We live in a connected world. Everything we own has the potential to be “smart”. When is it all just too much?
For so long I have resisted a smart water bottle. What a waste of time it would be to track how much I am drinking a day. I am too busy for that.
A month into using the HidrateSpark STEEL I can’t tell you how wrong I was.
Going into this adventure with a connected water bottle, I was worried about a few things:
Charging. I have to charge enough devices in my life, can I really be bothered to remember to power something else?
Could I be bothered to track something like water intake?
Don’t I already drink enough water?
What if I need to ‘add’ liquid not drunk with the bottle?
Will this fit into my life?
I can honestly say that all those concerns have been answered, and more.
The HidrateSpark STEEL uses it’s own proprietary charger. This is annoying. However, that battery last for 10+ days, so only on really extended trips would you need to bring this additional cable. Although if anyone knows what a trip away looks like please do remind me.
Charging happens quickly, although the way the puck slowly glows has left me wondering if it’s actually doing anything. It is I promise.
This is the slightly cumbersome part of having a smart water bottle. You need to set it up. There’s no getting around this. It’s irksome but worth the time investment.
Open the HidrateSpark STEEL box, grab the rechargeable puck and cable and get to charging. Once this is done you need to donwnload the Hidrate app. I am using the iOS app so my review will speak to my experiences on that.
The bottle needs to be calibrated. The process is incredibly easy. Set it on a flat surface, empty and wait 10 seconds. Then fill with water, put the lid back on, and wait 10 seconds. That’s it. The app walks you through this, and it’s over in seconds.
You need to do this process every time you put charge the device, but that’s it. Having it calibrated correctly is what gives you accurate drinking data.
Then away you go. Filling up the water bottle, drinking, and it all gets automatically logged in the app.
The app is the where you can see the amount of water you’ve drunk in a day. Your hydration goal. And how close you are to hitting that goal today.
The hydration goal adjusts based on a number of factors “your age, height, weight, gender, and general activity level”. What’s really cool is it’s linked to my apple watch, so on days I work out more than others, it asks for more hydration to meet that need.
The app looks great. It’s easy to see what’s going on. I particularly like the Month view, where you can see the amount I drank on a day, and also that goal adjusting.
Glow baby glow
Onto the bottle itself. I got given the 620ml (21oz) large bottle, with the chug lid in brushed. It’s not a light bottle, weighing in at 0.5 kg’s. It feels sturdy, but not cumbersome.
It’ll keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and you can add ice to keep the water cold. It is smart enough to work out how much you are drinking with the ice in the bottle.
The bottle isn’t designed for hot liquids. This isn’t an issue for me.
A wicked feature of the HidrateSpark STEEL is the glowing puck at the bottom, which happens at different intervals depending on how you’ve set the app up. I just have it set to glow to remind me to drink if I am behind my goal.
The glow acts as a friendly reminder to drink, plus it makes the bottle look awesome.
The bottle also glows when you’ve hit your goal. A wonderful celebration of your great hydration!
You can choose from 5 different glow colours and a multi-coloured rainbow. I have gone for the rainbow effect. I want all the colours!
One issue I find with the puck is that it can stick out the bottom a tiny bit, and catch on surfaces. I do just have to check it now and again and tighten it back up.
I once tried filling the bottle and drinking straight from it, without putting the lid on. The bottle didn’t register this as me drinking water. It does feel like it needs some ‘time’ to register it has water in it and that it’s then gone.
Apple Watch App
There’s also an Apple Watch app, which I find a helpful way to quickly glance at my totals for the day. It’s also easy to add in any additional water you may have drunk here.
I’ve got a bottle I use when exercising which I often put electrolytes into. After I’ve finished a bottle I just manually add it to my daily totals. It’s so easy.
I can honestly say I am feeling great. Although I am drinking more water in my days, I am still finding I can go hours without drinking anything. It happened a few days ago. It’s then where I notice the difference.
I was at my desk doing some work, and hours flew by without me drinking anything. My bottle was downstairs and I didn’t get any reminders. I started to feel really lethargic. My head was a bit cloudy.
I opened the app up to see how behind my goal I was. I got to drinking. Within 20 mintues I was feeling brighter and back on it.
I wasn’t feeling thirsty, but my body was thirsty. I know this effect might be a bit psychological, but it’s working for me.
I am going to the bathroom a lot more now though. That is one side annoying side effect. Although the Apple Watch is giving me less stand notifications during my day. Every cloud has a silver lining!
The bottle’s retail for £64.99 or £69.99, depending on the size you get. You have two choices of lid, the ‘Chug’ or ‘Straw’ and 5 different colour options.
It’s not a cheap bottle. I would love it to be cheaper. But you are getting a great quality product. You can see where the money has been spent.
The app is free, so see that some of your money is going towards this. One complaint is that to unlock the ‘glow studio’ costs £4.99. This allows you to create custom glows for your bottle. That is a lot of money for a bit of extra customisation.
Having used the larger sized bottle, I can’t imagine the small one being as useful. The extra size means less filling up of the bottle during the day. It’s a decent amount to carry around. You don’t save much weight with the smaller bottle, and it has room for 140ml less of liquid.
I’ve enjoyed the ‘Chug’ lid but really do want to try the ‘Straw’ out too. I may end up with a lot of HidrateSpark STEEL bottles.
You can purchase your HidrateSpark STEEL from their website.