Schlage Sense with WiFi Adapter Review
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Schlage Sense with WiFi Adapter
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|Pros||Simple keycode access sharing, easy keyless entry, connects to wifi, compatible with most smart hubs||Integrates with your current door lock, convenient geofencing capability||Bluetooth key and keypad entry, WiFi built-in, broad smart home compatability||Installs on your current lock, comes with hub, more affordable||Easy to install, simple operation, inexpensive|
|Cons||Lower ANSI security rating than other models, harder to install||Hub not included||Bulky battery compartment, no geofencing, expensive||Unimpressive ANSI grade, limited hub compatibility||Requires separate hub to access advanced features|
|Bottom Line||One of the best solutions we've found for sharing and carefully controlling access to your home||A conveniently installed smart lock with great connectivity, excellent security and usability, and is compatible with most smart home systems||Reliable and simple smart features make this a great addition to any front door and one of our favorite locking systems||An inexpensive yet effective smart lock that integrates easily to the Wyze smart home ecosystem||A solid budget choice for those seeking a simpler smart home experience|
|Rating Categories||Schlage Sense with...||August WiFi Smart||Schlage Encode||Wyze Lock||August Smart|
|Smart Features (35%)|
|Keyless Entry (25%)|
|Specs||Schlage Sense with...||August WiFi Smart||Schlage Encode||Wyze Lock||August Smart|
|Smartphone Compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||With Hub|
|ANSI Rating||Grade 3||Grade 1||Grade 1||Grade 3||N/A- retrofit|
|Uses Existing Deadbolt or Full Replacement||Replacement||Existing||Replacement||Existing||Existing|
|Backset||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"||2 3/8 or 2 3/4||2 3/8" or 2 3/4"|
|Door Thickness Range||1 3/8" - 2 1/4"||1 3/8" - 2 1/4"||1 3/8" - 1 3/4"||1 3/8" - 1 3/4"||1 3/8" - 2 1/4"|
|Face Bore Hole Diameter||2 1/8"||1 1/2" or 2 1/8"||2 1/8"||2 1/8"||1 1/2" or 2 1/8"|
|Power Requirement||AA Batteries
Hub plugs into the wall
|Pre-installed batteries||AA Batteries||AA Batteries
Hub plugs into the wall
Hub plugs into the wall
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Schlage Sense with WiFi Adapter smart lock replaces your entire deadbolt setup. It's compatible with just about every smart home hub, including Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, any Z-Wave device, and your smartphone via Bluetooth. It is not, however, compatible with Zigbee hubs.
Somewhat ironically, the Sense endeared itself to us by somewhat dumbing down its smart features. In order to remotely share access to your home with someone, most smart locks require you to complete the transaction through an app on both ends, forcing the recipient to download an app and create a user account. This makes it somewhat cumbersome to share access on the fly, as you have to assume the recipient has good enough cell phone service to download and install an app. The Sense gets around this problem by allowing the owner to create a keypad code in the app, and then have the app text that code to the recipient. This eliminates the need for account creation and app installation on the other end. It is also easy to put time constraints on that new access code, so you can grant access for just a few hours or even create a schedule for when that passcode will work (weekdays from 10 am-2 pm, for example).
The Sense allows you to share access through the app as well, which lets the recipient use their phone as a Bluetooth key and not need to punch in a code. However, when we completed that process, having the access recipient both create a Schlage account and download the Schlage app, we often got skunked. Most of the time, we ran into error codes, or the newly installed app wasn't able to link back to the original invite, so it didn't actually connect to the lock we were trying to get access to. This was a pain but not too big of a deal, as sharing access via a temporary keycode was much easier and much more streamlined. In real-world use, we always default to sharing access via key codes, not via Bluetooth keys.
The other slight downside of the Sense's smart features is the fact that, in our testing, we had one incident when a shared key code did not work. Everything seemed to be working fine, and the recipient got a text with their temporary keycode, but when they tried punching in that keycode, it didn't work. All we had to do was reset the smart hub and that keycode became functional, so it wasn't a huge deal. Also, this was just one of about 20 keycodes we shared, so it certainly wasn't a pervasive issue. However, if you're using the Sense to share access to a vacation rental, we can't guarantee that you won't have some issues and possibly get a bad Yelp review here and there.
When we used the Bluetooth key to unlock the Sense, the deadbolt always disengaged within 10 seconds of opening the app in the vicinity of the door. This was a major step up from some of the other models we tested, which sometimes took multiple attempts at engaging the Bluetooth key before the lock actually responded.
While the Sense's Bluetooth key worked quite well in our testing, we doubt you'll use it. In general, we found it much easier to punch a keycode into the Sense than to fish around for a phone and open an app. Unlocking the Sense remotely (i.e., via the internet using the app) was also quick and reliable in our testing. This means you can park the car in the driveway, unlock the lock via the app (even if your driveway is outside of Bluetooth range to the door), and then not have to deal with the lock while you drag groceries inside. For truly hands-free unlocking, you'll need a smart lock with geofencing capabilities, which the Schlage Sense does not have.
The Schlage Sense earns an unimpressive ANSI rating, at just grade 3. This is the lowest ANSI security rating given to door locks and deadbolts, reserved for regular door hardware — not beefy security measures. It's important to remember, though, that grade 3 is generally considered appropriate for most residential applications. If you've ever lived in an apartment, you've likely trusted your security to a grade 3 lock. So even though the Sense won't stand up to as many door kicks before finally giving in compared to higher grade locks, it is of a security level that is widely considered appropriate for home use.
We found the Sense's auto-locking feature to be reliable. We also liked that you can set your own delay for the auto lock. Many locks default to locking after 30 seconds of inactivity, but you can use your own custom delay on the Sense, allowing you to get the mail without the door locking behind you.
The Sense's physical installation process is very similar to that of any other deadbolt, but the lock has less wiggle room in terms of placement and hole size than other locks. Most likely, it will be able to be installed into the space occupied by your previous deadbolt, but there is more of a chance you'll have to do some extra drilling than other locks. All of this is laid out in Schlage's installation video.
In terms of connecting the Sense to a smart hub and installing the app, we had no issues. This process was incredibly quick and easy, especially compared to getting the lock installed in the door.
Should You Buy the Schlage Sense?
Most of the smart locks we tested are roughly the same ballpark of cost. We think the Schlage Sense with WiFi Adapter is a great buy for folks who love extra techy options. This model can connect to almost any smart home system and is one of the easiest we tested when it comes to easily sharing access codes across a multitude of platforms.
What Other Smart Locks Should You Consider?
If you're not ready to drop quite so much on a smart lock, the August Smart Lock is another model we enjoy using that costs significantly less than the Sense. If you'd like to keep your same physical key, have a more secure lock, and get nearly as many features and cross-functional compatibility, the August WiFi Smart is our favorite lock. But if you're here to hunt down the smart lock with the smartest features and the easiest way to share access codes with renters or dog walkers, the Schlage Sense is the way to go.
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