After testing numerous smart locks, this one stands out as the most seamless

Cupertino, December 2, 2023

Key points from Maria Diaz/ZDNETZDNET The Schlage Encode smart Wi-Fi lever lock is a smart door handle that works without a deadbolt. It can replace almost any door handle in households and businesses. But it's not compatible with Apple HomeKit, and the Schlage app has room for improvement. As a smart home reviewer, several smart locks have found their way through the front and back doors of my house. However, the door leading from our laundry room to the garage has never had a smart lock, even though it is one of the doors we use the most. Also: I tested the world's smallest smart robot vacuum and it has since left a big impression The door has no deadbolt, my family decided to go with a $30 Hugolog keypad lock, which has worked great for the past year. This month I upgraded to the Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Lever Lock, and here's how it went. ZDNET RECOMMENDED Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Lever Smart Lock The Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Lever Smart Lock is easy to install and works with Wi-Fi, giving you remote access through the Schlage app. Users can also add up to 100 passcodes for visitors and family members. Installing the Schlage Encode lever was easy. If replacing an average dumb door handle takes about five to ten minutes, this Schlage handle will take you about 15 minutes. The only difference between the Schlage Encode handle and a conventional door handle during installation is the smart part, which allows you to carefully route the wires, insert the batteries and then set it up via the app. Furthermore, it is a fairly simple installation. Also: my MyQ garage door opener just lost its intelligence, but here's my solution. Once it was set up, it was time to create a passcode for the lock and start testing. The Schlage Encode handle stays true to the Schlage aesthetic with a classic design, allowing it to match the existing traditional door handles in a home. The touchpad has no buttons, which gives it a classic yet modern look, and you don't have to press any buttons. The classic look is reflected in most things related to the Schlage Encode lever lock. However, the Schlage app looks outdated and is slow to perform actions or even update to reflect status. As a smart Wi-Fi lock, the Schlage Encode lever lock can be controlled from anywhere using the app. This means you can always check if the door is locked or where you are. Also: Blink's Outdoor 4 Floodlight camera is insanely bright, battery-powered, and has solid security and AI features. As far as voice assistants go, the Schlage Encode lever lock works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Encode lever falls short of other smart options offered by competitors, such as door detection and automatic unlocking. Maria Diaz/ZDNETThe lock cannot tell when the door is closed, a capability made possible with a sensor or gyroscope mechanism. This means that you can only see when the lock is locked or unlocked, and not whether the door is open. I didn't miss this feature because I placed this lever lock on a door that is always closed behind us and doesn't stay open. But it would have been a nice feature to have. Also: how the Eufy Indoor Cam S350 became my favorite indoor cam for motion tracking. Many other smart locks allow for automatic unlocking, which automatically unlocks the door when you arrive via geofencing or Bluetooth. The coding lever does not have an automatic release, but I have to admit that this is not a feature I use often. Sometimes I enter the house through the garage and other times through the front door, and I don't want either lock to be unlocked when I'm not using it. Since the door to the garage is always closed, and we close it as soon as we go through it, I set the Schlage Encode handle lock to automatically lock after five seconds. Our previous Hugolog automatically locked after four seconds, which worked well for us. Buying advice from ZDNET The smart lock with Schlage Encode Wi-Fi lever has proven to be a good fit for our laundry room door that does not have a deadbolt. It can be unlocked via a passcode, the Schlage app, or a physical key, and I like the fact that it can spruce up almost any door with a traditional door handle. Apart from that, it is not compatible with HomeKit and usually costs a high price of $319. The price seems to be supported by the reputation of the Schlage brand, as the locks (smart or not) are highly rated and sought after. I would recommend the Schlage Encode Lever Smart Lock to anyone looking to replace a traditional door handle in a guest suite, short-term rental, or side door with a smart and reliable option.

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