Many wallets claim to be smart, but only the Volterman is. With a built in power bank, gps tracker, camera for theft recovery while still being a functional leather wallet, it’s your only choice for a truly smart wallet
(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
Before jumping into the review, I believe it is fair to establish what a smart wallet is. No, it is not a wallet that you would insert a tracker into, it is not nomad, key smart, extra…Those are wallets with tracking cards put in. By now you have probably heard about the Volterman wallet. In this review, I will be showing you why it is the only smart wallet you can buy today. But it is good to know that smart might not be for you.
The Volterman wallet comes together with an extensive guide as a lot is going on with this particular wallet. Underneath lie the cables that comprise a charging cable and three others, which I believe are minor charging cables. Inside the wallet is what appears to be registration-related content as well as technology utilization. It looks like it is made of fairly decent leather, and comes in blue, brown, and black. It displays the Volterman logo on the front. The stitching is done well, even though it seems to be missing some double stitching on some of the edges. It is a little thick, but that is because of the technology that exists within. Once you set everything that was in the package aside, you can begin setting up this particular wallet. You do that by downloading the app which is available for Android and iOS. After that, you set up your account, which is done by adding this wallet device to your app using the QR code that gives a serial number of the other information regarding the wallet. I suggest you put this in a nice and safe place and recommend you take a picture of it, thus you can print it out later when needed. Following the start-up, the wallet goes through the boot phase, and then it is ready to go. Once your wallet is set up, seven main smart functions are available to you. But before we explore its smart features we will walk through the physical wallet feature since the wallet needs to be functional.
The wallet has no features on the exterior while the interior has 8 card slots. It is equipped with a quick access pole strap for cards. It can accommodate one to two cards in each slot, as well as one or two cards in the quick access pole strap. Further into the interior, we have a full billfold area for 5 to 10 notes. It fits all currencies, it measures 4.7 x 3.8 x 0.5″, and it weighs 138 grams when empty, which is due to all the technology.
So what makes this wallet truly smart? Well, to answer that, we jump back to the seven major features that make it stand out. From a perspective of specification, it has a 2600 mAh for both wired and wireless charging, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, 5MP camera, an 802.11 b/g/n wireless, a 24GHz inbuilt SIM card with GPS, and a 64GB inbuilt micro SD card. This is an impressive wallet that offers Lots of stuff.
Charging is a big portion of this wallet, it is built into a profile that enables two main ways of charging. One is with the little cables that hook up to your phone, and it comes with a micro USB as well as a lightning and a USB-C. These functions are quite clever, the USB-C, for example, comes in and it appears from the top that this charging port is at the bottom. You can see that at the bottom and would think, oh, well, I will just connect it at the top. Well, you would be wrong, and the reason why is because there is not a lot of space there to connect your phone in, it is more appropriate that you connect it at the bottom, and when you do, you will hear a click. This latter is the magnetic attachment at which point the cable is attached. I connected the cables to the power back to charge the wallet. The other option outside of these cables is via wireless, a Qi charger. When I specify wireless charging on the app and then place my phone on it, it will pick up and start to charge. Undoubtedly, wireless charging is a wonderful addition to the main features of this particular wallet.
The next feature is regarding tracking my wallet. Tracking is where most other wallets like to call themselves smart, but they fall way short. As I said, 99% of other wallet tracking is not even built-in. With Volterman, tracking is built into the technology. First of all, you need to deactivate the wireless charging and be careful when charging and utilizing your wallet so that it is optimal and not going to drain the battery quickly. The built-in tracking in Volterman wallet allows you to see the location via GPS on your phone, all you need to do is tap the location icon at the bottom and it will take you to a map to show you where your wallet is. It could take a few minutes to activate and to be able to find it, but you will get there, it also provides directions for it. This is how tracking should be done, understand that GPS trackers are standalone devices with no reliance on your phone unlike Bluetooth trackers used with cards like Ekster or NOMAD sell, which are only good at an approximate distance around 200 feet. Moreover, since Volterman GPS is built into the wallet, you would have to destroy the wallet to remove the GPS module. Therefore, if somebody steals your wallet, I assume that they will take all your cash and other valuables before getting rid of the wallet, unlike the tracking cards which are easily removed, not that big of a deal.
Furthermore, this whole piece of technology is equipped with a memory bank, an internal 64 gigabyte of memory that you can use for file storage by connecting to it via your WiFi using the Volterman hotspot. It has a hotspot you say? Well, yes. File transfers are best done over WiFi, much faster file completion checks, et cetera, which is why the hotspot is great. Going back to your Volterman app, you now have access to the memory card with all access granted to your local phone, you can add, rename, and delete folders and files, the same way you do in file manager.
