Having already reviewed the Schlage Sense smart deadbolt with a focus on the app and software, this review of the new Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt focuses on the updated Wifi features. It also covers how you can use the Schlage Sense Wi-Fi Adapter (model BR400) to control your non-Wifi Schlage Smart lock from anywhere.
A New Generation of Smart WiFi Deadbolts
Before the Schlage Encode or Sense deadbolts came the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt. This system allowed you to punch in a digital code to open the lock. You could add and subtract codes—but everything had to be done on the hardware. The next iteration was making the system app-enabled. One thing was still missing, however—controlling the locks while away from the house.
With the new Schlage Encore, WiFi comes standard, and the lock can automatically interface with your home’s WiFi network. This lets you check in on the ock, receive notifications, and even set new access codes while away from home. Previously—you had to either buy a WiFi adapter or stay within Bluetooth range.
Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt Installation
Nothing new exists with respect to the installation of the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt. It works and installs just like the prior models. The only difference, in fact, lies with some of the hardware. The wiring is better thought out. The inside deadbolt portion also loses about 30% of its mass—making for a much less intrusive lockset.
The battery life has decreased somewhat with the integrated WiFi function. For example, we went well over a year on a single set of four AA batteries with the Schlage Sense deadbolt. We expect to see around 6 months with the integrated WiFi features. it simply uses more power to stay connected. As a trade-off, I’m OK with that for the additional features—batteries are inexpensive. Also, the batteries now insert into a fully-removable container. It eliminates another point of failure (the 9V-style connector) and makes for easier cell replacement.
Using the Schlage Encode WiFi Deadbolt
We loved using the new system. I set up notifications to alert me when either of my two doors locks or unlocks. This has led me to catch my managing editor sneaking into the office late at night to work…actually, I’m OK with that. So far, WiFi connectivity has been flawless. The app has required the occasional restart, but it never loses data. Also, adding the Schlage Sense WiFi adapter was painless. My app simply accepted the new device and could now alert me and allow me control while I outside of Bluetooth range.
Schlage Sense Wi-Fi Adapter (BR400)
With the Schlage Sense Wi-Fi Adapter (BR400) you can take the app-enabled Schlage Sense deadbolt and access it from anywhere. The adapter simply plugs into a nearby outlet within Bluetooth range of the deadbolt. Once in place, you register it with your app. From that point, you can access your lock—and receive notifications—from anywhere.
- Battery: Uses 4 AA alkaline batteries (included)
- Commercial Standard Certification: ANSI/BHMA A156.36-2010
- Residential Standard Certification: ANSI/BHMA A156.40-2015
- Door thickness range: 1-3/8″ to 1-3/4″ (Optional thick door kit extends 1 7/8″ to 2 1/2″)
- Dimensions (ext/int): 3 x 5 x 1 in./3 x 8 x 2 in.
- Built-in Wifi
- Alexa, Key by Amazon, Ring, and Google Assistant compatibility
- Pre-set, unique 6 digit programming code, 2 pre-set unique 4-digit access codes, 100 access code capacity (4-8 digits)
- Warranty (Schlage Encode): 3-year limited (electronics); Limited lifetime (mechanical finish)
- Warranty (Schlage Sense WiFi): 1-year limited
- Price: $192.49 (Encode), $55.96 (Sense Wifi Adapter)
Schlage now fully joins your Nest Thermostat and premium smart appliances as a player in the home automation game. Schlage has led the pack in this area and we wonder if any plans exist to integrate more fully into video systems like Ring or Arlo security systems. We would guess that unlocking the door via biometrics isn’t far behind—though that may not be attractive to all users.
In any case, the Schlage Encode Smart Wifi Deadbolt works really well. At $192.49, it isn’t inexpensive. It does, however, solve a need. It also nicely extends the Schlage deadbolt line into a much-needed space. Whether you get the Wifi-enabled Encode lockset or upgrade your existing Sense system with the WiFi Adapter for $55.96, you can now control access to your home from anywhere.