Even as we continue to modernise our lifestyles with technology, there is no denying that we do get lazier in the process, of not having to climb stairs as we take the escalator, or cut cooking prep time with the use of food processors. But there are instances where technology can benefit by cutting the unnecessary, and nothing beats having the ease of simply pushing and pulling your home’s main door without fumbling around for keys to enter your home.
Homegrown smart home brand igloohome has been working on adding more features to their range of smart door locks and itsigloohome’s Push-Pull Mortise, which rids your door of the usual knob, handle, and even keys makes entering and leaving your home a truly effortless gesture for anyone living in the home.
The igloohome Push-Pull Mortise smart lock comes in at a slightly smaller overall footprint than our previously reviewed Smart Mortise 2+, measuring at 35cm tall, 8cm wide and 7cm handle depth, on both the inside and outside of the door. Appearance-wise, the all-black smart lock looks extremely clean and premium, with a nice matte finish that should stand the test of time. The push-pull mechanism has a smooth, solid feel to it, and overall design of the look exudes a clean, minimalist finish with simply an “igloohome” logo placed at the bottom. It comes packed with 2 RFID tags, 2 RFID stickers and 5 keys (in the unlikely situation where you’ll need to manually unlock the door).
The installation was a breeze as the installer took about 2 hours to remove my existing 11-year-old Samsung digital lock (with handle) and install the new one. Installation is a free service provided by igloohome and if you already have an old digital door lock, there will be no need to drill any additional holes. However, if you are upgrading from a traditional door lock, expect the installation time to take up to 3 hours. Either way, the workmanship provided is top-notch and professionally done.
Why would one choose a push-pull door lock over a more traditional door handle mechanism? Well, think of the situation when you’re back from a massive supermarket haul, with both hands occupied, all you need is to tap your finger on the sensor, unlock the door instantly, and push your way in with your elbow or shoulder. Say goodbye to the awkward motion of having to use your elbow or free up a hand to push down on the door handle before pushing the door in. Once you go push-pull, there’s no turning back.
The igloohome Push-Pull Mortise doesn’t just offer two or three ways to access your home, but up to six ways:
Method one is simple, as you assign a fingerprint to those living at home, or say, extended family who might visit, such as your siblings or parents. Method two is convenient for generating PINs for one-time use or recurring use, say a part-time cleaner who comes over to clean your home, or your weekly RedMart delivery guy to drop off your purchases in your home. Methods three to six are additional entry options, as backups, or even say, an RFID keycard as a spare you leave in the car, just in case.
Talk about being spoiled for choice. This is made even easier with igloohome’s accompanying phone app which has a UI that is very intuitive and well designed, making it very easy to create access for anyone in the household, be it a fingerprint, RFID keycard, PIN or Bluetooth Key. It essentially works in the exact same reliable manner as explained in great detail in our earlier review of the igloohome’s Smart Mortise 2+.
Of all the methods of unlocking the door, what we found to be used the most is the fingerprint sensor, which only takes a snappy 1 to 2 seconds for it to read and unlock instantly. Should the finger sensor fail for some reason, the easy alternative was to gently swipe on the front panel and enter the PIN. If that’s too much or a hassle, the RFID stick on the back of our phone does the trick.
Need to grant a guest temporary access to your home for one reason or another? No problem, there are two main ways to do that via the igloohome phone app. The preferred method is to generate a PIN either remotely (when away from the door) or a customized PIN via Bluetooth (when next to the door). The start/end date and timing, and even recurrence on a particular day in a week can be set for this PIN, which can be useful for part-time cleaners who come by the home on particular days.
PINs can be generated remotely anytime, and simply sent to the guest via your favourite messaging app. This is possible thanks to igloohome’s unique algoPIN™ technology that works in a similar fashion to how a banking token’s OTP works.
The other option is to create a Bluetooth Key on the phone app which is sent to the guest via a link but the downside to this is that the guest would need to also download the igloohome app and create an account in order to use the app to unlock the door. We would foresee this to be the least used option but it’s always good to have more alternatives.
Unlike other smart locks on the market that rely on a Wi-Fi connection, the igloohome Push-Pull Mortise only utilises Bluetooth, for greater security. Being a smart lock that works offline, it won’t be susceptible to Wi-Fi hacking or instability, which gives the user greater peace of mind.
The phone app also has an Activity Log where you can keep track of when the door was open or closed, and how it was unlocked and by who. This is a very handy feature especially when you have teenagers in your home and when curfews have been set, you’ll know if they have been kept or not.
For homes with very young children or pets, there is a relatively discrete manual override switch on the underside of the door handle which will disable the handle from the inside of the door, preventing them from opening the door from the inside.
The smart lock is powered by four AA batteries, which can power the smart lock up to 10 months of usage. A nice touch was how the phone app shows the current battery life and an estimate of how many more months it can last. Having used it for over a month, the battery level was still at 95%, with 8 more months to go before there’s a need to change batteries. However, igloohome does recommend that users replace the batteries every 6 months to prevent incidents of battery leakage.
What happens in the unlikely situation when the batteries run flat though? As with most digital smart locks, there is the option of using a 9V battery on the front panel of the door lock to jumpstart the lock, so you can use your PIN to get in. If that fails for some reason, there is always the physical key which you can use via a flap at the base of the lock to manually unlock the door.
Over the past month of usage, fingerprint detection had no issues at all for adults. There was however a noticeable intermittent issue when reading the fingerprints from little ones, which is to be expected, so an RFID sticker or tag might be a better option for the kids in this case. Apart from that, the smart lock worked flawlessly, and the accompanying phone app is reliable and intuitive to use.
The igloohome Push-Pull Mortise retails at S$769 inclusive of free installation. Considering that this costs only S$50 more than the Smart Mortise 2+, it’s a no-brainer if you want the convenience of an effortless push-pull door lock. Be sure to allocate 2 to 3 hours for the installation, depending on your current door setup. More importantly, don’t forget to check your door’s compatibility with the lock via this handy guide before making the jump.
In similar vein to igloohome’s Smart Mortise 2+, the phone app interface and functionality are an absolute breeze to use, with the added convenience of an effortless push-pull mechanism. If there’s ever a consideration to upgrade that traditional door lock to a digital one, this is it.
Yonk is a geek who is fortunate enough to have an equally geeky Star Wars fan for a wife, who owns a LEGO Millennium Falcon encased in a glass coffee table as their home’s centre-piece.