The more dependent we become on smart phones, the higher price we pay when one is lost; gone are your contacts, e-mails, and pictures. The Zomm Wireless Leash, a Bluetooth device the size of a large pebble, is designed to make a racket anytime it gets separated from your phone. What's more, the Zomm also acts as a speakerphone, and can even dial 911 in an emergency. But is $79.99 worth it for this piece of mind?
The Zomm is small at 1.6 inches in diameter and 0.6 inches thick, and weighs just 0.5 ounces. Available in white or black, it can easily be thrown into one's bag, attached to a keychain, or used with the included belt clip. A single button on the face of the device turns it on/off, and pairs it via Bluetooth. Three flashing lights around the edges, as well as a speaker on the back, will alert owners upon activation. A micro-USB port is there for charging, and it's protected by a rubber seal.
Connecting the Zomm to our phone was not as easy as it could have been. The manual did not go over how to initially set up the device; we had to go to the company's website. You need to hold the Zomm's button down for 15 seconds to enter pairing mode. After that, we quickly connected the gadget to our BlackBerry Curve, and everything else worked smoothly.
Zomm claims that the device will activate once it's approximately 30 feet away from your phone—typical for a Bluetooth device. We were able to wander twice as far away, though testing was done in a hallway with barely any obstructions. When we got far enough away from the phone, the Zomm was sure to let us know: its speaker started making a lot of noise, and the lights started flashing. The device also started vibrating, which could be useful in large, noisy crowds. In addition to the alarms, a message popped up on our phone offering to automatically reconnect to the Zomm once we were back in range.
Of course, the Zomm is more than a one-trick pony. Its second function is that of a speakerphone. When a call comes in, pressing the Zomm's main button puts it through to the device's speakerphone. In our testing, we found that calls sounded fine on our end, but callers said they heard some static. Switching between the Zomm and our phone's speaker was a cinch; simply press the main button once (hitting it twice ends the call). Although it's definitely not this gadget's selling point, the speakerphone ability is a nice bonus. The Zomm is rated for up to 3 days of normal use, and 2 hours of talk time.
Another bonus of the Zomm is its panic mode. After holding the main button for 10 seconds, it automatically triggers the alarm (a distinct one compared to the usual phone-disconnect alarm). Hold the button another 7 seconds and it automatically calls 911 on your phone. We can see this being useful if you're caught in a situation where you need to draw attention to yourself or cannot get to your phone in time. It's a convenient though understated feature; you won't find it explained in the user manual.
Overall, the Zomm worked as advertised. We like the triple-threat features Zomm brings to the table, but this functionality is definitely pricey at $79.99. On the other hand, if your consider your phone—and everything on it—to be invaluable, the Zomm may be worth the investment.