Ease of Use
Everyday usage and multiple users
This lock should be easy to use—according to the manufacturer’s website, it can detect when your phone is near the lock and unlock/lock the door automatically (also known as geofencing).
However, multiple users reported that this feature only worked some of the time or didn’t work at all, regardless of whether the Android OS or iOS was used.
The app allows you to add many users, but it was reported that all users are given unlimited access and then must be deleted when access is no longer necessary.
Others noted that the wi-fi connection was spotty and required multiple resets and recalibrations.
This lock should be easy to use, but unfortunately, it still has too many issues. For those reasons, we gave the Friday Labs smart lock a 6/10.
Smart Home System Integration
Which systems are this smart lock compatible with?
The Friday Labs smart lock is only compatible with Apple HomeKit, and this is also the only way you can have wi-fi access to control the lock remotely.
It was reported that the Apple Home app doesn’t offer much functionality with the lock, and it doesn’t integrate with any other smart devices or systems.
Because this smart lock is only compatible with Apple HomeKit, and there were more negative experiences of how it integrated with the system than positive ones, it gets a 5/10 here.
Ease of Installation
Installing this smart lock was a mixed bag. About half of users felt it was fairly simple to install, and about half struggled.
There is an online instruction video on how to put the lock together.
There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.
- Remove the old thumb turn on the inside of the door.
- Install the Friday Labs smart lock using the existing screw holes.
- Insert the tailpiece adapter and battery.
- Snap on the “shell” or exterior housing.
This lock gets a 7/10 on installation because it should be easy, but many users felt it wasn’t.
Robustness of the App
What the app can do and how easy it is to use
The Friday Home app allows for true remote access if you have Apple HomeKit; otherwise, it uses Bluetooth. The app is free and works with both Android phones and iPhones.
This app will tell you exactly who locked or unlocked the door, and notifies you when the door is locked or unlocked.
This is one of the few apps we’ve seen that lets you monitor several locks at once without having to create separate “owners” for each lock in order to monitor and control all of them.
You can also use the Apple Home app if you have Apple HomeKit, but your options are limited to locking or unlocking the door.
Multiple users noted that the Friday Home app didn’t have all the functionality reported on the website and that it was glitchy more often than not.
Because functionality is incredibly limited with the Apple Home app, and the Friday Home app has been reported to be unreliable, the Friday Labs smart lock gets a 6.5/10 here.
How this smart lock opens the door
This smart lock automatically locks or unlocks the door when it senses your phone is nearby. It also can be locked or unlocked remotely when paired with Apple HomeKit.
And, since the lock works with your existing deadbolt, there’s always the option to use a
a physical key.
Because it gives users the option for a physical key or keyless entry, the Friday Labs smart lock gets an 8/10 in this category.
This lock retails for $299. Your best bet may be to order directly from the manufacturer, even though it is available through Amazon, as Friday Labs has previously informed Amazon purchasers that their locks were obtained “illegally” and warranties would not be honored.
BestBuy no longer carries this lock, and it was unclear why at the time of this writing.
Honestly, due to the many software glitches and reported problems with the lock’s functionality from both Android and Apple users, we can’t say that this lock is a good value for the price.
For the many software and app issues, including inconsistent wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, we think this lock is pretty overpriced.
Remote Connection Type
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?
This smart lock uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and has wi-fi through Apple HomeKit.
If you don’t have Apple HomeKit, you’re stuck using the lock within the Bluetooth range.
Because you have the option for both Bluetooth and wi-fi connections, but you can only access wi-fi if you have an Apple HomeKit, we gave the Friday Labs smart lock a 7.5/10 here.
The Friday Labs smart lock is battery powered, using one rechargeable lithium battery. The charge should last about three months, according to the manufacturer.
It comes with its own USB charger—but, of course, when you charge the battery, you won’t be able to use the lock, unless you happen to have a spare that exactly fits the requirements of this lock.
The app also tracks battery life for you, which is convenient.
We balanced the cost-savings of not purchasing new batteries against the inconvenience of not being able to control the lock while charging the battery, and the low-battery warning in the app, and gave this smart lock a 7.5/10 in this category.
Lock attachment or full lock?
This is a lock attachment that fits over your existing deadbolt. It works with most (but not all) single-cylinder deadbolts. A few users noted that it will not work with Kwikset deadbolts, however.
This type of smart lock is not considered as safe as one that comes with the entire locking mechanism.
The lock seems to be fairly well-made as far as the inner components go, so we gave the Friday Labs smart lock a 7/10 here.
Keys or Completely Keyless Entry?
Because this lock attaches to your existing deadbolt (on the inside of the door), you can still use a key like always, or use the lock’s phone sensing feature to lock or unlock the door when you approach.
You can also use the app to remotely lock or unlock the door if you’d prefer.
However, because of the known problems with the app and remote access, we can only give this lock a 7/10 for having a physical key and allowing for keyless entry.
This lock comes with a two-year warranty. It is unclear, however, what exactly is covered by the warranty, as the manufacturer’s website only states it’s a two-year “world-wide” warranty, without noting whether that applies to the electronic components, the mechanical parts, or both.
Other smart locks on the market have more clearly defined (and easily accessible) warranty information, and coverage of up to three years for electronic components and limited-lifetime for mechanical and finish.
Because of the vague two-year warranty, we have to give the Friday Labs smart lock a 6/10 here.
The Friday Labs smart lock uses geofencing to automatically lock or unlock the door when you’re nearby.