When I decided to purchase and review the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi Smart Lock, I frankly wasn't expecting much. I wasn't too familiar with the brand, it only had a 3-star rating on Amazon (more on that below), and it looked similar to all the other knockoff smart locks littering the pages of Amazon.
But as I set it up and began testing it, I quickly grew to love this lock—even going so far as to place it #1 on my list of the best smart locks of 2023.
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi offers a metric-megaton of six methods to access your home, including a fingerprint scanner, a sleek circular number keypad, location-based auto-unlock, and even a backup key cylinder.
The app is streamlined and fast, user management is highly customizable, and the biometric fingerprint scanner is among the best I’ve seen on a consumer product. This lock has every smart feature you can think of, and they all work exceptionally well.
It has great security for a smart lock—offering anti-peep codes, event logs, smart notifications, and even does a splendid job hiding the backup key cylinder.
The only drawback is it doesn't support Apple HomeKit, and it leans on the pricier side of smart lock options. But if that’s not a dealbreaker for you, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi is the smart lock you should try.
Below you will find my comprehensive review of every aspect of this lock:
- Design, Quality, and Operation
- Key Features and Performance
- Security Features
- Battery Life & Maintenance
- Connectivity & Integrations
- Mobile App
- Ultraloq U-Bolt Models Compared
- Debunking Poor Amazon Reviews
- Verdict and Final Thoughts
Note: The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi is the upgraded model to the older Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge. This updated model includes a door sensor, auto lock, and built-in Wi-FI. No hub is required!
Design, Quality, and Operation - 9/10
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is a complete lockset replacement and operates just like a traditional deadbolt—complete with an interior thumb turn. Despite the impression one might get from online images, this lock is far from a flimsy plastic device and is actually built extraordinarily well.
The U-Bolt Pro feels solid, and there is a heftiness when holding it that gives you confidence that it is durable and secure. During the installation process, there was never a moment where it felt fragile or like I would break something.
It has a matte black and grey color palette and a sleek modern design, which will bring a nice futuristic vibe to any door. Additionally, the U-Bolt Pro features an IP65 weatherproof rating, ensuring its ability to withstand various weather conditions—from scorching heat to bitter cold.
While the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi Smart Lock offers many benefits, it does have a few minor drawbacks. The electronic locking and unlocking mechanism produces a noticeable noise, which could be a nuisance for some users. Additionally, the matte black faceplate has a tendency to collect fingerprints, requiring occasional cleaning to maintain its polished appearance.
Overall, the quality of the U-Bolt Pro is top-notch. The design is clean and modern, and it operates like smooth butter.
Ultraloq U-Bolt Installation - 9/10
- Installation Difficulty: Easy
- Required Time: 15 minutes
- Required Tools: Philips Screwdriver
- Backset: Adjustable to 2 3/8“ or 2 3/4”
- Door Thickness: Must be between 1 3/8“ & 1 3/4”
Setting up the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro was an absolute breeze, and I had it installed and working within 15 minutes. As someone with lots of experience replacing deadbolts, I found the process familiar, but even if you've never installed a deadbolt before, there's no need to worry. The lock comes with a well-illustrated instruction booklet that is easy to follow and will guide you every step of the way. Also, if you prefer visual aids, simply scan the included QR codes to access helpful YouTube videos.
The lock is designed to work with both inward and outward swinging doors, and the bolt can travel left or right, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of setups.
Regarding the initial setup, this lock offers flexibility with the option to use the U-Tech mobile app (available for iOS and Android) or go for a standalone setup without an app or network integration. Adding the lock to the app and connecting it to your home Wi-Fi network is a straightforward process that only takes about five minutes. The app guides users seamlessly through the entire setup, leaving no room for confusion. Setting up an ADMIN code, adding fingerprints, and creating additional users is hassle-free.
Overall, the installation and setup of this smart lock are incredibly user-friendly, and the integration with the app and your home network is smooth and hassle-free.
Key Features and Performance - 10/10
The Ultraloq U-Bolt is packed with rich features, and overall they all work very well.
This section will explore exactly what this lock can do and how well it does it.
Easy User Access Management:
One of my favorite features of this lock is its approach to user management. Creating and eradicating user access codes is simple and adaptive to various situations (fantastic for Airbnb).
The U-Bolt Pro enables the creation of various user access categories:
- Permanent User: Perfect for family members, cohabitants, or long-term renters. These codes grant continuous access to your property.
