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If you have ever turned everything in a room upside-down just to find your wallet, then you will surely appreciate smart wallets. A smart wallet is easy to find, and it even reminds you to bring it, as well as alert you if you are leaving home without it.
Now, what are the best smart wallets for 2018?
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The Walli Wearables Everyday Smart Wallet
The Walli Wearables Everyday Smart Wallet connects to your smartphone and will alert you if you leave your wallet behind. It comes in four color combinations, including black and blue, black and grey, and blue and teal. When folded, Walli measures 4.6 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall. It is made of genuine leather and costs $89 at the company’s online store.
Connect your smart wallet to the Walli app and get notified if you get far enough from it. If you have lost track of where you last put your wallet, you can use the app to find your wallet just by pressing a button. The wallet has a buzzer that sounds once you get near it. The buzzer gives off an audible 90 dB sound, helping you find it even if it is under the furniture or hidden behind the pillows. You can also find your phone by pressing your smart wallet.
The Walli Everyday Smart Wallet has enough slots for six cards, as well as two cash slots. It also includes a SecurePocket slot, which would keep track of your most important cards. For example, if you always forget to bring your office ID and you don’t want to wear it around your neck all day long, you can put it in the SecurePocket. When you check the mobile app, you will see if your ID is in the SecurePocket slot or not. You also get push notifications when the SecurePocket slot is empty, reminding you that you left your ID – or whatever important card is usually in it – behind.
This smart wallet uses a CR2032 battery that lasts anywhere from four to six months. This means that you do not need to charge your wallet and replacement batteries are easily available in most stores. These batteries are pretty affordable, costing a dollar or two each. Plus, you only have to replace the batteries two or three times a year.
Walli also comes with a limited warranty. You have a six-month warranty on the electronics and a one-year warranty for the wallet itself.
What could be better
Walli has two little limitations. One is that it only works with phones that support Bluetooth Low Energy, runs either with Android 4.4 and above or with iPhone 4S and its later models. For another, there is no Walli Everyday Smart Wallet for women.
It is also splash-proof but not waterproof. This means that if you ever get caught in the rain, you can take out your wallet for a moment and expect it to be fine. But if you forget your wallet in your back pocket and load your pants in the wash, you would have to buy a replacement smart wallet.
Woolet is another smart wallet that connects to a mobile app that would help you keep track of it. The app will give you alerts when you get too far from your wallet and it will show you a map of your wallet’s location. With Woolet, you can also trigger an audible alarm when it is lost, helping you find your wallet faster.
Woolet integrates the electronics inside the wallet itself so that you do not have to worry about attaching bulky and easily removable trackers to it. Woolet uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that you only need to recharge every few months. What’s more, these wallets are handcrafted.
Woolet has three versions available: Woolet Classic, Woolet Travel, and Woof Glow. This allows you to choose just the right kind of wallet that suits you. With Woolet, you have five color options: black, brown, navy blue, cognac, and grey.
Most Woolets are made of calf leather. The company does offer a vegan version that uses eco-leather. Also, most Woolets use a Qi wireless charger to charge the batteries, except for the Woof Glow, which uses a USB cable to charge.
More than just the different looks, Woolet also offers other technologies that come with their smart wallets. Apart from letting you know you’ve forgotten your wallet and helping you find it, you can also take advantage of these features depending on the wallet design that you choose:
- Social search. You can ask other Woolet users to help you find your wallet.
- Pen holder. Some Woolet models come with pen holders so that you do not have to look around for one when you need something to write with.
- LED lights. These lights help you see your wallet in the dark.
- Selfie trigger. You can use your wallet to take photos with your phone. Just press the Woolet logo and your phone’s camera will instantly take snapshots.
- Remote voice recording. Some Woolets can be used as a remote microphone, allowing you to record voices from another room.
Woolet’s main selling point over other smart wallets is how slim it is. Even with all the embedded electronics, it is only less than 0.4 inches thick. And good news for the ladies: the Woolet Travel wallets might suit feminine tastes. Woolet only works with Android and iOS devices.
Ekster has two styles: the Senate cardholder and the Parliament wallet. The Senate Cardholder is the smaller of the two. It holds six cards and comes with a cash strap that holds cash or additional cards. Meanwhile, the Parliament wallet looks more like your bi-fold wallet. The difference between these two styles is simple. The Parliament wallet is nothing but a Senate cardholder with a fold over flap. The fold-over flap does not only serve as a cover but also adds two more card slots.
