I’m not sure how many times a day I boil a kettle, but it’s more than a few. I always have a cup of tea on the go and I suspect I’m not alone in this nation of tea drinkers. The idea of being able to turn the kettle on while you keep your feet up is appealing. The previous version of the iKettle could do that, but now Smarter are back with a new version that’s made for smart homes.
Opening up the box reveals a kettle that looks much like any other. I bought the chrome version but there’s a limited edition white and gold version for the super-style conscious. Just like a standard electric kettle there’s a base and the kettle itself in the box. The first thing I needed to do was download the accompanying app, and there are iOS and Android versions.
This is the first device I’ve used with Blink-up pairing, so there’s no need for Bluetooth or WiFi pairing. Instead, following the onscreen instructions from the app, I held my phone to the base of the iKettle after turning on the power and it instantly paired to my WiFi network.
With that done, there’s a very quick calibration setting where you simply place the base on a flat surface so the iKettle can always tell you how full it is. While it doesn’t take up a lot of room, this is a good sized kettle, with 1.8 Litres capacity.
The iKettle’s app has been re-designed for this new kettle and it’s brilliantly simple to use. A big screen shows the preferred temperature you have set, by default that’s 100°, boiling. When you want to boil the kettle, it’s as simple as tapping the big start button. Also on the main screen of the app is a water button. Tapping this shows you how much water is in the kettle, and there’s a useful conversion to cups, so for instance you know you have enough water for a 4 person pot.
The app also has other features that will help you shave a few minutes off your daily routine. There’s wake-up mode, which will boil the kettle first thing in the morning for you, or at any alarm time you like. There’s a home mode that switches on the kettle using the location of your phone, and you can add extra users to the kettle as everyone probably likes a brew when they come in. The formula mode is ideal for new parents, and will heat the kettle and alert you when it’s at the ideal for making baby formula.
The reason I waited and bought this third version of this kettle though, is the smart-home integration. The iKettle is now compatible with Nest and Amazon’s Echo. After connecting the kettle to my Amazon account, I can now simply speak the command from the sofa, ‘Alexa, boil the kettle’. It may seem like a small thing, but when you need a cuppa, you need one, and it doesn’t get much easier than this.