Shortcut Labs Flic review: Coolest new tech: A $34 Flic smart button

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

The Good Flic is easy to set up and even easier to use. The partnerships all work well, and the button's potential is high.

The Bad The iOS app isn't as sharp or deep as the Android counterpart. The Bluetooth dependency also limits Flic use to those who always carry their phone -- so the cool use cases for older folks or young children might not be possible.

The Bottom Line Flic is a clever device with plenty of uses, and its functionality is quickly growing. Today, it's a cool product. In a year, it could be one of the best smart-home purchases out there.

8.0 Overall
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Design 8
  • Performance 8

If you had a button that could do anything, what would you make it do? In my ideal smart home, that button would simplify otherwise complicated automation: press it once, turn off the lights; press it twice, turn on my game console; hold it down, order a pizza. And as it turns out, Flic, a smart button from Sweden-based Shortcut Labs, does exactly that and more.

Flic started as an Indiegogo darling in 2014, and received over eight times its funding target (nearly a million dollars). Now it's making its way into the wide world of smart stuff, priced at $34 (about £24 and AU$47) per button or $99 (about £70 and AU$147) for four. The concept is simple: take a Bluetooth-enabled button, put it anywhere you want, and connect it to every app and device you can imagine. And it works, for the most part. Flic is a great product, especially for Android users and UK residents, and it looks like it will only keep getting better with each new partnership it adds.

An integration device like Flic is all about the partnerships. Shortcut Labs has partnered with Spotify, Logitech, Philips Hue, LIFX, Unified Remote, WeMo, Sonos, Zapier, IFTTT and even Domino's. Yes, that means you can order a pizza with the press of a button -- if you live in the UK. Users in the US will have to wait for that feature to cross the Atlantic.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The big question is this: Should you buy Flic? And the answer is, probably. It's relatively cheap -- if you get the four-pack, it's about $25 (£18 or AU$35) each -- and the button has something for everyone. That said, Android devices have around 50 Flic functions at present, as opposed to 27 functions on iOS devices. And UK users will get that awesome pizza-button function, whereas US and Australian users will have to wait for that. So some people definitely get a more flexible product out of the box than others.