Schlage Encode Review
Pros: Bluetooth key and keypad entry options, WiFi built-in, broad smart home compatability
Cons: Bulky battery compartment, no geofencing, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Schlage Encode offers almost all the features one could want in a simple package. Unless no geofencing is a dealbreaker for you, chances are the Schlage Encodewill be a great choice.
The Schlage Encode offers most of the smart features one could want, with geofencing being the one salient absence.
One of the best aspects of the Schlage Encode's smart features is that you don't need a smart hub in order to access them. It has WiFi built right in, so it can connect right to your home's network without any potentially problematic intermediaries.
Once connected, the Schlage Encode allows you to lock and unlock the door remotely from your phone, create up to 100 unique keycodes to share access with your friends and family, and provides you with a log so you can tell exactly who accessed the lock and when. You can also grant someone else access to unlock the door from their phone. However, this requires that person to download the Schlage app and make an account, so unless they live in the house full time we found it much more convenient to just share key codes.
No matter how you share access, you can set specific time constraints on that access. For example, you can provide a dog walker with a key code that only works on weekdays between the hours of 1pm and 3pm.
The one feature that is clearly lacking here is geofencing, which would allow the door to automatically unlock when your phone gets within a certain distance of your home. This is nice if you walk home with your hands full of groceries, as you won't have to dig around in your pockets in order to get the door unlocked. However, we didn't miss this feature too much in day to day use.
We found keyless entry to be near flawless. Whether we triggered an unlock via the app or with a keycode, the lock responded almost instantly.
The Schlage Encode sports an ANSI Grade 1 security rating. To earn this rating it must withstand at least six attempts to kick the door in. Locks of this grade are generally considered adequate for commercial use, and it's one of the highest security grades you'll find on a residential lock. You can also set the lock to automatically lock after a set time of inactivity, securing your home even if you forget to lock the door.
We found installation of the Schlage Encode to be quite easy. We had no issues installing the lock into the hole vacated by the old deadbolt using nothing but a screwdriver, and the process only took about 10 minutes. Another few minutes downloading the app and linking the lock to our WiFi networks and everything was functioning smoothly.
One potential annoyance with the Schlage Encode is its size. The large battery port juts out quite a bit on the indoor side of the door, and the black plastic covering doesn't look quite as high quality as the rest of the lock. Functionally this does not matter, but if you're picky about your interior decorating you might want to take this into consideration.
The Schlage Encode is somewhat expensive, but most smart locks occupy a fairly similar price range. Given its reliable and impressive performance, we think it is well worth the money for anyone looking for a fully-featured smart lock.
The Schlage Encode ticks pretty much all of the boxes that one could hope for from a smart lock, and does so without the extra bother of a separate smart hub.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell