We first met the Schlage Smart Lock Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt back in January of 2015, during the Consumer Electronics Showcase event in Vegas. It grabbed our attention not only because it can be paired with the Apple Homekit, but because this smart lock is incredibly easy to use.
– It fits like a glove with Apple’s smart-home framework
– The app is intuitive and simple
– Can’t access the lock beyond the Bluetooth radio range
– The app isn’t as complex as you might expect
– The lock’s interior is bulky
Schlage Smart Lock Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt Price – $229
Schlage Smart Lock Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt Review
It’s competitively priced at $229, and when comparing the Sense Deadbolt with the likes of August or the Kwikset Kevo, it fairs pretty well. However, we have to note that this product costs almost $50 more than other Schlage smart locks that also use Z-Wave to communicate.
Z-Wave smart locks work with a variety of smart hubs from systems such as Staples Connect, Wink and SmartThings – all of them allows the user to unlock or lock them as he, or she, pleases, beyond the home’s Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, with the Schlage Sense, you can only control it by using the Apple TV. Currently, the only supported HomeKit hub.
Using a smartphone app, you should expect to either unlock or lock a door. That’s the beauty of smart, connected locks. The Schlage Sense app is available for iOS devices, yet, you can control the lock via other HomeKit apps as well – this includes the Insteon+ app and the iDevices app.
With Schlage’s numeric keypads you can assign user-specific codes for whoever you like. With the Sense, you can even select a time-frame for when each code can work. It’s incredibly useful, as you don’t want your handyman or dog-sitter to have a working code at all times. It’s important to be safe. But, we would love to see these codes implemented into Homekit’s automation features such as different apps, or gadgets getting triggered once a certain code is inputted. For now, controls aren’t that complex.
A deal-breaker, to some, is that you can’t control the Schlage smart lock if you’re not in range of its Bluetooth radio. More so, if you’re outside the house don’t even get hopeful. Well, if you do have an Apple TV installed somewhere in your home – and somewhere that has the front door in range; then you can control the smart lock. But it’s a fickle business, that we don’t really want to experience any more.
Apple TV doesn’t only serve as just the middle man between you and your smart lock, but it’s also a bouncer. You see, the Bluetooth built into the lock is WiFi-friendly, meaning that any commands sent from outside the network will be checked thoroughly by the Apple TV before granting access.
I was able to unlock/lock my house from about 65 kilometers away – that’s about 40 miles; which is quite great. Sure, there were 10 seconds of lag, but nothing really frustrating. However, you can’t do this if you don’t own a 3rd generation Apple TV, turning the feature into a definitive lackluster one, to say the least.
Yet, what we most loved about the Schlage smart log is that you can make it work with other HomeKit gadgets, and automate everything quite easily. Let’s say it’s time for bed, you can automate the bedtime scene to lock the door, turn the lights off, and even turn the ceiling fan on. Albeit, you have to own more than a few HomeKit-enabled devices.
You can also use Siri to control the door. You don’t even have to ask nicely. One time, I cursed at Siri to open the door, and, without missing a beat, she unlocked the damned doors. Jokes aside, Siri really makes the smart home experience better. It feels like you’re in a Philip K. Dick tale when ordering your phone to unlock/lock the doors – hopefully, this won’t turn into Ubik.
Also, considering that a lot of us are super tired after a day’s work – or you know, just incredibly lazy; getting in bed and realizing that you forget to lock the door is like a five minute sentence to hell. It’s really satisfying to just ask your phone to lock the doors, so you can stay tucked in bed and continue binge watching Peaky Blinders.
However, we would be downright ignorant if we were not to mention those who are physically disabled, have impaired mobility or the elderly, for whom laziness isn’t an excuse for not getting up an locking up the door. These voice-activated smart-locks, and gadgets could be of tremendous help.
But me, well, I am really lazy, so I’ve put Siri to lock my door more than one occasion – actually, it became a nightly tradition to speak with Siri and order her to do the deed. I’m religious that way.
Siri never failed to lock the doors, but I did experience one odd failure, which prompted me with an error, displaying the fact that Siri couldn’t lock the door for whatever reason. Pushed the button one more time, and the command worked perfectly.
Schlage Smart Lock Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt Verdict
It’s a great smart lock, and if you go looking on the internet, you can even find it at around $170. But, I do recommend you buy a never-used one from Amazon, as you never know if people have tampered with the device beforehand.
Also, I have to warn people that the Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt is only for the iOS devotee, as Android doesn’t have anything to do with the Schlage smart lock.