Smarter's iKettle is a good standalone kettle, nice to look at and with a 1.8 litre capacity. As a bonus you can control it via your phone, either switching it on or maintaining a certain temperature.
Note: See update at the end.
I value my right index finger and I’m aware of the horrendous damage it could suffer when manually switching kettles on and off. My right index finger must be preserved for computer use only.
Hence when my kettle stopped switching itself off, thus steaming up the entire kitchen on a regular basis, I looked around for a high-tech solution to the whole business of boiling water for my Earl Grey.
After a bit of research I ended up buying the iKettle 3 from Smarter. They also do a fridge cam, for what it’s worth, but it was the kettle I wanted.
I bought it largely on the promise that they intend to integrate it with HomeKit eventually and I can say “Hey Siri, boil the kettle” and it will be done. That facility isn’t there yet and I’m going to take a star off this review already for that. I’ll put it back on when (or if) the iKettle integrates with Siri and the HomePod.
Of course anything with an ‘i’ in front of it comes with an app and the app you need in this case is the ‘Smarter’ app, which is available for free at all good App Stores. The app needs to connect to your wireless network and then you point your phone or iPad, screen down, at a flashing red light on the bottom of the kettle. This connects everything together. It took me three attempts but then I was ready to go.
Don’t worry too much, the app guides you through the process of setting things up very well.
If you just want to boil the kettle on an ad-hoc basis, fire up the app and press start. The app will tell you when the kettle has boiled. You can select the temperature you want it to go to but I always leave that at 100 degrees because, not being American, I like my tea made with boiling water.
That’s mainly how I use it but it has far greater capabilities than this.
There’s Wake Up Mode where you can set an alarm to wake you up and of course have the kettle boiled and ready for when you drag your lazy backside out of bed. You can configure different alarm times for different days to accommodate your weekend lie-ins.
There’s Home Mode where, as long as you allow the app to see your location, it’ll have the kettle boiled and ready by the time you get home.
There’s a Formula Mode that will allow you to boil the kettle and allow it to cool to a certain temperature, where it will keep it. I’m guessing this is for the folk who drink these weird concoctions of green tea and similar that are meant to be drunk at different temperatures.
There’s a Keep Warm function so you can get the kettle to the temperature you want and then hold it there for a specified number of minutes, perhaps if something interrupts your immediate plans for a cuppa.
So what of the kettle itself? It’s an attractive silver and black design and it can hold 1.8 litres of water. Of course it can also be turned on manually if you’re less concerned about the preservation of the index finger than I am. It also has an excellent spout that doesn’t drip which makes for a smooth pouring experience.
All-in-all a great kettle and I’m giving it four stars, which will become five when (if) it integrates with Siri-HomeKit-HomePod as Smarter assure us it eventually will.
Update - November 2020
I've had this kettle a year now and all was going well until I got up one morning and the Smarter app seemed to forget the kettle. I have no idea why it did this as it certainly didn't have my permission to do so.
Anyway, it is a nightmare to get this damn kettle to reconnect but here is my advice:
- Delete the Smarter app and reinstall it.
- Remove the kettle from its base and press and hold the button on the base until it beeps.
- Unplug the kettle and count to 20.
- Using the Smarter app, add the kettle again, following the instructions carefully. You may need to unplug the kettle, wait and plug it back in during this process.
- When you're holding your phone over the kettle's light, hold it very close. I found it best if it's actually touching the base, but if that doesn't work just lift if a few millimetres.
If it does not connect, it may tell you it's already connected to another network. It shouldn't be because steps (2) and (3) above should reset the kettle, although obviously that does not always work.
Simply repeat steps (2) to (5) until it works. You may have to do this a dozen or more times. If you're lucky it will eventually reconnect.
I don't know why this is so difficult.