Ease of Use
Everyday usage and multiple users
This one’s about as simple to use on a daily basis as it gets. You simply enter your access code and unlock the door. Or touch a button on the keypad to lock it. You can even tell the Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Deadbolt to lock itself after a certain time period if you’d prefer.
It’s easy to add new users (up to 100 of them!) and you can name the various access codes you give out, so when you check the app, you’ll see exactly who accessed the door instead of just seeing that your door was locked or unlocked.
For example, you might see something like “Access Code Dogwalker” when checking your activity in the app.
And you can easily use the Schlage Home app to lock or unlock your door.
One thing we really liked about the keypad fwas the backlight and how large the numbers are. They’re also slightly raised, and all of these features together make this an excellent choice for visually impaired homeowners who may not be able to use other models as easily.
For those reasons, we gave this smart lock a 9/10 in the ease of use category.
And, as you’ll see in the section below, this lock becomes even easier to use when integrated with smart home systems.
Smart Home System Integration
Which systems is this smart lock compatible with?
You can use this smart lock with Amazon Alexa, Google assistant, and ring doorbells, to maximize your pre-existing smart home technology. Note, however, that this smart lock is not set up to work with Apple HomeKit or the full-fledged Google Home.
Another thing to note with this lock is that in order to integrate with ring doorbells, you will need to use the Key by Amazon app, and not the Schlage Home app.
Once integrated with the Ring video doorbell, it’s pretty easy, once again, to use this lock, and you can lock or unlock the door right from the ring app instead of having to go back to the Schlage Home app or Key by Amazon.
If you use Alexa, you can both lock and unlock your door with voice commands and also check whether the door is currently locked or unlocked, using either of the apps.
Integrating with Google assistant allows you to lock your door using voice control and check on whether the door is locked or unlocked, but only if you use the Schlage Home app.
Because this smart lock is compatible with three of the most popular smart home devices, but not with the full-fledged smart home system such as Google Home or Apple HomeKit, it gets an 8/10 rating in this category.
Ease of Installation
Installing this smart lock is pretty simple: you just need a screwdriver. You do, of course, need to remove your old lock prior to installing this one.
This lock feels solid and like it’s built to last. There’s nothing flimsy about the components to the lock, which make it perfect for a household with children.
It’s also conveniently designed to fit any standard-sized door.
Once the old lock is removed, following the installation instructions in the app or online is a breeze. There are easy-to-follow drawings that show you what to do at each step, and some retailers have posted the installation instructions on the product’s page on their own websites.
There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.
- Install the new deadbolt that comes with this lock.
- Then install the new strike plate.
- Next, install the touch plate, then the lock’s backplate.
- Once those are in place, connect the cable (for wi-fi access) inside the lock.
- Then attach the lock mechanism to the door.
- And finally, add batteries.
That’s it! Because this lock comes pre-installed with built-in wi-fi, it’s ready to connect to your home’s network. You do not need a smart home hub or any other accessories in order to link up to your home network or to connect to other smart devices.
The only caveat, which is the same for all smart locks, is to be sure that your door is aligned properly so the hole for the deadbolt lines up with the deadbolt. Otherwise, you may have issues with the deadbolt jamming or not locking.
We liked how easy the installation instructions were to follow, and the fact that each step came with large, easy to understand illustrations. Most of all, we liked that it’s an easy one-person job—just grab a screwdriver and the lock parts, and you’re all set.
For those reasons, we gave this lock a 10/10 on installation.
Robustness of the App
What the app can do and how easy it is to use
You have two different app options for this smart lock. You can either use the Schlage Home app or the Key by Amazon app. Both apps allow you to add users by giving them customized access codes, and track each time your door is locked and unlocked.
Both apps work with Apple and Android devices and don’t cost anything to download; however, the Key by Amazon app will not work with Google home devices.
With the Schlage Home app, you have the option of sending “virtual keys” to other users through a text or email. These keys allow another user to access all of the Schlage Home app features, including locking and unlocking the door remotely.
You can use up to 100 unique access codes, so you’ll never have to worry about reusing the same code for multiple people. And, this app allows you to see when access codes you’ve assigned to certain people have been used to lock or unlock the door.
In fact, you can set which times certain codes are allowed to be used to unlock your door.
You can allow notifications on your smartphone, too, for up-to-the-second updates on who has accessed your front door and when.
You can also select an auto-lock feature that allows you to re-lock the door after a set time, such as two minutes after it’s been unlocked.
