Review: Is the iKettle 2.0 worth the investment?
Tech Tools: Are you really so time-poor you need to save two minutes of boiling?
Product name: iKettle 2.0
Where to buy: currys.ie
If your first impression of the iKettle 2.0 is that it is a solution without a problem, you wouldn’t be far wrong. Let’s be frank: flipping the button on the kettle and waiting the two minutes or so it takes to boil is not the world’s biggest problem. It’s not even in the top 150 on the list of things that technology must solve. It’s a convenience that you, quite honestly, can live without.
And yet, it exists. Made by Smarter, the iKettle is brushed stainless steel that looks like your average kettle with a slightly chunkier than normal base. It doesn’t look like anything particularly out of the ordinary.
But it’s one of the new breed of connected appliances that are determined to make our lives easier, smarter, more streamlined. The problem with the iKettle is that you can’t really figure out why you should buy it.
It’s a bit like a high-tech Teasmaid, except you have to pour the water into a cup and dunk the tea bag yourself. Basically, it saves you the flick of a switch and not much else.
The iKettle connects to an app on your phone, which allows you to control the temperature the water is heating to, set timers and see how much water is inside your kettle. Yes, you read that correctly: see how much water is in your kettle. We now need an app for this apparently. Or you could open the lid and have a look inside. Whatever grabs your fancy.
On the positive side, it does mean that you can check if there’s enough water in the kettle from another room, so by the time you get into the kitchen to make the tea, the kettle is boiled.
Getting that function to work was a bit of a chore though. I recalibrated it, several times. I tried it empty. I filled it a little bit. I filled it a bit more. Then I emptied it again. Eventually I got it sorted, but being more of a mug person when it comes to tea, I woefully underestimated how much water I needed.
Where the iKettle could be a good addition to the household is if you have a formula-fed baby, or if you prefer to drink hot beverages that don’t require boiling water. You can set the temperature you want to heat the water to – 75 degrees is the default for formula, for example, or if you want to make green tea it’s somewhere between 65 and 80 degrees. So from that point of view, it’s a handy addition. You can also set the kettle to keep the water at a certain temperature.
If you are the type who is gagging for a cup of tea as soon as you wake up or walk through the door, then having the ability to boil your kettle automatically on a schedule is going to save you a whole two or three minutes of hanging about. Likewise, if your drinks choices require a different temperature, or you have a small baby in the house who really won’t wait for bottles to heat up/cool down, you might find a place for the iKettle in your home.
The not so good
Do you really need wifi in your kettle? Are we really so time poor that the two minutes it takes for your kettle to boil is now a massive inconvenience?
Take a look at the price: €120. Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t the most expensive kettle on the market. Not by a long shot. Kitchen Aid does a heinously expensive kettle with adjustable temperature – and horror, no wifi – but I’m not buying that one either. Smeg and DeLonghi also have similarly priced kettles with less tech rammed inside, because you’re paying for the design. So it’s down to you to decide if wifi and the ability to have your kettle boiled and waiting for you when you come home is worth the investment.
You can still control the kettle manually, so you won’t baffle the babysitter when you leave them alone with a kettle with no water gauge and take the phone that controls it with you.
If you like your home gadgets high tech, feel free to splash out on the iKettle. But while it may solve the arguments over who boils the kettle, you’ll still have to battle over who makes the tea and pours it out.