SmartCup Review – Made in China car accessory to cool / heat drinks in car
Here is yet another accessory for car owners.
Avtos were once a luxury. Now its just a means to reach the office for many. Concurrently, the focus on comfort and convenience grew inside the car surrounding first the driver and then the passengers. But the car manufacturers can only choose to develop features that would be relevant to all the buyers of the specific car. There are certain luxuries that would be provided as standard in high-end cars that would be aspired by people with more conservative vehicles. This is where third party products show up and fill that void. One such Made in China product is the SmartCup by Tobile Technologies Africa. The company claims, it keeps cool drinks cold and hot drinks warm.
What is it?
To put in simple words, this is a mini refrigerator for your car. Well, this is a refrigeration device that fits perfectly into a car’s native cup holder. People who tour often during the weekends and those who make a long commute to the office everyday would accompany themselves with a cup of coffee or a tin of a cold drink. They all know that the height of joy of holding the wheel on the right hand and their drink on the left does not often last the entire trip as the drink tends to reach the cabin temperature pretty quickly. The more frustrated people of this lot would be those who take hot coffee in their car with the AC turned on. Such an car accessory is made just for them.
How it works?
Just like hundreds of other similar cups on offer in the market, it has a semiconductor based heating/cooling system that utilises power from the 12V accessory socket that is found near the centre tunnel cup holder in almost all the cars out there. The product is extremely simple to use. It has only two buttons, one for Hot and the other for Cold. It has a scintillating blue light that glows along the bezel when the SmartCup is in cool mode, and the same turns hot red when the Cup is commanded to heat.
The company claims that it can cool your drink or heat it up in a matter of minutes. Which is not the case. Just like other cheap Chinese products on offer, this one too takes atleast 45 minutes for changing the temperature of your drink. Let alone making it cool or hot.
What you can do with it?
The best part about this product is the versatility. The SmartCup is not restricted of its usage within 5 doors. It can be taken to your desk or your couch in front of the TV and can be used with a household power adapter (provided along with the package). To our surprise, even smaller tin cans work on the SmartCup though it was designed for the fat cool drink tins that we often see.
If you’re also one of those people who like to sip coffee or cool drinks when they are in their car, then SmartCup is a product for you. But, priced at Rs 4,000, SmartCup costs more than eight times as compared to many similar products on sale in the market. The price tag not only fails to justify functionality, but also the quality. The cheap plastic quality of SmartCup makes your car’s interior look bad. There are similar products in the market which has better functionalities, quality and are priced from as much as Rs 500.