I was recently invited to review a smart deadbolt made by Schlage. I asked my contact if they would send someone to install it; he assured me I could easily do it myself. I explained that I am not a do-it-yourself type of guy, and I probably don’t have the tools or the skills needed to install a deadbolt. I also questioned the need to ever unlock my door using my iPhone instead of a key.
Under an Hour to Install…
A Sense Smart deadbolt kit arrived a few days later. After reading the printed instructions several times and watching the excellent installation video twice, I took a deep breath and removed my old deadbolt. Much to my surprise, (I told you I’m not very handy), it took less than an hour to install and test the deadbolt.
In all fairness, my installation may have been easier than others because my old deadbolt and the Sense Smart deadbolt happened to be precisely the same size and shape. So, all I needed to remove the old deadbolt and install the new one were a pair of screwdrivers—a flat head and a Phillips. In other words, while my installation was quick and easy because the old and new locks were the same size and shape, your installation could be more difficult than mine.
Schlage Sense Smart
As I mentioned, I was skeptical about unlocking my door with my iPhone instead of a key. I was right—we’ve only used that feature a couple of times. The coolest part is that you can ask Siri to “unlock the door,” and it just happens.
But, its iPhone/HomeKit support goes beyond unlocking. For example, the Schlage Sense iOS app makes it easy to create and delete numeric passcodes for trusted visitors and out of town guests. So, while I don’t usually use my iPhone to unlock the door, I do use it when I need to create one-time passcodes for others.
Another benefit is a “lock door” button on the keypad. That means when we leave the house we don’t have to lock the deadbolt with our keys (or even our iPhones); a finger-press is all it takes to lock the deadbolt from the outside.
Finally, you can use the Schlage Sense iOS app from anywhere in the world to determine whether your front door is locked. Note that this feature requires an Apple TV within 40 feet of the lock. Since we have one, it just works.
I was concerned at first about being locked out of the house if its 4 AA batteries died, but realized that the Sense Smart deadbolt includes a traditional keyhole and key for just such instances.
So, while a Sense Smart deadbolt will cost you more than a simple mechanical lock, the added convenience of a numeric keypad, iPhone support, press-to-lock (when you leave the house), and remote lock/unlock and reporting make it worth every penny.
Sense Smart Deadbolt. $229. Schlage. www.schlage.com.