Review of the Holomarq Sequra Smart Latch Lock with Thread

Cupertino, April 27, 2023

Seemingly gone are the days when you strained your eyes looking for a decent deadbolt lock with HomeKit. However, you’d still have to reach for a magnifying glass when it comes to a smart door knob lock with a latch-type mechanism, as opposed to a deadbolt. Before today’s review product came to market, the only other latch lock available with HomeKit was the Yale Assure Keypad Lever lock. This seems to be currently unavailable, which leaves the Sequra HK1 Smart Door Knob from Holomarq the only latch lock with HomeKit on the market. Not only that, but it uses HomeKit over Thread as opposed to the traditionally used Bluetooth connection method. Let’s dive in.

PACKAGING

Front of box

Side of box recommending a Thread Border Router

The packaging for the Sequra HK1 makes clear that this is not only a HomeKit device but also utilises Thread, although you’ll also see the Bluetooth logo there too. This is because Bluetooth is used in both the initial setup for Thread devices, commonly referred to as ‘onboarding’ or ‘commissioning’, but is designed as a fallback option, should Thread fail for some reason. It’s also used as the default communication method if the user doesn’t have a Thread Border Router in their home. In the case of Apple Home, this would be the HomePod Mini, HomePod (2nd gen), or Apple TV4K (2nd gen or 3rd gen w/ 128GB), all of which contain Thread Border Routers. As this uses HomeKit over Thread, not Matter over Thread, Google, SmartThings, and Alexa users can’t make use of this lock.

Side of box with features

Functionality is a strong point with the HK1, offering the usual HomeKit-centred features, whilst also providing up to 50 passcodes, Passage mode/Auto lock, an Anti-prying feature, emergency power via a USB-C port, standard keys, 1-year battery life via four AA batteries, and an IP54 rating.

What’s in the box

The lock can be used directly in Apple Home, but you get more features if you also pair it with the Sleekpoint app, which is home to the Airversa Purelle, as both Holomarq and Airversa are brands belonging to Sleekpoint Innovations, hence the name of the app. Currently, the lock is only available in two finishes – Matte Black, and Metallic Gold, both of which we’ll see later.

CONTENTS

Contents of the box

In the box, you get the lock, which comes in three parts – the latch bolt, the inner assembly, and the outer assembly. There’s a manual in English, a hole-cutting guide, if you’re installing this on a new door, and a quick setup card. Also included are a pair of standard backup keys, four screws for fixing the latch bolt and the included strike plate, as well as screws for two different door depths. The lock when in the hand, feels really hefty, and well made, especially considering the sub-US$ 100 price tag.

Outer assembly with keypad

Inner assembly to contain the batteries

The outer assembly is where most of the details are, with eleven rubber buttons numbering one to zero, with a ‘confirm’ button with a ‘tick’ icon. At the bottom is a small status LED that’ll briefly flash in green when the door is locked or unlocked, and red if there’s a wrong code entered, or if the batteries are low. In the centre is the lock cylinder for standard key usage. The keypad will light up when pressing the buttons, so you can see what you’re pressing in the dark.

HomeKit code (1 of 2)

Reset/pairing button

Removing the inner assembly cover reveals a space for the four AA batteries required to power the lock, along with a data cable, data port, and reset/pairing button. There’s also the second of two instances of the HomeKit code, with the other instance stuck to the outside of the inner assembly. Given that this handle is going to be touched a lot, probably wearing the Q code sticker down over time, the inner code is a very important backup.

USB-C port covered

USB-C port uncovered

Speaking of backups, should the batteries die, and you chose not to carry one of the provided keys, you can boot up the lock temporarily via the USB-C port, although that also means you’d have to be carrying a device capable of providing a bit of power to the lock, like a power bank, or perhaps a phone capable of providing power, as well as a USB-C cable.

THE LOCK (INSTALLED)

HK1 Metallic Gold

As previously mentioned, the lock comes in two finishes, with the Metallic Gold option pictured above and installed. I’m not going into the installation, as there’s a separate video for that from the company, as well as my brief take on it, but if you wish to watch the video below, it also includes an overview of the installation;

ADDING LOCK TO APPLE HOME

Add a device

Reset the lock

Scan the QR code

Add lock to Apple Home

I’d recommend adding the lock via the Sleekpoint app initially, as it still adds it to Apple HomeKit, but allows you to add the lock to both systems in one go. After selecting the lock from the ‘add device’ menu, which currently only offers two devices, you just need to reset the lock ready for installation. You go through the same steps you would as though you were adding any HomeKit device, although with the HK1 you’ll eventually come to a section where you’ll be asked to add a master numerical code. If this is your first lock that has the Apple Home feature known as Manage Access (which I’ll go into later), then you will add your code, which will then be automatically used for subsequent locks added that use Manage Access. If you already have a lock installed with that feature, the code you set up will show instead of asking you to add a code. Currently, the only locks that support Manage Access are the Schlage Encode Plus, the Aqara Smart Lock U100, and this lock.

IN APPLE HOME

HK1 Tile in Apple Home

Toggle control

Settings, including battery levels and Manage Access

There are no real surprises here, with a single tile for the lock, a toggle switch for locking and unlocking, as well as a settings page. This page displays the battery level and also reveals the Manage Access feature I mentioned earlier.

Guests with access

Add a guest

Change access code

Tapping on this section reveals any guests you might have already added, with the option to turn off access to any user in the list, or adjust certain parameters, like the user’s name, or passcode. You can add a guest here too, which will then generate a random six-digit code for you, although you can change this code to one you prefer.

Share access code

Various sharing options

With the guest and code added, you can then share the code using a variety of methods, including email, Messages, AirDrop, or even via social media if you really want. What you can do with these passcodes is add conditions, so a person either has unrestricted access or none at all, which is where the Sleekpoint app is a better option if more custom access is required.

THE SLEEKPOINT APP

Devices in the Sleekpoint app

Lock UI

Lock activity

Lock Settings

There are currently only two devices in my app, and from this screen, I can lock or unlock the door, but if I tap on the tile for the lock, I get access to a few more options including a larger dedicated lock/unlock button. Below that are two options, Lock Activity and Manage Access. Don’t get the latter option mixed up with the Apple version with the same name, although they do much the same thing, just independently of each other. Lock Activity shows you all activity involving the lock, whether it has been controlled via an app, locked, unlocked with a key, and even whether someone has simply turned the doorknob when it’s locked. Any passcodes used will show here as long as the codes used were created in the Sleekpoint app. If the codes were generated in the Home app, they’ll show as related to HomeKit. The settings page offers a selection of options including turning auto lock on or off, which can be set from anywhere between five…

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