I bought the Gateman WF10 digital lock for my home. My first step towards a smart home should start from the entrance. It’s one of those gadgets which I have really appreciated after using it – simple, secure, convenient.
The Gateman WF10 is a handle-less digital rim lock that provides biometric (ie fingerprint recognition) and pin number access. It is easy on the budget too (I bought it directly from Korea through Qoo10) and it is quite the popular choice for homes. I installed it alongside my existing lock set so I can still lock it the traditional way if required. Gateman designs and manufactures digital door lock for the Yale brand. Korea is a huge proponent of digital door locks and Gateman is widely used there. If you are worried about the brand, this model is the same as Yale YDR4110 but it is assembled in Korea (not China) and is significantly cheaper.
- User selectable PIN number from 4 to 12 digits
- Record up to 20 fingerprints
- Manual or automatic lock setting (after it senses that door has closed)
- Burglar alarm on force detection
- fire detection sensor (Above 75 degree Celsius) – auto unlock
- Open door with fake password
- Korea voice/melody/mute (selectable) for normal operations; Korean voice guide during programming
- The life span of the battery is 1 year (with the usage of 10 times per day)
- Emergency external battery terminal and low battery alarm
- Able to install remote controller
Advantages of the WF10 Digital Lock
- NO MORE KEYS. You won’t have to carry around a large set of keys and they will be less likely to be lost or stolen. Also, if you are a landlord, you don’t have to give residents keys or replace them if they lose them.
CONTROL. For friends and family, you can allow people to enter without a key. Only a guest PIN code without the need of duplicating keys. It is actually more secure this way and you can easily change the PIN code whenever you like.
SECURE. Fingerprint access means less chance for people to steal your PIN. If you use your pin and there are people around you, you can either (1) enter a fake combination followed by the real PIN or (2) enter the real PIN followed by the fake combination before touching with your palm or the * key to end.
Disadvantages of the WF10 Digital Lock
- FINGERPRINT SENSOR NOT UP TO MARK. I have been spoilt on fast and accurate fingerprint sensors from mobile phones. Initially, I felt the fingerprint reader to be quite difficult to use and required multiple retries. So much so that I switched to using PIN instead. It requires you to swipe your finger through and there’s a certain technique to it. I recently took the time to get the hang of it and now opening it is easier but not as slick as using my phone.
- ONLY 1 PIN COMBINATION. I would have preferred if I could set a temporary Guest PIN to pass to family / friends and then disable it subsequently. In this instance, you would have to over ride your password PIN as it would be deleted when the new password is registered.
NO BATTERY. The WF10 operates on 4 AAA batteries and if you forget to change them(it will warn you), you would have to buy a 9V battery to temporarily power it up.
HARDWARE FAILURE. I guess this would be my biggest worry since there is no mechanical key over ride. However, Yale and Gateman are big brands and I think support / information would be accessible. This is also a popular model and feedback till date has been positive.
I don’t really like to bring keys out but a typical HDB has two main locks, the gate followed by the door. In this case, I installed the digital lock on the door and retain the lock + key set on my gate lock. I would leave the metal gate unlocked when I go downstairs or going for a jog, but would still lock it for longer periods. I am still looking around for an affordable gate digital lock set / combination. If you want a cheap installer / DIY kit for the Gateman WF10 for metal gate, check out Delockbox from Handyman which looks reasonably priced. I didn’t try it though.
Otherwise, I think this Gateman WF10 is quite value for money. The Korean voice prompt and manual is of no help but the english manual comes in really handy. It’s strange, most sellers don’t make the translated manual publicly available. Instead, they will email you a horribly translated copy. Instead, just refer to the Yale manual, which I have uploaded to my Dropbox.
You can find this model from the local installers such as Interlock or An Digital Lock and more. They typically price it at around 300+ which includes installation. The Yale model sells for even more expensive. I bought it from GoniGlobal Qoo10 – shipping was via Fedex and I received it after 3 days. I paid $120 ($153 base price + $10 shipping, offset $10 item coupon, $20 cart coupon, $3 QMoney rebate, $10 QooPoints, credit card rebates). For installation, I got it from Intergizmo which is also available through Qoo10 but prices have gone up. I paid $58 ($100 base price, offset $10 item coupon, $20 cart coupon, $2 Qmoney rebate, $10 QooPoints, credit card rebates). The installation service was professional – He arrived on time (highly appreciated) and the digital lock installation was completed within half an hour.
Total Price for the Gateman WF10 Digital Lock + Installation – $180
So, that’s the start to my journey to a Smarter home. If you want something nicer looking, the Samsung P910 Push / Pull digital lock was a strong contender for me, but the hassle of replacing the lockset and the price (about $200 more), I picked the Gateman WF-10 in the end. I would recommend going with an installer unless you are pretty handy with tools, and also have a 32mm hole drill available.