Cost Guide: Smart Locks and Digital Locks

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Looking to buy a smart or digital lock for your home? Read this guide before you commit to a purchase. 

Smart locks and digital locks are absolute life-changers. If you’ve ever been trapped outside your house because you forgot your keys, you’ll know what we mean. 

With the rise of modern technology, you’ll never again need to fumble around your bags for your keys or constantly worry that a stranger would get access to your house, especially if you’re the type to leave your keys under the doormat or behind a potted plant (how dangerous!). 

If you’re looking to do away with bulky keys and heavy padlocks, a smart/digital lock might just be the answer to all your problems — and they can be acquired across all price points, ranging from as low as a hundred dollars to a couple of thousands. 

Smart locks vs digital locks

People usually use these terms interchangeably, but there are differences between a smart lock and a digital lock. 

Digital locks

Digital locks have simpler access methods, like a keypad, password or card that you can just tap and go, like an EZ-Link card.

Smart locks

Smart locks, on the other hand, have more sophisticated features. Many of them come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile apps and other various forms of access methods you can use to unlock your door.

One of the more popular features in smart locks is that you can unlock your door remotely even when you’re not at home. This is useful if you have family members, visitors or part-time helpers that need one-time access to your home.

Some also will allow you to create a temporary password that is available for a limited time only. 

Why should you get a smart/digital lock

1. Convenience 

Carrying your house keys around may be a tiny hassle, especially on days where you want to carry a small clutch or if you simply hate having bulky things in your pockets. 

With a smart/digital lock, you can enter your home with just a scan of your fingerprint or a tap of your card. 

2. Security

Singapore has a low crime rate, but that doesn’t mean there’s no crime. In the unlikely event of a break-in, some locks have the ability to raise alarms and alert you via a notification on your phone.

Added security measures also include anti-hacking systems to prevent breaches — a technological feature that regular metal padlocks lack.

3. No more rust from traditional padlocks 

If you live in an older apartment, rust from traditional padlocks become apparent after years of use.

As most smart/digital locks come with a layer of protective lacquer or are made from rust-free materials, you can be sure that your lock will stay pristine and sleek in the years to come. 

Things to consider when buying a smart/digital lock

What access modes would suit you best? 

Access mode Pros Cons
PIN code – No fussing around with cards or keys that you may lose
– Some locks are able to generate one-time, time-sensitive codes for visitors/part-time helpers
– Must remember passcode
Biometric door lock – Added security due to unique fingerprints
– Don’t need to remember passcodes or carry cards or keys
– Fingerprints have to be registered
– Inconvenient for elderly/people with existing health conditions who might not have fingerprints
Bluetooth-enabled mobile app – Only needs your smartphone to unlock
– Able to access and customise all functions of the lock through a mobile app
– Unable to unlock the door if your phone is out of battery/ if you accidentally leave your phone at home
RFID or card access

– Easy access via a single card
– RFID sticker may be attached to the back of your phone

– Will be locked out if you lose the card or RFID sticker 

Budget

There are smart and digital door locks that suit every kind of budget but it really boils down to how much you are willing to pay for the security of your home. There’s no point in looking for the fanciest locks and then realising that they’re out of your budget. 

If you just want the convenience of not having to bring a physical key out with you, a simple digital lock with a passcode or access card will do. But if you often have part-time helpers or visitors at your home, perhaps getting a more sophisticated smart lock would be more suitable. 

As there are many variables that can affect the cost of your lock, it is recommended that you do your own research and make sure that your lock is actually compatible with your mobile device and doors/gates (especially HDB metal gates) before taking the plunge. 

HDB metal gates are costlier

According to Interlock, it is more expensive to put an electronic lock on the metal gate than on a wooden door because additional effort and components are needed. 

More fixtures are required to mount the lock on your gate because it needs a metal enclosure to box up the rear of the digital lock. This is to prevent strangers from putting their arms through your metal gate and accessing the “open” button, which is typically located in the rear of the lock. 

All in all, a metal gate digital/smart lock may cost you approximately $600, all components inclusive.  

Battery lifespan

Most locks are powered by regular AA or AAA or 9V alkaline batteries. Most batteries can typically last about a year before they need to get replaced. According to igloohome, batteries should be changed every 8 to 10 months to prevent battery liquid leaks.

