I’m a bit of a wallet love. I hoard them. My quest was always to have a wallet that can hold my notes and a number of cards, safely so they won’t drop out, all while keeping them easily in reach and in a slimline form factor. When you couple the tech Woolet 2.0 has in it, then this seems like a match made in heaven. Let’s take a look.
Overview – Woolet 2.0
Firstly, let me start by saying that as I type this sentence, my Wallet is charging on a Qi charger and is having its firmware upgraded – crazy!!
Woolet 2.0 is a second generation Kickstarter campaign which scooped over £260k in funding to bring it to market. No, Woolet sell directly from their Woolet.co website and have a number of products that deliver similar functionality. We’re looking at the standard Woolet 2.0 in Black however there is an XL version which comes with a little pen also for those needing more room for their money!
What is it? Well, glad you’re interested! Essentially Woolet 2.0 is a Bluetooth-powered, wireless-charged, handcrafted leather wallet equipped with a louder buzzer, and QI wireless charging. Yes, wireless charging for your wallet!
Here’s what you get in the package when you receive your Woolet. There’s a nice cloth bag with the wallet inside, as well as a quick info tag on the wallet so you’re assured of its authenticity. That’s about it. They keep it quite quick and simple and I like that! There are both Black and Brown leather versions, and whilst we’ve had hands on with both, this review features the Black version only. The Brown version feels and looks nicer to me, but a lot of people prefer the elegance of black don’t they?!
The standard version is quite slim measuring just 125 × 87 × 9.9 mm which some might find a little small for their needs but it’s just within my tolerances for a small wallet. Easily pocketable and still enough room for money, cards and receipts.
The Woolet 2.0 has some non-technical features too. For starters it has a 24 carat Gold gilded “W” pin to add a bit of style to the plain aesthetic. Inside it has four card slots which can easily fit three cards each without stretching the leather. Behind one of the card holders is another full height slot for other cards. Behind that level is the note pouch, with a little hidden pocket on the left hand side which is accessed by a flip up piece of leather. Whilst nice, realistically it’s such a faff to get access to it, I’d not want to hide anything I ever wanted to get to in there.
Now, in the right hand side of the wallet sits the integrated speaker and QI wireless charging coil. I’ve given them a good bend and used the wallet extensively in this test and I didn’t break it so sitting down on this wallet probably isn’t going to be an issue. Woolet do sell companion Qi chargers that match the aesthetic of the Woolet you have, however it will charge with any Qi charger.
Setup – Woolet 2.0
There is, of course, a companion app included for Woolet 2.0’s functionality to be harnessed. The app is simple to use albeit ti’s been hammered in the Play Store reviews for its poor stability, and it is true that Woolet need to work on this. Numerous times tapping on a button in the app crashes it forcing you to reload. It’s usable (just) though.
Setup is easy however. Follow the app instructions and then connect. That simple. Sometimes the app fails to see the Woolet the first time but just try again and it’ll get it fine.
Performance & Use – Woolet 2.0
The primary function of the Woolet 2.0 is to ensure that if you leave your wallet behind somewhere, your phone will let you know. It does this by utilising the integrated Bluetooth chip in the Woolet 2.0 to determine when your smart device is too far away. When you move out of reach, an alert (you have some choices) can fire off to say you’ve left it behind. Let’s say you’re in a crowded café and don’t notice, you can use the Lost & Found service Woolet provide so that whomever finds it can get it back to you (fat chance I know, but it’s a nice idea for when we all live in a Utopian society).
If you get fed up with the notifications you can choose how you want the notifications to operate. Disable the notification when you are close to your Woolet and only have them on when you are too far away from the Woolet. That’s the usual way to use it, however you have other options such as Quiet Zones too. A Quiet Zone can be added via GPS location, whereby no notifications will occur. This could be at work, home, etc. Some nice options to have.
If you do happen to lose your Woolet somewhere in your house, you can manually force the Woolet to start singing so you can find it. Whilst a great idea, the speaker in the Woolet 2.0 is a little too feeble to make this a viable technique. For example, in our testing I put the Woolet 2.0 under a pillow and walked out of the room, and attempted to hear the manual chirp. I had to come back into the room (a quiet room no less) to make sure it was actually working. It could do with being thrice as loud!
It might help you in a pinch though.
It’s also true to state that the Bluetooth range notifications are also a little hit and miss, and this must come down to the application a little I think. I’ve got as many notifications telling my I’m too far away from my Woolet 2.0 when I’ve left it in the car when I’ve nipped to the shops as I have when both were sitting almost next to each other on my desk at work. There is some tweaking needed there I think.
However, once they do get this ironed out the product, as a gadget is very compelling. The fact it can be wirelessly charged is a huge bonus and a USP in this particular market. You won’t have to charge it very often as the battery can last around 6 months on a single charge as evidenced by my wallet which is still at 99% battery after two weeks of usage and testing.
Conclusion – Woolet 2.0
Wallets are a very subjective and personal item. Whether you like the aesthetic of the Woolet 2.0 or not is going to determine whether you buy it, whether you love the included technology or not. However, if you do, the technology should only improve as the software gets updates.
Not only is it simply cool to charge your wallet (I love the little ditty it makes when you place it on the Qi charger), the fact it might stop you from loosing it is obviously the key benefit from a device like this. Whilst some tweaks are required to make that a formality rather than a risky to bet on Woolet need to up their app game, but we’re confident that will happen.
At £105 you might think it’s rather expensive, but given the quality of the leather and the finish, many would pay similar for a regular wallet in this style. Simply put, if you’re very prone to losing your existing wallet, this should decrease that likelihood. Also, your wallet will sing when you lose it! That’s got to be worth a little more money, right?