No matter which style you choose, you can opt to have it in any one of four colors: red, tan, blue, or black.
Ekster’s design philosophy is driven by its aim to give you a slim wallet. This is why it relies on elastic band to hold your cash.
Some of the technologies you can find on the Ekster wallet are:
- RFID blocking. The cards that you put inside the cardholder itself will be safe from being read by NFC or RFID readers. Nobody can fraudulently copy the details of your credit cards. You can, however, keep proximity cards on the outside using the straps. For instance, if you need to tap your ID to get into the office, you can keep your ID outside of the main card slots.
- Tracking. With the Bluetooth tracking card, you can use the Trackr mobile app to find your wallet if you lose it. Ekster will also remind you if you leave your wallet behind.
- Audible alarm. If you lose your wallet, you can press a button on your smartphone and the Ekster will sound a very audible alarm so that you could find it.
- Find your phone. If it’s the other way around and you lose your smartphone, you can use the leather logo of the elastic band to find your phone. Just press it and your phone will ring.
- Solar-powered. The tracker card has a solar panel that you can use to recharge its batteries. You can get enough battery juice for a month just by charging the tracker card under the sun for three hours.
The biggest advantage of Ekster smart wallets over others is the cool way it spreads out your cards. When you insert your cards into the slot, it will keep these secure inside the cardholder. Press a button at the bottom of the cardholder and out comes your cards, neatly fanned out, allowing you to choose which card you would want to use easily.
What could be better
Unlike other smart wallets, the Eskter Walletis actually a combination of two modules. The cardholder itself and the tracker card. The tracker card is the one that the mobile app locates. This means that anybody who picks up your wallet and removes the tracker card will be able to keep your wallet and you would no longer find it.
If you want to bring cash, you will have to limit it to five bills since you would need to fold these in half in order to fit into the dimensions of the wallet.
The card slot also has a problem when you insert less than five cards. The fanning out mechanism does not work that well if you do not have five cards in the slot.
If your main concern is not just finding your wallet when it is lost but also being able to track down thieves if it gets stolen, then go with the Volterman.
Just like every smart wallet on this list, the Volterman wallet will remind you in case you forgot to take your wallet with you and it will also show you your wallet’s location on a map when you leave it somewhere.
However, the Volterman also has some nifty features. First, it has a power bank that allows you to fully charge your phone.
Moreover, if somebody steals your wallet, the system would go into lost mode. In lost mode, the wallet’s embedded camera will take a snapshot of the person’s face and send it to you.
The Volterman also comes with its own Wi-Fi hotspot, with roaming rates that are lower than what most providers offer. You can use your wallet to go online wherever you are in the world. This will also ensure that the wallet will be able to send any photos it takes when it’s on lost mode. This means that in the event a thief opens your wallet, the wallet will not only capture his or her face in a photo but also send you that picture even if it is in a place without Internet.
The Volterman wallet is currently under development and the first batch of wallets will go to Indiegogo backers this March 2018. IF you are willing to wait for this wallet, you might have to wait for a few months. The estimated price of the Volterman without the special backers’ pricing is around $238.
Q -Traq is another Indiegogo project that is currently 860% funded. It has all the features that other smart wallets offer: the ability to locate your wallet, the ability to ring to make it easier to spot in a room, the ability to help you find your phone if you misplace it, and the ability to show you the last known location of your wallet on a map.
All of these features are packed in a compact form, measuring only 3.74 inches by 2.95 inches. It is also very slim, measuring only 0.16 inches thick. Made of microfiber leather, you can choose from five colors: red, black, brown, blue, or gray.
But what makes this wallet stand out is its price. It gives you some of the features you would want in a smart wallet for only $44.
What could be better
The lower price, the features, and the premium design of this smart wallet place it among the best smart wallets. But the company does not have its own stores yet, so you need to pre-order the Q-Traq via its funding page or via its Kickstarter campaign. Additionally, the Chipolo tracker it uses is also detachable, not that much help if your wallet gets stolen and the thief throws it away.
Further read, The Best Smart Backpacks
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!