In the world of door locks, a battle is being waged—a struggle fought by four keyless heroes: Schlage Encode, Encode Plus, Sense, and Connect.
Each striving to prove their worth, they stand at the precipice of greatness, their fates interwoven in a tale of security, technology, and trust.
The question remains, which smart lock shall prevail as the victor?
Each lock boasts distinctive features designed to cater to different needs. In this guide, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details of these locks and help you determine which is best for your home.
Let’s get to it!
In this guide
- Encode vs. Encode Plus vs. Sense vs. Connect
- Similarities These Locks Share
- Schlage Encode: Unique Features
- Schlage Encode Plus: Unique Features
- Schlage Sense: Unique Features
- Schlage Connect: Unique Features
- How to Choose: Buyer's Guide
- Final Thoughts
Schlage Encode vs. Encode Plus vs. Sense vs. Connect
All four Schlage smart locks share many similarities, such as touchscreen keypads, keyless access, Grade 1 security rating, compatibility with Android and iOS devices, and built-in alarm sensors.
However, each lock has unique features catering to specific user needs and preferences.
- Built-in WiFi connectivity, no hub required
- Not compatible with Apple HomeKit, Z-Wave, or Bluetooth
- Shorter battery life (around six months) due to WiFi usage
- No auto-unlock feature
Schlage Encode Plus:
- Auto-unlock feature
- Compatible with Apple HomeKit and Siri voice commands
- Bluetooth compatibility for unlocking without a stable WiFi connection
- Designed specifically for Apple users with HomeKit compatibility
- Remote access through iPad or Apple TV or an optional WiFi Adapter
- Limited compatibility with non-HomeKit smart home hubs
- Compatible with Z-Wave smart home devices and hubs
- Designed for control using Amazon Alexa
- Requires third-party hub for remote access, no native Schlage app
- Typically less expensive than other Schlage smart locks
We'll dive deeper into these unique features and who each lock is best for further down this guide (see Unique Features).
Schlage Smart Lock Comparison Chart
Similarities between Schlage Sense, Connect, Encode, and Encode Plus
When comparing Schlage's smart door lock offerings, it's essential to understand the similarities between the Schlage Encode, Encode Plus, Sense, and Connect models. These shared features form the foundation of each lock and contribute to their overall performance, usability, and security.
The table below highlights these similarities, providing a concise summary of the key characteristics that are consistent across all four smart lock models.
|Keyless Access||Enables keyless entry using access codes, providing both convenience and enhanced security.|
|Multiple Access Codes||Ability to store numerous access codes, allowing users to grant temporary or permanent access to guests, housekeepers, or other authorized individuals.|
|Battery Operation||Powered by 4 AA batteries and includes a low battery warning.|
|Device Compatibility||Compatible with both Android and iOS devices for control and management.|
|Alert System||Built-in alarm sensors provide alerts for forced entry or lock tampering.|
|Warranty||Lifetime limited warranty for mechanical parts and finish.|
|Grade 1 Security Rating||Boasts the highest residential security rating, ensuring robust and reliable protection.|
|Activity Notifications||Sends notifications when people enter or exit, enabling users to monitor home access.|
|Installation||Similar installation process for each lock, as they install like traditional deadbolts with added steps for smart features.|
|Finish Options||Various finishes and trims available, allowing homeowners to select the best match for their home's style.|
|Remote Access||Offers some level of remote access, enabling users to lock or unlock their doors from anywhere. The method varies based on the smart lock model and the required hub or WiFi connection.|
|Secure Encryption||Uses secure encryption to protect communication between the lock and the user's smartphone or smart home hub, safeguarding the system from hacking attempts.|
|Backup Key Access||Includes a physical key option as a backup, ensuring access even if the electronic system fails or batteries deplete.|
|Schlage C Keyway||All locks use the popular Schlage C keyway, simplifying the process of creating new keys or rekeying locks.|
While these additional similarities further emphasize the shared foundation between these Schlage smart locks, it's essential to know their unique features and smart home integration capabilities to make the best choice for your particular requirements.
So let's take a deeper dive into what makes these locks unique and discover which is best for you.
Schlage Encode: Unique Features
The Schlage Encode has a few key differences from the Schlage Encode Plus, Schlage Sense, and Schlage Connect.
Here are the primary distinctions:
- WiFi Connectivity: Unlike the Schlage Sense and Schlage Connect, which require a hub to enable remote access and smart home integration, the Schlage Encode has built-in WiFi connectivity. This allows it to work directly out of the box and be controlled using the Schlage Home app without needing a separate hub.
- No Apple HomeKit compatibility: Unlike the Schlage Sense and Schlage Encode Plus, the Schlage Encode does not have compatibility with Apple HomeKit and Siri voice commands. If you prefer to use Apple devices for home automation, the Encode might not be the best choice.
- No Z-Wave compatibility: The Schlage Encode does not support Z-Wave integration, unlike the Schlage Connect. This means that it cannot be integrated with a Z-Wave smart home system for automation with other Z-Wave devices.
- Battery Life: The Schlage Encode has a shorter estimated battery life (around six months) compared to Schlage Sense and Connect (around 12 months). This is mainly due to the lock using WiFi instead of a hub for connectivity.
- No Auto-unlock feature: Unlike the Schlage Encode Plus, the Schlage Encode does not have the auto-unlock feature, which automatically unlocks your door when you approach with a compatible device.
- No Bluetooth compatibility: The Schlage Encode does not have Bluetooth compatibility, unlike the Schlage Encode Plus, which can connect to other Bluetooth devices for unlocking without a stable WiFi connection.
Who Should Buy the Schlage Encode
Check out my full review of the Schlage Encode here.
