respective categories, they are far from perfect. 

Best for School or Gym Lockers – MEGAFEIS Smart Padlock 

MEGAFEIS Smart Padlock with Keyless Biometric
  • Unlock in a split second with your fingerprint. Registers up to 100 sets of fingerprints.
  • 150 mAh battery lasts for up to 6 months on a single charge. Recharge with USB.
  • Connect to the BlueTooth app to unlock or check the last 1000 unlock events.
  • Compact size ideal for the gym, luggage, bike, etc.

Megafeis makes one of the best smart padlocks for uses like gym lockers and school lockers. The padlock uses a biometric fingerprint scanner and is unlocked by pressing your finger onto the pad. The padlock then connects to the Megafeis app on your phone via Bluetooth to confirm your identity. Megafeis’s smart padlock is also relatively cheap in comparison to other smart padlocks. 

What I like

  • The Megafeis smart padlock uses a lithium battery and claims to have a battery life of about 6 months or 2500 unlocks on one battery charge. 
  • The padlock is lightweight and fits in the palm of your hand.This makes it portable and easy to carry in a backpack or gym bag.
  • It charges with a standard Micro USB (not included).

What I don’t like

  • The Megafeis app, and by extension your phone, is required to unlock the padlock. So even if the smart padlock has plenty of battery life left, if your phone runs out of battery you’re effectively locked out anyway. 
  • Customers complain that the fingerprint pad has trouble scanning, especially if your hands are dirty or wet from sweat or taking a shower. Obviously this is a problem if you’re planning to use the smart padlock on your gym locker.
  • There’s no failsafe method such as a combination or keypad. Therefore, if the padlock runs out of battery life you’ll have to either find a way to charge it while it’s still attached or just pry the lock off. 

Verdict

The Megafeis smart padlock can be used for everyday indoor applications like locking your gym locker, school locker or luggage. In these situations you’ll be using the lock quite frequently. Therefore, speed, convenience and portability are valuable and should be prioritized over heavy-duty construction and weatherproofing. Although this is the best smart padlock I’ve found for these uses, it still has some serious drawbacks. 

Many users report bugs and privacy concerns around the Megafeis app. It requires intrusive permissions, crashes and glitches, and shares your email and other info with third parties. Since the Megafeis app is required to operate the smart padlock, these problems put a serious damper on the potential convenience that comes with using a biometric lock instead of a regular combination or key lock.


Alternative Indoor Lock – Pothunder Smart Padlock

Pothunder Fingerprint Padlock
  • Unlock in a split second with your fingerprint. Registers up to 15 sets of fingerprints.
  • 110 mAh lasts up to 1 year on a single charge. Recharge with USB.
  • App can be used to send a temporary unlock password to friends if necessary.
  • Compact size ideal for the gym, luggage, bike, etc.

This Pothunder lock is a similar size and quality to the Megafeis lock making it another serviceable option for school or gym lockers. The padlock requires you to connect with the Pothunder app on your phone over bluetooth. After initial registration, you can unlock the padlock using your fingerprints or by connecting to the app over bluetooth when you’re in range. Pothunder claims the padlock can support up to 6 months of standby battery life or up to 2000 unlocks. 

What I Like

  • The Pothunder app gives you a choice between biometric unlock or connecting with your phone. 
  • The lock comes in a variety of fun colors like red, blue, metallic silver and white.
  • The padlock charges with a standard USB cable

What I Don’t Like

  • Pothunder’s smart lock can only remember up to 15 fingerprints compared to the 100 available on the Megafeis. I don’t expect I’d ever need more than 15, so this isn’t a huge loss.
  • Users report that the battery often dies quickly and unexpectedly. It comes with a 110 mAh battery compared to the 150 mAh battery on the Megafeis lock. And yet, the maker claims up to 1 year of standby battery life. I seriously doubt that claim.
  • The Pothunder app frequently crashes, doesn’t connect reliably, and sometimes can’t register new users. Fortunately, once the fingerprint is setup, you should rarely need to use the app. Good luck getting to that point!
  • Reviews also report that the fingerprint scanner is not reliable. 

Verdict

The Pothunder smart padlock is compact, light and made of stainless steel. It advertises that it can unlock through both a fingerprint scan or by connecting with the app. You might think it’s a good choice for gym lockers, important luggage, or other indoor uses. But it also has many problems that make it hard to justify. Previous purchasers have complained about the battery life, fingerprint scanning, and hard to use software. 


