We review the Groove Wallet from Groove Life. A result of a Kickstarter campaign, it provides a new take on pop up or box wallets like the Ekster or SECRID. But it has a usability flaw that is pretty annoying which a competitor solved (Ogon Slider) with little effort and for half the price.
(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
This review’s wallet took a long time coming from their Kickstarter campaign, but it was worth the wait. The Groove Life Groove Wallet is quite attractive but it has one usability problem that was solved by a competitor.
One thing to notice about this wallet, something kind of interesting and I do not know why, is that it has a magnetization going on. This wallet’s main feature is a slider and retraction capabilities, a lovely fidget spinner. When we flip it over, we find a money clip that is all screwed into place and pretty simple, which is good because anything mechanical has a tendency to break over time. This was an option on the Kickstarter campaign and it comes with a little screwdriver and some screws. It is a leather sleeve that provides a quick access card slot, as well as an elastic strap and it screws onto the side and the bottom, which can be further replaced. It is a nice edition that allows you to have this addition to the wallet, and I am sure you will like this wallet, even though it has a small annoyance.
From a capacity perspective, the external cash clip can accommodate about 10 notes that have to be folded twice, and this is all about this fidget spinner. It also has an interior card slot with the capacity of up to six flat cards, or about four to five embossed. I wish that this could attach to the front, not just for the ability to have it on the front and a money clip on the back, but for another reason, which I will explain. This wallet measures 3.9 x 2.5 x 0.5 and weighs 98 grams or 3.46 ounces, it is a bit hefty. As I mentioned, there is a usability item that we are going to compare to the Ögon slider, a wallet that will have an individual review coming up,
In this test, I got six flat cards, an ID, a Metro pass, and I put five slips of cash that had to be folded twice to get in, but some smaller cash might be able to fit folded once, still, I think you will have to fold them twice all the time. This is designed in the United States and made in China from aerospace-grade aluminum. If you see from the interior, you will notice a friction pad used to slow the ejection of the cards. It is very similar to the extra design utilizing a studded rubber strip. Furthermore, the ejection mechanism is a pivot, once secured at the bottom corner, which is raising the bar, the mid-portion of the bar is secured to the top piece with a retraction mechanism once extended. Please watch the video for more details. The bar is plastic and it comes up and has a separator mechanism. About right in the middle, you have another pin into this retraction bar and that is what pulls it up when we move the front plate up. It is a very simple mechanism. The slider attaches to an internal piece, which gives the retraction arm when it closes fully. As mentioned, the pivot bar is plastic, and almost everything else is metal, which is why they provide their no BS, 94 year replacement guarantee. This is not nuanced at all, if it fails for any reason, they will replace it for free. Another very important feature is the little piece that, when you put your cards in, snaps behind them. This little piece is what prevents cards from coming out, absolutely not coming out. You can pull it back a little, but it is pulled out based on the movement of the front plate. The wallet is priced at $99, a little expensive for a type of wallet such as this compared to its competitors.
From a usability perspective, I immediately noticed one thing when I was using this wallet. It has no tooth or finish and no thumb groove or anything else to enable you to push the top plate. You have to really push down hard to be able to get a grip. It is not easy and it may seem silly, but it really is the case. I had to push down fairly hard to get it to come up. Maybe that is a feature that helps prevent it from inadvertently coming up. But honestly, I think it is an issue of usability. The Ögon SLIDER automatic wallet functions the same way, it has got the same concept as the Groove Life Wallet, however, unlike the latter, the Ögon has a thumb area, some ridges, and a tooth to this finish, meaning it has a texture. Besides, I do not have to use the groove down, I could do it from the top, and it is very simple to use. If I was to put the same pressure I am applying on the Ögon, it will not come up as easily on the Groove Wallet.
So, that is my biggest complaint. And this Ögon is selling for $40 compared to the $99. So what do you think? Am I being too picky? It is a small thing, but you will notice it as you use it. That said, the design is solid and the materials are excellent.
The final score of the Groove Life Wallet is five for quality, two for the price because it is expensive compared to its competitors, three for features, since it does what it should and the leather add-on is quite nice. Usability scores a two as it is a big enough issue that I think you will notice, finally, perception scores a four. Groove Life makes great products, and this product gets a final score of 33 out of 50.