First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers' requests for an insider's first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you'd like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Remember when you could jump on a flight and grab the SkyMall magazine from the seatback in front of you? It was always full of fun and quirky items that you never knew you wanted and needed, and a great way to kill an hour on a long flight while getting ideas for birthdays and holiday gifts. Of course it had some crazy, expensive, and just downright strange items, but it also had quite a few useable gadgets that had me thinking on more than one occasion, "I need that." Well, if SkyMall had ever started a subscription box with their smaller items, I'm pretty sure it would look a lot like Gadget Discovery Club.
I was always the person who loved browsing through that magazine. I'm constantly on the hunt for cool and unique gadgets and basically anything that will make my life easier. With two little boys in multiple activities and a husband who travels half the month, I'm usually left to fend for myself in getting the daily chores and routines done. Needless to say, when I heard about Gadget Discovery Club, my interest was piqued. I thought it was a pretty fun idea, but fun only takes you so far. Would the gadgets they sent be high quality? Would I already have everything they sent? And most importantly, would I actually use what was sent?
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Gadget Discovery Club is a quarterly subscription box that sends their subscribers new and unique gadgets designed to "upgrade your entertainment & lifestyle". Boxes will include up to four gadgets worth over $150 and each box will be centered around a theme of either home, health, or entertainment. Past gadgets have included items such as headphones, bluetooth speakers and solar chargers. The box is basically for anyone who loves adding tech to make their everyday life easier.
As mentioned earlier, Gadget Discovery Club will send products that have a common theme. One box might be an entertainment theme, while the next box might be a seasonal one. Mine? I received a "summer health" theme. And I have to admit, they nailed this one. The day my box arrived it was 107 degrees outside and I was chugging water and trying to keep myself and the kids cool. So I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box and found two products that would help to keep me not only cool and hydrated, but also healthy. I was sent a KeySmart Clean Light water bottle and a Smoovi portable blender.
On more than one occasion I've had subscription boxes (or just companies in general), send out products that make zero sense for the season or for my lifestyle. I did not have that problem with this box, and it was refreshing to say the least! I was excited to dive into these two products and test them out!
The first product I noticed was the Smoovii portable blender. About two days before this box arrived I literally had gone onto Facebook and seen a friend post about making margaritas at the beach with her handheld blender. I was a little jealous and made a mental note to check them out online. Little did I know that one was already on its way to me.
The blender comes in a sleek box with a small set of directions and a charging cord. It's your basic USB cord, which makes this thing incredibly portable. You could literally blend up a smoothie in your car on your way to work if you wanted to! I wouldn't recommend that (keep your eyes on the road!), but you get the point.
The blender has the impression of being very high quality with a nice teal color, smooth exterior, and glass container. I was a little concerned about the glass as I can be a bit clumsy at times, but so far I haven't had any issues.
If you've ever used a blender, this thing is really self-explanatory. Just charge it up, add your ingredients, and double tap the power button. It will continually blend for about 10-15 seconds before turning off. This was not enough time for my smoothies to be blended, so I did need to shake around the blender a bit to get the extra bits to fall to the bottom and then turn it on a few more times. It was fairly quiet (for a blender) and did a decent job blending everything up. This isn't going to get it buttery smooth like a Vitamix does, but for the size and portability, I was honestly impressed.
The instruction packet contains a handful of recipes that you can try, but really the key is to remember to make whatever you put in small and to not fill it up all the way. I liked putting bananas in most of mine since this helped to make the smoothies a bit thicker. None of the recipes included mentioned ice, which I thought was a bit odd and assumed the blender wouldn't be able to handle it. I threw some in anyway on a couple occasions and it seemed to do just fine. Margaritas on the beach, here I come!
The blender is also incredibly easy to clean, just throw in a couple drops of soap with a little bit of water and blend it all up. You can wipe down the outside with a damp cloth, but it honestly couldn't have been easier.
Things I didn't like
There really wasn't a whole lot I didn't like about this blender. It's portable and easily charged and great when you want to make a healthy fast shake in the morning. The only feature I wish it had was a lid for the glass. This would have made it truly portable as you could have unscrewed it, popped the lid on, and been on your way. Since there was no lid, you really needed to either drink it right away or transfer it to another container that does have one.
