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Christmas Gift Guide

The One Smart Piano

All about the app

LED keys

Full-size version

Home screen

Virtual lessons

Song tutorials

You follow me?

Practice mode

Sight-reading

Limitations

In-app purchases

Game mode

Song options

Training modes

Keyboard settings

Worth playing?

If you or your kid wants to learn how to play the piano, then consider this bad boy: the One Smart Piano. Available in this $300 keyboard and a $1,500 full-size upright, the One connects with your phone or tablet to smarten up the piano-playing experience.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The One is actually a pretty basic keyboard, but its secret weapon is the free app, which you can download to your Android or iOS device.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The other trick up its sleeve? LED keys that light up to show you which notes to play.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

If you want to go big, you can get this full-size version with all 88 keys -- but be prepared to spend.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Let's take a look at the app. Here's the home screen, with three modes to choose from.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

The first mode offers virtual piano lessons -- basically just videos where an instructor guides you through the fundamentals of playing piano, with synchronized assistance from those LED keys.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

There's also a library of song tutorials, where an instructor shows you how to play a specific song, section by section.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

And again, everything syncs up with those LED keys to help you follow along.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

There's also a library of interactive sheet music that you can practice from.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

The sheet music will highlight each note as you play to help you follow along. You can also isolate the right- and left-hand parts to make things simpler.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Some of the more advanced songs require the full 88 keys -- that means you won't be able to play them on the smaller-size keyboard.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

There's also a library of more contemporary music you can download, but it isn't free.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

There's also a Rock Band-esque game mode where you'll be scored on how accurately you can follow along with a song.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

There's a good quantity of songs to choose from in game mode, but almost all of them are either folk songs or holiday songs.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

You'll also find games for eye and ear training hidden in the settings menu. They're helpful, but kind of hard to find.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

The same goes for the keyboard settings, most of which don't exist in physical form like they do with most keyboards. Instead, they're relocated to the app. They're comprehensive, but again, kind of hard to find at first.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

At $300 for the keyboard model and $1,500 for the full-size upright (roughly £205/£1,025 or AU$390/AU$1,965), the One Smart Piano won't come cheap. Read our full review for our full, hands-on impressions.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET
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