Previously, I have discussed these types of locks. Unfortunately, there are websites that put these locks on a “best deadbolt” or “best front door locks” list. This is not correct. The Ultraloq fingerprint door lock is not made to be the only lock on your front door. But it is perfect for an interior door such as storage, office, humidor, wine cellar or some other room you want to keep secure.
I have actually seen front doors with this lock installed with a deadbolt. Now that is two locks that you must lock and unlock.
The Ultraloq fingerprint lock was supposed to make unlocking your door easier people!
Now, if you do want to use this on your door you can remove the deadbolt. This does have an optional cover plate that will cover the deadbolt hole on both sides of the door if you decide to remove it.
This lock is designed for door thicknesses that are between 1 3/8″ and 1 3/4″. They do include a spring that needs to be installed in the lock if your door is over 1.65″ thick. Most interior residential doors in North America are usually 1 3/8″ but you should measure just to be sure.
If your door is 2″ or wider Ultraloq does have a thicker door kit available on their website for doors between 2 and 2-3/4 inches that they sell for $9.99.
There is not much to the installation. This locks fits in standard door cutouts so it should be easy for even a beginner DIYer just be careful not to pinch the power cable when putting the rear mounting plate on.
This Ultraloq fingerprint door lock is a little top heavy. By this I mean the lock extends about 4″ above the door cutout. For this reason Ultraloq recommends and includes a screw that attaches the top part of the lock to the door.
But don’t worry about drilling the hole for this screw in the wrong place, they have included a template which will allow perfect placement of the hole.
The lock is made for a right or left handed operating door so no worrying about which was your door opens until you get to then handle installation.
But the lock is installed the same way regardless of handing of the door. The handle goes on separately and is installed depending on the direction of the door.
Operation and Controls
Ultraloq has this lock advertised as a 5-in-1 keyless entry lock. That means there are 5 ways to access this lock:
- PIN code
- Unlock through app with BlueTooth
- Mechanical key
- Shake or knock the smartphone with app installed
The fingerprint or biometric scanner will probably be how this is opened most of the time. It is convenient and works fast. Sometimes is won’t work on the first try. If so, the scanner might be cloudy or dirty or your finger might need a little moisture. It will hold up to 95 individual fingerprints.
It is important when setting up a new user with fingerprint access that the finger is placed naturally on the scanner, as though you just walked up and put your finger down. The scanner will look for the fingerprint in exactly the same place and pressure as when the fingerprint is programmed. If the finger is not placed exactly as when it was programmed there is a chance it will not identify it.
The second most used method of access might be the pin code. It can be from 4 to an 8 digit number. After you type in the code you have to press the return button or it won’t recognize the code was entered. It will accept 95 of the PIN codes as well.
Through the app
The app works through BlueTooth and does open the door but most of the time you’ll find it easier to use the fingerprint reader. You can share ekeys with other users through the app but the other users will need the app as well.
The emergency key
The key exists however Ultraloq describes it as an emergency key. But it is not a typical key like you find on a traditional deadbolt. It’s thin and if used too much could break. It is provided in case the batteries are dead or any of the other access options won’t work. However, in spite of that the keyhole is on the bottom of the lock housing which makes it very difficult to pick or tamper with.
Shake or knock?
You can also shake or knock on your smartphone, depending on what kind of phone you have, but again most people will find it easier just to use the fingerprint or PIN code.
Things you can do with the app
The app for this lock works through BlueTooth on your phone. You can check the status of the lock and lock and unlock as necessary. You can also view users and what type of access they have – either fingerprint or code or both.
The app also keeps a log of who accessed the lock with the date and time. The locking modes that are discussed below can be toggled through the app.
You’re also able to share ekeys with people which will give them access with their smartphones.
This is a unique feature of the Ultraloq app. On the app you can put as many of these Ultraloq fingerprint locks as you want. And on the app you can clone users. So if you have one for the garage and one for a home office you don’t have to set up users for the second lock it just transfers them over.
If you use the code for access this lock has an anti-peep feature. You can input a random 16 digit access code and as long as within that string of digits the correct code is entered it will allow access.
For instance, if your code is 8888 and you push random numbers like 1238888740791857 the lock will open. This is a good feature to use if you are using this lock in public place or in a building where you could have onlookers.
Three locking modes
This lock has a passage mode whereby it can be set continuously unlocked and you will not need any credentials or a key to unlock.
It also has a lockout mode. This mode will disable all methods of unlocking except for the mechanical key.
Or you can set it to autorelock so that when the door is shut it automatically locks, no need to do anything.
Only the admin of this lock can turn these locking mode settings on or off.
Knock to open
If you have the Ultraloq app installed on your phone, you knock on your phone 4 times and it will unlock. It doesn’t require you to have your phone out either, it works while it is in your pocket. However, this method won’t work on Android phones.
Shake it open
On the other hand, if you have an Android phone with the app installed you can shake your phone and it will unlock. This method won’t work on iOS phones.
Ultraloq WiFi Bridge for Remote Access
The bridge plugs into a standard outlet and provides WiFi access to your Ultraloq. This is what is needed for you to access the lock while you’re away.
You can check the log, grant and remove access and lock and unlock remotely through the app using the WiFi bridge. Right now it sells for $49.99 on Amazon. Most of these smart locks have some sort of hub or bridge that allows remote access through WiFi. Thankfully, Ultraloq’s bridge is priced lower than most of the other ones you’ll see.
Overall Impression of the Ultraloq UL3 BT Door Lock
The unique thing about this Ultraloq fingerprint lock is that it makes sense for small businesses to use. You can add or delete fingerprints or codes in a few steps so you can easily remove that employee who quits or is terminated without worrying that they left with a key.
It would work well for a front door lock if you so choose, but I recommend adding or keeping a deadbolt as well.
I would also recommend it if you plan on using a fingerprint lock in an extreme weather locale. This lock is IP65 certified so it is waterproof and can stand extreme temperatures – from -31F to 158F. But the screen doesn’t do too well in direct sunlight.
The best use of this lock is for an interior room. The installation is easy and operates well and is easy to add or delete users.
It comes with an 18 month electronic warranty and lifetime mechanical warranty. However, customer service can be difficult to get a response from.
If you want a fingerprint lock then the Ultraloq UL3 is one I would recommend. The fingerprint scanner is one of the fastest and most reliable readers in the residential market. They have been one of the leaders in residential biometric locks for a long time.
Ultraloq UL3 BT BlueTooth Touchscreen Smart Lock
- Many locks can be used on one app
- Clone users to additional locks
- Rated for all weather types - from -31F to 158F
- Keypad lights up when senses hand in front of it
- Manufacturer states there is a 1 year battery life using 3 AA batteries
- No remote access unless you get the additional bridge
- The finish could start to pit and peel should it be exposed to weather directly for an extended period
- No ANSI or BHMA rating to determine the strength or durability
- Not compatible with smart home automation