With subscription boxes like these, you want to make sure you are going to get your money's worth. The last thing you want is to get a bunch of stuff that you won't use or worse, will just end up in the landfill. I would rate this gadget a 7/10 on the usability scale. It's not something I will use everyday, but when I need a single smoothie for myself during the day or when we are headed out on vacation, I will definitely be grabbing the Smoovii portable blender.
The CleanLight is a water bottle that uses UV light to kill 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and mold that can be found in your water. Now, there is a tiny part of me (I mean super tiny) that can sometimes be bit of a prepper. I grew up on the coast in Florida, (hurricane country!) so having clean water and a stash of non-perishable food items during the season was pretty much drilled into me at a very young age. I now have my own little cupboard with bottled water and non-perishables in the very off chance that we have a massive blizzard or the rare earthquake. So, I would be lying if I said this water bottle didn't intrigue me. However...I still wasn't a hundred percent sold.
Apparently these water bottles are becoming pretty popular, however, and with seemingly more and more novel viruses coming onto the scene in recent years, I guess I can sort of understand why. There are now multiple brands that sell these for a hefty price tag. We live in a city that has fairly clean water, though, so I was a bit skeptical as to whether I would actually use this or if it was even needed. My husband, however, was pretty excited when he saw it. His job takes him all around the world each month, so having a water bottle on hand that can clean the water was actually of huge interest to him. It's also quickly charged through a USB cord, which means he can easily charge it in hotel rooms and not worry about bringing an adapter just for this.
It's pretty simple to use as well. Just charge up the UV light, fill it up, and double tap the sensor to turn on the light. It takes between 2-3 minutes for the UV light to finish and then once it's done, you should have clean and safe water to drink!
Does it actually work? Well, honestly, I don't know. But I would assume it does. I know that UV light is great for killing bacteria and organisms (this writeup from the government of Western Australia helps break down the info on UV light for cleaning water), so as long as the UV light is charged and working properly, it should be cleaning your water.
The water bottle also comes with a rubber handle that you can attach at the base of the mouth. I liked that this was separate so that you could take it on or off depending on where you were keeping your water bottle. The size of it also fit into my car cup holder perfectly, which meant I didn't have the awkward situation of trying to find somewhere to stash it and have it roll around, clanking to everything in my car.
Additionally, it is double-walled so it is going to keep your drinks either cold or hot without that annoying "sweating". This is actually something that is really important for me–I won't even buy water bottles that aren't double walled anymore!
Things I didn't like
Similar to the blender...not much! The only issue I had with the water bottle is the magnetic feature on the charging unit for the UV light didn't match up perfectly. It still charged it just fine (and did so quickly!), but there was a small gap between the charger and light that made it easy for it to disconnect. This was really only an issue if you are moving it around or happen to have two little boys messing with it while it's trying to charge.
On a usability scale, I would rate this a 6/10, however, my husband rates this a 9/10. I think this is going to be especially useful if you find yourself in areas where you know the water supply isn't going to be as clean or even if you have a boil water notice at your home. And to be fair, right now it wouldn't hurt to give your water an extra pop of cleaning power...just to be safe!
Ok, so each box sent through Gadget Discovery Box is supposed to be worth $150. I looked both of these items up and the Smoovii can be found online for approximately $50 (I found the first edition for as low as $33) and the CleanLight water bottle retails for $109. I'd say their value estimation is pretty accurate even if you went for the cheaper, first edition blender.
Subscription Box: Gadget Discovery Box
US Pricing: $99/quarterly or $356/annually
UK Pricing: £69/quarterly or £252/annually
*UK boxes have an estimated value of £100
Canada Pricing: $149/quarterly or $516/annually
*Canada boxes have an estimated value of $190
The annual subscription for all countries will also include an additional tech box with an added value of $300 and access to tech and gadget discounts.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $10 off any plan or gift package.
I very much enjoyed this box! Just going off this first one, I would definitely recommend it for anyone who loves gadgets and anything a bit more tech-y. It would make a fantastic gift for someone that is a bit harder to shop for or a great way to spoil yourself a little bit throughout the year. I think both gadgets that were sent to me will get used quite frequently by either myself or my husband, and I absolutely loved that they were all about keeping you cool and healthy over the hotter, summer months. I really think Gadget Discovery Club nailed this one!