- Temporary User: Intended for guests, maintenance workers, or temporary occupants. These codes permit restricted access with customizable dates and times and the option for one-time or repeated use.
The flexibility of the temporary access codes is particularly impressive, as they can be created for use with the keypad, fingerprint scanner, or mobile app. In the app, you can easily disable or remove temporary users, enhancing security and management to ensure only authorized individuals can enter.
You can also easily send these access codes via email, text message, or the u-tec app, allowing seamless integration into your access management routine.
Six Modes of Access:
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro markets the devices as having six methods of unlocking the device. Let's look at each of them and discuss how well they actually work.
Spoiler! They all perform well.
1. PIN Access Codes & Keypad
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro has a sleek, backlit keypad that brings a sense of modernity and convenience to your doorstep. With digits 0-9 stylishly arranged in a circular fashion, the lock makes a statement in both aesthetics and functionality. Having personally tried the keypad, I found it responsive and easy to use in various lighting conditions.
One of the benefits of this keypad is the flexibility to choose a 4 to 8-digit code, accommodating users with varying preferences for security and memorability.
2. Fingerprint Access
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro incorporates a biometric fingerprint scanner that simplifies entry without the need for codes or keys and can store an impressive 100 fingerprints, accommodating up to 50 users (2 fingerprints per person).
This thing is impressive and quick! It recognized my finger instantly—simply tapping the scanner was enough for it to read my print and unlock the device. There were rare instances when the scanner failed on the first attempt, which was quickly resolved with a second try.
To further assess its reliability, I tried using other fingers and even had others attempt to gain entry. The U-Bolt Pro consistently denied false access and notified me of each unsuccessful attempt through the mobile app (see U-Bolt Security Features below).
The manufacturer claims that the fingerprint scanner is “self-improving” and uses an AI-based algorithm that continually improves its accuracy over time. Pretty cool.
In the past, I’ve been very against consumer-grade biometric locks. They’ve always been janky, unreliable, and plagued with security vulnerabilities—often granting access to nearly anyone with a finger. However, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro's implementation of biometrics has won my confidence. It’s one of the best I’ve seen yet.
Note: The fingerprint scanner may be less dependable in extreme weather or if your fingers are wet or dirty.
3. Mobile App
The mobile application is available for both Android and iOS platforms. With the app, you can quickly lock and unlock the device at the push of a button. It also displays the status of your door lock.
You can use the app to unlock your device from anywhere in the world if you have internet access.
In my opinion, it’s not the best primary method for unlocking the device. Loading the app and connecting to the device is a little slow (sometimes taking up to 15 seconds). But it is a critical feature to have, and for what it is, it works well.
The mobile app includes an auto-unlocking feature using a “geofence." This feature uses your phone's GPS to create a virtual boundary around your lock (geofence). When a user's registered device, such as a smartphone, enters or exits this designated area, the smart lock automatically locks or unlocks (see U-Bolt Auto Lock/Unlock).
This provides convenient and hands-free access to your home, and setting up the feature requires just a few taps within the mobile app.
I put this feature to the test dozens of times, encountering zero hiccups along the way, and I must say, I'm quite fond of it.
Note there are other smart locks that offer geofencing.
5. Physical Backup Key
The lock has a backup key cylinder cleverly hidden behind the front faceplate. It’s great to have a backup keyway in case the batteries die, but it's even better that it is hidden.
We’ll discuss the details and security aspects of this backup key cylinder below (see Ultraloq Security). But to sum it up, this lock is much more secure than the majority of traditional deadbolts—due mostly to the lock's intelligent features like smart notifications.
6. Apple Watch
While the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi doesn't directly support HomeKit, you can use the U-tec App by the Apple Watch, allowing you to operate your Ultraloq smart lock with a simple tap on your wrist.
You will need to be within proximity of the lock to successfully use this feature.
Smart notifications are an incredible feature that alerts you with mobile notifications whenever someone enters or exits your home or if your door is left open (when utilizing the included door sensor). They provide real-time updates and allow you to monitor your device from anywhere in the world.
Ultraloq did a wonderful job implementing this feature, providing the ability to create and personalize various types of smart notifications, such as,
- Alerts for specific users (will notify you of the name of the user)
- Notifications when the physical backup key is used
- Verification alerts when the device auto-locks
Something I really like is that you can dial in and really customize your smart notifications. You can select specific days and time periods during which these alerts are active. They’re also fast, notifying me within seconds of unlocking the device, and each event is logged on your mobile app for reference (see Event Logging).
