Chipolo Review

Life goes by really fast. So fast that if you are not careful enough, you might miss or forget the most important things. Wow, this might be the most dramatic start I’ve ever written for a tech review. No, really we tend to forget taking important things like our keys or wallets with us when we go out to “live life”. Luckily there are products out there to remind us, one being the recently released Chipolo.

So by now, you should have understood what Chipolo is all about. If not, well, it is a smart bluetooth item finder. The design is very slick and clean. A small slim round really light thing with a very “incognito” look that fits every and anywhere. Attach, stick or drop the Chipolo inside everyday items and find them in seconds using your smartphone.

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Setting up the device was super easy. I just took out the plastic divider thingy that was blocking the battery connection, download the app from the Appstore, turn the bluetooth on and done. Now I could track my keys from anywhere in a 60m range. Just one tap on the app and the Chipolo will ring, but since the connection goes both way, shake the Chipolo and the phone will ring. Cool, right?

But that’s not the coolest part about the Chipolo in my opinion. See it’s not just as simple as a “pager”. It’s a smart device meaning that it will remind you when your Chipolo or phone is out of range. So if you forget to take your keys or wallet or whatever you attached your Chipolo to, you will get a smart notification, which is just cool.

Neat packaging

Neat packaging

What happened to me, to give you a real life scenario, was that while I was jogging with music blasting from the earphone, my keys fell out the pocket without me realising it. As I reached the max distance, the phone went crazy notifying me that the Chipolo was out of range so I quickly ran back to find out that an elderly couple had picked my keys up. Convincing them the keys were mine took just one tap on the phone so the Chipolo would ring.

What happened to me can and will happen to everyone, so Chipolo may have saved my ass in that scenario. And you can think a lot of other scenarios where the Chipolo might be a powerful gadget to have with.

For example late at night, a few beers in, 5 or 6, time to go and you forget your keys or your bag, for the ladies, Chipolo saves you. Or you can use it as an anti thief device for your bike while you enjoy a coffee or deliver something inside a building, office whatever. I don’t want to use this cliché saying, but the possibilities are endless. And you are not limited to have only one Chipolo per phone, you can have up to nine, each with its own name registered on the phone and since they come in a variety of colours, we can say colour coded to each important objects you might have.

Also if you lose a Chipolo, like maybe someone stole it, you can use the power of the community or other Chipolo users to ping your lost object on the map. I cannot say how great this system works, since I have not lost my Chipolo and even if I did, I doubt anyone in my town has a Chipolo.

Of course it is not without its faults. One and the biggest for me is the requirement for the always on bluetooth. I know, I know it doesn’t make any sense since well, it’s a smart bluetooth item finder, but bear with me. The battery in nowadays phones is a joke and having bluetooth and location always on does not help. So you kinda have to turn it on and off every time you go out and that’s kinda sucks since you don’t always remember to do it, see the irony?1

I wish it used wireless since it’s always on on the phone if that is even possible, but on the other hand it would not work for the Chipolo itself since the battery consumption would be extremely higher and you would have to change the batteries constantly and that would suck.

Clean AF UI

Clean AF UI

Another thing is that since it’s made of plastic, sturdy and compact as it is, still it’s just plastic. It’s only been a couple of days and it is already scratched since it is attached to keys and other pointy crap on the keychain. Maybe the other colours don’t show the scratches as much as the black so keep that in mind.

The app while it sports a clean and slick design, I wish it offered more in terms of customisation. You can set in and out of range notifications and then there’s a Quiet Zone option which enables you to set a location in which the Chipolo app will automatically disable the in and out of range notifications, but doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of the device?! Another minor problem is with the sensitivity of the accelerometers. As I said before when you shake the Chipolo your phone will ring.

Now most of the times you need to shake it like crazy for the phone to ring, but sometimes just placing the Chipolo inside the pocket or taking it out is enough to make the phone ring. This might be even a bigger problem since the Chipolo app bypasses the iPhone silent switch completely. I just wish there was some something in the app, sliders or whatnot to give more customisation. Oh and there’s also a “shutter button” functionality to take selfies, but for some reason you have to do it from the Chipolo app. Maybe if they opened that function up to work with the native camera app or other camera apps, it would be useful, I don’t know.

In the end I think the Chipolo is a great piece of tech to have always with you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like necessary or anything like that, but if you have it with you it might save you a great deal of problems. My recommendation? Get one here and if you like what it does, get an army of Chipolos to keep track of all of your most prized objects. Thanks for reading!

PS: You can also use promocode NOTHINGISLOST, it’s for 20% discount on Duet Pack (2 Chipolos).

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