Your first line of security for your home starts at your doors. That’s why picking the right door lock is very important when converting your home to a “Smart Home”. One category of smart products that is not lacking in competition is “Smart Locks”, and this makes the niche category very competitive which allows for us consumers to find quality hardware at reasonable prices. Top companies like Schlage, August, and Kwikset all make products that are able to be controlled and automated with a number of different smart home platforms. Most of these companies offer different products for each platform that connect through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-wave, or Zigbee. Not too long ago I saw some information about the Friday Lock. While watching the promo video there was one thing that really stood out, its size. This thing looked extremely small but boasted many of the features incorporated in its competitors products referenced above. I knew that I had to try this out and let you guys know how it worked.
One look at the Friday Lock packaging and you know that this device is going to be small. The box itself is not much bigger than what you would expect a (fill in) to come in. Opening the box and you see what it is all about. A very small housing that holds all of
the control mechanisms. Pop out the device and pull up to expose the next layer of goodies and you will find the battery charger as well as 2 different adaptors to help fit your new Smart Lock to your existing deadbolt.
You can breeze through the installation step by utilizing the in application guide provided by Friday Labs. I suggest downloading the application before starting and creating an account within the Friday Labs application. Once you do the application will walk you through the installation process. It is pretty neat that they use color code settings to be able to adapt to your existing locks. That being said my particular Schlage deadbolt did not fit with their recommendation but with a quick look and adjustment I was able to find a setting that worked just right. For a step by step guide on how to install click here.
Once installed you will need to pair your lock with the Friday Lab’s application at which point you will have the option to pair with Apple HomeKit. You can click here to see our guide on setting up the Friday Lock.
Controlling your Friday Lock is easy and can be done from within the Friday Application. You just open the application and tap or slide to unlock. Additionally you can use Apple’s Home application or Siri to control locked or unlocked. For a how-to step by step guide on controlling the Friday Lock you can click here.
I found during my testing that the Friday Application tends to respond a bit slowly. Surprisingly, the Apple “Home” application controls the lock a bit faster than that of the Friday Application. I have been told that this is due to the Friday Application being able to share access to the lock with any one person, Where as Apple’s “Home” application only allows you to share every device, or the entire home, with an individual. Apparently this means more thinking is involved thus creating a bit of a lag. During my testing I noticed varied response times between under a second to just over four seconds from within the Friday application while seeing a one to three second response time via the Apple Home application. The lock itself takes about five seconds to fully unlock/lock the door and then resetting itself. which means total time from tap to lock/unlock clocks in between six and nine seconds. Not too bad but the company assures me they are working on the responsiveness. I plan to do a more scientific test over the next few days and will update a comparison between the Friday Lock and the Schlage Scenes Lock head to head.
At the time of this posting Apple’s HomeKit is the only integration available. That does give you the ability to automate the lock with numerous other products compatible with the HomeKit platform. While inquiring with a representative about future integration I was told to absolutely expect further integrations with platforms. A major goal of the company is to open up the Friday Lock to many platforms.
Friday Assist Unlock
The flagship feature for Friday Lock is called “Friday Assist Unlock”. It enables the ability to have the lock recognize your phone as you are approaching the door and automatically unlock the door. After a period of time (or distance away) the lock will then re-secure itself to the locked position. While trying to get the feature to work with my test unit I was unable to get the lock to function in this way. I contacted Friday Labs and they informed me that at the moment the feature is only currently working with Android devices. However, the feature will be available to iOS devices in the near future (within weeks) as it is in final beta testing at the moment. “Friday Assist Lock” ,on the other hand, will be apart of a firmware update that will require Apple approval and I am being told that could take some time.
Interchangeable Shells are another great feature offered by Friday Labs. Currently the company is marketing seven shell color options which are Steel, Bronze, Brass, Gun Metal, Nickel Satin, Copper, and Porcelain. Unfortunately, at the time of the post you can not purchase shells separately the switch out. However, the company has indicated to me that they do plan on selling the shells separately in the near future.
In its current state I have to say the lock offers little reason for me to change out the Schlage Sense lock I currently have installed on my primary door. The Friday Lock does show some potential thought. With its small size and future features list it is just a quick firmware away from being a product that I can get behind. Especially because it does integrate with Apple’s HomeKit and can be automated to work in tandem with other household smart devices. The companies acknowledgement of feature enhancements and improvements reassures me that they are a company willing to make the needed adjustments to become a major contender in the smart lock arena. I will revisit this review or write a completely updated one as the device becomes more well rounded.