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CNET First Look
Ember's new smart coffee mug is hot stuffThe Temperature Control Ceramic Mug keeps hot liquids hot -- you set the precise temperature on your phone.
Ember's new temperature control ceramic mug may look like your typical coffee mug but it's got special super heating power that'll allow you to control the exact temperature of whatever you put inside it. The mug comes with a saucer charging dock and has a built in rechargeable battery, as well Bluetooth connectivity. You're probably wondering whether this thing has an on/off switch, and the answer is no, it's on all the time. And automatically detects when you put liquid in it, and works best when you start with the liquid already very hot. With the included app you create a default temperature you want the mug to maintain You can set the temperature once and never look at the app again or you can adjust the temperature via the app as you're drinking. I can say that it's a little odd at first when you get toward the bottom of your cup of coffee, and take a sip to discover the coffee's still hot. It does taste better, though. As a little bonus, you can customize the color of the LED on the mug, which allows you to tell it apart from another ember mug in the office or at home. Keeping your coffee or tea hot does require a good amount of energy, and I found that if I drank a cup over the course of about 45 minutes, it drained the battery by about 40 to 50%. So you could basically drink a couple of cups of coffee before you have to recharge. The mug may survive a wash in the dishwasher, but Amber warns you to hand wash it and you do not want to put this mug in the microwave. That's a big no-no. There are other cheaper and lower tech solutions to keep your coffee hot. A good insulated mug will run you around $20; well, this guy costs $80 which is pretty darn steep. But it is less expensive then Ember's $150 travel mug and it will change the way you think about drinking your coffee or tea. I'm David Carnoid for cnet.com. Thanks for watching.