It has been a while since I had a gadget to review, so I jumped at the chance to grab hold of a gadget that promised to help me keep track of my things AND find my phone! The premise of the Chipolo is simple. Attach a small, circular, Bluetooth enabled widget to an item you don’t want to lose. Then, when you lose that item, use the Chipolo app on your phone to locate it. But, does it work?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is “yes and really really well”.
First some background. Chipolo was the result of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013. The first version of the hardware was successful, but as with all hardware could be improved. In 2015 the second incarnation of Chipolo was released. Available in a selection of colours, it is small (about the diameter of a 50 pence piece), robust (it has survived several weeks in a pocket full of keys and coins) and has a replaceable battery.
The basic functionality of the Chipolo is very simple. Once you have completed the registration and pairing to your phone, you are ready to start using it. When you want to find your Chipolo protected items, you fire up the app and select the correct Chipolo (you can have several paired to a single phone). The app will show you the last place it “saw” your item on a map. If you are within 200 feet, you will be able to then “ring” the item. The Chipolo will start to beep, letting you easily locate it.
As well as the app, you can do all of this from the Chipolo website. From here you can track all of your devices in one place, ring them, set up notifications for location changes and more. It is like Apple Find my Phone on steroids.
One of the more unique features and for me the most useful features, is the ability of the Chipolo device to help you find your phone! If you have your device, but have put your phone down somewhere – just shake the Chipolo and it will make your phone ring. If you area a bit further afield, you can go to the Chipolo website and look for your phone from there as well.
There is another unique feature that Chipolo boasts, one that I must admit to not really getting, but some may find it cool. Using the app, you can use the Chipolo as a camera remote. Set the phone up, shake the Chipolo and it beeps a countdown for you to get into your pose. There is even a hashtag in use to show off your selfie #ChipoloSelfie.
That’s what it does, but does it do it well? I have had it for the past few weeks and annoyingly have had reason to use it! I have lost my keys in the house on several occasions and have misplaced my phone a few times for good measure. Each time the Chipolo has indeed made finding the keys or the phone as simple as anything. A quick shake of my keys and the phone starts to ring. A press of a button in the app and my keys are beeping away merrily. Importantly, I have had no false starts with the shaking action on the Chipolo – you have to give it a good shake for it to set off your phone, walking around with it in your pocket or bag won’t be an issue.
The only consideration for me is the price. It isn’t expensive at around 25 euros, but at the same time – it isn’t essential. That comes down to you though.
If you are looking for a hardware device that will help you keep track of your keys and your phone, I can’t recommend the Chipolo highly enough and you should head straight to their webstore and get one!
The Chipolo used for this review was provided by the company.