Since we’ve been home for the last few months, we’ve attempted to make our apartment a bit smarter and a bit more secure; the Friday Smart Lock was an intriguing, non-permanent solution for our front door.
Living in an apartment, one of the hardest parts about finding a good, non-permanent smart lock, is also one of the critical components — giving you the ability to lock or unlock your door securely and without fault. If you’re an apartment dweller and worried about potentially locking yourself out because the smart lock died, here are a few reasons why the Friday Smart Lock might solve that problem.
Even though the Friday Smart Lock essentially markets itself as the complete keyless entry for your home, the relaunched product — it was branded as “Friday Labs” and is now “Friday Home” — comes complete with HomeKit compatibility. The Friday Smart Lock is iOS/Android enabled, and a highlight to me was the ability for it to be fitted to any existing lock.
My apartment has a fitted lock to it that cannot be changed due to it being bolted to the door, meaning that I cannot change it for the duration of our lease. But there is a one-sided keyless deadbolt that we use to lock our door at the end of the day.
What we’ve done with the Friday Home Smart Lock is turn that deadbolt into a HomeKit-enabled smart lock. Since we can’t replace our main front door lock with it, it’s not the ideal set-up (no fault to Friday Home). Even so, because we have it, my wife can comfortably go for a walk with the baby; I can go and retrieve a package; even if I decide to go grocery shopping, I can easily do so while leaving my keys in the house.
With the Friday Smart Lock app (and HomeKit if you choose to go that route), you can set up routines and rules to unlock your front door as you approach. This is ideal, especially during the COVID pandemic. Rather than fiddling with keys for entry, you can walk up to your front door and turn the handle, eliminating touching extra surfaces.
The Friday Smart Lock has a Scandinavian design inspired by the architecture of the Saddle Roof. What I love about the Friday lock is that it’s the world’s smallest retrofit lock on the market; it is ergonomic and comfortable to grab and unlock on the way out, and it doesn’t compromise the way that your door looks. And with interchangeable shells (seven color options), you can easily have your door stand out as your friends leave out.
The metal parts are more durable than a lot of other smart locks and won’t eventually wear down and look terrible. The universal baseplate means that you can install the Friday Home on any existing lock without having to deal with the hassle of multiple base plates and screws.
One of the ways that my wife and I have used the Friday Lock is by giving my in-laws secure remote access through the App and Apple’s HomeKit. This eliminated the need to purchase a guest key from our leasing office. When they visit, my in-laws can lock and unlock the door directly from their phones.
Having a rechargeable battery helps to eliminate the guesswork of “did I replace those AA batteries that go into the Smart Lock chamber?” When I spoke to a representative for Friday Locks, they assured me that as long as you charge the physical lock once every three months, you will never be locked out. To some, this might not seem like a big deal, but you have to factor in how many smart products need to be recharged. With the Friday Lock needing to be recharged just four times a year — in addition to the app letting you know when the battery is low — it’s an easy matter to charge-up the lock when it gets low (mine took about 45 minutes), and you’ll be set for the next 90 days or so. The internal lithium battery has a lifetime of up to 8 AA batteries, so it will last a while.
One thing that I do wish I could change about the Friday Home Lock isn’t a Friday Issue, but rather a HomeKit one. Using Apple’s Home app to lock and unlock the Friday Home Lock can be hit or miss, which is an absolute bummer. I’ve reached out to Apple and Friday Home, but this seems to be more of an issue that stems from HomeKit. This is a known issue, and as noted on the Friday Home site, they are working toward a solution. Instead of using the Apple Home app, which constantly needs updating and seems only to work part of the time, I tend to pivot to the Friday Home app, which has yet to fail me when unlocking the door. The Friday app is a bit slower than Apple’s Home app, especially when you set the “Leave/Arrive Home” scenes, but it works more often than not. This might be an isolated issue for me, but it’s still worth mentioning for the sake of this review.
Overall, if you’ve been looking for a suitable Smart Lock that doesn’t scream “A Techy Lives Here!” the Friday Home Smart Lock is a truly modern, yet modest-looking device that will keep your home secure while looking damned good at it.
The Friday Smart Lock sells for $199, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Modern look; Simple installation process; Works with most existing deadbolt setups; The battery is rechargeable; As long as you keep the original deadbolt parts that you remove from your door, the Friday Smart Lock can be removed when it is time to move out
What Needs Improvement: Using the Friday Smart Lock through Apple Home/HomeKit can be hit or miss