Nest x Yale is the long-awaited smart lock from Nest that was first announced in 2016 as the Linus. It took nearly two years until its release in early 2018. While the lock is pleasant to use and has great potential in a Nest-centered smart home system, it's not like many of Nest's earlier products. The Nest x Yale is an above-average smart lock, but unable to match the quality of Schlage and August.
The Nest x Yale costs $279 for a bundle that comes with a Nest Connect Wi-Fi adapter. Along with the August Smart Lock Pro, this is the most expensive smart lock we reviewed, over $100 more expensive than average. Buying the lock without the Nest Connect saves $30, but you won't get any mobile app controls since Nest x Yale doesn't have a Bluetooth radio. The bundle's a better deal as you get both app controls and remote access.
Two things contributed to this high score. First, the Nest x Yale lacks a keyhole, relying only on key codes and mobile app controls to open. This means no-one can pick the lock and must damage the lock to get it open, which triggers a siren.
Second, the Nest x Yale won't let you use common codes for the lock when adding them from the app. When we put in test codes of 1234 or 7777, it refused to accept them, prompting us to choose a more complex code. You can also generate guest access codes.
One of the Nest x Yale's biggest strengths lies in the smart home, though it's not nearly as developed or flexible as the August Smart Lock Pro. That said, you need a Nest Connect or Nest Guard for this, as these are the only devices it can directly link to since the Nest x Yale uses Thread, a form of ZigBee developed by Nest.
Once it has Wi-Fi, the Nest x Yale works alongside other Nest products such as the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Cam security camera and Nest Hello video doorbell. We had hoped that Nest x Yale would communicate directly with the Nest Hello as August's lock and doorbell do, but the integration isn't as seamless. Nest doesn't list any other compatible smart home platforms specifically for the lock, but we expect to see more over time.
While we found most smart locks easy to use, the Nest x Yale is one of the more user-friendly options available. It responds rapidly to commands from the mobile app and you can add guests quickly. You can have up to 20 codes for the lock which doesn't seem like very many, but it's enough for most homes. However, it doesn't have any auto-unlock options.
The installation manual is easy to use, and it took us around 20 minutes to install the lock. This is a compete lock that replaces your existing deadbolt, so it's not quite as easy to install as a retrofit-type like August or Danalock. Nest x Yale has an excellent two-year warranty that's longer than average for smart locks, though not as good as Schlage's three-year coverage.
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After installation, we had problems getting the Nest Connect to recognize the Nest x Yale in the mobile app. After further research and a call to Nest customer support, we learned that the lock isn't compatible with the Wi-Fi router in our office, a problem we didn't have with other Wi-Fi adapters we tested. We tried a different router and the setup process went smoothly.