Ease of Use
Everyday usage and multiple users
We need to start by saying that only the Bluetooth version of this lock (UL3 BT) allows you to control the lock with a smartphone.
The other (less expensive) option (UL3) does not allow for any kind of smartphone access and all controls are accessed through the lock itself.
This could be a negative for many users, so keep that in mind if you want a lock you can control with your smartphone or if you want a lock that will integrate with other smart devices, since neither version of the lock is compatible with smart home systems/devices.
With that in mind, this lock is very simple to use. The fingerprint reader is positioned well for easy use, and the touchpad only illuminates when it senses a hand near the screen.
The numbers are bright and clear, and the lock uses “anti-peep” technology, meaning you can enter a random set of numbers before and after the access code and the lock will still open.
This will make it much more difficult for anyone watching to determine which numbers should be used in the code, or the correct order of the numbers in the code.
The fact that the lock has been rated to handle both rain and dust, and works well even in extremely cold or hot weather bumps up the score here.
If you prefer simplicity over a lot of bells and whistles, then this is definitely the lock for you.
For those reasons, we gave this smart lock a 9/10 in the ease of use category.
Smart Home System Integration
Which systems is this smart lock compatible with?
This smart lock is not compatible with any smart home systems or smart home devices, and is a stand-alone smart lock.
Because this smart lock is not compatible with any smart home devices, and doesn’t offer any additional features that would replace other smart devices (such as a doorbell camera), it gets a 1/10 rating in this category.
Ease of Installation
Installing this smart lock is pretty simple: you just need a screwdriver. You do, of course, need to remove your old lock prior to installing this one.
The online installation video is fairly easy to follow, although there are no verbal instructions with the video.
There are only a few steps, which we list below to help you make your buying decision.
- Install the new latch and strike plate that come with this lock.
- Connect the exterior lock assembly and insert the spindle.
- Attach the exterior lock assembly to the outside of the door.
- Install the interior mounting plate to the inside of the door.
- Attach the cable to the lock’s interior assembly.
- Then attach the interior lock assembly to the door.
- Finally, attach the battery pack.
Installation can be a one-person job; however, the lock itself weighs a little over five pounds, which could be difficult for some users to manage by themselves.
For those reasons, we gave this lock an 8.5/10 on installation.
Robustness of the App
What the app can do and how easy it is to use
This lock uses the U-tec app, but you can only control the lock through a smartphone if you purchase the Bluetooth version of the lock. The app does not work with the non-Bluetooth version of the lock.
It is free and works with both Android and iPhones.
The app allows you to lock and unlock the door remotely (within Bluetooth range), create up to 95 passcodes for users (which should be more than enough for most users!), see alerts when the door’s been locked or unlocked, and allows you to set temporary and permanent users.
Note: the older Ultraloq app no longer appears to be supported and the manufacturer encourages users to download the U-Tec app instead.
No matter which version of the app you use, however, you cannot remotely control this lock outside of Bluetooth range.
For those reasons, the Ultraloq (UL3 BT) gets a 7.5/10 in this category.
How this smart lock opens the door
This smart lock uses access codes to allow users entry into the door. Using a touchpad, you simply enter your unique access code.
Through the U-tec app, you can unlock or lock the door remotely through your smartphone, if the Bluetooth version of the lock is purchased, and you’re within Bluetooth range.
This lock also comes with three physical keys, with the keyhole hidden on the underside of the lock.
Finally, you can also use fingerprints to open the door if you’d prefer. The lock allows you to store up to 95 different fingerprints. Some users have reported that fingerprints need to be scanned more than once before entry is granted, while others have worked around this by saving multiple scans of their fingerprint.
Because this lock is very simple to use, allows for multiple entry options (more with Bluetooth-enabled lock), and has a physical key, it gets a 9.5/10 in this category.
This lock retails for between $199 and $249, depending on whether you purchase the Bluetooth version (UL3 BT) or the non-Bluetooth version (UL3), but we found it for as low as $137 online, and for around $155 at big box retailers.
It’s worth noting again that this smart lock does not work with wi-fi, even if you purchase the Bluetooth version. There is an Ultraloq bridge available for purchase, but it is not compatible with the UL3 or UL3 BT versions of the lock.
While some users may find the inability to connect to wi-fi or work with smart home devices a turn-off, those who don’t already have a smart home system will find a lot of options to love about this smart lock.
From the fingerprint reader to the built-in touchpad and outdoor weather ratings, this lock has a lot to offer.
While a bit pricey for a lock that doesn’t integrate with smart home systems, we feel that the fingerprint reader, outdoor weather rating, touchpad, and sheer number of users that can be added, make this lock a pretty good value for those who don’t already have a smart home hub and aren’t looking to add one.
For those reasons, this lock earns an 8.5/10 from us in the value category.
Remote Connection Type
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Both?
If purchasing the Ultraloq UL3 BT, you have a Bluetooth connection. Again, this smart lock does not connect through Wi-Fi even if the Ultraloq bridge is purchased. (The UL3 and UL3 BT locks are not compatible with the bridge.)
This means you’ll need to be within Bluetooth range to access the lock remotely (if you have the UL3 BT lock).
For this category, because only one of the two lock options offers Bluetooth, we gave the Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT a 6/10 here.
The Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT is battery powered, with a low-battery indicator built into the lock. It will also send alerts through the app when the batteries get low (for the BT version only).
It takes three AA batteries, and should have about a one-year lifespan according to the manufacturer. It’s been designed to reduce battery consumption by about 50 percent when compared to other smart locks.
There’s a low battery indicator on the lock itself, and the app (for use with the BT version) also alerts you when the batteries are low.
We balanced the cost of replacing three batteries at once (and the frequency of replacing the batteries) against the low-battery warning feature built into the lock and the app, and gave the Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT an 8.5/10 in this category.
Lock attachment or full lock?
This is a complete locking system and comes with a full latch assembly in addition to the touchpad and other components. This is considered to be the safest type of smart lock when compared to those that simply attach to an existing lock.
However, this smart lock does not use a deadbolt.
This lock is hefty and solid, and is a complete locking system, not an attachment. However, because it’s not a deadbolt, we gave the Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT a 7.5/10 here.
Keys or Completely Keyless Entry?
This lock allows for both options, and has some great features thrown in, such as the built-in fingerprint reader.
The Bluetooth version allows you to unlock the door via smartphone, and you can also type an access code into the touchpad if you’d prefer.
Because there are multiple options for getting in, including by using a physical key, we gave this lock an 8.5/10.
This smart lock comes with an 18-month warranty on the electronic components, and a limited lifetime warranty on the mechanical and finish.
While not bad, we’ve seen other smart locks with a two- or three-year warranty for the electronic components.
Because the warranty isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as some of the smart locks we’ve seen, the Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT earns itself an 8/10 here.
This smart lock is waterproof and dustproof, and has been IP65 rated, meaning it’s ideal for outdoor use, a rarity among smart locks.
The Ultraloq UL3 BT has a knock-to-open feature, where you can knock on the phone and unlock the door.