Pocketables

Walli Smart Wallet Review

I have to make a confession. I received the Walli Smart Wallet a few months ago but have held off on reviewing it until now. The thing is, the Walli was such a poor product when I received and the software was in preview that I didn’t think it was fair to write it up. So, now that it’s had a few months for potential app updates and is for sale to the general public it’s time has come. Have the intervening months been kind to Walli? Read on to find out.

DESIGN

I have to say I don’t love the look of the Walli. It’s a bit bulky for my tastes but also doesn’t comfortably hold all of my stuff. That’s nonsensical to say, I know, but it’s true. One thing Walli has going for it is that it’s made from “top grain premium leather” and has nice stitching around its edges. It’s available in blue and, theoretically, black. Though navy blue with teal highlights seems to be the only version available right now.

There are six card slots. They’re kind of tight but I believe they’d loosen up with use. The Texas Instruments SOC sits in one of the two cash type pockets. It’s covered by a rubber band and powered by a watch-type battery.

PERFORMANCE

I’m not a fan of the Walli’s looks, but that’s subjective. You may love it. What isn’t so subjective, however, is the way the wallet performs. It’s designed to serve four primary functions – tell you when you’ve left your wallet behind, tell you when you’ve had a credit card out of the special sensor slot for too long, help you locate your missing wallet, and help locate your missing phone. The Walli can do all of those things but only about 30% of the time.

The way Walli is supposed to work is pretty simple. There’s a device code on the back of the box (don’t throw it away!) that allows you to pair the wallet to your phone with the My Walli app. You can then set settings like how far away the wallet has to be before alerting you, how long before the credit card alarm fires, and more. You can even set one and only one WiFi network as a safe area where alarm conditions are ignored.

Let’s look at each function individually. First, the lost wallet function. Simply fire up the app and tap the Find Walli button and the wallet will fire off a tinny alarm. This is the most consistent of it’s functions as it usually works if the wallet is within 20 feet or so. There’s also a function to show the last known location of the wallet.

So then we move on to locating the phone with the watch. Double tap a button in the wallet and your phone will theoretically sound an alarm. Things start to fall apart here. This only worked for me twice out of the 15 or so times I tried it. That makes it a completely unreliable and utterly useless feature.

The third major feature the Walli claims is the ability to passively notify you when you’ve left your wallet behind. So, for example, if you accidentally leave your wallet at the dinner table at Outback your phone should alert you by the time you get to your car. Does that happen? No, not really. What does happen is, despite your wallet and phone sitting mere inches apart, false alarms fire all the time. Even when your phone is connected to your safe WiFi it fires. This is the most maddening feature of the wallet.

The final function this wallet should perform is to notify you when you’ve had a credit card out of the special sensor slot. The top left credit card slot has a sensor in it that detects when it is empty. Sometimes. The app lets you configure how long it needs to be empty before alerting. I set it to the recommended one minute. It worked one time. Every other time I tested it – nothing. I could leave my card on the counter at Walgreen’s or in the ATM at Publix and my $90 wallet would never tell me. And that’s the final nail in the coffin. This wallet is not worth the expense.

CONCLUSION

If you’e read this far, you’ll know that I did not have a good experience with the Walli. It’s too big for my tastes and too buggy to rely on. Could I have received a faulty wallet? Perhaps. Might it just be a problem between my Moto Z and the Walli? Maybe. But, I cannot recommend that you make this purchase. If you think it might work better for you check it out at their website, https://www.mywalli.com/.