Dec 212013
 

LELO Smart Wands: medium in foreground, large in backgroundUnreliable. That’s the word I’d use to describe the LELO Smart Wands. Not an adjective you want applied to any vibrator, but especially not an expensive one in a category of toy which is relied upon for quick, effortless orgasms. These so-called “Smart” Wands… are pretty dumb.

You can’t tell from that artsy-ass photo I took, but the medium Smart Wand is about half the size of the large one, at 9″ long and 1.7″ in diameter at the head, versus the large’s 12″ and 2.4″. The large comes in the most enormous LELO box I’ve ever seen. Both come with storage bags, but the medium gets the usual satin, while the large gets an odd neoprene that reminds me of knee pads.

Because there must always be a gimmick that nobody on earth actually needs, the Smart Wands have a mode called SenseTouch. This means the toy has “touch sensors that allow vibration strength to build as soon as the wand tip comes into contact with the body — creating the most professional massage technique that works intuitively with your body and your needs.” (Yes, they are totally going with the whole “back massager” story.)

In this case, SenseTouch appears to be code for “doing whatever the hell I want.” Sometimes it acts like it should, increasing in intensity when I press the toy against my skin. Sometimes it does the exact opposite. And sometimes I hold the wand out in front of me and just watch it have a little moment with itself, changing settings apropos of nothing.

Worse yet, the SenseTouch “feature” seems to have tainted all the rest of the settings, somehow. Both Smart Wands have a glitch which causes their vibrations to drop down in intensity out of nowhere. This is not a defect; according to LELO, it’s a “limitation of the technology,” and it has been confirmed by retailers as well as reviewers.

The medium Smart Wand is especially volatile. When I’m in regular mode and press the toy to my clit, the vibrations immediately decline. I literally can’t get it to stay on its highest intensity unless I hold down the plus button.

The large Smart Wand is less predictable. Sometimes I’ll go an entire masturbation session without it freaking out on me, only for it to test my sanity in the next. Once it starts glitching, it doesn’t return to the happy time when it wasn’t. At least not in a single masturbation session. The glitch happens most readily around the sixth and seventh intensity settings — you know, the settings one would most likely use to achieve orgasm.

Because yes, your orgasms are not safe. Watch as it brings you right to the edge, then, at the point of no return, drops down to a lower intensity, causing you to whimper in agony as you orgasm at what might have been. …And I would know. (File this under being a sex toy reviewer suxxxxx, guyz.)

Also, the Smart Wands glitch mercilessly if you are wearing underwear. I DON’T KNOW WHY. I stopped asking questions.

Considering how ergonomic the these things look, it’s appalling how ergonomic they are not. There is no good place for me to hold a Smart Wand. If I grab close to the head, I feel all the vibrations in my hand and risk accidentally changing settings. If I grasp the middle, I can’t change settings with one hand. It’s all awkward.

And the vibration resonates through the handle a lot. My hands haven’t itched this much since the Rock Box.

Unlike most LELO toys I own, these toys can’t hold a charge for shit. Several times, I’ve fished them out of my drawers only to find them inexplicably drained. Fuckin’ things SUCK. They charge quickly, but that doesn’t matter when you have pants off, lube in hand, and a buffet spread of toys on your desk.

I wanted the medium Smart Wand to be everything the Mystic Wand is and more. But it is not. The Mystic Wand is stronger, with controls that make sense, a comfortable shape, and a notable lack of glitching.

I wanted the large Smart Wand to be everything the Hitachi is and more. But it is not. The Hitachi is stronger, with controls that make sense, a comfortable shape (compared to the Smart Wand… which is saying something), and a 30-year history of not glitching.

When it’s behaving, I like the large Smart Wand well enough. I can use it on bare skin, unlike the Hitachi, and the silky, seamless silicone head feels good. It’s strong, with vibrations ranging from deep and rumbly to intense and buzzy. I even bought this silly-looking Flutter Attachment to help concentrate the vibrations, and that works fairly well. BUT THE LARGE SMART WAND IS $169. It is OBSCENELY expensive. Offensively expensive. Nothing-can-justify-that expensive.

And let’s be real, using these toys just makes me want my Mona. Granted, using a lot of things just makes me want my Mona. But the Smart Wands make me crave reliability, simplicity… knowing my orgasm will not be in vain. The Mona is stronger than the medium Smart Wand, anyway.

I guess I’ll keep the large Smart Wand around to jostle congested snot from my nose — if it’s charged. But for the times when I want to whip it out for use on my genitals, I can only assume it won’t be ready. It won’t be charged, or it’ll be glitching. And I won’t be gutted.

Thank you, Good Vibes!

