If you look at your keyring then you will probably notice that you have way too many keys on it, they are annoying, easy to lose, and dig into your leg on the go, it’s definitely time we got rid of them.
The product that we are reviewing will help you do just that. Called the Dog and Bone LockSmart Mini, it is a smart Bluetooth padlock that allows you to lock things just like a normal padlock, but the smart part is that it works via a smartphone, allowing you to unlock it via a Bluetooth connection and an app.
To do this, the LockSmart Mini has a lot of tech packed inside, featuring a die-cast Zamak-3 zinc alloy body that the company says is extremely durable, whilst being lightweight, along with all the tech and circuitry needed to establish a connection with your smartphone.
Around the outside of the lock, you will also find a rubber casing for an extra layer of durability, covering the micro-USB port at the bottom, and allowing it to be waterproof. Because of this, the LockSmart is fully capable of being used both indoors and outdoors, be it in rain, hail, snow, or in the sun, the LockSmart Mini is good to go in temperatures ranging from -20 to +70 degrees Celsius.
The overall look of the LockSmart Mini is pretty darn smart, as apart from the LED indicator on the front, the lock features a simple design that doesn’t make it look too obvious, but still quite cool.
To connect to your smartphone, the LockSmart Mini uses a Bluetooth connection to securely link to your smartphone using the 128bit Bluetooth encryption standard, which Dog & Bone say is the highest level of protection available. This allows you to unlock the padlock without the need of any kind of key or PIN, however, it does mean that you need your smartphone in your pocket (with a charge) to do so.
Within the app you will find a number of features, allowing you to do a range of things such as sharing access to lock and even securing the unlock with your fingerprint over Touch ID.
To share a lock, you no longer need a key, simply invite your friend or family member from within the app and they’ll receive a text message that includes a URL to download the app and pair with the lock.Once they have signed up from within the app they will be able to access the lock, just the way you can.
But there is a little more than that, you are also able to fully track the activity of those who you have shared with, and remove access if you so wish.
In the settings you will also find a number of other options such as adding a photo to your lock, changing its name, enabling a power save mode or changing how the unlock works from between tap to unlock, Touch ID unlock, or passcode unlock.
Interestingly, the lock will also get updates over time, with more features to be added over time.
Recently the lock was updated with a couple of new features including a location mode that will allow you to locate a lock that is within your Bluetooth range, as well as tracking mode that will do the same as location, but it will actually notify you when the lock goes in or out of your Bluetooth range.
Unfortunately, the sample that we were testing would not update to this version, so we were unable to test any of these features.
Probably the biggest disadvantage of the LockSmart is its biggest advantage, and that is that it requires not only your smartphone to be fully charged and ready, but also for the battery inside of the padlock charged.
Thankfully, charging up the padlock is extremely easy, simply plug in a micro-USB cable and you are ready to charge. On top of that, Dog & Bone say that it can last up to two years or around 3,000 unlocks. We weren’t able to test that, but to give you an idea, we have been using the LockSmart Mini for a total of about 3 weeks now and we have only used about 4% of its battery, and that’s with a lot of messing around on top.
That all said, the LockSmart Mini from Dog & Bone is an excellent little solution to modernising your padlocks, whilst making sure that what you are locking is kept secure. It costs around £55 from a number of retailers as well as directly from D&B. That is a little expensive for a padlock, however, for a padlock that has features like this one, it’s actually quite cheap.
I would prefer it if this lock had a backup solution for when your phone isn’t around, but all in all, the LockSmart Mini definitely solves a huge problem and does so effectively.