Schlage Sense BE479 Review

Robust security features make Schlage Sense one of the best smart locks available.

Schlage Sense BE479 Review
(Image: © Amazon)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

Schlage Sense offers best-in-class security, a simple mobile app and a solid design.


  • +

    Super secure

  • +

    Great warranty

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    ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 Certified


  • -

    Not the most compatible with smart home systems

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Schlage Sense builds on nearly 100 years of experience in lock making and has the best security features of any smart lock we've tested. The lock has an easy-to-navigate mobile app, convenient features and a simple design, and it's compatible with Apple HomeKit. In addition, its warranty is the best among smart locks. You can expect to spend around $200 for the Schlage Sense, which is average among smart locks.

The best smart locks focus on security, so we tested each lock's potential to improve your home’s security. Schlage Sense received the highest score in our security tests: 92 percent. For example, Schlage Sense can detect when someone unlocks the door with a key or the keypad, which is an excellent feature for smart locks to have, as many only track app users.

Schlage Sense BE479 Review: Main features

Schlage Sense also sends alerts when your security is at risk. The smart door lock's built-in siren activates when someone tries to force your door open. This gives you critical information in the event of a nighttime break-in; It also attracts unwanted attention to potential intruders and helps deter them from entering your home. Despite its security features, it lacks the ability to detect when your door is open, something you can get in August's latest smart locks; therefore, Schlage Sense didn't earn a perfect score.

Schlage Sense is ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certified, one of only two locks in our comparison with the rating. Grade 1 is the highest rating any deadbolt can receive. The lock uses an encrypted Bluetooth connection to prevent unauthorized access to your home, which means hackers need your login information to access your lock.

Schlage Sense's mobile app has a simple layout, so you can add and remove guests with little effort. You can assign up to 30 guests codes and share them via text message or email. This is more convenient than other Bluetooth smart locks, which require guests to download mobile apps and create accounts to gain access. You can create permanent codes or grant access based on a schedule.

Schlage Sense BE479 Review: How it performed

Schlage Sense is easier to use than most competitors, though the August Smart Lock and August Smart Lock Pro were slightly easier due to quicker responses to mobile app commands and take less time to install.

We tested the Schlage Sense in 2016 shortly after its initial release. At the time, the lock only supported iOS devices and was one of the first HomeKit-enabled smart locks. It took over a year before Schlage released an Android app and a $70 Wi-Fi adapter. If you buy the adapter, you can control the lock remotely or through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, two of the most popular smart home platforms.

Despite the new features over the years, Schlage Sense still doesn't work directly with any video doorbells, though Amazon Alexa can control the lock and Ring Video Doorbell separately. If you use a smart home platform with Z-Wave, the Schlage Connect is a better option that looks similar.

While Schlage Sense has a remote access feature, it requires that you have the Wi-Fi add-on or an Apple TV within 20 or 30 feet in your home. This lets you control the lock and add codes from outside the lock's Bluetooth range. Schlage Sense has a physical override, which means you can use a key to unlock the lock if you lose your phone or the lock's batteries die unexpectedly.

To make sure you don't leave your door unlocked, you can set the auto-lock feature to lock your door after a time between 15 seconds and four minutes. Schlage Sense doesn't have an auto-unlock feature. This isn't as convenient as other smart locks, but it's a reason Schlage Sense did well in our security tests.

Schlage Sense is a standalone smart lock, which means you only need a compatible smartphone, instead of a smart home system, for normal use. This lock replaces your deadbolt, so it's not the best for renters.

Should you buy the Schlage Sense BE479? 

Schlage offers a helpful video tutorial to illustrate the installation process, which takes about 20 minutes and only requires a screwdriver. Schlage Sense has an estimated battery life of 12 months, which is typical of most digital door locks.

This lock comes in two styles with three finishes to match your home. The minimalist Century style uses a square keypad while Camelot looks more traditional. While both styles come in the ubiquitous satin nickel finish that matches most door handles, you can also get a matte black finish on the Century style or an aged bronze finish option on the Camelot. Schlage Sense doesn’t come in a brass finish.

Schlage's smart locks have the best warranty among smart locks we tested. It covers the lock's electronics for three years, which is longer than the average of one year. While it doesn't play a role in our ratings, the company also covers the lock components and finish with a lifetime warranty.

John Carlsen

John has been researching and reviewing home security and smart home products for Top Ten Reviews since 2013. As well as covering smart home and home security and safety, he also covers other home technology products such as HVAC, garage door openers and more. He enjoys DIY, writing and hiking in his spare time.