Schlage Sense smart deadbolt review: An excellent smart home addition

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Schlage Sense

The Schlage Sense’s only real downfall is not having Android integration.

Like smartwatches, smarthome products haven’t been given a full verdict yet, but new products are still being produced. Everything from lights and refrigerators to washers and TVs, connecting things together is the order of the day. The Schlage Sense smart deadbolt is the latest addition to the smarthome arsenal and it may or may not work for you. Read on for our full Schlage Sense smart deadbolt review.

Design

The Schlage Sense design holds pretty true to lock fixture standards. There are three options to choose from: traditional, transitional, and contemporary style designs. Since our existing door fixture was a more traditional style, we went with the same. There are a myriad of choices when it comes to the trims as well and the Schlage website provides all those choices.

The materials used in the build are most certainly high-quality with no feeling of cheapness here at all. As this is a deadbolt, I would expect nothing less and the whole unit feels very solid and weighty. The inside backplate is the only thing made of plastic but is still a solid build and is easy to slip on and off to change the battery when needed.

Overall the design is appealing and with the fair amount of choices in both trim and styles, there is sure to be something for everyone here.

Software/Ecosystem

Schlage Sense works with Apple’s HomeKit and it works very well. The lack of Android integration is probably going to be a sore point for those who use Android and would have liked to use this lock. While it would have been nice to see both platforms supported, the app integrates seamlessly with HomeKit. The app allows you to set the name of multiple locks if you happen to buy more than one. You can also set up to 30 codes for others to use and set times for those codes. For example, if you want the neighbor to come over and walk the dog every day from 2:00 pm-2:30 pm, you can set the code to only work for that period.

Of course, the app also locks and unlocks your door when you open it and tap the door lock. If the door is locked it will display the lock in red, if it is unlocked it will display it in green. There is also text displayed near the bottom of the on-screen lock that shows the last action that was taken on the lock. There is also an alarm mode built-in that can detect if someone is trying to break in and will sound if someone jars the lock. The auto lock feature is particularly useful if you forget to lock your door, you can set the lock to lock itself.

With the Schlage Sense connected to Apple HomeKit you can also bring Siri up and ask her to unlock your door. Keep in mind you’ll need to use the name of the lock in order for Siri to work. So if you have multiple locks and name them, front door and back door, you’ll have to be specific. “Siri, unlock my front door. Siri, unlock my back door.” Overall the app is simple to use and if you’re an iOS user, the HomeKit experience is pretty much seamless and easy to set up.

Ease of Use

We covered the use of the app in the section above and the app along with HomeKit are very simple to use. Using the lock itself is a no brainer as well. It does come with a physical key as well, in case you need it. Part of the ease of use includes installation and this is where it could get complicated for some. First, if you’ve never installed a deadbolt before, you should watch Schlage’s install video before you do anything else.

Installation isn’t extremely hard but you should follow instructions very carefully and to the letter. This is especially true if you don’t already have a Schlage lock installed on your door. If you have a Schlage lock installed already, you may or may not have an easier time. We were lucky as the lock we had was a Schlage and all of the internal parts that allow the lock to function all matched perfectly. This means I didn’t have to make any modifications and was able to install the Schlage Sense in the same footprint as my old deadbolt.

Depending on the style and trim you choose you may or may not have some aesthetic bits to fix on your door, such as paint. I found that the old lock was a bit larger on the outside which left us with an area that will need painting come spring time. Overall, the installation process took me just under an hour. Your time will vary depending on the type of lock you currently own and what kind of trim/style you’re installing.

Performance

The Schlage Sense works perfectly via Bluetooth as well as HomeKit and Siri. I’ve never lost connection nor have had any issue unlocking or locking it from the app or HomeKit. The touchpad works brilliantly and the backlighting on the numbers is much better than our old touchpad lock. This one is very visible and easy to use. I do wish there were a little tactile feedback on the touchpad, it’s very stiff when pushing numbers but works okay. Overall the performance is seamless on iOS and we’ve been very happy with this lock.

Battery Life

The Schlage Sense takes AA batteries and as far as I can tell, the power drain is pretty minimal. We’ve had the lock for around 8 weeks and it’s still going strong so I suspect battery life should be pretty good here.

Price/Value

A good lock like Schlage can be expensive and the Schlage Sense isn’t cheap. Retailing at $229USD some may feel uncomfortable spending that much on a smartlock, but if you’re a techie then the value is most certainly there.

Wrap Up

This would be a great addition to someone’s home who is interested in converting their home into a smart home. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but there is a lot of value built into it. The downside is, Android users will be left out in the cold as this is for Apple’s HomeKit and iOS only.

Schlage Sense
4.7 Out of 5
Nailed it
Great connected smart deadbolt, the app is simple and easy to use, build quality is great!
Needs Work
A bit on the pricey side, touchpad could use more tactile feedback, designed only for Apple's HomeKit.
Bottom Line
Smart home accessories aren't everyone's cup of tea but if you're looking to build your smart home arsenal, the Schlage Sense is a solid choice for a deadbolt.
Design4.75
Software/Ecosystem4.75
Ease of Use4.50
Performance4.75
Battery Life4.50
Price/Value4.75
*We were sent a sample of the Schlage Sense smart deadbolt for the purposes of this review.
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