PLEVO is a new smart luggage that comes with a number of useful features, as well as the bad one. Below in this article, we will discuss if you really should spend money on buying this expensive piece of techy carry-on, or better off sticking to your common one.
So in the overall of their lengthy Kickstarter campaign, this set of new luggage basically offering 3 main distinctive features where we don’t usually see in others — garment hanger, removable wheels and also the 3-in-1 smart lock system.
Before we get into the detail, you have to know that smart luggage isn’t something new in the recent years.
We have seen some other smart luggage campaigns before, one of which with a bigger success is the one called Bluesmart. However, the company has recently been forced to shut down due to the airlines regulation on banning their battery. In fact, it happened to some other smart luggage companies as well.
Even though the PLEVO has claimed that they have done everything to follow the airline regulation, just so you know, there is always a risk to it. There are some countries accept it, while the others don’t.
Enough of that, let’s move on to discuss a little on the luggage itself.
Review and discussion — Is it worth it?
From the backer’s response, it’s unsurprising that the PLEVO Runner is the most popular out of 3 PLEVOs. PLEVO Runner features a smaller size of 33 liters and weights 8.6 lbs. It doesn’t have the garment hanger and GPS tracking system, which are both deemed to be less useful. Below we will explain why.
First, the garment hanger took up a considerably large space. The garment hanger is available only in the PLEVO Up. And due to the aluminum framed system, there is a little room left for you to keep other daily items. Taking the words from creators, “you will be able to pack for a two days trip minimum, without taking into account (the) garment bags”. Therefore, I’d recommend you to buy the UP only if you’re using it for a short business trip. Otherwise, this new luggage by XiaoMi I found on Amazon is apparently a much practical option and is also cheaper.
Does this luggage able to stand a hit? It doesn’t seem convincing.
While this speculation has to be confirmed upon receiving the PLEVO, the structure seems to be quite fragile in the demo video of Morse code as it sunk-in a little bit everytime the button is pressed. It makes me worry about the overall quality of the bag as we know not all the airline baggage handlers are treating your luggage well and gentle.
For this, I’d suggest creators make a video to test how sturdy it really is, not just by its look.
Also, unlike many others using GPS chips for tracking, PLEVO uses WiFi and 3G cell-tower data (with internal SIM card provided) to send the location information. Just like your smartphone. Frankly, what they don’t tell you is that it actually requires a subscription fee of 12 dollars per year.
And yes, another bill for even your “smart luggage”. The first year is free though.
Other than that, another most concerned issue is none other than the battery pack. The PLEVO team offers a removable 8000 mAh power bank and it’s claimed to recharge a “standard iPhone” 4 times. It’s clearly not true, take the newer iPhone X with 2716 mAh battery capacity as an example, it’s apparently less than 3 full charges. And that’s in theory, in fact, a big portion of the 8000 mAh will also be used for the electronic component of the luggage, including the GPS tracking, digital scale, distance alert and smart lock.
That said, it serves best as an emergency source of battery juice, instead of how it’s pictured in the video.
As the electronic components are relying on the removable battery pack, once it’s removed for any reason, all of the luggage smart features are basically dead. Right? For this, they have included a low capacity (600 mAh) non-removable Nickel backup battery pack in the system, and when the backup battery is used up, it will then be automatically recharged from the removable battery, the next time you plug it in.
And lastly, although it’s advertised that the removable battery makes your airport security check a breeze, what about the non-removable Nickel backup battery? No one can really confirm that. There were a lot of similar cases had actually been reported:
In overall, is it worth it? Yes and no. Except being a little high price for the technology you pay for, one biggest concern for this tech luggage is still on the battery pack as mentioned. Other than that, it’s a pretty solid luggage providing some interesting features. For the price, they have oversea fulfillment center, and therefore the customs duty and VAT will all be covered.
Still, you will need to pay for $24-$39 for shipping, adding up to more than $300 for one luggage. And at that price point, you can already get this one high-end luggage.