The app also comes with complete, step-by-step installation instructions for setting up your Schlage lock.
It has been noted by other reviewers that getting this lock integrated with other smart devices was difficult at times and required calls to Schlage customer service for walk-throughs.
Although allowing homeowners flexibility in being able to use more than one app, and the number of great features the Schlage Home app has, it could be frustrating trying to link up the smart lock to other smart devices in your home.
For those reasons, the Schlage Encode Wi-fi Deadbolt smart lock gets a very solid 8/10 in this category.
How this smart lock opens the door
This smart lock uses access codes to allow users entry into the door. Using a touchpad, you simply enter your unique access code.
If the code was correct, you’ll see a flashing checkmark, and the door unlocks. If the code was incorrect, you’ll see an X instead of the flashing checkmark.
Touch the lock button to lock the door. Pretty simple, right?
If you link your lock with the smart home systems listed above, you can also lock or unlock the door by voice command or through the smart home system’s app.
And, of course, you can also remotely lock and unlock the door through the Schlage Home app or the Key by Amazon app.
For ease of use, this lock can’t be beat—you can even manually lock and unlock the door from the inside of your home. Who doesn’t love having options?
Because of how easy locking and unlocking your door is using this smart lock, it gets a 9/10 in this category. Simplicity and flexibility are always good to have.
$250-$350 (ring bundle)
This lock retails for a standard cost of $250. Interestingly, for about $100 more, you can purchase this lock with a Ring video doorbell as a bundle from Amazon.
We have to say, with how simple this lock is to use on a daily basis, the ease of installation, the variety of different smart systems it works with, and the additional features that are built-in with this lock, it’s hard to find a better value out there.
This is truly an excellent lock for the price and earns a 9/10 from us in the value category.
Remote Connection Type
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?
This smart lock uses wi-fi to keep you updated about who’s been accessing your door 24/7. As long as it’s connected to your home’s wi-fi, you can check the status of your smart lock from anywhere using your smartphone.
Another plus with the built-in wi-fi connection that comes with this lock is that it’s got secure encryption between your home network and the lock, adding one more layer of protection for your home.
The only downside to think about with a wi-fi connection is if you live in an area with unreliable service or your home sits in a dead zone.
For this category, because of the encrypted connection and greater flexibility offered over Bluetooth, we gave the Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Deadbolt an 8/10 here.
The Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Deadbolt is battery powered, with a low-battery indicator built into the lock. It takes four AA batteries, which should have about a six-month lifespan according to the manufacturer.
However, some customers have reported needing to replace batteries every six to eight weeks, so if that’s a deal-breaker for you, this might not be your go-to smart lock.
We balanced the cost of replacing 4 batteries at once (and the frequency of replacing the batteries) against the low-battery warning feature built into the lock, and the backup key, and gave this smart lock a 7/10 in this category.
Lock attachment or full lock?
This is a complete locking system and comes with a full deadbolt assembly in addition to the touchpad and other components. This is considered to be the safest type of smart lock when compared to those that simply attach to an existing lock.
Because of the sturdiness of this lock, multiple positive reviews about its hardiness, and the fact that the deadbolt comes with the lock, we gave the Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Deadbolt 9/10 here.
Keys or Completely Keyless Entry?
This lock gives you the best of both worlds, by allowing for keyless entry when you want it, while still giving you the option of using a key, for those who aren’t ready to toss their house keys just yet.
And in case you don’t pay attention to the low-battery warning and the batteries do die in the smart lock, you won’t be locked out of your home.
It does only come with one physical key, so you may need to have additional keys made if multiple family members will need to have that type of access to the lock.
We gave this lock an 8/10 for having a physical key and for the low-battery warning.
This little lock comes with a pretty hefty warranty. It’s got a limited lifetime warranty on the mechanical parts and finishes, and a three-year warranty on the electronic components.
Because of the robust warranty, the Schlage Encode smart lock earns itself a 9/10.
This lock comes with its own built-in alarm to identify potential issues at the lock level.
The keys on the numeric keypad are backlit for easy use at night. In addition, the touchscreen has been designed to be fingerprint-resistant, meaning others won’t be able to tell which numbers are used in the various access codes.
This lock also has a strong motor, so you don’t have to worry about the deadbolt only getting pushed part way in or pulled partway out of the lock. The only downside is that it can be a bit loud.
For more information about this lock, you can go to the manufacturer’s website.