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  • http://noveltiestoymeetsgirl.com/ dizzygirl

    I like how often your cat shows up in your pictures. Oh and, these things sound like utter shit.

  • Pingback: REVIEW: LELO SMARTWAND LARGE » Naughty Reenie()

  • E. C.

    I’m actually pretty pleased to hear that these suck so I can stop coveting them.

  • http://girlyjuice.tumblr.com/ Girly Juice

    I don’t understand why my Smart Wand and Form 2 have both never given me the glitchy problems you’ve talked about, when so many others have confirmed these glitches. Maybe I’m just really delicate with my toys? I honestly have no idea!

    It’s definitely time for Lelo to go back to making standard, non-gimmicky toys intended for solo use. Man, those were the good old days.

  • Russell Harmon

    Matches my experience with the large. My partner and I bought one, and it was sometimes fine, sometimes very frustrating (often randomly glitching like you describe, and once an unexpectedly low battery that to be fair could have been my fault). We exchanged our first at the store, the second one does the same thing. My partner gave up on it, I’m keeping it around to use in video shoots because it’s much prettier than a Hitachi, and maybe one of the failures will be entertaining.

  • http://loraxofsex.com/ Lorax Of Sex

    My first one glitched, but after replacing it my new one has never glitched in use, nor when I have gone out of my way to TRY and make it glitch. It is a little odd, in that when turning it on/up it seems to go by twos- it takes five clicks to reach the high setting going up, but ten going down. Hm. At least one demo model at work has glitched, so I totally know what you’re talking about. It’s weird- almost seems like theres a MAJOR QC issue going on with these that LELO is just passing off now, or something. It’s frustrating, because they’re expensive and they are nice in a lot of ways, but given how hit-or-miss they are, and then the gdawful sensemotion thing? Pfft. I still love and use my large a lot, but I definitely put some caveats on these big time.

  • http://loraxofsex.com/ Lorax Of Sex

    Oh and the medium is just useless. Fuck that. Get a Mystic Wand.

  • http://www.dangerouslilly.com/ Dangerous Lilly

    I detested the medium, but I raved about the Large….because of the vibrations. When I paired it with the Vixen Hitachi attachment, it was heaven for my g-spot. Despite getting one of the first run, I’ve never had my Large glitch. I hate the Smart feature so I never use it, but it doesn’t seem to ruin anything else.
    You are right about the charge, I’ve found mine dead most of the time so I have to plan to use it. Since there are much more expensive and even more useless toys out there, this wasn’t as big a fail to me (the large; medium can DIAF).

  • nuala macmoragh

    I guess I’ll keep the large Smart Wand around to jostle congested snot from my nose Oh so that’s what you do with vibrators that get you off!

    I’m spoiled now–if it doesn’t plug into the wall like the Eroscillator or the Hitachi, I’m not likely to be using it on my clit. And frustration wise, the Sqweel is my latest horrifying acquisition: adding the slightest pressure just as I am about to cum, the wheel stops turning, which turns into a vicious cycle of non-intentional edging until the battery wears out or I chuck the thing across the room and grab something that plugs into the wall. Or heaven forbid, use my fingers!

  • jnynx

    this review blew my mind a little. i agree with 98% of your reviews but this one is just the polar opposite of what my experience has been like.

    i have the medium wand and it’s never spazzed out on me. its the most reliable toy i own. the vibrations are epic and rumbly and pretty powerful. but i only ever use the highest setting.. don’t really mess around with it that much.

    you can feel the vibrations in the handle, obviously, but ive never had the issue of it making my hand tingly. it’s deep and rumbly and i can hardly feel it when in use.

    also the charge for me lasts forever. i use it a couple hours every night and i only need to charge it once a week.

    for me personally, its super comfy and i’ve never had an issue with it. i dont have a bad word to say about it to be honest. i own a few toys and it’s by far my favourite.

    sucks that you had such a crappy time with it.

  • http://ofsexandlove.com/ Adriana Ravenlust

    Totally agree about those features that are useless. It’s a bummer, though. THese are attracted me because they have a nice design for the type of vibe but I;’ll likely pass

  • http://ofsexandlove.com/ Adriana Ravenlust

    I find that discrepancy between button pushes to be common in most lelo toys

  • nilla

    THANK YOU!!! Thank you for this review before I plunked my money on this. I just bought a Hitachi (I know…you’d have thunk by now that I’d have one but I could never justify the money before now)…and I *was* going to go with these, even though they are expensive. I thought they might be “better” than the Hitachi. Thanks for saving me from a costly, frustrating, mistake!

    nilla
    vanillamom.wordpress.com

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