Kwikset Premis vs. Schlage Sense: Which Is The Best For HomeKit?

Cam Secore
Updated 06/29/2018

kwikset premis vs schlage sense

After a month of testing, I determined Schlage Sense is the best option for people looking for an affordable HomeKit lock. Schlage works well with Apple products, but the app is subpar and the lock’s physical design leaves much to be desired. Kwikset Premis has a sleek design, but the keypad doesn’t work well in many circumstances.

I’ll compare and contrast two HomeKit smart locks (Kwikset Premis vs. Schlage Sense) by evaluating six categories: setup, unlocking, locking, interior design, exterior design, and software.

Schlage Sense

6
  • Setup: You'll need to replace your previous lock setup and follow the instructions to install.
  • Unlocking: You can enter codes, ask Siri, or use the app. But it’s loud and annoying.
  • Locking: You can set auto-lock, ask Siri, use the app, or tap the physical (always there) Schlage button.
  • Inside Design: It’s huge and aesthetically unappealing.
  • Outside Design: It’s a push button display that works well and doesn’t attract attention.
  • Software: An alarm sounds if someone tries to break in. You can manage codes for guests.

Best for you if...

You want a smart lock with a keypad that works consistently. You'll have to deal with the clunkiness, the annoying unlocking and locking sound and the substandard app. The good news is you shouldn't need the app much if you sync it with HomeKit.

Kwikset Premis

4
  • Setup: You'll need to replace your previous lock setup, but the app has easy-to-follow interactive instructions.
  • Unlocking: You enter codes, ask Siri, or use the app. It doesn't work well in the cold.
  • Locking: You can set auto-lock, ask Siri, use the app, or tap the lock button once the screen is awake.
  • Inside Design: It’s slim and looks well-designed.
  • Outside Design: It’s sleek and the digits are easy to read, but it's slow to respond.
  • Software: Secure mode is cool. The activity log gets messed up sometimes.

Best for you if...

You’re willing to sacrifice usability for aesthetics. Premis looks better from the inside and the outside and has a touchscreen. You need to wake up the screen before punching in the code (which can take longer than you’d think). The keypad responds slowly in cold weather.

 

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best homekit locks

Schlage Sense

6

Setup (C):

  • The app instructions aren’t good, but the paper instructions get the job done.
  • For installation, you need to remove your existing deadbolt. Then, drill a bigger hole if your previous hole isn’t 2-⅛” (most are 2-⅛” already), install a new deadbolt latch, mount the front and back plates, attach the wires, and install a new strike on the door frame. It took me 30 minutes from start to finish.

Unlocking (B-):

  • You type in a four-digit code and it unlocks.
  • You can unlock with Siri if your phone’s unlocked.
  • You can unlock with the Schlage and Home apps.
  • You can use the key that’s included.
  • The keypad works well in the cold and with gloves.
  • The lock is the loudest of the six locks I tested, by a solid margin. I found it incredibly annoying, but you could probably get used to it.

Locking (A):

  • You can lock with Siri or the Schlage or Home apps.
  • You can tap the physical Schlage to lock without using a code.
  • You can set it to auto-lock after a certain amount of time has elapsed since it was last unlocked. Your options are 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes or 4 minutes.

Inside Design (F):

  • It’s bulkier and uglier than Premis.
  • There’s one screw to remove the batteries but the battery pack doesn’t slide out easily.

Outside Design (D):

  • It’s not a touchscreen like Premis, but an old-school push button. This makes it work better in the cold and with gloves.
  • Another advantage for some is that from far away this lock looks like an ordinary model, not a smart lock.
  • People in humid climates have complained about moisture getting inside the lock, but I didn’t experience this firsthand.
  • It’s not attractive, but it’s more practical because it works consistently.

Software (C+):

  • The Schlage app is a mess, but once you set up the lock and access codes, you can stick to using the Home app.
  • If someone tries to break into the door with enough force, an alarm will sound.
  • You don’t get smarts or remote control from afar without an Apple TV or HomePod as your hub. It’ll just function as a keypad lock without an Apple hub.
  • Guests don’t need to download the app; you can give them an access code that expires or only works during specific times.

Kwikset Premis

4

Setup (C+):

  • There are interactive hardware instructions, similar to the Premis app and much better than Schlage’s.
  • For installation, you need to remove your existing deadbolt. Then, drill a bigger hole if your previous hole isn’t 2-⅛” (most are 2-⅛” already), install a new deadbolt latch, mount the front and back plates, attach the wires, and install a new strike on the door frame. It took me 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • I had difficulty aligning the keypad.

Unlocking (D):

  • You need to wake up the screen to enter the code, but it doesn’t work well. It takes at least 5-10 seconds for the screen to turn on.
  • You type in your 4-8 digit unlock code once the keys are visible.
  • The keypad doesn’t work with gloves and it doesn’t work well in the cold.
  • You can ask Siri to unlock if your phone is unlocked.
  • You can unlock with the included key.

Locking (C):

  • You can set it to auto-lock after 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, or 4 minutes.
  • I suggest leaving the Secure Keypad Randomizer off because it requires using an extra two buttons to lock. Otherwise, with the randomizer off, you just tap the lock button on the keypad.
  • You can ask Siri, use the Home app or the Premis app to lock.
  • You can lock with the included key.

Inside Design (B-):

  • The interior design is similar to Kevo’s, with a thin metal cover that goes over the plastic base. It looks alright but it’s nothing special.
  • You have to unscrew the metal cover with three screws to access the battery, then the pack slides right out.

Outside Design (B-):

  • The design is sleek and the digits are big and easy to read.

Software (C-):

  • The Premis app on iPhone is a mess.
  • You don’t get smarts or remote control from afar without an Apple TV or HomePod as your hub. It’ll just function as a keypad lock without an Apple hub.
  • It sometimes has issues connecting to HomeKit. In my experience, Premis needs to be closer to the Apple TV than other locks for it to work properly.
  • There’s a cool “Secure Mode” to indefinitely disable all codes you’ve given to other people.
  • The activity log that lets you know when the door was locked and unlocked isn’t always accurate. In my activity log, it says the door was unlocked in December of 1999.