Wistiki wants its Voilà key tracker to make a striking first impression; indeed, the company tapped designer Philippe Starck to come up with a unique look for the device. At the time of its debut the metal Voilà was certainly an attractive option in a world of interchangeably plastic rivals. But the Tile Pro Series has since come along, offering an elegant look of its own in a more compact package.
What's Noteworthy About the Violà
The Voilà is all about design. At 2.4 x 0.9 x 0.2 inches, it's shaped like a couple sticks of chewing gum, though the Philippe Starck influence makes it much prettier than your average stick of Juicy Fruit. The Voilà sports a smart metal finish capped off by a plastic tip that's available in four pastel colors. The lone button is a very subtle imprint in the metal case; you press this button to activate the two-way find feature when you can't track down your phone.
Since we first reviewed the Voilà, Tile upped its look and feel with the Tile Style and Sport. Whether you prefer the Voilà's metal look or the textured designs of the new Tiles is up to you, but you can't deny that the square Style and Sport aren't as elongated as the Voilà. Tile's new tracker top out at 1.6 x 16. x 0.2 inches.
MORE: Best Key Finder
You can't replace the battery in the Voilà. Once it's out of juice, you have to get a new tracker. Fortunately, Wistiki promises long battery life — up to three years, compared with the one-year life span of the Tile Mate and the Chipolo Plus, which also have nonreplaceable batteries.
If the Voilà lives up to that battery-life claim, its longevity takes some of the sting out its price tag. The Voilà cost $39 when we reviewed it, though sales prices seem to have brought that down to a more manageable price tag recently.
How the Voilà Performs
As with other key finders, you attach the Violà to a set of keys and pair the device with an app running on either your Android or iOS device. (If you'd prefer to track other items, like a pet or your wallet, Wistiki offers the Aha and the Hopla, respectively, which also boast that distinctive Philippe Starck design.)
Don't expect to find your keys from a great distance. I lost contact with the Voilà pretty consistently at around 40 feet away from my keys. Even worse, the Voilà has a hard time reconnecting with your phone once you move back into range; for the most part, I couldn't re-establish a connection until I was practically standing on top of my keys. The Tile Sport and Style both deliver longer range, and other key finders we've tested, such as the Chipolo Plus, re-establish connections with greater consistency.
At least the Voilà is nice and loud, at 90 decibels, according to Wistiki. I had no problem hearing the alert noise whether my Voilà was buried under a pile of laundry or left on a park bench in a noisy park. I just wish the alarm sounded longer than 12 seconds. Better key finders, such as the Tile Mate, keep making a noise until you've signaled that you've located the device.
The Voilà has a "digital leash" feature — basically, a geofence where your phone gets an alert whenever the Voilà goes out of range. Here's where the Voilà's short range works to its advantage, as I consistently got alerts when I strayed as far as 35 feet from my keys.
Less impressive were the occasional false alarms when my phone notified me that my keys were out of range even though they were safely in my pocket. Unfortunately, the Voilà never notified me when I was back in range, which can make finding misplaced items more difficult than it needs to be.
The folks at Wistiki believe you'll want to pay a premium for a sleek-looking device that's going to spend most of its time tucked into your pocket. Even if the Voilà's looks could justify its price, the device's performance certainly doesn't, especially with more reliable key finders, such as the Tile Mate, already out there. And if you place a premium on looks, Tile has you covered there, too, with its new Sport and Style trackers, both of which outperform the Voilà.