The review-battle of smart wallets. Ready to rumble?
Today in our review, we’re going to compare four smart wallets:
Ekster Smart Wallet(the Parliament + tracker versions), Woolet 2.0 Smart Wallet (the classic version) and Walli (the Everyday Smart Wallet). All of them claim to be unlosable, all are supported by a mobile app, and all combine fashion and technology.
Let’s review which one is the most user friendly.
Protection from “thieving magpies”Ekster was created in the Netherlands, and the word itself means “magpie” – a bird that is considered a thief of shiny things. But don’t worry; Ekster will protect you from both flying and fleeing thieves. Let’s start with the pros. Ekster has two-way protection: Through the TrackR app you can locate your wallet, and you can also use your wallet to ring your phone. Moreover, you get anti-skimming protection, because the wallet is upholstered with an RFID-blocking lining. There are three colours to choose from. The mechanism constructed by the Ekster creators is innovative, and the “card launcher” can be used by both left- and right-handed users. So now, for the cons. The quick card access in Ekster looks like an old floppy disc drive. You need to fit exactly five cards inside; otherwise, the mechanism won’t work properly. Also, it’s not necessarily handy that all five cards pop out at once and you need to find the right one among them. On their website, Ekster point out that their wallet is supposed to be slim. Unfortunately, it’s bulky, and the plastic panel inside doesn’t help either. If you keep it in your trouser pocket, it will completely fill it. Ekster is also equipped with a multi-purpose strap, and, to be honest, we don’t see a use for it. You can put some cash under it, but we’re afraid that it may easily fall out. Moreover, it doesn’t look smart or professional. Unfortunately, Ekster is synchronized with a mobile app powered by TrackR® Technology, which means your phone tracks the removable electronics, not the wallet itself. The panel can be taken out easily, so if it gets stolen, the thief can just throw the tracker away, mislead you and you will never see your valuables again.
Woolet will guard your money with a “woof”Woolet had a very successful Kickstarter campaign, and after some troubles with logistics and the product itself, the company released an upgraded, 2.0 version. Made out of high-quality Italian leather, Woolet is a design masterpiece. It’s perfectly handcrafted, the leather looks luxurious, and its surely worth the price and the wait. Oh, and if someone is looking for a little “bling”, Woolet has a golden pin! After the initial excitement, we started to look for the electronics. Surprise! – They’re integrated and sown inside the wallet. There’s no way to take them out without ripping the whole thing into pieces. Which is a good thing, because they will always be there to guard your wallet. The battery is rechargeable wirelessly. We know what you’re thinking: electronics inside make the wallet bulky. Wrong! It’s just 9 mm thick, and the construction is strengthened with plexi, so no matter what you put inside, the wallet keeps it together. Unfortunately, Woolet doesn’t have an RFID-blocking lining to prevent skimming or a feature to ring your phone with the wallet when it gets lost. If someone is picky and wants a lot of colour options, sorry, but Woolet produces only brown and black versions. As far as the mobile app is concerned, it sometimes sends notifications when you have Woolet by your side. One time that happened, and in a panic we started to look for the wallet, only to realise it was there on the desk the whole time.
Walli – power in simplicityWalli is also a Kickstarter-funded project, which resembles Woolet a lot. The design is slim, but not so classy as Woolet – it has a more causal style. There are three colour versions to choose from. It’s quite slim and small, so it will easily fit anywhere. This wallet is synchronized with a mobile app that will notify you when you leave your wallet behind (just like Woolet and Ekster) and give you the opportunity to call your phone, too. The coolest feature in Walli, though, is the so-called “smart pocket”. When you put your card inside and, for whatever reason, it’s not there, the app will notify you that your card is lost. The major problem is the battery. Not only are Walli’s electronics not integrated, but also the battery is not rechargeable. The producer promises it will work for up to six months, after that you need to replace a CR2032 battery (those little round ones). Moreover, tracking has a limited distance and the app sometimes crashes.
You can see the comparison of the features below:
|Number of cards||10||10||8|
|Dedicated mobile app||v||x||v|