Smart notifications are among a smart lock's most vital and essential features, and Ultraloq has certainly hit a home run with this device.
The Anti-Peep Code is a modern and clever feature that provides an extra layer of security for your access code. It works by allowing you to enter additional random digits before and after your actual PIN, creating a longer, more complex sequence that is harder for prying eyes to decipher.
You can use up to 16 digits for your vague code, so there's plenty of room to add in extra numbers. All you have to do is make sure your actual PIN is included somewhere in the sequence, and the lock will open.
For instance, you could enter your access code as "12345," and the Anti-Peep Code would accept any assortment of digits as long as your actual code is included somewhere in the sequence. This means that codes like "8844123458844," "1234588448844," and "8844884412345" are all valid and will open the lock.
Another feature done incredibly well with the U-Bolt Pro smart lock is event logging.
Event logging records data related to lock access events—such as entry attempts (both successful and unsuccessful), lock status changes, and user activity. This data allows homeowners to keep a watchful eye on access history, identify suspicious activities, and ensure accountability for authorized users.
The logged events for the U-Bolt Pro are detailed, providing crucial information, such as:
- The date and time of the event
- The type of unlock method used (e.g., fingerprint, keypad, app, or key)
- The specific user involved
- Any failed attempts, as well as the type of entry attempted
Any good smart lock should include event logs. It’s an essential feature that makes smart locks preferable to traditional deadbolts.
Overall, the U-Bolt Pro smart lock excels in event logging. It stores the most recent 1000 logs, has an intuitive interface, and has a detailed log of all events.
Other Features I Tested:
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi offers a plethora of additional features beyond its primary functions, further enhancing user convenience and security. These features include:
- Auto Lock: The lock can be programmed to automatically engage between 10 seconds and 5 minutes after being unlocked or when the door sensors detect that the door has been closed. This ensures that your home remains secure even when you're in a rush or simply forgetful.
- Door Status: Worried you might have left the door unlocked? The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi allows you to check the status of your door remotely. So you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is secure, no matter where you are.
- Standalone Mode: For users who prefer not to rely on the mobile app, the lock offers a "standalone mode." This option allows you to program and manage most of the lock's features using the integrated numeric keypad.
- Lockout Mode: When activated, this mode disables all electronic features, including fingerprint recognition, access codes, and the smartphone app. This leaves only the physical backup key as a means of entry. This feature is essential for situations where you want to limit access to your home, such as during vacations or when you're away for an extended period.
Overall, these supplementary features, along with the main ones listed earlier, contribute to a well-rounded and reliable device.
Throughout my review of the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi smart lock, I found all these features to work seamlessly and effectively.
Security Features - 8/10
Overall, the security of the U-Bolt Pro is worthy of a thumbs up.
It comes loaded with all types of smart security features such as Smart Alerts, Events Logs, Anti-Peep Codes, and Auto-Lock—which we covered in-depth above (see Key Features).
To safeguard your data and privacy, the U-Bolt Pro employs 128-bit AES encryption, which is one of the most secure encryption methods available. Encryption protects your personal information from hacking attempts and other potential threats. Additionally, easy user management gives you full control over who has access to your home and when.
In regards to physical security, it has an ANSI Grade 1 rating, which is the highest rating a lock can achieve. This means it is incredibly durable, highly resistant to forced entry, and suitable for both commercial and heavy-duty residential applications.
The lock does a great job hiding the backup keyhole. The faceplate doesn't pull off easily, and unless someone has seen this lock before, it’s unlikely they’ll ever know there is a hidden keyway. This adds an extra layer of security, as a keyhole that cannot be found is one that cannot be exploited.
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Battery Life and Maintenance - 8/10
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi model runs on four AA batteries, which get this… are included! Installing and changing the batteries is a hassle-free process that can be completed within a minute.
It's capable of supporting up to 8000 unlocks, which gives it an average lifespan of between 3-6 months. I’m actually impressed with this battery lifespan considering this device has built-in Wifi—which is a total power leech on smart devices. However, you can nearly triple your battery life by disabling remote access features and simply using the keypad, fingerprint scanner, or key. Keep in mind that this choice will also disable smart home integrations.
