U-Tec Ultraloq UL3 Smart Lock Review
By David Ramsey
Manufacturer: U-Tec Group, Inc.
Product Name: Ultraloq
Model Number: UL3
Price As Tested: $99.99 (Amazon) (Note: Limited time offer until 1/31/16; MSRP is $269.00)
Full Disclosure: U-Tec provided the product sample used in this article.
I have had poor results with early generation smart locks – the kind you control from a Bluetooth-enabled phone – so when U-Tec offered Benchmark Reviews the opportunity to review their new Ultraloq UL3 Smart Lock, I jumped at the chance. Rather than using your phone, the Ultraloq UL3 offers access through an electronic keypad and an integrated fingerprint reader. In this article, I test the features of this lock and put it to work on a real door.
Features & Specifications
- Advanced Fingerprint Identification stores and remembers up to 95 fingerprints
- Electronic Keypad with anti-peep technology
- Hidden backup key
- Up to 1 year battery life
- Sense On
- Intuitive LCD display
Let’s open the box in the next section.
Closer Look: Ultraloq UL3 Smart Lock
Opening the somewhat heavy box reveals the inner and outer portions of the lock mechanism, as well as two large, solid metal handles and three batteries. This is not a deadbolt lock, but rather a standard “door handle” lock.
U-Tec includes everything you’ll need: installation instructions, operation instructions, latch mechanism, striker plate, a correctly-sized drill bit, screws, and a screwdriver. The only thing they don’t include is the drill. The inner and outer portions of the lock as well as the interior mounting plate have rubber gaskets around the edge: the lock is rated IP65 for water and dust resistance, and may be used on outside doors. Not shown is the cardboard template for drilling the single hole you’ll need to mount the lock.
The included drill bit is too large to fit into most home drills; oddly, U-Tec says you should not use a power drill to make the hole, but when was the last time you saw a manual twist-type drill? Fortunately you can get by with a much smaller drill bit, as you can see from the photo below the upper screw post that fits through the hole is significantly smaller than the included drill bit. However, you will want to make a hole with enough “slack” to allow minor adjustments in the lock positioning.
The lock is powered by 3 “AA” batteries, which U-Tec includes with the lock. Since the lock doesn’t have to have a motor to extend and retract a deadbolt (it moves an internal pin to engage or disengage the external handle), the batteries can easily last up to a year.
When installed and operating, you’ll see the lock’s illuminated capacitive keypad and fingerprint reader. On the keyboard there are two extra keys other than the number keys: a “back” key to erase the last digit entered, and a “return” key to indicate the end of an entry.
In the next section I show you how to install the lock.