Holiday gift guide: Motorola Keylink
I have a strange fascination with all the holiday gift guide lists that pop up this time of year. I’ve always wanted to do one, but also feel like I’d be reinventing the wheel. Many more interesting people than me have already done the job. But I do want to point to at least one item, something new that I don’t think is getting enough review coverage: The Motorola Keylink
The Keylink ($24.99) is billed as a “phone and key finder”. And it works well for that: Attach the small Keylink to your keychain. Lose track of your phone? Push a button on the keylink to make the phone ring. Lose your keys? A button in the Motorola Connect app does it the other way around: the Keylink beeps.
That’s all well and good, and it works well. But my favorite feature is one that’s getting far less billing. If you’re running Android on the latest version (5.0/Lollipop), the Keylink can let you bypass your phone’s lock code.
Lollipop introduced a handy new feature to Android devices, the idea of a trusted bluetooth device. You can tell Android that if you’re connected to a certain bluetooth device (like your car or a home stereo) then there’s no need to use a lock code. If you go out of range of that bluetooth device, the lock code becomes necessary again. Handy while driving, and in a bunch of other situations too. I spend most of my day away from my bluetooth devices, so I didn’t have anything I could use to take advantage of this feature. But the Keylink uses bluetooth!
I attached it to my keys, which spend most of the day in my pocket. As long as the Keylink is near my phone, no lock code necessary. But if my phone gets more than about 30 feet from me, then the code snaps back into place. I’ve had a lock code on my phone in the past, but it’s always been a very simple one. I have to enter it countless times per day, so anything truly secure got annoying fast. Now I’m free to use a much more complex code, knowing that I’ll rarely have to enter it. I still wish that my phone had fingerprint-based security like the iPhone, but using the Keylink as a trusted bluetooth device makes for an interesting and convenient alternate method to keep my phone a bit more secure.
The Keylink’s battery should last about a year, and is replaceable.
Who’s it for?
Anyone who carries an Android phone and a keyring should find the Keylink useful. Just make sure their phone is on the latest version of Android. The Nexus 4/5/6 all fit the bill, plus a list of a few others that should grow soon.
Where is it?
The Keylink is often out of stock on Motorola’s website. But it’s in stock at many T-mobile stores, which also lets you skip Motorola’s shipping charge.