One more feature provided by this wallet is the alarm mode. When activated, which is done via the app by pressing the alarm button and then appears by showing green on the phone, when you distance your phone from your wallet by 65 feet or more, your phone and the wallet will ring and vibrate. Your phone will also display a pop-up with a red button. You can turn off the alarm, and use the GPS button to help locate your wallet then. This feature can be turned off by touching the button on the app again. But what if you did not want to set the alarm, but you want to find your phone? In this case, the circle app is the way to do that. You click on the little circle button, then, all of a sudden you will hear the alarm. It turns off by pressing the little bell button. A great way to locate your phone and find your wallet if you forget it and do not remember its location, just remember to turn it off because you do not want that to happen all the time, especially in public places. Still, you could just track it via the GPS, but I think it is a nice feature if you do not know where it is, as in under a cushion, in a sofa, or something similar.
Next feature is the camera, it is a five-megapixel camera, which is not really impressive, but it is not meant to take pictures to keep. Instead, it is meant to help identify anyone who may pick up your wallet. It activates when the wallet is open. and will take three pictures depending on the mode. There are two different modes, a local mode and a lost mode. In summary, the local mode holds the pictures locally for you to access after the fact. In lost mode, the camera is automatically enabled as soon as the wallet loses its Bluetooth connection, which means if this happens, then when the wallet is open, three pictures are taken and sent via the SIM card.
That is right, I just mentioned a SIM card along with the previous feature. When the SIM has a chance to connect to a network, you can see that on your Volterman account. When you want to see the pictures that have been taken, you simply touch the camera button in the app. I find it very interesting to see who might have stolen my wallet, so I believe that the last mode is more useful.
Next is the hotspot that we have mentioned in the brief function, which works with gaining access to files. But what can it be used for? Well, for a starting point, it is used for the memory card and the pictures stored in it which are taken by the camera. It requires connecting to the wallet via WiFi to get the images. Therefore, if you want to use it as a hotspot, you click on the WiFi icon which will make it a fully global WiFi hotspot via the internal SIM, since, at that point, it uses the full functionality of the internal SIM. Nevertheless, it is optional and you will have to pay for that, but it is a nice option in a pinch.
Finally, we have the airplane mode, which is a function that is familiar to us, especially when on commercial flights. It is useful when you want to turn all the wallet’s other functions off so it can focus on the battery bank, because the power bank does suck quite a bit of juice since it is charging the device and you do not want to have it charging under needless functions at the same time. Rather, it should focus on the power bank at the expense of the other pieces.
Minimum card carry on this wallet is probably four cards and reasonable is six. I put six in it, including the quick access, and nine slips of cash or maybe more. It handled that amount just fine, starting with a thickness of 0.5 and ending up to a little over one inch. It fits in the pocket without problems. Still, it is big and due to all the technology I do not think I would have it as a rear pocket carry because it could damage the technology.
From a quality perspective, it is of nice quality leather and it smells pretty good. It is designed and made in Armenia, and this makes it our first wallet from Armenia. The painted edges are very well done and very typical, and the stitching is not machine-made. My only concern is the missing reinforcement on some of the edges which, over time, might take some abuse, but there is nice crease work that is demonstrated in all of the card slots. That is an extra effort that does not come for free. Each card slot’s nylon lining goes all the way to the bottom, and the leather stops at the top to avoid creating additional bulk. From a design perspective, I can see why they would do that, and I call that acceptable. The Bifold is priced at $199 and they have several other wallets, including a passport one.
Regarding the usability, it is easy enough to use. If you like your technology integrated into your wallet, then this wallet is for you. Besides, you do not necessarily have to carry it in your pocket, you can keep it as your backup for secondary cards and some cash. You can put it in your backpack or briefcase, and that will be convenient for charging. Looking from a charging perspective, like a lot of people, I use a particular tech bag that is from Pioneer, the same one that makes great wallets. I have been testing it and I might do a review on this in the future. With my tech stuff, I carry a charger that connects to the back of my phone. This wallet has it, so instead of carrying that in addition to cables and other things, I could have all that plus my GPS proximity tracking in a single place, and simply put that in my bag.
In the end, I am happy to argue with anyone about what makes a smart wallet. I have been in technology for 30 years and I get it. Therefore, so far, only the Volterman qualified, everything else is a poor man’s tracker wallet.
The final score of the Volterman wallet is 4 for quality, it is not just the leather, its technology contributes greatly, but still, the leather is good and the sewing is very reasonable. Price scores 2, it is $199 but you are getting all the technology as well which is what is really important. Features score a 5 because of everything that it offers. Usability scores 5, owing to the app extension which facilitates the accessibility of all of this wallet’s capabilities. Finally, perception scores a 4, and that gives it a final score of 40 out of 50. This truly is a smart wallet.