There’s a lot of smart home gear I really like, but I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to smart locks. Do I really want to rely on a phone for something as important as my deadbolt? I have visions of racing to my door just a few steps ahead of a zombie horde, only to see a flashing error message because Bluetooth is being flaky. Now I’m zombie dinner because I couldn’t be bothered to carry a key.
This particular smart lock, however, offers six different ways to open it, including fingerprint and keypad, so it might just change my mind — especially because, for a very limited time, it’s on sale for the lowest price to date: Wellbots has thewith promo code CNETU30. The lock itself normally runs $179; the Bridge adds $50 unless you buy them together, in which case they’re normally $199.
The U-Bolt Pro replaces your existing deadbolt. Once installed, it pairs with your phone via Bluetooth, but can also be controlled via Wi-Fi thanks to the included Bridge adapter. That not only lets you control the lock from afar (like if you need to let someone in when you’re not home), but also allows for Alexa and Google Voice control.
The standout feature here (to my thinking) is the fingerprint reader, because while phones and keys can be lost or forgotten, you can’t leave home without your fingers. The U-Bolt Pro also has a keypad for numeric-code entry and three smartphone-based entry methods: app, automated and “magic shake.” Finally, there’s the good old-fashioned mechanical key.
The lock runs on a pair of AA batteries, which Ultraloq says should last for up to one year or 8,000 uses. If the batteries happen to die suddenly, you can connect a mobile charger for emergency unlocking (provided you have one handy, of course).
CNET hasn’t reviewed the U-Bolt Pro, but the product earned an impressive 4.4-star average rating from over 4,000 Amazon buyers, and if you search for reviews elsewhere, you’ll see that it ranks very highly. (In some cases, it ranks highest.)
I’ve never been more tempted by a smart lock than I am by this one. If you already own it, hit the comments and share what you like or don’t like.
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