Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: Day 8

Actions: Day off at the gym, work from home day.

Fitbit Data:

  • Total Floors Climbed: 8
  • Total Steps: 11,547
  • Total Distance: 5.97
  • Total Calories: 3,827
  • Total Active Minutes: 32 (*See Notes*)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 63bpm

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • Total Floors Climbed: 4 (Stairs are terrible)
  • Total Steps: 8,506
  • Total Distance: (Removing this stat as I have no clue what it really is)
  • Total Calories: 2,935
  • Total Active Minutes: Once again, see notes: Tired of looking at 2 apps for the same measurement
  • Resting Heart Rate: 67bpm
  • Average Heart Rate: 71bpm
  • Min Heart Rate: 60bpm
  • Max Heart Rate: 95bpm

Notes:

I have no clue why Fitbit counts active minutes one time but not another. My assumption is that my heart rate went long enough in an elevated zone.

I’m getting rid of the total distance on the Galaxy Watch. I’m assuming the watch’s Health app has the correct measurement, but the phone app has 2. And I’m never sure which one it is. Extremely annoying.

Total calories are about 900 off. I’m curious if GalaxyWatch isn’t counting calories when my watch is off. As that’s about 8 hours at about 120cal/hr for me TDEE.




Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: Day 7

Actions: Hard Workout Day, had to make up for the chicken nuggets the day before. ­čÖé

Fitbit Data:

  • Total Floors Climbed: 21
  • Total Steps: 18,034
  • Total Distance: 9.33 Miles
  • Total Calories: 5,000
  • Total Active Minutes: 108
  • Resting Heart Rate: 69bpm
  • Weights:
    • Total Time: 39 min (timer got paused, hence the discrepancy)
    • 114 avg bpm
    • Total Calories: 355
    • 1,704 steps
  • Elliptical
    • 2.14 mi
    • 139 avg bpm
    • 30 min cardio range
    • 4.3mph
    • 3,919 steps
    • Total Time: 30 min
    • Total Calories: 468

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • Total Floors Climbed: 1 (lol! I know I did more than 1!)
  • Total Steps: 14,097
  • Total Distance: 6.4 mi and 5.41 mi.
  • Total Calories: 3,769
  • Total Active Minutes: 203 (127 walking/76 min exercise)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 66
  • Average Heart Rate: 79bpm
  • Min Heart Rate: 64
  • Max Heart Rate: 156
  • Weights:
    • Total Time: 45 Mins 49 seconds
    • Calories: 613
    • Avg. Heart Rate: 109bpm
    • Max Heart Rate 133bpm
    • 1 min vigorous
    • 41 minutes Moderate
    • Steps:
  • Elliptical:
    • Total Time: 30 min
    • Total Calories: 306
    • Average Heart Rate: 140bpm
    • Max Heart Rate: 156bpm

Notes: Big day in the gym. Once again, i’m kinda tired of the Samsung Health UI. Not that fitbit is leaps and bounds better. It’s hard for me to tell whether or not I’m supposed to add the two distances, it SEEMS like it’s counting both my “active time distance” and overall walking distance. Adding them together this time get’s me over the fitbit’s data.

Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: Day 6

Actions: Just a typical day off but did light house work. While I didn’t workout, I was painting my Family Room

Fitbit Data:

  • Total Floors Climbed: 9
  • Total Steps: 10,007 (had to walk in place)
  • Total Distance: 5.18
  • Total Calories: 3,933
  • Total Active Minutes: 0
  • Resting Heart Rate: 72bpm

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • Total Floors Climbed: 1 (lol! I know I did more than 1!)
  • Total Steps: 6,991
  • Total Distance: 2.89 mi and 4.79 mi. (Amazing that it has 2 different distances)
  • Total Calories: 2,787
  • Total Active Minutes: 111 (walking)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 66
  • Average Heart Rate: 72bpm
  • Min Heart Rate: 64
  • Max Heart Rate: 84

Notes: Still annoyed at the 2 different distances, my assumption is the 2.89 measurement is my active time and the 4.79 is the total since the 4.79 is closer to fitbit’s calculation.

Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: Day 5

Notes: Once again, sorry for not posting the data on time. Been extremely busy and also very tired from exercise! Also switched to saying Day 5 cause 120 hours sounded a bit silly.

Actions: Saturday, lots of work to be done both in the gym and out. Lifted Weights

Fitbit Data:

  • Total Floors: 11
  • Total Distance: 6.23
  • Total Calories: 4,669
  • Total Active Minutes: 90
  • Weight Lifting:
    • Total Time 63 min
    • Total Cals: 725
    • Avg Heart Rate: 128bpm
    • 32 min cardio
    • 31 min Fat burn
    • Total Steps: 1,950

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • Total Floors: 6
  • Total Distance: 8,336
  • Total Calories: 3,697
  • Total Active Minutes: 63 min
  • Weight Lifting:
    • Total Time: 63 min
    • Total Cals: 852
    • Avg Heart Rate: 131bpm
    • Max Heart Rate: 160
    • 34 Min Vigorous
    • 30 min moderate

Notes: Nothing major, just the average day to day.

Observations: Since it was a Saturday, my total floors is MUCH lower since I’m not going in my office all the time and rarely go “Up” any stairs. Fitbit seems to be MUCH better at counting stairs throughout the day. My suspicion is that the same mechanism preventing the Galaxy watch from getting short trips is the same since I’m walking from the kitchen < 10 steps to my stairs to my computer. I’m liking both data points coming from the devices, but they are in fact very different.


Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: 96 Hour Update

Actions:

Once again, day off from the gym, got lots of sleep. Had several long meetings at the office. I wanted to go for a walk during lunch but I also wanted to each lunch away from the office since I didn’t bring food. Went out after work to celebrate my anniversary. Didn’t get home till 7:00PM and basically went to bed.

As of note, you may be noticing I goto bed early. I’m in bed for quite an hour or so before I fall asleep. Usually reading, playing a game, or talking to the wife. But occasionly I do get up and take steps but obviously they’re not counted and are generally less then 100 steps.

Fitbit Data:

  • Total Steps: 7,648
  • Distance: 3.95 miles
  • Calories burned: 4,119
  • Active Minutes: 61
  • Total Floors: 6

Galaxy Watch Data:


  • Total Steps: 5,815
  • Distance: 2.43 miles (See notes)
  • Calories Burned: 2,751
  • Active Minutes: 73
  • Total Floors: 2

Notes:

  • I’m starting to REALLY hate the Samsung Health app. When I open the Active Time for yesterday, I get the following information: Calories burned 2,741, Activity, 439. Distance 3.15 Miles. However, when I goto the steps counter, it says I went 2.43 miles and and burned 401 cal. I’m not sure which one is right, even on it’s own app it doesn’t agree with itself. I end up just using the Health app on the watch to gather data.

Observations:

Nothing major today other than it’s somewhat annoying when you don’t hit the goals. It’s not bad, but there’s a blank area there. I gues that’s the idea. The night before at the end of the day I have 9,800-ish steps, so I just walked around the house to get over 10,000. I didn’t care about the Galaxy watch side but it was there. However, this time I was ~2,500 short for Fitbit and 185 steps for Galaxy Watch. Already I’m wanting to lean toward Fitbit’s data overall, not that I took 10,000 steps but I tend to like their benchmarks better.

Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: 72 Hour Update

Actions:

Day off from exercising, went to office for long meetings, during lunch went to Costco.

 

Fitbit Data:

  • Total Steps Counted: 10,054.
  • Total Calories Burned: 3,884.
  • Total Distance: 5.19 miles
  • Floord Climbed: 12
  • 72bpm resting heart rate
  • Active Minutes: 0

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • Total Steps: 7,726
  • Total Miles: 3.31
  • Calories burned: 481
  • Total Floors: 2
  • 77bpm average (92 max, 65 min)
  • Active minutes: 114 walking
  • Calories Burned: 481 (assuming this is from walking)

Notes:

Nothing Major to note.

