Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

Schlage Sense Smart Lock Review

Read time: 9 minutes Last Updated: 12/09/2019

We take a look at the innovative Schlage Sense Smart Lock. Is it worth buying?

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt

8.3/10
  • Very durable
  • Secure and reliable
  • Simple and elegant
  • Variety of code options
  • Apple HomeKit support
  • Multiple access available
  • Needs adapter to work with Alexa
  • Doesn't work with smart doorbell systems
Ease of Use:
As simple as it gets
Integration:
Alexa or Google Assistant (only if wi-fi adapter is purchased); Apple HomeKit
Ease of Installation:
A screwdriver and the easy-to-follow instructions
App:
Schlage Home app
Door Unlocks By:
Typing a code in the keypad or using phone to remotely lock/unlock (with Apple HomeKit or wi-fi adapter)
Remote Access:
Bluetooth AND wi-fi (need to purchase wi-fi adapter separately)
Power Options:
4 AA batteries with low-battery warning
Lock Type:
Deadbolt; given highest safety rating possible
Keys or Keyless:
Allows both options
Warranty:
Built-in alarm, encrypted Bluetooth connection

Our Review

We like The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt’s special features like the built-in alarm and encrypted Bluetooth connection and love how easy it is to use. It’s chic and minimalistic and comes in two different trims and two color options within each trim.  (Trim shown is “Camelot” in satin nickel.)

Overall, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt earned an 8.3/10 average weighted score.  This a great lock for people who don’t already have home security systems but want to add an extra layer of security to their home.

It might not be the best choice for those who don’t already have a smart home hub, but for HomeKit users, it’s a great option.

For those who are currently renting, however, we recommend checking with your landlord before removing any pre-existing locks on the property.

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 Sense Smart Deadbolt to lock itself after a certain time period if you’d prefer.

You can add up to 30 unique codes (users).  While not as many as some smart locks, that should still be plenty for most users.

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.

If the batteries should die on you, there is a place to use an actual key—so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck outside your own home

For those reasons, we gave the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt smart lock a 9/10 in the ease of use category.

Smart Home System Integration

Which systems are this smart lock compatible with? 

This lock is compatible with Apple HomeKit, although, in order to remotely access the lock, you need to have an Apple TV or an iPad that’s connected to your home network.

With Apple HomeKit, you can use Siri to lock or unlock the door remotely.

In order to use this lock with other smart home systems, however, you will need to purchase the optional wi-fi adapter designed for this lock for an additional $70.

The adapter allows you to lock and unlock your door remotely via voice commands through Google Assistant and Alexa.

At the time of this article, this smart lock was not compatible with Ring or other video doorbell systems.

Because this smart lock is compatible with two of the most popular smart home devices, but only with the additional purchase of a wi-fi adapter, and is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, but not video doorbell systems, it gets a 7/10.

Ease of Installation

Installing this smart lock is pretty simple:  you just need a screwdriver. Yep, that’s it! 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.

Once you remove the old lock, 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.

This lock even has an interactive instructions page with videos at each step show you exactly what to do.

There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.

  1. Install the new deadbolt that comes with this lock.
  2. Then install the new strike plate.
  3. Next, install the touch plate (or the touchscreen), then the lock’s support plate.
  4. Once those are all in place, you connect the cable inside the lock.
  5. Then attach the lock mechanism to the door.
  6. And finally, add batteries.

That’s it!  Unless you want to connect this lock to your home’s wi-fi network, and then you need to plug in the optional wi-fi adapter to a nearby outlet.  After that, it’s ready to connect to your home’s network.

It’s also designed to fit any standard-sized door.  (Between 1 ⅜ inch thick and 1 ¾ inch thick.)

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 not going in properly, jamming, or getting stuck in a locked position.

We liked how easy the installation instructions were to follow, and the fact that each step came with a video on the interactive instructions.  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.

This lock gets a 9/10 on installation because of ease to install, but needing an additional wi-fi accessory to access all of the lock’s features by connecting to your home network kept it from getting a 10/10.

Robustness of the App

What the App Can Do and How Easy it is to Use

If you stick with the Bluetooth-only option, your functions with the Schlage Sense app are fairly limited.  This app does work with both Android and iPhone and is free

Of course, you can lock and unlock the door from your phone, and check the activity on your lock using the app.  You can also add up to 30 access codes (users) or remove access codes (users). 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.

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.

However, if you go beyond Bluetooth range, you won’t be able to check the status of your lock or remotely unlock or lock the door, and you can’t add or remove access codes.  You’ll most likely see an error message stating that the lock’s not reachable.

If you add the wi-fi adapter, you can have true remote access to your lock through the Schlage Sense app as well, without needing to be in Bluetooth range.

Some users reported issues with the app disconnecting itself from wi-fi or Bluetooth and needing to reconnect.  This usually resolved on its own, but it’s something to be aware of.

Because you can only use the Schlage Sense app, which has several nice features but some connectivity issues, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt gets a 6/10 in this category.

Getting In

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. Pretty simple, right?

With HomeKit, you can use Siri to lock and unlock the door, as well.

You can also use a physical key if you’d prefer.

Because of how easy locking and unlocking your door is using this smart lock, it gets a 9/10 in this category.  Simple is good!

Value

$200 for Lock, $70 for WiFi Adapter

This lock retails for around $200.  We saw prices ranging from $188 to $270 online, which is less expensive than some smart locks we’ve seen.  However, if you want to connect the lock to your home network, you need to purchase the optional wi-fi adapter for around $70.

That actually makes this lock slightly more expensive than the Schlage Encode which comes with built-in wi-fi and retails for around $250.

We have to say, with how simple this lock is to use on a daily basis, and the ease of installation, it’s a pretty good lock.  And, it is compatible with Apple HomeKit—one of the few smart locks that is.

However, the cost of adding the wi-fi adapter means it’s not as good a value as other locks out there.

Because of this, we give the lock an 8/10 in the value category.

Remote Connection Type

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both? 

This smart lock uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone, so you can check it anywhere that’s within range.  It has the added benefit of being an encrypted connection, adding one more layer of security for this lock.

Because it works on Bluetooth, you are not automatically connected to your home’s other smart systems.

However, you can add a Schlage Sense wi-fi adapter if you want to access the lock through your home’s wi-fi network.

For this category, because of the encrypted Bluetooth connection and option to add wi-fi connectivity, we gave the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt a 9/10 here.                                                                                                 

Power Options

The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt is battery powered, with a low-battery indicator built into the lock.  It takes four AA batteries, which should have about a twelve-month lifespan according to the manufacturer.

Many customers reported getting eight to 12 months of life from the batteries, so battery replacement cost should be fairly inexpensive for this model.

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 gave this smart lock an 8/10 in this category.

Lock Type

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.

In addition, this lock has received the highest safety rating any smart lock can get, so you know you’re in good hands with the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt.

Because of the sturdiness of this lock, the high safety rating it’s received, and the fact that the deadbolt comes with the lock, we gave the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt 10/10 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 die in the smart lock, you won’t be locked out of your home.

We gave this lock an 8/10 for having a physical key and for the low-battery warning.

Warranty

Limited Lifetime/3-Year

This little lock comes with a pretty hefty warranty.  It’s got a limited lifetime warranty on the mechanical parts and finish, and a three-year warranty on the electronic components.

Because of the robust warranty, the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt earns itself a 9/10.

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