Schlage Encode Plus: Unique Features
The Schlage Encode Plus differs from the Schlage Encode, Schlage Sense, and Schlage Connect in the following ways:
- Auto-unlock: The Schlage Encode Plus features an auto-unlock function, which automatically unlocks the door when you approach it with a paired device. This feature is not present in the Schlage Encode, Schlage Sense, or Schlage Connect.
- Apple HomeKit and Siri voice command compatibility: The Schlage Encode Plus is compatible with Apple HomeKit, allowing you to integrate it with your other Apple devices easily. You can use Siri voice commands on your Apple device to unlock doors, check the lock's status, and more. While Schlage Sense also has Apple HomeKit compatibility, Schlage Encode, and Schlage Connect do not.
- Bluetooth compatibility: The Schlage Encode Plus is Bluetooth-compatible, allowing users to unlock their doors without a stable Wi-Fi connection. This feature is not available in the Schlage Encode or Schlage Connect. The Schlage Sense can work with Bluetooth within the range of the lock but not remotely.
Who Should Buy the Schlage Encode Plus
Schlage Sense: Unique Features
The Schlage Sense has some key differences from the Schlage Encode, Schlage Encode Plus, and Schlage Connect smart locks:
- Apple HomeKit compatibility: Schlage Sense is specifically designed to work with Apple HomeKit, allowing it to be controlled using Siri voice commands and integrated within the Apple Home app. This compatibility is not found in the other three locks.
- Targeted for Apple users: Schlage Sense is tailored to users who primarily use Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads, and are committed to using the HomeKit ecosystem. The other locks are more focused on compatibility with Alexa, SmartThings, Z-Wave, and other smart home ecosystems.
- Remote access through iPad or Apple TV: Schlage Sense can work remotely if an updated iPad or Apple TV (3rd gen or higher) is within 40 feet of the lock, acting as the lock's hub. This option is not available for the other locks.
- WiFi Adapter option: Schlage Sense can also work remotely using a separate WiFi Adapter, which plugs into any outlet. This is not available for Schlage Connect, which requires pairing with a third-party hub or alarm system.
- Limited smart home hub compatibility: Schlage Sense does not work with SmartThings or other non-HomeKit hubs. If you're looking to build your smart home within those platforms, Schlage Sense may not be the best choice.
Who Should Buy the Schlage Sense
Schlage Connect: Unique Features
The Schlage Connect has several key differences from the Schlage Encode, Schlage Encode Plus, and Schlage Sense smart locks:
- Z-Wave compatibility: Schlage Connect is designed to work with Z-Wave, a radio protocol that allows devices within the network to communicate with one another. This enables the lock to integrate with other Z-Wave smart home devices and be controlled through a smart home hub like SmartThings or Wink.
- Alexa integration: Unlike Schlage Sense, which works with Siri and Apple HomeKit, Schlage Connect is designed for control using Amazon Alexa, making it a better choice for users with an Alexa-based smart home setup.
- No WiFi adapter option: Schlage Connect requires pairing with a third-party hub or alarm system (e.g., SmartThings, Vera, or Wink Hub) for remote access. It cannot use the WiFi adapter option available for Schlage Sense.
- No native Schlage app: Since Schlage Connect relies on third-party hubs for control and automation, there is no native Schlage app for managing the lock and setting door codes. Users need to manage the lock through the smart home hub app, like SmartThings or Wink.
- Typically less expensive: Schlage Connect is often less expensive than Schlage Sense or Schlage Encode Plus, making it a more budget-friendly option (check current prices for the most up-to-date information).
Who Should Buy the Schlage Connect
Buyers Guide: Choosing the Right Schlage Smart Lock
Selecting the best deadbolt for your home is a crucial decision. With various options available, it's essential to consider various factors and benefits when choosing between the Schlage Encode, Schlage Encode Plus, Schlage Sense, and Schlage Connect.
Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential considerations and help you make an informed decision.
Connectivity: Integrating Your Smart Lock with Your Ecosystem
A primary factor in choosing the perfect smart lock is its compatibility with your existing smart home devices. The Schlage Encode and Encode Plus both offer built-in WiFi connectivity, while the Sense and Connect require a separate hub for remote access.
If seamless integration with Apple HomeKit is essential, opt for the Schlage Encode Plus or Sense. For those seeking compatibility with Z-Wave or SmartThings, the Schlage Connect is a suitable choice.
Security and Access Control: Ensuring Peace of Mind
Each Schlage smart lock offers a Grade 1 security rating, the highest level of residential security. However, the Encode Plus stands out with its advanced features like auto-unlock and Siri voice command compatibility.
The Encode and Encode Plus support up to 100 access codes, providing superior access control compared to the Sense and Connect.
Weigh the importance of these enhanced security features when making your decision.
Design and Aesthetics: Complementing Your Home's Style
All four Schlage smart locks boast elegant designs with multiple finish options to suit your home's aesthetic.
The Encode and Encode Plus offer a smaller and quieter design, seamlessly blending with your door. Consider how the lock's appearance will complement your home's exterior when selecting the perfect fit.
Budget Considerations: Balancing Features and Affordability
While features and compatibility are crucial, it's essential not to overlook your budget. The Schlage Encode Plus offers the most advanced features, but it comes at a higher price.
Weigh the benefits of additional features against the cost to ensure you're making the best investment for your home.
As we conclude our exploration of the differences between the Schlage Encode, Encode Plus, Schlage Connect, and Schlage Sense, it's evident that each lock presents unique benefits tailored to diverse smart home ecosystems and individual preferences.
By focusing on the aspects that matter most to you, such as seamless connectivity, advanced security features, and effortless installation, you're empowered to make a well-informed decision that elevates your home security experience.