Observations:

There was a BIG issue I noticed today and had come up in the past. That’s using the grocery cart and walking around Costco. As I was doing this, the Galaxy Watch was clearly not counting steps. The Fitbit was from time to time but what I couldn’t discern was if it was doing it because I brought it up to view or if it was actually counting while my hand was on grocery card. Since there’s almost a 3,000 step difference and more importantly, nearly a 2 mile distance difference, that’s where I’m going to note the two. It seems the Fitbit is just much more sensitive. Once again, that may be good or may be bad.

 

Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: 48 Hour Update

Actions:

Woke up at 3:50AM, both watches immediately on wrists.

Went to the gym at 4:30AM, lighted weights for approx. 47 minutes including 3 minutes of elliptical as a warm up.

Removed both trackers at 7:20PM.

Fitbit Data:

  • Weight Lifting:
    • Total Time: 47 minutes
    • Heart Rate:
      • 30 minutes in Cardio Zone
      • 17 minutes Fat burn zone
      • Average Heart Rate: 131 bpm
    • Calories Burned: 590
    • 1,799 steps
    • 47 active minutes.
  • Total Steps For the day: 10,193
  • Floors: 8
  • Distance: 5.13 Miles
  • Calories: 4,370
  • Active minutes: 64

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • Weight Lifting
    • Total Time: 46min 51 seconds
    • Heart Rate:
      • Vigoroius: 31 minutes.
      • Moderate: 16 minutes.
      • Max Heart Rate: 151bpm
      • Average Heart Rate: 131bpm
  • Total Steps for the day: 7,882
  • Floors: 4
  • Distance: Can’t find this data
  • Calories: 3,419
  • Active Minutes:
  • Heart Rate Range: 74 -151bpm

Notes:

It seems, when exercising, the two devices have nearly the same performance from the two major things I’ll be doing. Lifting weights was good. Still seeing vastly different step counts. So far I think what I was mentioning was true, Fitbit is over what I actually stepped and Samsung is drastically under. This would be especially difficulting since the Fitbit appears to use movement in nearly any pattern and the Galaxy Watch tends to watch movement overtime to determine if you’re walking. It brings into question, what is a “step” really.

Observations:

The Samsung Health application on the phone is rather crap. Not that fitbit is the most direct UI, but at least I can view past data easily.
So far I think what I was mentioning was true, Fitbit is over what I actually stepped and Samsung is drastically under. This would be especially difficulting since the Fitbit appears to use movement in nearly any pattern and the Galaxy Watch tends to watch movement overtime to determine if you’re walking. It brings into question, what is a “step” really.

Galaxy Watch Fitness Tracked: 24 Hour Update

Actions:

Woke up at 4:15 AM EST, both watches immediately on wrists.

Ran/Tracked Exercise for 20 minutes on both devices.

Paced 100 steps, counting manually. Took note of total step quantity before and after. Both arms swinging in rhythm with feet.

Removed Trackers from wrists at 07:15 PM.

Fitbit Data:

  • 100 Step Test: 102 Steps counted
  • 20 Minute Jog:
    • Distance 1.62 miles (fitbit synced to phone for GPS, phone in pocket)
    • Pace: 12’20″/mi
    • Heart Rate:
      • 19 min cardio range
      • 1 min fat burn
      • Max on Graph: 161
      • Min on Graph: 94
      • Avg BPM: 139
    • Calories Burned: 325
    • Steps Taken 2,817
  • Total Steps Taken: 12,285
  • Calories: 4,167
  • Active Minutes: 64
  • Floors: 28
  • Total Distance: 6.54 Miles
  • 70bpm resting heart rate. (I’m out of shape!)

Galaxy Watch Data:

  • 100 Step Test: 92 steps
  • 20 Minute run:
    • Distance 1.52 mi (GPS on watch)
    • Pace: 13’09″/mi
    • Heart Rate:
      • Avg BPM: 159
      • Max 172
      • Min on Graph: 94
    • Calories Burned: 365
    • Steps Taken: 2,460 (Calculated)
  • Total Steps: 9,196
  • Calories: 3,212
  • Active Minutes: 116
    • 96 Walking
    • 20 Running
  • Floors: 11 (Very off)
  • 77bpm average heart rate. (Even worse!)
  • Total Distance: 4.32 miles
  • Calires Burned by steps: 718
  • Active Minutes: 142 minutes: 96 walking, 46min weight machines
  • Online Caloric Burn Calculator:

There seems to be a problem with online calculators and refusing to use decimals. I ran 4.5mph on average, however choices are walking at 4MPH or running at 5MPH. Since I was moving my body in more of a running motion, I’m going to say that it was close to the 5MPH mark. 316 calories.