Best for Outdoor Use – Prezlock Smart Padlock

Prezlock Fingerprint Padlock with Key Backup
  • Unlocks in under a second with a simple touch of the fingerprint pad. Can store up to 100 fingerprints.
  • IP65 weatherproof rating makes the lock suitable for outdoor use.
  • Built with boron steel, it has an ASTM Grade 3 rating and can withstand a pulling force of over 1000 pounds
  • Up to 6 months usage on 1 charge. Recharge using USB-C charging port. A backup key is provided in case battery dies.

The Prezlock smart padlock is one of the best smart padlocks for outdoor uses. It sports a heavy duty construction and is water and rust resistant. Prezlock uses a fingerprint scanner as its primary unlocking method.

What I like

  • The Prezlock smart padlock doesn’t require any app or bluetooth connection to use.
  • It also includes a key as a backup method for unlocking.
  • The padlock is made with an alloyed metal body and hardened boron steel shackle; the lock uses a patented Double Ball Roller locking mechanism, which Prezlock reports can withstand a pulling force of over 1000 pounds.
  • The padlock charges using a common USB C charger (sold separately).

What I don’t like

  • The smart padlock has no indicator for charging status and doesn’t indicate low battery until right before it dies.
  • Prezlock uses a Lithium polymer battery, which the company claims lasts 6 months on a single charge. However many customers found their smart padlock stopped working long before that. 

Verdict

Prezlock’s smart padlock might be the best outdoor smart padlock because of its sturdy rust-resistant construction and metal body. However, this smart lock doesn’t really live up to the promise of any of its smart features. 

The battery loses power fast, within as little as two weeks according to some reviews. Buyers also reported the fingerprint scanner failed to work properly after being used outdoors. Another common issue was failing in colder weather or heavy rainfall. Cold temperatures seem to be particularly challenging for the smart padlock’s battery and electronic circuits. 


Alternative Outdoor Option – Master Lock Smart Padlock

Sale
Master Lock BlueTooth Padlock for Outdoor Personal Use
  • This all-weather lock is best used for residential gates, sheds, garages, outdoor storage lockers and tool chests.
  • Unlock with BlueTooth or enter directional code on keypad.
  • Includes a 2-piece weather cover, metal body construction, boron Carbide shackle, and anti-shim locking mechanism for improved strength.

Master Lock’s smart padlock is another option for outdoor uses. Customers operate the lock using Master Lock’s Vault Home app. Once registered, the padlock is opened by connecting to the app over wifi or bluetooth. The lock has two app-based unlock methods (Touch Unlock and Swipe Unlock). The Master Lock padlock is made with a secure carbide shackle and it seems to hold up well against harsh weather and cold temperatures, making it good for outdoor uses. 

What I Like

  • The padlock is opened by either touching the pad while signed into the app, or using the pad to enter a combination password based on the pad’s four directional sensors (up, down, left, right). The touchpad is direction and pressure sensitive but not a fingerprint or biometric lock.
  • The newest version of the Master Lock smart padlock using a 4401 series battery claims to last 5 years in Touch Unlock Mode and 2 years in Swipe Unlock Mode with regular use. 
  • The wifi connection allows you to remotely unlock the padlock from other areas of your home.
  • Offers the backup option to “jump” the lock if the battery dies by attaching a regular 9 volt battery.

What I Don’t Like

  • Some users have no issues with the battery life, while for others the padlock dies in weeks or even days. I can’t be sure, but I suspect the problems were caused by exposure to the elements.
  • The app is not always reliable and may stop working or unpair after an update.

Verdict

Master Lock is a reasonable alternative for outdoor padlocks. The padlock is sturdy and functions effectively in adverse weather. It can only be unlocked with the Master Lock app and lacks a fingerprint scanner. It also has a commercial version of the app, which offers a suite of added features like the ability to give other people temporary unlock privileges for 24 hours, monitor activity remotely and receive tamper alerts. But it also has a hefty price tag. Additionally, based on reviews it’s possible that the software or battery will stop working unexpectedly.


Alternative Smart Padlock – eGeeTouch Smart Padlock

eGeeTouch 4th GEN. Outdoor Smart Padlock
  • Uses BlueTooth or NFC fob/tag to unlock (no fingerprint unlock).
  • Remotely give permanent or timed access using the app.
  • Keep track of the historical unlock record (who, when, and where).
  • A Commercial/Enterprise version of the app is available if you have over 20 users.

Another smart padlock option is the eGeeTouch smart padlock. The eGeeTouch padlock is unlocked by connecting to the commercial app over bluetooth. The app can be used with smartphones as well as smart watches like the Apple watch. eGeeTouch also offers an alternative method of NFC key fobs, which are included with purchase. Although the company claims it is weatherproof, it doesn’t hold up well against rain or cold temperatures and I wouldn’t recommend people use it outdoors. 

What I Like

  • The eGeeTouch smart padlock can support up to 20 fobs on a single lock. 
  • The company reports that the padlock can sustain 7000 lock/unlock cycles on a single charge.

