yupULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro Review
Pros: Many smart features, compatible with most smart home platforms, charging port for when the battery dies
Cons: Requires external smart hub, initial setup can be tricky, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro offers unique features, namely fingerprint scanning, for those that want every possible smart feature you can get from a lock.
The ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro was made for people who love smart features. It offers more than most models on the market.
The most unique smart feature offered by the ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro is its fingerprint scanner. This lets you unlock the door just by tapping your finger, and negates the issue of forgetting your key or phone when leaving the house.
On top of the fingerprint scanner you can unlock the lock via a key code entered into the numeric keypad, via the app on your phone, or using a physical key by accessing the hidden key port. You can also share access via any of these avenues, and that sharing can be time constrained (with the exception of the physical key, of course). For instance, you can set the lock so that your dog walker's code or fingerprint can only unlock the lock between noon and 2 on weekdays. And, of course, you can lock and unlock the lock from anywhere you have an internet connection via your phone. No matter how you grant access to other people you can access a log of who used the lock and when.
You can also turn on geofencing, which tracks your phone and automatically unlocks the door as you pull into the driveway. Or just get close to the house. This allows for easy, hands-free unlocking.
The ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro can link to both Alexa and Google Assistant based smart home systems as well, allowing for some basic voice control. It also works well with If This Then That (IFTTT), allowing you to create more advanced ques. For example, you can set the lock to automatically lock when a compatible security camera sees motion.
Though not really a smart feature, the ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro offers a micro USB charging port that allows you to operate the lock via an external power source. This comes in handy if the lock happens to run out of battery, allowing you to gain access even if you don't have the physical key with you.
Finally, this lock offers a "magic shake" that allows you to unlock the lock simply by shaking your phone in front of it. Right now you need to open the app in order to do this, which largely defeats the purpose. However, ULTRALOQ plans to eventually allow this feature to run in the background, so you could just grab your phone and shake it to get into the door without fussing with any apps.
We had no issues with the ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro's keyless entry, the lock responded almost immediately to commands from the app, key codes, magic shakes, and geofencing.
The ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro lacks an official ANSI security rating. When we contacted customer service they told us it was modeled after Grade 2 (considered a good level for residential applications) but it is not officially certified as such. It does have auto lock settings, which automatically locks the lock after a user-determined period of inactivity. That way the lock always locks, even if you forget to do it yourself.
We found installation of the ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro to be relatively simple but potentially annoying. It wasn't too hard to get the lock physically installed in the door, but we ran into some problems when trying to link the lock to its separate smart hub. This smart hub connects the lock to your WiFi network, so it's pretty much useless without it. Eventually this worked, but we had to restart the app and unplug the hub multiple times before everything behaved. Once everything was set up we had no issues in day to day operation.
The ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro is fairly expensive, but smart locks don't come cheap in general. If you can live without its fingerprint scanner, there are some similar locks that are a bit cheaper. However, if you really want the fingerprint scanning, it's worth the extra cost.
The ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro offers more smart features than most, making it perfect for those that want as many ways to unlock their door as possible.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell