The Yale Entr is a motorized cylinder that you can place in most doors. You can then use the lock with an app. In this review, we take a closer look at the Entr. Is it worth its price of 299 euros?
What is Yale Entr?
With the Yale Entr you can turn your current door into a smart door. It is an electronic engine cylinder that replaces the current cylinder. After placing it you will therefore no longer be able to use your parent front door key. On the inside hangs a small block to which the cylinder is attached. After installing and setting up, you can then open the door in various ways: with the supplied keys or remote control or the separately purchased fingerprint scanner or the code panel. The lock is available in black and white.
If the battery is accidentally empty when you get home, no problem: you can continue to use the key. It is also possible to provide your friends and family with digital keys, so that they can enter when necessary. You no longer have to lend keys or keep track of who has a key, this is now done via the free application (available on Android and iOS). The communication between the lock, the app and any accessories that you can later purchase separately is always encrypted.
Design and content
The Yale Entr comes with keys, a small remote control (which you can hang on your key ring), of course the lock and extra mounting material. In principle, it should therefore be possible that you can immediately replace the current cylinder. With dimensions of 150 by 55 by 54 millimeters, there is still quite a hefty thing hanging on your front door. We can be brief about the design. It is not really a very nice device, but if it is good you will not see it more often than when it is nicely hanging on the front door.
Under the large rotary knob, which also contains the motorized part, is another touch panel. These are small buttons that you can use to set up the device. You can make those buttons appear by resting three fingers on the panel for a few seconds. You should only see those buttons during installation. You don’t use that elongated bottom for the rest. However, what is striking is that the lock protrudes a few millimeters. We use the model with a 30/30 cylinder.
Fortunately, a clear manual is also included. It explains step by step what exactly is intended. The installation should be successful within half an hour and we also take the time to install the app and create the account. Replacing a door cylinder is done in no time: you remove one screw from the side of the door (it is clearly indicated which one is involved), unscrew the lock, replace the cylinder and screw the previously used screw back into the opening.
What can make setting it up for the first time a bit more difficult are the buttons on the touch panel. They are small, so you can inadvertently press the button next to them. Then it is not clear what is happening. Fortunately, this only has to be done once and you can easily start over with the settings if something goes wrong. For the rest you are dependent on the application, for example, when you want to add a user. If you want to add an optional accessory, you will need that touch-sensitive part on the lock.
Before you can use the application, you must of course create an account. Fortunately, this happened in no time. You must then always have your Bluetooth connection and GPS signal on, otherwise no connection can be made with the lock. That is a shame, since both parts within a smartphone guarantee extra energy consumption. If you do not use the app, turn off those two options immediately. But if you want to open the app, you have to open both connections again.
In itself there is still something to be said for it. By using both Bluetooth and GPS, the app ensures that the user is nearby. As a result, the lock will not open even when you are far away. Unfortunately, there is no support for WiFi. It is therefore not possible to use the lock in combination with a voice assistant or other devices in the house. You can, however, open this product within the Yale product network, which offers extra possibilities – but that requires an extra investment.
When you open the app and have set everything up correctly, the lock opener immediately appears. You then pull a visual representation of a key from top to bottom through a lock, after which the door is unlocked. By calling up the menu on the left you can see which locks are active in your network; the same applies to the key rings with which the lock can be opened. Within the settings you can lock the app with a password, which we also recommend that you do.
It is also possible to manage users via the Yale Entr app. You can provide a user with a digital key, so it is no longer necessary to physically lend or give away keys. You can add and remove users; handy for when you want to give someone one-time access to your house. Adding users is easy by tapping the icon with the lock (blue button) above the lock, after which you enter a name and sharing method. This can be done, for example, via WhatsApp.
The other user must then be physically present at the lock before it can be opened. The lock then asks for a randomly generated code that is in the other person’s possession, so that security knows that it is correct. The digital security uses AES 128-bit encryption, the same encryption that we also encounter in internet banking. When the code has been entered, someone else can also enter with the app. However, you will not be notified when that person enters your house.
We mainly used the Yale Entr in conjunction with the included remote control. It hangs by default on the key ring and is therefore easy to grab. Especially when you come with groceries, have two dogs on a leash or are the last to walk with friends, it’s nice to be able to open the door. You don’t have to mess around with keys and can already let people in, so they don’t have to wait for you. It is a pure form of convenience, one that we quickly got used to.
In addition, we have chosen to have the lock automatically lock when the door closes. That means that the door is locked when you close it, so you don’t have to think about it anymore. There is a disadvantage here. If you unlock the door and the door doesn’t open completely, it may turn the lock back. If you don’t notice that, then you close the door. Then you have to open the lock again and you can just close the door.
This may have something to do with the magnet that you have to stick to the door frame. With that magnet, the Yale Entr knows when the lock is in use and turns itself locked when the door is closed. If the door stays too close to that magnet, confusion can occur. It is also possible to use the rotary knob on the Entr to open the door. You then push it in and turn it all the way to the left. This feels like a natural act; handy for when you don’t have the key ring to hand.
We have hardly used the Yale Entr app to open the door. This is because both bluetooth and location must always be on. For privacy and energy-saving reasons, we have not always activated those functions (other smart home devices work on schedules, including location determination, otherwise we operate them manually), so it always requires more effort to operate them that way. Moreover, it also takes a few seconds for the connection to be established.
Is it a convenient way to open the door from the sofa? Sure. Especially in combination with a smart doorbell. When the doorbell rings and you can see who it is, you can also open the door from the sofa. Lazy people are the smartest people in that regard. You can be up to 25 to 35 meters from the lock to operate it remotely. That also depends in part on the thickness of walls and other obstructions, but at least it’s always close enough to make sure everything is going well.
What we do miss a bit is WiFi support and also support for Google Assistant, for example . It would have been cool to shout “Hey Google, open the front door”, but that’s not possible now. This is a lot safer: if someone enters your WiFi network, they cannot suddenly open your front door. The options for opening the door are in principle sufficient. If that is not the case, you can still invest in (expensive) accessories, such as a fingerprint scanner or code panel.
When you purchase that fingerprint scanner or code panel, you can open the door in two other ways (this also applies to people you trust). But these are not standard options. Furthermore, Yale promises that the battery of the Yale Entr will last about three to four months on a full battery. That also depends entirely on the use of course. Here the front door opens regularly one day and after a month of use we were at about seventy percent. We therefore think that Yale’s estimate is correct.
Yale Entr – Conclusion
So there are some drawbacks to the Yale Entr, but none of these drawbacks are big enough to say that you shouldn’t consider this lock when looking for an easy front door solution. The app may not be very useful if you are looking for a quick solution for yourself, but if you want to let someone else in, they can also just come in with the same app. You have complete control over who enters and you can only add someone when they are in front of the lock.
We are mainly positive about this product. The door opens easily and quickly, which is handy when you have your hands full and don’t want to mess around with keys. Moreover, the installation is a piece of cake and you never have to exchange physical keys again. It is a pity that for the app you always have to have bluetooth and your location on and that the accessories are pretty door, but in our opinion these are peripheral issues that cannot affect the basis of the experience. The included key ring offers enough relief in that regard.
Pros of Yale Entr
- Door opens quickly and easily
- Installation is done in no time
- Do not exchange keys
Negatives of Yale Entr
- Bluetooth and location on smartphone
- No wifi or voice assistants
- Expensive accessories