Notes:

  • There was a 1/10th of a mile variation between the Fitbit and Galaxy Watch, not really sure how GPS was supposed to be running on both. Even if there was some accuracy issues, my assumption is that the GalaxyWatch didn’t start picking up my GPS signal until later in the run.
  • The Fitbit wasn’t clear on my Average BPM for my Heart Rate:
  • The Galaxy Watch was missing my total step count for my run. According to the average steps per minute on the graph, it was 123, calculation was 123spm * 20 minutes, then 2,460 is the total steps.
  • Assuming the Fitbit is 2% higher than counted steps, then actual would be 2,761. (based upon 100 step test.)
  • Assuming Galaxy Watch is 8% under than steps counted, actual steps would be approx 2,583
  • There is a 178 step variance between both.
  • Will run 100 step test again, 10 times and validate data.

Observations:

So far, I really do think that Fitbit is drastically exaggerating my step count. It will definitely count arm swings. It’s hard to determine how drastic though. If it’s 2% off on the high side, then I could see it account for 200-500 steps. However, when walking it seems to be a bit more accurate. Some people have stated there’s an issue/feature with the Galaxy Watch where it basically ignores the first 5steps or so. I could see advantages to that since it doesn’t increase the step count when I just swing my arms. However, I may need to make a long test, like 200 – 300 steps then use a different GPS app to track distance. Either way it’s interesting to say the least. Floor tracking for the GalaxyWatch is way off. I know I did more than 11. Not sure I did 28. I have noticed that Fitbit tends to also take into consideration walking uphill. So, that would account for some of those flights.

Galaxy Watch For Fitness: Tracked (Day 0)

 Introduction:

Over on Reddit’s r/GalaxyWatch thread, there has been a lot of discourse over the Galaxy Watch’s ability to serve as a fitness tracker. There have been several threads pointing to the Galaxy Watch just being not only inaccurate but just plain not working. I’ve been using a Galaxy Watch for about 4 months now that replaced my old every day watch (Casio WSD-F10 Android Wear). While I’ve never really questioned and/or cared about “fitness” performance from the Galaxy Watch, I’ve honestly only ever looked at the steps as a Goal, not meaning that I walked that specific number, but actually more like experience points that I needed to reach. However, since it’s the New Year, and of course, I’ve been a bit lazy it’s now time to bring the Galaxy Watch’s ability into question.

 

Over the next few weeks, while I work on my fitness goals, I’m going to be comparing my Galaxy Watch to my Fitbit Charge 2 and to a lesser extent my Casio. I’m going to ATTEMPT to use the Scientific Method here, but bear in mind it’s probably been a good 15-20 years since I’ve used it, so I’m going to use the 5th grader version and combine some steps. I’ll try to keep things and simple as possible and keep a journal on how it’s going. I’m going to evaluate it at the end of a 7-day period and give my summary. So, Let’s begin.

A Bit About Me:

So we all know what we’re working with:

  • I am
    • Male
    • 33 years old.
    • 6’7″ in height (79 inches)
    • 261.5 lbs as of January 15th.
    • Activity Level: Sedentary
      • There is some confusion on activity level, the consensus I’ve seen is that you put your day-to-day lifestyle in and do not count your exercise. Since I work an IT desk-job, that’s what I’m using.
    • Basal Metabolic Rate: 2,475
      • I did one that said 3,400 I didn’t like that number but BMR is based on an average, so I did a couple of others from around the internet. 2,475 seems a good fit.
    • Body Fat %: 27%
      • Technically, I’m obese. ­čÖé
    • My stride is about 17 inches when walking.
      • Feet per step: 1.4
      • Steps per 100ft: 71
      • Steps per mile: 3,771
  • Hardware I’ll be using:
    • Galaxy Watch 46mm (On my left wrist)
    • Fitbit Charge 2 (On My Right Wrist)
    • Casio WSD-F10 (On my right wrist)
  • Software I’ll be using:
    • MyFitnessPal
    • Fitbit Software
    • Samsung Health both on watch and the phone
    • Android Wear and Google Fit
    • Basic online calculators

