Minimum capacity: Not specified
Maximum capacity: 1.8 liters
Water gauge: No
Lid type: Flip top
Exterior material: Stainless steel
Cord length: 24 inches
Weight: 2.57 pounds
Size: 10.8 x 8.3 x 6.06 inches
Variable temperature: Yes
The Smarter iKettle Original is one of the few ‘smart’ kettles you will find on the market. It features everything you would expect of an electric kettle, but also comes with app connectivity — so you can control and monitor it from your phone. Through the app, you can activate a keep warm setting as well as access useful functions such as scheduling when you want the kettle to boil.
While this all sounds very impressive, we found the design of the kettle itself left room for improvement, as you will see in our Smarter iKettle Original review. However, it still makes our list as one of the best kettles for the technology it brings to the table.
Smarter iKettle Original review: Price and availability
The Smarter iKettle Original is currently available to buy from Amazon for $129. It’s also available to buy in the UK from Smarter for £129. It’s available predominantly in stainless steel, but other colorways include white, light grey, dark grey and a white and rose gold.
Smarter iKettle Original review: Design
The Smarter iKettle Original has a huge maximum capacity of 1.8 liters, which was the largest of any we tested — this is roughly equivalent to just over seven cups of tea. However, to my surprise, no minimum capacity is given. There’s no markings inside the kettle, no mention of it in the instructions and no indication in the app or online either. The Smarter support page online mentions that it’s fitted with boil dry protection however, so it shouldn’t damage itself or cause a safety hazard if filled to too low a level. But, this lack of guidance is less than ideal.
There’s no water gauge on this kettle, which makes it look aesthetically pleasing, but you will have to look inside as you fill it. The lid is a flip-top with a plastic finish, the release button for which can be found on the top of the handle, which is also plastic. The rest of the kettle’s body is made from stainless steel. The handle is quite bulky with angular edges, which dig into the hand; it’s better suited for larger hands.
It’s quite a sizable kettle, measuring 10.8 x 8.3 x 6.1 inches and it’s pretty heavy when full, weighing 6.7 pounds — while this was the heaviest we saw, it does have the largest capacity of any we tested, so the extra weight is to be expected.
You can control the kettle via the Smarter app, but you can also switch it on manually using the single button on its base. When it finishes boiling it makes audible noises, and an indicator light on the base illuminates.
Because of the app connectivity, the base is a bit chunkier than usual, but it feels of premium quality. You’re given 24 inches of cord length, which was the shortest we saw during our tests. Our winner, the Bosch Sky Kettle, had 26.3 inches by comparison. You can conceal any cord you don’t use in the base.
Smarter iKettle Original review: Performance
When pitted against the other kettles we tested, the Smarter iKettle Original left some room for improvement. It needed two minutes and 18 seconds to boil a liter of water — the Bosch needed just two minutes and four seconds by comparison. During this time, the body reached a staggering 197.8 °F, which was the hottest temperature we saw — it's definitely a scalding hazard.
Noise on the other hand was fairly average, reaching 76.2 dB at its peak. Unfortunately, energy use was poor though, at 0.1195 kWh; only the Dualit Architect Kettle had a higher energy consumption. We also noticed that this kettle releases a lot of steam through the lid when it reaches boiling, which doesn’t reflect a top-quality design. However, it is accurate as you pour and easy to control the flow.
When boiling at full capacity, it didn’t spit or leak and needed three minutes and 43 seconds to reach temperature, which seems slow, but you are boiling more water compared to most kettles. External temperature and noise were much the same as the one liter test, at 193.6 °F and 77 dB respectfully.
It scored top marks for insulation, thanks to the Keep Warm setting. Using this, you can maintain the kettle’s temperature for up to 40 minutes, which meant the temperature of the water was still 188.8 °F after an hour.
Smarter iKettle Original review: App
Using the Smarter app, you can set the temperature anywhere from 68-212 °F (20-100 °C) in one-degree increments. This is the best temperature control we’ve seen from any kettle, and it even shows the live temperature as the water heats, as well as how much water is in the kettle (a digital gauge as such). On the home screen, there are also shortcuts for setting the best temperatures for herbal tea, coffee, and just boiling.
There are several settings you can access in the app too. Keep Warm as mentioned will maintain the temperature of the water for up to 40 minutes. There’s also a Wake Up Mode and a Home Mode, both of which are designed to schedule when you want your kettle to boil — so you can set it ready for when you wake up, or when you return from work.
While the Wake Up Mode uses a specific time, the Home Mode uses location services so it can tell when you’re arriving home. There’s a useful Formula Mode which will boil and then cool the water to specified temperatures for formula making.
You can also choose which notifications you want to receive, such as when the kettle has finished boiling or has finished cooling. The Smarter iKettle Original works with both Alexa and Google Assistant as well so you can give it voice commands.
I found the kettle connected to the app easily and the app was very intuitive to navigate. I also liked that you could convert from Celcius to Fahrenheit depending on your preference. This smart connectivity essentially provides new ground on what you can do with your kettle and Smarter really has thought of everything you could want.
Smarter iKettle Original review: Ease of use and manual
The limescale filter is very easy to remove and refit, and the lid is simple to open and close, although I did find the release button could stick at times. The spout is quite small, and while you can fill the kettle through it, you have to be accurate with the water otherwise you can make a mess. If you don’t have the patience for this, you can always fill it up through the lid. The water level is tricky to see as you fill it because there’s no water gauge and it’s quite a tall design. The stainless steel exterior does show up marks and fingerprints as well, so it’s not the easiest to keep clean.
A quick setup guide is provided with this electric kettle as well as an extended manual. The quick setup guide covers how to connect the kettle and where to get technical support. While the extended manual has adequate safety information, as well as cleaning and descaling advice and troubleshooting. However, there’s no contact number for the brand, no step-by-step guidance and no diagrams. You have to explore the app yourself to discover the features and work out how to use it.
Smarter iKettle Original review: Verdict
Ultimately, the Smarter iKettle Original is by no means a perfect kettle — our winning kettle, the Bosch Sky Kettle, was faster to boil, less of a scalding hazard and consumed less energy. However, the Smarter kettle offers an abundance of features you won’t find elsewhere. The scheduling as well as Formula Mode in particular are useful additions which really demonstrates this kettle’s place in the smart home.
The design admittedly needs work. I’ve never seen a kettle without a minimum capacity before, which shows poor consideration when it was designed. However, if you’re willing to overlook this and love the latest tech, the Smarter iKettle Original could be the one for you.