I have always had a fascination with IoT. You can get all manner of smart devices that should add value to your day. Let’s see how the Viomi Smart Kettle performs. Before I hear you laugh too loud, this is one of Viomi’s largest sellers. Admittedly it is also a pretty economical way to get ‘smart’ boiled water. And it has some real advantages over the average dumb ‘jug’.
Details: Viomi Smart Kettle Models V-SK152A (white) or V-SK152B (Black)
Price: $99.95 but on limited special at $49.95 plus postage
Warranty: 12 months ACL
Country of manufacture: China
Viomi is a Chinese public company. Xiaomi is its strategic partner and major shareholder, and Viomi is part of its ‘mi HOME ecosystem’. Viomi has developed an ecosystem of smart products, including water purifiers, refrigerators, range hood, switches, speakers, fan, water dispenser, mirror, gas and electric water heaters, water processing, dishwashers, etc. You do not see the whole range in Australia – we are a very small market compared to its target – China’s young, modern, new ‘middle-class’ consumers. It sells factory-to-consumer (F-2-C) in China and via Xiaomi mi-store in Australia.
You can read other Viomi reviews here, including its robot vacuum cleaner and mop that is very good for the price.
Let’s quickly look at the advantages – downsides NONE!
Price: RRP is $99.95, but it is on special at $49.95. My trusty Kenwood ‘dumb’ kMix 1.7L 220W kettle cost about $150.
Digital temperature readout – if you are a green tea or camomile drinker, you need it to be at 70° or get a scorched taste. Even black tea is better at 85°. The readout makes it easy to monitor
Its 1800W as against 2000W+ for most kettles – saves some energy
The boiling time for 1L is 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The kMix is 3 minutes and 5 seconds
It has a 100% openable ‘mouth’, so it is great for warming or sterilising babies bottles
Stainless steel tank with volume markings inside
Fashion matte white or black exterior
It has a stay warm mode at 50, 70, 80, 90°, so once boiled, it cools to the desired temperature
Boil dry protection
And the Viomi Smart Kettle is smart!
You can rightly ask why a jug/kettle needs to be smart, and the answer is that it adds value to a dumb kettle. The kettle connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth – that means a range of between 10-30metres depending on your smartphone. Through the Xiaomi Mi Home App from Google Play or Apple Store (don’t use the barcode in the manual – that is for China where Google does not exist), you can
Set the temperature to heat to (40-90°)
Change keep-warm time from 30 minutes to 12 hours
Auto-select the right temperature for milk powder, baby rice flour, white tea and coffee
And select other warming options
There are two things it cannot do – mostly for safety reasons. First, you can’t initiate a boil from the app. Why? You must check there is water in the kettle, and you never leave any operating appliance unattended. Second, there is no schedule to boil at a certain time. Why? See the first reason. There is no integration with Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri present, but it is coming. “Viomi boil the jug”.
The Viomi Smart Kettle does not collect any information on how many times you use it. The Mi Home app does collect user information at sign-up, but I can ascertain that it is not intrusive. Note that it only requests permissions it needs to make the appliance work. It does not access contacts, phone records, calendar, logs etc.
Xiaomi’s mi Home app has hundreds of millions of installs, and it is constantly evolving. It covers almost every imaginable smart device. The app had stability issues, and I have noticed it is far more reliable. Frankly, it has a fair way to reach perfection as it covers so many types of devices. For the Viomi Robovac/Mop and this smart kettle, it was perfect.
Well, this is my first review of a smart kettle. All it has to do is efficiently boil water to pass, and the app is an added benefit. But this is a great kettle regardless of whether you ever use the app. And build quality puts many brand names to shame. I can’t give it 10/10, but its very close – a hearty buy recommendation for this hot product.