Scientific Method Step 1 (Questions):

It it my purpose that I want to validate the Galaxy Watch’s fitness tracking abilities, evaluate, and determine the following:

  1. Is the Galaxy Watch Step tracker accurate?
  2. Is the Galaxy Watch stair calculator accurate?
  3. Will caloric burn during various exercises be similar to other sources?
  4. How is the performance of the Galaxy Watch compared to Fitbit?

I’m going to be comparing it to the Fitbit, mainly due to its popularity and of course I have one. I understand/realize that these evaluations are not 100% scientific, but at least evaluate it as best as possible for me.

 

Scientific Method Step 2/3:

I’ll be performing my own research, which is only a data point for other evaluations. Once again, this isn’t a peer-reviewed journal and I’m not going to research each devices programmed statistics, measurements, or any algorithmic performance. Just looking at numbers at the end of the day for me.

However, I will provide a Hypothesis:

  1. The Galaxy Watch will show fewer steps/stairs vs fitbit and fewer than calculated in trials.
  2. The caloric burn for the Galaxy Watch will be higher when compared to other sources, including Fitbit.
  3. The Fitbit will be higher when compared to other devices/sources.
    1. (This is based on some annecdotal evidence already, since I looked at my calories burned yesterday and it’s saying 4,400 calories in a 24 hour period.)
  4. Overall, the Galaxy Watch will have values that are lower, but at least are consistently lower by the same percentage. (Example, if I took 100 steps, GW would say nearly 60 every time. Whereas the Fitbit will represent more.

Why?

My assumptions above are based on some small evaluations over time. I have trouble hitting my 6,000 step goal on Samsung but can easily beat that on my Fitbit everyday even if I don’t try. However, I have noticed my sitting in my chair and from moving my arms the steps does increase while the Galaxy Watch remains the same. In fact if I stand and swing my arms my Galaxy Watch remained the same and the Fitbit increased by 10. (the number of each swings I took.) There has been some criticism about this stating that the Galaxy Watch doesn’t seem to pick of short little strolls. Mainly I just want to assist anyone else in determining if the Galaxy Watch is a valid platform for health tracking or at least for accounting for differences between it and other platforms.

Day 0 Summary:

Overall that’s going to be the pace for the next 7 days. I’ll do my best to update it everyday but at a minimum I’ll be updating them in 24 hour increments to account for my full days use. The data for today will be available tomorrow.

 

 

Drunkenly Honest Review: Yale RealLiving Z-wave Deadbolt

Let me first preface this review by saying: I purchase all products by myself. It’s never given nor subsidized. With that being said, usually when I purchase something I really like, as in the Schalge Connect Camelot┬á that I reviewed back in May, I tend to stick with that brand or device since it’s a known quality. However, that is an expensive lock that I put on my front door. I needed something for my side and rear doors and honestly I didn’t really care about its looks I was going for more of a economy lock. That’s when I found the Yale RealLiving Z-wave Deadbolt.

At around $70 dollars cheaper than the Schlage, I thought it would be a good choice for my alternative locks. I’ve had it installed now for approximately 2 months. So, let’s find out how it stacked up!

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While in my opinion not as attractive as the Camelot, it still is a decent design.

The Run Down:

  • Manufacture: Yale | Model:YRD210
  • Locking Mechanism:┬áResidential Standard Certification:ANSI/BHMA A156.115
    Grade 2 Certification
  • Power: AA-Type Batteries (4)
  • Wireless: Z-Wave Or Zigbee (Zwave reviewed)
  • Alexa Compatibility: Certified, Lock-Only. (See Automation)
  • SmartThings Compatibility: Native compatibility
  • Hub Required for Automation: Yes and No (See Automation)
  • Phone App: None
  • Temperatures: Information not contained in website or product catalog/manual
  • Colors: Satin Nickel, Polished Brass, Oil-Rubbed Bronze
  • Additional Features: Anti-Tamper Alarm, Programmable Codes, Auto-Lock
  • Price: Normally sub~$160 (Home Depot) Approx. $120 or less on Amazon.
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty for electronics, lifetime limited for finish and mechanical.

