I was a fan of Bluesmart — the originator of “smart luggage” — from the moment I heard about the company’s first product. So naturally I was very excited to be testing out the new Bluesmart Black Edition smart carry-on suitcase and post this review about a week before it actually goes on sale. Shoutout to Bluesmart for hooking that up.
So just like the previous model, the Black Edition has a smart lock which can be locked/unlocked remotely, it can charge your devices, you can locate it anywhere and it will weight itself. But now it’s got a new body and new wheels (not to mention a bit of a new look). So let’s start with those new features first.
I really like the updated look of this carry-on bag. In my opinion, it’s sleek and understated; it doesn’t scream at you for attention and yet when you do see it you notice that it looks really good. Compared to luggage at a department store like Macy’s, for instance, the Black Edition easily blows away the competition in the looks department (see for yourself in the video version of this review). Even with all of the smart tech features baked in, this bag doesn’t look dorky in the least.
But one thing I will say about these particular design is that — for lack of a better word — it’s a bit of a “crap magnet.” Things like dust and pet hair seem to cling to this baby like nobody’s business. It’s not a bit deal — I think that’s the case for lots of luggage and you can easily get it off. But still worth the mention.
The new wheels on the Black Edition are incredibly smooth. When you’re wheeling this guy around it’s almost like it’s just floating on air. I love it.
Now this new body is supposed to be ultra-resistant to things like water, scratches and bumps and at first I thought it wasn’t because I had some paint from a desk rub off on it which I couldn’t get off with my fingernail. But it actually came off with a damp paper towel so… I’d still say this piece of marketing holds up.
And yes, the shell is very strong. I know that for a fact since I dropped a few heavy rocks on it and it handled it like a champ (again, see the video).
The smart features all worked well for me just like they did on the previous model.
The location tracking seems very accurate to me and I can really appreciate the alerts that let you know you might be leaving your bag behind. It’s really cool getting those on my Apple Watch — but several times I got an alert for what seemed like no reason.
The digital scale works great although you do have to make sure you’re holding the handle just right. This is a great feature for people who try to travel as light as possible and cram as much as they can into their carry-on. Call it a travel hack (matter of fact, call this whole carry-on bag one awesome travel hack).
It’s a life saver being able to charge your gear using your luggage (although it does feel weird remembering to charge your luggage before you head off to the airport). It means you don’t have to bring a portable charger with you which can create a lot of clutter and you don’t have to fight with other people to find an outlet to charge your gear (perfect for crowded gate scenarios — now if only other people would stop invading my bubble when I accidentally sit next to an outlet). In my mind the Black Edition is the best charging solution when you’re at an airport.
I love being able to lock and unlock the bag with my phone and that works great but sometimes the latch is kind of hard to re-latch. No biggie — sometimes it just takes a couple presses.
One of my favorite features on this bag is the quick-access laptop or tablet compartment — I hate fishing around in a bag or backpack for tech while I’m traveling and this is so smooth and fast.
The app is really simple and I like it a lot — not only can you manage and access all the bag’s smart features, but it also beats out many purpose-built travel apps for displaying travel alerts and information.
So as a person who has done quite a bit of travel in recent years both domestic and international I can definitely say this is one travel tech accessory I wish I had had with me a lot sooner.
While it comes with a few minor annoyances (and what product doesn’t?) it’s a solid purchase. I highly recommend it.