Review: Three weeks with the KeySmart Pro taught me it's OK for my keys to be dumb
There's a pretty solid argument to be made for integrating some kind of tracking technology onto your keyring. After all, a lost set of keys can create some pretty big headaches. Billed as the "world's smartest key holder," the KeySmart Pro embraces this line of thinking and adds a few extra bells and whistles. But is it worth the extra baggage?
The KeySmart Pro is an organizer that arranges your keys into a neat package, with space for up to 10 regular keys plus a dedicated loop to attach larger items like car key fobs. Regular keys are sandwiched in between two pieces of hard plastic with stainless steel bolts looping through the keyholes and holding everything in place. These bolts can be undone with something like a small coin and tightened again, but you will need to fine tune that tightness so your keys have just the right amount of swivel.
Built into the plastic body is a Micro USB-rechargeable battery that powers a mini LED flashlight and an integrated Tile module. Other Tile products generally come as small physical devices around the size of a casino chip that can be attached to classic keyrings and bags to keep tabs on their whereabouts by pairing with a smartphone over Bluetooth and continuously pushing their location to said smartphone.
The KeySmart Pro works in the same way. If the owner finds they've misplaced their keys, they can open up the Tile app and press the "Find" button, prompting the KeySmart Pro to sound an alarm or show its last known location on a map. Conversely, if the owner misplaces their phone, a double-press of the Tile logo will call their device, even if it happens to be on silent.
In our experience testing the KeySmart Pro over three weeks, it worked exactly as advertised. Its designers have done a good job of packing this functionality, along with a flashlight, into a pretty slender package. But this effectively turns your keyring into an electronic multitool, and for a lot of users this will verge on overkill.
If you're somebody that uses their keyring to simply carry a few keys and a fob or two, then the addition of a rigid body 9.6 cm long, 2.1 cm wide and 1.5 cm thick (3.8 x 0.8 x 0.6 in) is likely to get pretty old, pretty quickly. But for those that like to have USB sticks, pocket knives, flashlights or bottle openers on them anyway, then it may well be a better way to organize their everyday carry.
If you're regularly hunting for your keys and it's simply the tracking functionality that you're after, then you might be better off looking at a standalone Tile product to address the problem, or one of its competitors like the TrackR bravo. And if the organizational aspect of the KeySmart Pro is what appeals, the OrbitKey is a worthwhile consideration. In our experience, its pliable and stylish leather body is a superior and more comfortable solution to stick in your pocket.
However, the US$60 Keysmart Pro is an innovative product in its own right, and its unique set of features may well appeal to a certain type of user. But after a few weeks with it, and as someone who likes to think they usually have a pretty good handle on where their keys are, I was very ready to return to living life dangerously and accept the risks of a rudimentary loop with no strings (or trackers) attached.
Product Page: KeySmart Pro