There are so many different smart locks on the market these days it can make it difficult knowing which one is best for your home. I've honestly been wary about adding a smart lock to my own home since I was concerned about how difficult the process might be — especially about whether my installation attempt would damage my door. I found installing the Schlage Encode surprisingly easy and have grown to love this device. It makes me feel safe and easily operates at the tap of a finger.
Though it's pricier than most other smart locks, it offers abilities that warrant the cost. The number one feature being the built-in Wi-Fi. It makes it so you can effortlessly control the lock through the internet without needing to purchase an additional hub. When it's all set up, you can control your lock by using your smartphone, by giving a voice command to your smart home assistant, or by punching a code in on the keypad — whichever is easiest in the moment.
- Quick and easy installation
- Different designs
- Can create temporary codes
- Doesn't require a hub
- Batteries included with purchase
- Tamper Alarm
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Yonomi
- No auto-unlocking feature
Schlage Encode Deadbolt What I like
Though it might look daunting, this is an easy device to install. I'm not the handiest person in the world, so when I set about to install this lock into my door I was honestly nervous. What really helped me was seeing that Schlage had a step-by-step video online for me to follow. I had the smart lock installed within 10 minutes and I didn't damage my door in the process. The lock runs on four AA batteries, which were supplied in the box. I was really happy about this since I didn't have to go scrounge any up myself. It comes in a few different colors and designs so you can get the look you like for your door.
One of the reasons this lock is so expensive is because it features built-in Wi-Fi. This means you don't have to purchase an external hub in order to make the smart abilities work. The Schlage app guided me through the Wi-Fi setup and had the lock connected to my internet in no time. In addition to my own code, I created a code titled "Nanny," as well as a code titled "Kids." Whenever those specific codes were used on the keypad, I got a notification telling me whose code it was. This way, you always know who's coming in and out. There's also easy instructions for connecting your lock to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Yonomi. Within the Schlage app
I installed it on my basement door since that was an area I've been concerned about. The app responded beautifully, as did my Alexa voice commands. I even tested the lock while several miles away from my home. It worked consistently and the app always notified me when the door was locked or unlocked. I also tested to see what would happen if someone entered the wrong code multiple times. After four failed attempts, the Schlage locks down and won't take any more codes for about 30 seconds. However, the app doesn't notify you of failed attempts.
This is the perfect device for anyone who owns a bed and breakfast or a rental. You can give out temporary codes to guests and specify when said codes will expire. If you happen to go out of town and have someone dog sitting Fluffy, then you won't have to worry about keys going missing. You can simply give a temporary code to your trusted neighbor. If someone starts tampering with the lock you'll get an alert on your phone. This way, even if you're away on vacation, you can know that something is going on and send someone over to investigate.
Schlage Encode Deadbolt What I don't like
While I love this smart lock overall, there are one or two things that weren't great. The lock comes with a default code found in the packaging. However, there weren't any obvious instructions for resetting the code to something of my own choosing. I was able to figure it out pretty easily, but the fact that the instructions weren't obvious seemed odd to me.
As mentioned previously, I attached the lock to my basement door, which unfortunately has a tendency to slowly open when the deadbolt isn't latched. While testing, the door slid open in such a way that the lock couldn't slide into place. To the Encode's credit, I got a notification stating that something was wrong. It did attempt to lock over and over again, but obviously couldn't do it on its own. This could be a problem if you're locking and unlocking your door without seeing it. The door might be ajar when you lock it. You might think your home is secure but people could still get in. Obviously this problem isn't unique to the Schlage Encode, it's something that you'll have to worry about with any smart lock.
I was surprised to discover that you cannot set the Encode to automatically unlock when you approach. This is a feature that many other locks, including the August Smart Lock Pro+, offer. It's especially convenient if you're coming home with a load of groceries and don't want to fumble with the keys. Of course, many people don't care for this feature to begin with. You'll just have to decide if the lack of it is a problem for you.
The Encode's high price point is certainly something to give you pause. As previously mentioned, this is due to the fact that it includes built-in Wi-Fi and has an elegant front plate. With other smart locks, you usually need to purchase an external hub in addition to your lock in order to make the smart aspects work. Still, this is more expensive than many other Wi-Fi smart locks. Even so, I think this is a great choice for your home. Schlage is a trusted brand and creates secure devices to protect your home.
Schlage Encode Should you buy it?
In the time I spent testing the Encode I fell in love with it. It responds quickly when I control it with the app and makes me feel more secure in my house. If I happen to be out front without my keys or phone I can easily type the code into the keypad and enter that way. I love that I can give out temporary codes and assign specific codes to different people. Because of this, I receive alerts to let me know who is coming and going from my home.
If you have a busy household, need to have someone come into your home while you're away, or simply want the convenience of being able to lock or unlock your door in a variety of ways, this is really a great smart lock to get. The only caveat I'd add to that is if you already have a smart hub setup you might want to see if there are less expensive smart locks out there compatible with your current hub. If you don't have a hub, the Encode is a great pick.
4.5 out of 5
Rebecca Spear is a staff writer for Android Central who loves following the latest tech, drawing with her Wacom, and playing video games. You can find her posting about her pets, art, and video game preferences on Twitter @rrspear.
I have had the Schlage Encode for about 2 months. the 2nd one that I got after talking with Schlage tech support, works as advertised. the 1st one would not let me set private codes even after following instructions from the very friendly support tech while on the phone with them. We completely reset the device twice. After not being able to update the firmware, the technician asked that I take it back to Lowe's and get a replacement one. I brought it home and had it set up in no time and it has worked fine since. By the way, you can have upto 100 private codes set up. The tech said that the designers wanted businesses to be able to use this lock as well which is why they set it up to accept so many codes. I setup a master code, and codes for my boys. I get a notification of when the door was unlocked, locked and by whom (you can give each 4 number code a alias name). It does work with Google Home BUT it will only lock the door. you can ask Google if your door is locked but you can not ask Google home to unlock your door. If you ask Google to unlock the door, its states: "That mode isn't available for the Door". If I ask Google; "OK Google, is the Door locked?", Google responds with; "The Door is locked".
I wish they could work with Nest.
Any idea how heat tolerant (during summer) this one is ?
I live in Arizona it gets to 117 here. I have done that gets direct sun part of the day. It works just fine
I do not understand why no one, not even established manufactures like Schlage, do not understand that ANY lock with a KEYHOLE is not a lock. Any keyhole lets a crook break through in less than 30 seconds. NEVER buy a lock with a keyhole. Even Schlage makes perfectly good keyless locks!
Locks only keep out the honest and slow down the stupid. If you have windows they can break in in less than 30 seconds.
Great idea. And what happens if the batteries go dead?
I prefer my August
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