Monitoring the battery life is a breeze with the mobile app, and when the batteries are running low, the app will send you notifications alerting you of low power. In addition to the mobile app, the lock itself will flash red LEDs as a visual warning.
In the event that the battery dies, there are two options available for unlocking the device. First, you can use the backup key, so it's a good idea to have one hidden or on your person as a failsafe. Alternatively, you can jump-start the lock using the micro USB port at the bottom of the device by connecting it to a standard 5V battery pack.
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wifi smart lock requires minimal maintenance. The primary tasks involve changing the batteries when necessary and periodically updating the firmware.
Updating the firmware of this lock is easy, and it's easy to see if any updates need to be back in the settings of the app. I had a firmware update upon receiving the lock. It took about a minute to complete, and it was easy to begin the process with a single tap.
It's a good idea to change the batteries when the power starts to dwindle. Low power can cause smart devices to malfunction in all sorts of ways, such as the fingerprint scanner being unreliable and Wifi connectivity issues. Consider investing in rechargeable AA batteries and keeping an extra set on hand for when the power starts to get low.
To enhance security, it's highly recommended that you change your account password every six months, opting for unique and strong passwords. A password manager like NordPass can be an effective tool for managing this task.
Connectivity and Integrations - 9/10
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz)
- Integrations: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Wifi model has built-in Wi-Fi and offers Bluetooth and 2.4GHz bandwidth connections—it does not support 5 GHz. Connecting the device to your network is seamless, and I never experienced any connection drops turning the testing phase.
You can also buy the U-Bolt Pro Z-Wave model of this lock, which is compatible with Z-Wave hubs (see Other Models).
While it does not offer HomeKit support or direct integration with other smart home devices, the U-Bolt Pro Wifi is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT.
IFTTT integration allows for limitless automation possibilities, enabling you to create custom applets that trigger specific actions, such as turning on lights when you unlock the door or sending a notification if the door is left unlocked for an extended period.
Overall this lock offers a lot of flexibility when connected to a smart ecosystem.
Mobile App - 10/10
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro has a dedicated mobile app called “u-tec“ that hits all the right marks. It’s lightning-fast, easy to navigate, and even a first-time smart lock user can get the hang of it in no time.
The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It can also be installed on Apple Watches for quick, convenient control of your lock right from your wrist (refer to Modes of Access)
The u-tec app offers extensive management capabilities. Whether it's adding or deleting users, accessing event logs to monitor activity, or customizing your lock to your preferences, you can control virtually every aspect of your smart lock.
It also provides real-time notifications for lock activity, such as successful or failed access attempts and low battery alerts. The notifications are fast, often arriving within 2 to 3 seconds after the event.
For those managing Airbnb properties or other rentals, the app allows you to create locations and assign individual locks to each one, simplifying overall management.
Amazon Reviews: Addressing the Critics
This lock has a pretty low rating on Amazon, but after diving into the reviews, it appears most users had issues with the fingerprint scanner. I found no issues with this aspect of the lock and believe most of the negative reviews are from common challenges associated with setting up fingerprint scanners and not the lock itself.
To optimize the performance of the fingerprint scanner, users should be mindful of the following tips during the setup process:
- Varied Angles: When registering fingerprints, the device typically prompts you to touch the scanner multiple times. Ensure that you adjust the position of your finger, providing the scanner with different angles and areas of your fingerprint during each touch. This allows the scanner to capture a more comprehensive and accurate representation of your fingerprint.
- Clean Surface: Before fingerprint registration, clean both the scanner surface and your finger. Dirt, grime, or moisture can negatively impact the scanner's ability to read your fingerprint accurately.
- Multiple Registrations: To improve recognition reliability, consider registering the same finger multiple times, using various angles and positions. This ensures that the scanner has ample data for accurate and efficient fingerprint identification.
Other Ultraloq U-Bolt Models
Does Ultraloq need Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is not a requirement for the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro to operate effectively. The device can function independently in "Standalone Mode," allowing users to set up access codes and register fingerprints directly through the built-in keypad.
Does the Ultraloq U-Bolt require the mobile app?
The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro can function without the need for the mobile app. In "Standalone Mode," users can establish codes and register fingerprints using the keypad integrated into the device. However, the mobile app does offer additional convenience and features if desired.
Does Ultraloq require a subscription?
There is no subscription required to utilize any of the Ultraloq smart locks, such as the U-Bolt series. Furthermore, the mobile app is free for both iOS and Android devices.