The Ultion Nuki Plus is another solution that comes as a collaboration between Nuki and Ultion, offering a complete lock replacement. This includes a new door handle, smart lock, barrel and keys. Having previously tested the first Ultion Nuki kit, I was excited to try this second model, mainly is it seemed to answer all of my concerns with the first model.
The smart lock part of this kit is the Nuki 3.0 Pro, rather than the Nuki 3.0 in the original. This model is easily recognised by the silver ring on the device, and the fact that the smart lock is available in either black or white. Rather than four AA batteries, this model uses a dedicated and rechargeable battery pack, with a USB-C charging port that’s useable even while plugged in. The biggest change though is that it comes with Wi-Fi built in, rather than requiring a separate module.
Though I had used the separate Wi-Fi module with the original Ultion Nuki kit, it required a plug slot close to the front door, which isn’t always practical. The rest of the kit remains the same. It comes with a high-quality internal door handle, designed to fit standard British doors, and the Ultion 3 Star Plus cylinder lock and keys that have a £2000 security guarantee.
It’s a set-up that puts it in the running for one of the best smart locks on the market. I’ve now used the Ultion Nuki Plus for a few weeks ahead of its release and it doesn’t disappoint. Before you make a decision, I’d suggest you read this full review to make sure this lock suits your needs. However, I would recommend this model to anyone looking to upgrade their home security.
Price and availability
The Ultion Nuki Plus retails from £379, which is £120 more than the original kit. However, if you want Wi-Fi, you don’t need to spend the extra money on a bridge unit. You can also pick up the Ultion Nuki Plus in a bundle with the new fingerprint keypad, keyfob, or both. I tested the model with the fingerprint keypad, which retails for £509.
Design and features
The Ultion Nuki Plus is designed as a simple lock replacement device. The smart lock sits on the inside of your door, either on its own to replace a standard turning lock or with the supplied handle, to replace the whole mechanism, on a standard UK door. The included lock cylinder replaces your current lock barrel and comes with protection against attack and brand-new keys which are 60% thicker than regular keys.
The Nuki smart lock is the motor unit behind the lock, turning the Ultion cylinder to lock and unlock the door. The device is about the same dimensions as a compute mouse, but chunkier (around 6 x 12 x 6.5 cm). The large dial that forms the top part of the device can be turned manually to open and close the lock. It also operates automatically by pressing the large central button or by controlling it remotely through the app or accessories.
The device is powered by a rechargeable battery that is charged via a USB-C connection. The shape of the rechargeable battery is similar to that of the pack that contained the four AAs on the original device, but I haven’t tried swapping them over. In terms of battery life, with regular use, you should get around two months out of a single charge (I’m still at 50% after a month). You can recharge while plugged in, or just unplug the pack and charge it separately. The lock will still work manually using the keys with the battery unplugged.
The biggest change with this device is that it has Wi-Fi built-in. While the lock connects to the Nuki app via Bluetooth, having Wi-Fi allows it to connect to your home network and control it through Apple Home, or through the Nuki app, when out of Bluetooth range. This includes when you’re away from home, which gives you the option to provide access to your home to others while away.
As with the original Ultion Nukey device, installation is very simple. While you can have a professional install it for you, it’s a simple process to remove the back of your old lock and put this one in its place. The cylinder may need some fine-tuning depending on your door thickness, but there is also a couple of provided mounts in the box.
The door I installed it on wasn’t quite standard, so I couldn’t use the provided handle, and my existing handle is very close to my lock. Even with this unusual set up, the device was quick to put in place. As I was replacing the original Ultion Nuki kit this time, I was able to use the same mount. All I needed to do was release the catch on the old device, and clip the new Nuki unit on in its place.
Using the app, the rest of the set up is really easy. It calibrates the lock on your door, to make sure that it is turning the barrel far enough to lock and unlock each time. It also gives you options to optimise the turning process, to reduce the movement, if required. Connecting to my Wi-Fi router was as easy as picking it from the list and entering the password.
You need to set up a Nuki account to then access the device via the web, but once this is all done, you can easily add the lock to your Apple Homekit app, and then control it from there. Matter compatibility is expected to come as an update to the Nuki devices later this year, but in the meantime, there is an Amazon Alexa skill available.
App and accessories
The Nuki app offers a lot of control over how your lock operates. It also gives you the ability to set up permissions for other users to access the lock and use it to access your property. This is handy for other members of the family, as well as anyone else that you want to access your home without having to give them a spare key – from cleaners and dig sitters to landlords and parents.
My favourite feature on the app though is the auto unlock function. This detects when you (or your mobile device) get close to the device and automatically unlocks it. You can fine-tune the geofence size in the expert settings but this is set as 100m by default. It means that as soon as you get home, the door unlocks before you even reach it, so you don’t need to unlock using the app or accessories.
I used the new fingerprint keypad with the Ultion Nuki Plus. This is slightly larger than the original keypad and is powered by AAA batteries, rather than a flat lithium battery. The benefit though is that as well as keycode access, you can set up fingerprint access for any of your users through the Nuki app. Fingerprint access is a lot more secure and much easier than having to remember a code.
It’s amazing how quickly you get used to having a smart lock on your door, though I’m still impressed every time I use the auto-unlock feature. The motor on the Ultion Nuki Plus is definitely quieter than on the original, though you can still hear it turning in another room – perhaps a handy security feature. The motor also works faster, so if you’re rushing to get out the door, you are only waiting a couple of seconds for it to turn and unlock. I think I’d still like this to be slightly faster, but it’s definitely an improvement.
Having the lock connected to my home network, and therefore accessible from anywhere is definitely a game changer. I also love having it appear on the Apple Homekit screen, alongside my smart bulbs and doorbell. It gives me complete control over my home, even if I’m in another country.
As much as I loved the original Ultion Nuki smart lock, there were a few niggles that meant it wasn’t quite a five-star product. The Ultion Nuki Plus has answered all of my concerns and is therefore more than worthy of its five-star rating. This is an outstanding smart home device and a really easy lock replacement for almost any door.
If you don’t want the networking abilities of this model, you could save money by going for the standard Ultion Nuki device, but for me, it’s one of the main reasons to have a smart lock. The best technology should be effortless, and the Ultion Nuki Plus really is. Installation and set up are a breeze, and once it’s set up, you never have to touch it again – especially if you use the auto-unlock functionality.
The Yale Linus smart lock is a simple and stylish device that works in a similar way to the Nuki devices. While cheaper (starting from around £220) you need to buy the keypad, cylinder and Wi-Fi bridge separately, bringing the price up and requiring a separate power simply for the Wi-Fi bridge.
If you live in an apartment block with a central intercom, the Ring Intercom allows you to speak to those at your door and buzz them in through the Ring app, by plugging this simple accessory into your existing telephone entry system.