The Deadbolt/Locking Mechanism:

First off, this deadbolt only has a “Grade 2” level of certification. After some discussion and some research from my Schlage, Grade 2 is suitable for home (non-commercial) and apartment external door installations. This is suitable enough for my application, especially since the doors in questions have gigantic windows in them. (Remember, locks only keep honest people honest.) Working the lock action does well, and it is as mooth as any other lock I’ve used but it doesn’t “feel” as secure as a Grade 1. However, for $70 dollars in savings, that’s okay. Over 2 months of ownership it hasn’t failed or jammed to lock.

Installation:

Installation went well. It was more simplistic than when I did my Schlage however since there was already a deadbolt hole it’s a simple replacement. I didn’t need to adjust the lock throw for depth. However, the door jamb is a bit “off” and I did need to file it down. That isn’t a knock against the deadbolt. Even before I did that adjustment, the lock would still automatically engage albeit not completely. Overall no major issues if you’ve done one before.

Appearance:

Available in 3 finishes, I went with Oil-Rubbed Bronze since the door hardware was already so. The lines are well rounded but I wouldn’t consider them attractive, they have a more utilitarian aesthetic. It will work fine as a supplemental door lock that people do not normally see however, this is a matter of opinion. Once could easily put this on their front door in a traditional home. I do not feel as though it would look as attractive on an upscale home. The buttons illuminate when it is first pressed for ease. The YALE “button” at the top is simply a logo that will only flash if the battery is low, it tricked me a few times when going in. The buttons are white with black numbers, which actually is better in direct sunlight when compared to a “touch screen” which tends to get washed out. This was great as in the afternoon sun hits my house I can still see what is where. The inside of the lock isn’t nearly as large as the Schlage which is nice despite it needing 4-AA batteries. It does feature a tamper alarm, which is a bonus. Overall I found it suitable.

Stand-Alone Operation:

The Yale features a key-lock which is fantastic. I’m a big proponent on things having a mechanical override which it comes to Smart Home or Stand Alone installations. Batteries die, Z-wave can fail to connect, so always have your key on you if this is a primary or only door. The lock can be programmed with a 4 to 8 digit code. Programming the lock is fairly easy and the manual includes a flow chart which was far more helpful than Schlage. Unlike the Schlage, the device does not have a “default” PIN/Code. This is actually nice since upon reset you’re required to create one. When my Schlage is reset, I need the default code which is located on the inside panel.┬á Does this pass the infamous spouse test? Sadly not on its first go around. In fact, it doesn’t pass the me test. Since this door isn’t the main entry, I don’t use the keypad often. Of the few times I’ve had to use the code, I have failed to remember you have to push the asterisk key “*” after entering the code. I tend to hit the pound key for some strange reason. However, with a bit of practice it’s not bad. My wife has failed to use it every time she’s attempted and I’ve had to remind her as well. This is a mistake on my behalf, I’ll recommend if you buy one lock brand, stick with it as the user interface from device-to-device can confuse others. Automatic re-lock is not available without a Network module, something I’m not sure why isn’t there by default. While I don’t normally use this feature, when my little one is old enough to open doors, we’ll be turning that feature on to assist in keeping her contained in the house. Overall it’s locking functions work well without being integrated into a Smart Home Environment. The only major complaint (perhaps it’s a bonus?) is the batteries that it comes with are Nickel-Metal Hydride, which are rechargeable however, lower capacity than that of alkaline. I’d recommend stepping up to some Eneloop rechargeable or regular alkaline batteries.┬á The batteries died within the first 2 weeks, which we’ll get into in the Automation section since that may be due to it’s wireless connection.

The only major complaint (perhaps it’s a bonus?) is the batteries that it comes with are Nickel-Metal Hydride, which are rechargeable however lower capacity than that of alkaline. I’d recommend stepping up to some Eneloop rechargeable or regular alkaline batteries.

