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Cane Wireless Cliki review: The Cliki smart button nails the hardware, misses the magic

The Cliki smart button is too simple to stand out now, but growth is on the horizon.

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David Priest
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David Priest Former editor

David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.

2 min read

Smart buttons are hard explain, partly because they look so different depending on who's using them. You can control the music on your phone, toggle the smart lights in your house, order a pizza, and more -- all with the press of a button. At it's best, using smart buttons can feel magical.

cliki-smart-button-product-photos-1.jpg
5.9

Cane Wireless Cliki

The Good

Cliki's app groups commands into helpful sets, making feature selection easier than with other smart buttons.

The Bad

Cliki doesn't have nearly enough flexibility to appeal to most users. It's Android-exclusive, and it doesn't work with IFTTT or other integration platforms.

The Bottom Line

For Cliki's price, you can buy a much better smart button. But when Cane Wireless adds IFTTT integration and iOS compatibility, its product might start to gain on the competition.

But when it comes to reviewing any particular smart button, the process is strictly scientific: How flexible is it? How many functions can it perform? How many platforms does it work with? These are the simple building blocks that construct the user experience.

Cliki, a new smart button by Florida-based Cane Wireless, is Android-exclusive and can perform thirteen distinct functions. It sends commands to your phone -- to take a picture or toggle tethering -- and it does so reliably. The problem is, for a $39 product, Cliki should do so much more.

This smart button could live on your keychain (pictures)

See all photos

Cliki does a few things well. First off, you can attach Cliki to your keychain and use it as a fob. To me, that feels much more useful than the adhesive strips that other smart buttons have used. The Cliki app is also efficient. Rather than programming the button one command at a time, the commands are grouped into sets. That way, when you select the music icon, your button will automatically be able to play/pause your music with one press, and skip to the next song with a double press. Grouping commands in this way makes transitioning between button uses really easy.

The problem is, these pros are minor when compared to the shortcomings. To get at the heart of Cliki's problems, let's compare it with another smart button that costs a little less -- the Shortcut Labs Flic.

Cliki versus Flic

PriceDistinct commandsSupported devicesIntegration platforms
Cliki $39 13Android onlyNone
Flic $34 over 50Android and iOSIFTTT, Zapier

On every level, Flic outperforms Cliki. An especially important note is Cliki's lack of IFTTT integration. What IFTTT allows is vastly increased flexibility, and further device reach. Rather than simply controlling your phone's functions, IFTTT allows you to connect a smart button to home devices like smart LEDs or a smart garage door opener. It also lets you integrate uncooperative apps, adding a whole new web of potential connections. And Cliki can't access any of it.

At this point, you might be wondering if there's any reason to buy Cliki. And the answer for now is no. But Cliki is adding IFTTT integration, iOS compatibility, and more features later this year. These additions, in combination with its quality app, will make Cliki much more competitive with buttons like Flic.

While it's hard to recommend Cliki to anyone right now, it's a device to watch. In under a year, it could be competing with the best smart buttons on the market.

cliki-smart-button-product-photos-1.jpg
5.9

Cane Wireless Cliki

Score Breakdown

Features 3Usability 8Design 7Performance 6
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