Hidrate Spark — Smart water bottle review

We are a few months into 2017 — the year of the "smart home". There is an ongoing shakeup in the tech industry towards smart-ifiying everyday devices that up to now have never received the treatment. Here we review Hidrate Spark 2.0 a smart water bottle originally funded via Kickstarter and is now available for general purchase. Do you need a smart water bottle in your life? Keep on reading to find out more!

Hidrate Spark 2.0 is a smart water bottle that tracks your water intake throughout the day. It connects to your iPhone or Android phone via bluetooth and allows you to track your progress using the companion hydration app. The design of Hidrate is to help you stay healthy, drinking water can lead to improved cognition, mood, energy, physical performance, overall health and can even help you lose weight. Equally if you are a tech enthusiast and want a sip of the future then this may be for you.
Hidrate Spark 2 water bottle unboxing
The Hidrate Spark 2.0 comes in a simple box with instructions booklet and warranty information inside. It is worth considering that you are only covered for 60 days, reading other customer reviews on the site the overall it seems very positive with only a few experiencing issues. Here I have the Black version of the bottle, other colours are also available: White, Green, Teal, Pink & Purple. The 710ml bottle is very sleek and made of a machine-washable BPA-Free Tritan plastic. The Black version is perhaps more professional looking than the other colours which makes it ideal to take to work as well. The shape is a contemporary jagged design which is very nice to hold and carry.
Hidrate Spark 2 water bottle unboxg
The drinking cap size is quite large, you can drink either by letting it flow into your mouth or you can suck at it. The bottle ticks all the boxes for quality, I have experienced no leakage from the cap, I am now confident enough to throw it in the bottom of my bag. There is a push-button that makes the drink cap pop open for easy drinking and I have found it to be very durable despite a few drops! Also included is a handy carrying strap toggle which I use a lot to attach my bottle and hang from my bag. If the toggle had a clip on it however it would be a lot easier to attach to other objects.
Hidrate Spark 2 water bottle unbox
The novel part of this bottle is the water-sensor inside that tracks drinking habits in realtime. The water-sensor is powered by 2 x watch batteries (CR2032) which means they can be swapped out when required. Generously included were the batteries, 2 already in the sensor stick and 2 spares stuck on the outside of the box. Battery life is estimated to be several months and can be prolonged by choosing fewer notifications per day. The Hidrate bottle is then paired to the companion Hidrate app which can be found on the iOS or Android App Store. Paring is very simple and the app provides you an easy user setup asking for basic health & fitness information for hydration recommendations.

The bottle itself also periodically reminds you when you are behind with glow notifications, so there really is no excuse to not be drinking! This can be turned down so it is less frequent or turned off entirely. I have been quite conscious when out in public that the Black bottle has a suspicious looking red blinking light…
Hidrate Spark 2 water bottle sensor
When the companion Hidrate app is open the live water level is updated within 3 seconds of taking a sip. Impressively a single sip is measured very accurately it is worth checking out the video at the bottom for footage of live updating. A new update released very recently allows background updating to the app when it is not open, this is very useful for always having up to date hydration information without waiting for the bottle to sync. The bottle can also store up to 2 days worth of data without syncing which means you won't lose data if you misplace your phone! The smart tracking also syncs with data from Fitbit, Apple Watch & more to make it a more personal experience — going for a run for example will increase hydration requirement due to steps taken, in practice I have not seen it change much per day despite occasional more active days.

The Hidrate app features are as follows:
  • Customized hydration goal
  • Hydration history
  • Keep an eye on friend's progress
  • Fun notifications
  • See bottle’s last paired location on a map
Hidrate Spark 2 app notifications Hidrate Spark 2 app Hidrate Spark 2 app location
The main annoyance of the Hidrate app is that it is missing a feature to add historical water consumption. If you are expecting to perfectly log every drink that you consume including non-hydrate bottle drinks then you have to be very disciplined. I often update manually that I have had a cup of tea, although in practice I often forget and then update the app a few hours later by which time I has skewed my drink timings into the following day (12am). In hindsight it is probably for the best to use the app for recording a rough drink log and not to spend time making sure every detail is correct.

So overall has the bottle been worth it? Personally I have found using Hidrate Spark to be very enjoyable and it has drawn my attention to that I drink a lot when at home, but barely anything at all when I'm at work! Using Hidrate has helped me to drink more at work and therefore feel more alert during the day whilst reducing occasional headaches. The app connectivity is the best part of the experience and the notifications certainly encourage you to use it. Hidrate Spark 2.0 has an expensive price tag of $54.95​ but there is no other smart bottle that provides the same experience!

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