Automation:

The Yale has both a Z-Wave and Zigbee connection module. Which is great if you tend to have a preference for Zigbee, however I find most capable hardware platforms should┬áinclude both. (I’m looking at you Echo Plus!) However, it’s nice to have the option whereas the Schlage was Z-Wave only. The lock natively integrates with SmartThings with ease. I’d recommend using the User Lock Manager Smart App to keep codes and features consistent across multiple locks. It will automatically lock given a schedule .(Which is great because I would always forget to lock this door in particular.) There is no app to control the lock, which again is my preference but I could understand if some prefers to use one. It has native compatibility with Alexa. However, I have not attempted to lock the doors using her. Due to its integration into Smart Things, there are several great smart apps that can take advantage of advanced functionality, but if you’re not on that level, at least you can unlock/lock it from the SmartThings App. Overall it’s functionality is the same as Schlage when connected. Which is great for it being less expensive. My only complaint is the battery. The packed in NiMH batteries worked fine but ran down quickly. It takes 4-AA batteries and they’re easily replaceable however it’s not as good as my Schlage lock when it comes to battery life. I’ve had the Schlage in place now since around March, and it’s still at 95% on it’s original batteries, according to my smart app. However, the Yale has went through it’s pack-in batteries in approx. 2 weeks and is now reporting 45% battery remaining with alkaline batteries installed. My only explanation for this difference is proximity to the hub. It clearly has a connection and device polling is successful, however it may have degraded connection and has to use more energy to maintain it’s connection with the hub. It should be able to snag a z-wave mesh signal and go back to the hub, but even for me, that is some weird Z-wave voodoo that we don’t have control over so I cannot tell you how it’s connecting. Before you go purchasing a $100+ dollar lock, keep in mind that you can’t change a door’s location and you may want to ensure your hub is located close enough. For what it’s worth, there is a door sensor located directly above it that runs off batteries and I’ve never had a misreading or had to change it’s single AAA battery in about a year’s time.

Overall it’s functionality is the same as Schlage when connected to SmartThings. Which is great for it being less expensive.

Security:

Due to it’s ANSI Grade 2 certification, it’s obviously “less” secure but once again, that’s relative. According to some research, Grade 2 means it’ll take 5 massive blows with a hammer, my guess is that is before it begins to “fail” mechanically. However, once again locks are only there to keep honest people honest. If they have a hammer, they can just smash my adjoining windows with far more ease. Automation is a great advantage of this lock, but that does leave some vulnerabilities. It works great as a stand alone lock if you prefer, however it has some less-expensive non-wireless cousins that you should go for instead. I feel as though the lock is competent enough to serve as a primary lock, for the price, it’s a decent buy, as far as connected deadbolts are concerned.

Wrapping-Up:

In summary, the lock is “fine”. The connected functionality is great, but I cannot get over the lower battery life despite it having 4-AA batteries compared to the Schlage. Once again, this may be a placement issue but it is still disappointing. The regular price at Home Depot is $160. I wouldn’t spend this much especially since the Schlage Camelot (deadbolt only) is normally $180. On Amazon I see the average price around $110, which is where I suggest you look unless there’s a sale somewhere else. The only other major complaint was I could not find temperature ratings. This is important if you live in an area with more severe hot/cold seasons. However despite it’s short comings, at the price point it is coming in at, I’ll be purchasing another for my rear kitchen door if I see it drop below $100.

Final Verdict:

  • Pros:
    • Just as capable when connected with SmartThings with other locks.
    • Great price at the $100 vs other connected locks.
    • Physical Buttons that are easily read.
    • Physically looks appealing.
    • Can serve has primary home or apartment lock.
  • Cons:
    • Seemingly poor battery life.
    • Operation can be confusing for others.
    • Noisy operation.
    • Could have a better ANSI rating, does not communicate it well.
    • Temperature could be an issue.
  • Overall:
    • A solid purchase for alternative door entries, while ANSI grade could be higher it could also be worse. (I wouldn’t consider a Grade 3 for a home lock)