Also, avoid lithium and carbon-zinc batteries as they run out of power much faster than alkaline ones. Rechargeable batteries are not recommended as well, because they lose power with each recharge.

Electronic locks usually come equipped with a warning indicator, which will alert you when the battery is low. In cases where the power goes completely flat, most locks come with a backup power supply or a built-in emergency override system that will allow you to bypass the lock. 

To prevent the situation above, make sure to get a lock that has at least two modes of access.

Installation

Installation may or may not come free with the purchase of an electronic lock, so be sure to check with your vendor first. If it’s included in the price, great. If it’s not, you’ll have to shell out a fee of around $100 to $200. 

We know that SingSaver is all about saving money, but when it comes to installing such locks we’d recommend that you don’t skimp on this fee. 

Unless you’re a lock installer yourself, don’t ever try to DIY because complications may arise and you might end up spending more money to buy a whole new lock or even replace your entire door. Plus, your lock warranty might also be void.

Setting up your lock isn’t as simple as you’d think — some digital locks require a portion of the door to be cut out so that it can fit, and you might damage the lock’s internal mechanism in the process without even knowing. 

Opt for risk-free purchases

Since electronic locks are often big-ticket items, it can be risky to take the plunge without prior consultation and testing. Opting for a risk-free purchase not only allows you to pay in full after the installation, you’ll also be entitled to a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the product or when your lock fails to perform. 

Warranty

As your lock is still considered an electronic gadget, it is important to ensure that it comes with some sort of warranty should your device decide to give up on you shortly after installation. Having a warranty (just like insurance) provides assurance to you, the consumer, and allows you to eliminate or at least mitigate some cost when your lock requires maintenance and repairs. 

As warranty periods differ for different vendors (be it online or offline), be sure to double check with your seller on the length of warranty and what it covers should you need any after-purchase assistance.

Most popular brands of digital door locks in Singapore and their costs 

BrandAccess MethodFeaturesPower SupplyPrice
Samsung SHS-2920 Digital Door Lock– RFID key tag- PIN number- NFC USIM CHIP – Automatic/manual lock mode
– Fire alarm
– Emergency system
– Anti-prank alarm
– Force break-in alarm
– Anti-hacking alarm
– Pick-proof
– Status/error notification
– Easy install functionality
– Random security code feature
– One-touch security setup
– Keypad volume control
– Low battery warning signal
– 9V battery back-up
X4 1.5V AA alkaline batteries$116.90 on Shopee
Gateman G-Swipe Digital Door Lock– Fingerprint
– PIN number
– English voice guide 
– Double-action “open” button
– Two modes of user management: Normal (simplified for home use) and Master (advanced for office/tenanted use)
– Automatic/manual lock mode
– Low battery indicator
– Emergency 9V external battery terminal
4x 1.5V AA alkaline batteries$165 on Shopee
SINGGATE BTO HDB Metal Gate Digital Lock FM019– Fingerprint
– Password
– Emergency keys 
– Dual-way verification
– Emergency USB charging
– Random security code feature
– Anti-black box
– Anti-prying lock and tamper alarm 
– Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
Built-in rechargeable lithium battery$399 on Shopee
Yale YDR4110+ Fingerprint Digital Door Lock (Rim Lock)– PIN code
– Fingerprint
– Smart touchpad
– Operation status notification
– Missing key invalidation
– Automatic locking
– Alarm (break/damage/fire)
– Low battery indicator
– Emergency 9V external battery terminal
– Voice guide
4x 1.5V AA alkaline batteries$419.90 on Lazada
Samsung SHP-DR708 Digital Lock– PIN code
– Fingerprint
– Mechanical keys
– Mobile app- Wi-fi access
– Soft touch push and pull handle  
– Voice guidance feature 
– Safety push button
– Low power indicator
– Automatic locking mode
– Fire detection sensor/anti-theft alarm/intrusion alarm
– Duration password
– View access logs
– Smart bell
– Silent mode
X8 1.5V AA alkaline batteries$629 on Lazada
Source: Shopee

Samsung SHS-2920 Digital Door Lock

Price: $116.90
Power supply: X1 9V alkaline battery
Access method:

  • RFID key tag
  • PIN number
  • NFC USIM CHIP

Features:

  • Automatic/manual lock mode
  • Fire alarm
  • Emergency system
  • Anti-prank alarm
  • Force break-in alarm
  • Anti-hacking alarm
  • Pick-proof 
  • Status/error notification 
  • Easy install functionality
  • Random security code feature
  • One-touch security setup
  • Keypad volume control
  • Low battery warning signal
  • 9V battery back-up

The most affordable on our list is the Samsung SHS-2920 Digital Door Lock, which features three modes of access. As it is only an add-on pad, you’ll still need to keep your existing door handle to enter your home. 