What I Don’t Like

  • Many reviews suggest the eGeeTouch fails under moisture or sustained cold temperatures.
  • The battery life doesn’t always live up to company’s estimate, though this is often paired with weather issues.
  • Using the app also requires geolocation data access, which may be a privacy concern for some people. 

Verdict

The eGeeTouch is an alternative indoor smart padlock option. The solid metal body seems like it would have no trouble with more difficult weather conditions like cold and rain.Unfortunately, many reviews suggest it is almost guaranteed to lose function if left outside. 

Despite having “touch” in the name, the eGeeTouch doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner and instead relies on connecting to smart devices over bluetooth. Its main selling points are the ability to unlock with an NFC tag, and a paid subscription service that unlocks extra administrative tools and support for businesses. 


Buying Guide

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important features for standalone devices like smart padlocks. Many smart padlocks use lithium batteries and claim to last for months on a single charge, assuming only a couple unlock cycles per day. However, based on buyer reviews it seems most can’t hold up to their claim of long battery life.

The Prezlock and eGee Touch have very poor ratings for battery life. ThePothunder and  Master Lock have unreliable batteries, with some reviews saying they last for months without issue while others report they quickly lose charge. Megafeis has the best battery life out of the five.

It seems quite likely that using a padlock indoors or in warm, dry weather will preserve battery life, while letting it get exposed to the elements significantly increases the chance of issues. 

Unlock Method and Integration

Another important factor is reliable biometric security and smart integration with phones and other devices. Prezlock requires a fingerprint scan to unlock, but can be used without smart integration or apps.Megafeis can only be unlocked by scanning your fingerprint while connected to the Megafeis app using bluetooth. Pothunder’s smart padlock can be unlocked using your fingerprints or by connecting to the lock with the app over bluetooth. 

Out of the five smart padlocks, the eGeeTouch and Master Lock do not have an option for biometric unlocking. The eGeeTouch padlock is unlocked by connecting to the commercial app over bluetooth or using the designated NFC key fobs. The Master Lock padlock is opened by either touching the padlock pad while signed into the app, or using the pad to enter a combination password. All three of the biometric products have problems accurately scanning users’ unique fingerprints.

Sturdiness and Weatherproofing

It’s also important that your padlock can withstand an attempted break-in, as well as survive the elements if you want to use it outside. The Master Lock and Prezlock are the best choices for outdoor use. They also use hardened metal alloys for the shackle and body, which adds extra protection against any would-be burglars. The Megafeis, Pothunder and eGeeTouch smart padlocks are not well rated in outdoor conditions, and are better for indoor uses like gym lockers. 


Final Thoughts

Megafeis’ smart padlock is a reasonable choice for indoor uses like gym and school lockers and suitcases. It’s lightweight, small and fairly low-cost. However the mandatory Megafeis app has serious performance issues and the fingerprint pad also struggles to recognize your prints. 

The Pothunder is an alternative smart padlock for indoor uses like a gym or school locker. The padlock is small and portable, measuring 1 inch by 2 inches and made of stainless steel. The range of interesting color options might make it more appealing for kids. However, it also comes with a host of concerns. Previous buyers report that the battery dies quickly, the associated app is nearly unusable and the fingerprint scanner is also not reliable. 

The eGeeTouch is a final option for indoor smart padlocks. Although it is listed as being weatherproof, it has serious problems when used outside. There are also many complaints about using the app to connect and unlock the padlock. Given the high price tag, extensive and serious problems with weatherproofing and software issues, it’s hard to justify buying the eGeeTouch. 

Prezlock has the best smart padlock I found for outdoor uses like sheds, gates and equipment boxes. It has heavy duty steel construction and waterproofing features. It also avoids any issues with smart integration by relying only on the fingerprint, with a key as a backup method. However like Megafeis it also has serious drawbacks. Many customers complain that the battery drains very quickly and the fingerprint scanner is faulty. It also has quite a high price tag for the very basic level of functionality it offers.

The Master lock is another smart padlock for outdoor uses. The padlock is large and heavy, and reportedly works well in outdoor conditions. It has no fingerprint scanner and instead unlocks using the Master Lock app.The app also has an enterprise version that provides extra features for businesses. However, it also comes with a heavy price tag. And based on reviews there’s a chance the software or battery will simply stop working without explanation. 

The best use for smart padlocks is probably for protecting small items not exposed to the elements like luggage, tool boxes or handheld work equipment. Ultimately I found all of the current smart padlock options pretty disappointing, so I can’t really give a wholehearted recommendation for any of them. But if you’re dead-set on buying one, I wish you good luck. Try it out, then come back here and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *