SwitchBot’s robot hand to unlock your door gets a big upgrade

The new retrofit smart door lock from SwitchBot has a sleeker look than its predecessor. | Image: SwitchBot

SwitchBot has launched a new version of its retrofit smart lock. The SwitchBot Lock Pro ($119.99) offers a few upgrades over the company’s first lock, the SwitchBot Lock, including an aluminum alloy body, a more secure installation, and a new quick key lock / unlock mechanism.

The SwitchBot Lock Pro costs $119.99 (£139.99 / €139.99) — or $199.99 (£239.99 / €239.99) if you want the keypad and Matter hub bundle. This adds fingerprint, NFC tag, and keypad unlocking via the Bluetooth keypad, plus the hub brings compatibility with all the major smart home platforms through Matter and control of the lock when you’re away from home.

Rather than replacing your entire deadbolt, as most smart locks do, a retrofit lock turns the existing mechanism for you. This allows you to unlock the door using the many “smart” options, plus you can still use your existing key.

SwitchBot made its name with the SwitchBot Bot, a small button-like device that uses a robotic finger to push things like a light switch, making an analog device smart without having to mess with wiring. The company’s first smart lock had the same idea, using a tiny robot hand to turn your door lock. It also has a robot that can run along a curtain pole to open your curtains. This retrofit approach is different from a lot of smart home companies, where the tendency is to develop new smart products that entirely replace existing ones.

Image: SwitchBot
The new lock can be purchased in a bundle that adds a keypad with a fingerprint reader for unlocking and the new SwitchBot Hub Mini Matter Enabled.

The new retrofit lock works over Bluetooth, so you need to add one of SwitchBot’s hubs to connect it to Wi-Fi. This adds control of the lock when you’re away from home and the option of integration with smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home for features like voice control.

The lock can be bundled with SwitchBot’s new Hub Mini Matter Enabled. This works with the smart home standard Matter. Matter integration lets you use the lock with Apple Home and other Matter platforms (but there’s no support for Apple’s Home Key). The lock should also work with the Matter-enabled $70 SwitchBot Hub 2 for Matter support, as well as the standard $40 Hub Mini if you don’t want Matter. We’ve reached out to SwitchBot to confirm.

SwitchBot says the new lock is a complete redesign. It now replaces your thumb turn and is secured with screws; the original lock was stuck over your thumb turn by 3M tape. The company has also added a new quick key button that allows for a single press to lock and unlock from the inside.

A new magnetic battery cover makes it easier to replace the batteries — which are now four AAs instead of the two CR123As. SwitchBot says these provide up to nine months of battery life, and there’s an option to buy a rechargeable dual power pack for up to 12 months of battery life.

Image: SwitchBot
The lock is compatible with standard US deadbolts, plus other lock types with additional accessories.

Other features of the lock and the keypad include:

  • Auto-lock setting
  • Real-time notifications of door lock and open / closed status
  • Low battery notifications
  • An upgraded motor with 20 kilogram-force per square centimeter of torque
  • Store up to 100 fingerprints
  • One-time or temporary passcodes

The SwitchBot Lock Pro is available in both EU and US versions (you can check EU compatibility here) and can be preordered directly from SwitchBot at a discounted price of $89.99 (£99.99 / €99.99).