Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt Review

Schlage has been one of the most trusted lock companies in the United States since its founding in 1920, so it's no surprise that it produces the top smart locks on the market in numerous price points and categories. One such lock is the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt. It's reasonably priced in the world of smart locks, but to use all of its features, you'll need to have a Z-Wave home-automation system set up in your home. Once you do, a world of simple-to-use, intuitive — and, most important — effective features are available at your fingertips.

Design

Understanding that people have eclectic tastes and design styles, Schlage offers the Connect in a variety of styles and colors, and also sells matching doorknobs, levers and other accessories. The Connect comes in two styles: Camelot is fancy, with more intricate design features, while Century has a more minimalist design.

Like all other Schlage products and accessories, the Connect is available in satin nickel, matte black, bright chrome, satin chrome and aged bronze. The exterior lock is a rectangular plate that's a reasonable size. It has a touch screen and, below that, a regular keyhole as a backup. However, the interior portion of the deadbolt is a bit of an eyesore, being much larger than that of comparable models like the Lockitron Bolt or Yale Real Living.

The lock's resistive touch screen is designed to prevent smudges and fingerprints, and the lock's keypad will never have that "dirty" look. The keypad is intuitive, with a checkmark-shaped indicator that flashes green when things go right, and an X that flashes red when things go wrong.

Installation

The Schlage Connect is a great deadbolt for smart-lock beginners. It is user-friendly, straightforward and reliable, and the installation process is as simple as using the lock.

Schlage locks can be installed on almost any door, so it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the included hardware. However, the installation and user guides are helpful — and, surprise! —instructive, with uncomplicated language and images. All I needed was a Philips-head screwdriver and a measuring tape, and the installation process took me no more than 20 minutes from start to finish.

You're able to assign up to 30 codes at a time in order to give family members, friends, even cleaning and repair services access to the lock.

Once the deadbolt was installed, I started programming codes. This can be done either from a compatible smart-home hub, or on the lock itself. Similar to other Z-Wave smart locks, such as the Kwikset SmartCode 916, the Schlage Connect lacks its own stand-alone app.

To give family members, friends, dog walkers, cleaning or repair services access to the lock, you are able to assign up to 30 codes at a time. Codes can be between four and eight digits long, but each code must be the same length.

MORE: Best Smart Locks

The Connect also comes with two codes preprogrammed. You can either keep these codes or delete them. I liked that there was a code saved already, because even if I didn't have time to program any codes at the moment, or if I weren't able to figure it out, I would still be able to lock my deadbolt right away.

Performance

The Schlage Connect is an easy-to-use, dependable lock. To unlock it from the outside, you just touch the Schlage logo at the top of the touch screen and then enter your four- to eight-digit programming code. The green check mark will flash twice and beep once.

To lock it on your way out, just press the outside Schlage button and it will lock and the green checkmark will blink once. The red X will appear if it doesn't work. You can also turn on the Connect's autolock feature, which automatically locks the door 30 seconds after it has been opened.

The Connect operates on four AA batteries that should last about a year, and even though there is an alert that goes off well in advance of the batteries dying, it gave me a sense of security to have a backup key, just in case.

Security

The Schlage Connect is certified ANSI/BHMA Grade 1, which is the highest possible home security rating. And it shows: What the Connect lacks in other features, it makes up for in security. The connect has an anti-pick shield to protect against lock tampering, as well as a fingerprint-resistant matte finish so that home intruders cannot figure out commonly used codes by marks left from your fingers.

With each setting, you can also adjust the sensitivity of the alarm, and the Forced Entry alarm happens to be the most sensitive setting.

Most notable is the Connect's built-in alarm sensors, with three security options to choose from: Activity, Tamper and Forced Entry. On the Activity setting, the door will give two short beeps whenever the door is opened – a nice setting to have on when you're at home. The tamper alert gives a 15-second, 90-dB alarm if the lock shows subtle activity, and the Forced Entry option gives a shrill, 3-minute alarm at the same level.

With each setting, you can also adjust the sensitivity of the alarm. The Forced Entry alarm is the most sensitive, so I wouldn't suggest using this setting in normal conditions – it's meant more for when you're away. Vacation mode allows you to disable all codes and allow entry with the key only.

Smart Home Compatibility

Like the Yale Real Living Key Free Touchscreen deadbolt, the Schlage Connect allows you to use the lock as a stand-alone deadbolt, or to connect it to a Z-Wave-compatible hub to use the lock's smart features.

If you are already using a smart-home system (such as the Samsung SmartThings or Wink), you simply have to enroll your lock. Just hit the Schlage button, type in your code, and hit "0." The checkmark at the bottom left of the lock's touch screen will blink green to confirm that it has been enrolled.

Once you have a hub, you can connect any kind of Z-Wave device to it and have it interact with the Schlage Connect. If you have smart lights or a home security system with Z-Wave capabilities, you can schedule certain "scenes," such as having the lights come on when you unlock the door after work, or having your security camera turn on when you leave and lock the door behind you.

Schlage has also released the Schlage Sense Smart, which utilizes Bluetooth instead of Z-Wave, and is compatible with Apple's HomeKit smart-home system.

Bottom Line

The Schlage Connect is a great deadbolt, made even greater if you already have a Z-Wave-compatible smart-home hub. The lock is operated by a convenient touch screen keypad that can hold up to 30 codes, and allows you to lock the door behind you by simply tapping the Schlage button. With top-of-the-line security features from the trusted brand, including an alarm with three different sensitivity options, this reasonably priced smart-compatible deadbolt is a solid choice. We slightly prefer the Kwikset SmartCode 916, which is more compact and lets you use your old house keys if you want, but the Schlage Connect is great for the uninitiated and can grow with your smart home.

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