Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock review

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Is it possible to get any lazier? I found a way.  And it’s good. With the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt I no longer have to find my house key and wiggle it into the lock when my hands are full or I leave the car running.  I don’t even have to remember a combination code. Now I can just say “Siri, unlock my door”. And I won’t ever be locked out again!

If Siri’s not in the mood to cooperate, I can use a code. The Schlage Sense allows me to set up to 30 combination codes so I can assign everyone I might allow in my house when I’m not home a different code and keep track of when that code unlocks or locks the door.

The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt comes ready to install, it even includes the 4 AA batteries needed.  Step 1 of the installation instructions is to download the Schlage Sense app for the iPhone/iPad/iPod with iOS 8.4 or later.  Once the app is installed, a video walks you through the pre-installation checklist.  The door must have the proper dimensions or the installation won’t work.  Since it worked easily on my door, and my door is nothing special, I think it would work for most standard American external doors.  Be sure to check before you purchase though, you don’t want to have to get a new door installed to fit your new lock! You can download the “Schlage Sense” app from the Apple App Store before purchasing the Schlage Sense Deadbolt. Be aware that as of this writing, there isn’t an app for Android.

Schlage Sense_1

Installing the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt was easy, but then I just recently changed out all my door hardware so I was up to date on that process.  If you are replacing an existing deadbolt, it shouldn’t be too complicated.  The installation process took me about 30 minutes – that’s including the time looking for the screw driver, the level, opening the packaging, etc.

Schlage Sense_5-6

Once the Smart Sense deadbolt is installed in the door, making it work was just as easy.  The instructions are very clear.  It comes with two pre-programmed user codes included on the default codes sticker on the front of the User Guide.  Reading those was more challenging than installing the lock.  I think they used a 0.5 font.  I had to get a magnifying glass. But both codes worked fine.  The User Guide includes instruction for programming up to 30 access codes. The access codes can be 4-8 digits in length, but they all must be the same length.  Again, not a challenge to manually enter some new access codes.  However, once the lock is paired with the iPhone, the manually entered access codes disappear, so don’t spend too much time entering them.

To make the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt work with the iPhone you must have Apple Homekit set up and iCloud keychain enabled.

Schlage Sense_3-4

I’ve been avoiding iCloud keychain for a while and getting that working took longer than installing the deadbolt. Once that was up and going on my iPhone I could lock and unlock it from the app or tell Siri to “lock my door” as I was pulling out of the driveway or “unlock my door” as I was gathering up the grocery bags.

The Schlage Sense is advertised as being remotely accessible “anywhere, anytime”, but to use it outside your home network, the lock needs to be within Bluetooth range of an Apple TV.  My Apple TV is several rooms over with multiple walls in between so I couldn’t test that feature. Without a connection to an Apple TV, the lock will only work when there’s a Bluetooth connection and you will NOT be able to lock, unlock or check lock status when you’re outside your network.

In conclusion, I love it!  The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt does what it says it will do, and it’s easy to install.  I haven’t yet had someone try to break in and I’m really hoping I don’t have a chance to report on that aspect of the lock.

Now if I can only get Siri to put away the groceries.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Schlage. Please visit their site for more info and Amazon to price check and order.


Product Information

  • iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 804 or later
  • Door dimensions must match specifications
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to pair with app
  • Easy program additional entry codes on lock or on iPhone
  • Schlage customer service is knowledgeable
  • The inside part is a little bulky
  • The lock mechanism is audible, so any plans to sneak in late might be foiled. (This may be a "Pro" if you have teenagers.)
  • Expensive compared to a standard keyed deadbolt
  • No Android version of the app

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2 thoughts on “Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Does it unlock when your phone merely comes within range or do you have to launch the app and/or enter a number on the keypad? I.e. if I just walk up to the door with my iphone in my pocket, will it unlock? Or would I have to have Siri unlock it?

  3. That a reasonable question, especially in light of my recent Zuli Smartplug review where the plugs have the ability to detect and act on the iPhone’s (or iPad’s) mere “Presence”. But no, the Schlage Sense deadbolt needs some positive action on your part to lock or unlock. If your iPhone is unlocked, Siri can do it, but you have to ask. Or you can do it through the app. Or you can do it with the keypad on the outside. The inside doesn’t have a keypad, just a thumbturn.
    This is probably a good thing. If you lost your iPhone you wouldn’t want someone to return it to you by entering your home.

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