Samsung Digital Door Locks: Thou shall not exit your home!

“You shall not leave the house!”. Image courtesy of theguardian.com.

Last updated: 10 Nov 2021

I was preparing to go out for an appointment, was early with half an hour to spare. However, I was destined never to make that appointment that day; Samsung had the last say.

Unlawful Imprisonment?

Whenever we hear of “unlawful imprisonment”, we expect secret police, malicious dictators, fatal attraction a la movie “Misery”, etc.

No, I’m not saying that Samsung loves my blogs so much that Samsung unlawfully imprisoned me to my house and forced me to write blogs for Samsung’s demented pleasure. But there was imprisonment nonetheless, and certainly not lawful.

If you currently use the push-pull models of Samsung digital door locks, you really should stop reading this article, go trade-in your door lock that has a fatal design flaw, buy the lever-type door lock at 20% discount, and swear off all Samsung push-pull door locks.

If you don’t yet know what a Samsung push-pull digital door lock is (so you’re safe), or you just wanna have fun reading how this ridiculous design made it to market, read on!

“We invented the door, but it’s missing a handle”

My Samsung digital door lock was the push-pull model (like this one). The idea for the push-pull was that opening/closing the door should be as simple and intuitive as pushing in through the entrance or pulling the door close behind us. There was no conventional door handle to rotate as the additional first step to operating a door.

Look ma, no door handle! Just push or pull!

Unfortunately, Samsung did not mechanically translate that push-pull force into the rotational force required to retract/insert the tenon in the mortise-tenon contraption.

Mortise (left) and Tenon (right). Image courtesy of wikipedia.

Samsung certainly didn’t try. The push-pull-rotate mechanical design is already on the market.

Video courtesy of Brink’s

Enter at your own risk, and never leave!

The only manual override that opens the door lock is from the outside. There’s a keyhole in the bottom of the outside unit for a high-security key (no key makers in the market can duplicate this for you).

And on the inside? Welcome to the odd, new world of unlawful imprisonment! Your Samsung digital door lock controls you!

Any kind of shock to the internal circuits of the digital door lock will cause a malfunction, which almost always means the lock refuses to open without a physical key. And where is the keyhole for that physical key? It’s on the outside!

If the wind slams your door, call the fire department to break down the door. If a vandal heats up and damages the lock, call the fire department immediately, not your local locksmith. (No, the lock does not automatically open at 158 Fahrenheit, 70 Celsius; been there done that; tell me if you haven’t melted your lock.)

Even a random glitch in the lock can mean you’re trapped at home until the fire department comes to break down your door!

False Advertising: Fake it till customers forget about it!

Samsung continues to falsely advertise the safety risks of this lock as a safety feature. On its website, it states:

Emergency ready: In the event an emergency such as a fire or earthquake, the one step push-pull handle helps to facilitate a quick and safe escape from the house.

The false advertising attempts to mislead you into thinking that a 1-second additional step of rotating a door handle can leave you dead, engulfed by a raging fire inside the house.

“You shall be burned alive if you have to do the additional step of rotating the door handle before opening the door!”

Recall that any kind of shock to the internal circuits, such as a fire or earthquake, will damage the electronics within the lock, causing the lock to refuse to open the door at all. The only manual override is with a physical key outside your house!

Obviously, that false advertising is misdirection, taking your attention away from the fact that this lock has absolutely no way to be opened from the inside once the electronics are damaged.

“To escape from a fire inside your house, first exit through the window, then open the Samsung digital door lock from the outside.”

The Singapore distributor is honest enough to admit this fatal design flaw. However, this distributor is legally bound to keep quiet and sell you the flawed push-pull models if you don’t ask about this design flaw. Legally bound to Samsung, that is. (Fire safety laws in Singapore see your Samsung-secured door as destructible by Fire Rescue Personnel, Samsung door lock’s “insubordination mode” notwithstanding.)

False advertising is to be expected in this world. Unfortunately, Singapore does not do anything to deter, let alone stop, false advertising. And that is despite laws against false advertising. Consider that this fatal design flaw has been sold to the market for more than 7 years, even in the current push-pull models. Trade-in your fatally flawed push-pull model for a 20% discount on the safe lever-type model! Right now!

False advertising: there is no door lock; there is no dog! (image courtesy of demilked.com)

Built on Fantasy, Marketed by Drama

Why is this fatally flawed Samsung digital door lock design sold in the market? The entire design could have been an infeasible daydream inspired by fantasy. The particular fantasy is a highly popular Korean drama. From hddoor.com.sg:

“After the Korean Drama, Star Falling From The Sky, display the Samsung SHS P718 and P717 in every scene when they open or closes the door.”

(Yes, that is Singapore English, aka Singlish. Singlish is well documented in the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary. If Singaporeans can stop being workaholics, and make enough babies to form the majority of Earth’s human population, you should be prepared to learn mandatory Singlish in school. ;-) Yes, that is how languages are “officially” defined, no kidding.)

For an even more hilarious marketing blurb (and more Singlish), see point 5 at singaporedigitallock.weebly.com (“HEAVILY OUT OF STOCK THROUGHOUT ASIA”).

“After this Korea drama, stars falling from the sky have launch, the repeated scene showing the Samsung P718 have made their fans went crazy to own one of this awesome lock”

Get your Samsung push-pull digital door lock while stocks last! The Samsung lock that loves you so much, it will keep you indoors for good! Ok, no, that is sarcasm for your entertainment. Don’t get the Samsung push-pull models, ever, no kidding.

Not your friendly neighborhood Samsung

I bought that push-pull model some 7 years ago, for my father’s house, which I promptly changed to the safe lever-type lock after Samsung put me on “house arrest”. Today, the Singapore distributor told me that flaw is still firmly in place. For all 7 years, this distributor has repeatedly informed Samsung about the fatal design flaw.

My current lever-type door lock’s fingerprint scanner module has worn out (after 4 years). Apparently, the current model uses the same fingerprint scanner featured in phones, without the need for an illuminating blue light from a lamp that wears out after a few years of use.

Considering all these issues, I still think that Samsung digital door locks are well worth the money at S$800. You get biometrics access (fingerprint) or PIN codes (not both, seems like bad software programmers at Samsung?).

Just don’t pay the premium S$1000 for the Korean drama (push-pull) version, unless you intend to get the fire department to break down your door every time your door lock goes into “insubordination mode”.

“Fire Department: Madam, is your door lock a Samsung push-pull digital lock? Yes? We’re on our way now. Stay away from the door.”

The Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! (Just because, enjoy the artwork!) (Image courtesy of marvel.com)

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store