Source: Shopee

Gateman G-Swipe Digital Door lock with Fingerprint Scanner

Price: $165
Power supply: 4x AA alkaline batteries
Access method:

  • Fingerprint
  • PIN number

Features:

  • English voice guide 
  • Double-action “open” button
  • Two modes of user management: Normal (simplified for home use) and Master (advanced for office/tenanted use)
  • Automatic/manual lock mode
  • Low battery indicator
  • Emergency 9V external battery terminal

Users with dry or thinner skin, especially the elderly, may face difficulties using the lock’s fingerprint access. To gain access to their homes, they may use the PIN number pad instead. An additional RF remote controller/receiver also can be bought separately if you wish to have a third mode of access. 

Source: Full Smart Technology

SINGGATE BTO HDB Metal Gate Digital Lock FM019

Price: $399
Power supply: Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
Access method:

  • Fingerprint
  • Password
  • Emergency keys 

Features:

  • Dual-way verification
  • Emergency USB charging
  • Random security code feature
  • Anti-black box
  • Anti-prying lock and tamper alarm 
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium battery

SINGGATE is a local brand, with their locks specially designed for Singaporean homes. If you have typical metal gates, look no further. For $399, you’ll get free lock installation, shipping, and a two-year warranty. Plus, this lock will directly replace your existing gate lock and handle without the unsightly black box behind your gate!

Source: Yale

Yale YDR4110+ Fingerprint Digital Door Lock (Rim Lock)

Price: $419.90
Power supply: 4x AA alkaline batteries
Access method:

  • PIN code
  • Fingerprint

Features:

  • Smart touchpad
  • Operation status notification
  • Missing key invalidation
  • Automatic locking
  • Alarm (break/damage/fire)
  • Low battery
  • Emergency 9V external battery terminal
  • Voice guide

Yale is one of the world’s most trusted brands when it comes to home security. The YDR4110+ model is most suitable for residential purposes, and it comes with two access solutions to your home. With innovative features such as alarms and automatic locking, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to lock your door ever again!

Samsung SHP-DR708 Digital Lock
Source: Samsung

Samsung SHP-DR708 Digital Lock

Price: $629
Power supply: 8x AA alkaline batteries
Access method:

  • PIN code
  • Fingerprint
  • Mechanical keys
  • Mobile app
  • Wi-fi access

Features:

  • Soft touch push and pull handle  
  • Voice guidance feature 
  • Safety push button
  • Low power indicator
  • Automatic locking mode
  • Fire detection sensor/anti-theft alarm/intrusion alarm
  • Duration password
  • View access logs
  • Smart bell
  • Silent mode

The most expensive and fanciest of the lot (but still considered reasonably priced in the market) is the Samsung SHP-DR708 Digital Lock that comes with five different modes of entry. 

You can also set a temporary password to allow visitor access for a certain period of time and track their entrances/exits via a mobile app. As an added security feature, this lock will prompt you to tap two randomly-chosen digits before entering your real code, making it impossible for intruders to guess your password based on fingerprint smudges. 

If you have a little child or often enter/exit your home late at night, there is an option to adjust the volume or mute the key tone or the door opening melody. 

Read these next:
FWD Home Insurance (Review): Comprehensive Cover At Low Premiums
HDB Loan Vs Bank Loan: Which One Should You Go For?
Guide To Property Investment In Singapore
How To Sell Your HDB DIY-style, And Save On Property Agent Commission
Ultimate Guide To Home Renovation In Singapore


By Kendra Tan
Avid promo code hunter and haggler. Kendra doesn’t like paying full price for anything. She’s the best person to bring along if you’re travelling on a budget.