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Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt review: This Wi-Fi deadbolt delivers simple smarts

Using the Schlage Encode with Google Assistant means your can lock or check the status of your door via voice commands. Google doesn't support voice unlocking at this time, but the locking and status commands worked well in my testing. I added the lock to a routine and it promptly locked the door when I said, "Hey Google, I'm leaving." 

To connect the Schlage Encode with Alexa, you can link your Schlage Home account in the Alexa app or download the Key by Amazon app and enable the Key skill. This lock is optimized for use in an Amazon Key in-home delivery kit, so going the Key route will prompt you to set up both the lock and a camera. 

If you don't have Prime or if you don't want to set up Amazon Key service, you can skip the camera option and accept the notification that you won't be able to receive in-home deliveries. Still, this feels like a bit of a workaround for anyone not ponying up to the full Key kit. 

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The interior side of the lock houses four AA batteries and the manual thumb latch. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can lock and unlock your Schlage Encode via voice with Alexa. In the Alexa app settings, you'll need to set a voice PIN. That's an absolute necessity if you're set on using voice to unlock your doors. The Key app and the Schlage Home app can lock and unlock the Schlage Encode and provide lock history. 

The deadbolt comes with space for 100 user codes, a big improvement over the Schlage Sense's 30 codes. You can set those in the Schlage Home app. You can also view history, lock or unlock the door and enable features like the forced entry alarm and auto relock. 

I tested the lock out with both Google and Alexa voice commands and their respective apps, as well as the Schlage Home app. The apps were responsive and quickly updated the lock status and notified me that it had been locked or unlocked and with what method (app, manual or voice). I did experience some lag with voice commands, but your results will likely vary with the strength of your Wi-Fi connection, and the lag I saw wasn't enough to be a problem. 

Without a hub or adapter, the Schlage Encode offers a simple smart lock setup. The sleek, traditional design feels sturdy and the app is easy to use. It's important to know which voice assistant you plan to use and understand what you will or won't get feature-wise. But if you're looking for a smart lock that connects directly to your Wi-Fi, the Schlage Encode is a good-looking, reliable choice. 

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