Review: Isotoner Smartouch 2.0 touchscreen gloves
At a Glance
Even as we move into spring, it's still chilly enough many mornings that gloves are a welcome addition. And while out daily with my two small dogs before work, I still need check in on email and Facebook via my smartphone, even while holding a double leash.
But when my fingers are cramped with cold, it's difficult to manipulate my phone's touchscreen. I also fear that stiff fingers in thin gloves, combined with jerks by my pets, will send my phone tumbling to the sidewalk.
So, I tried a pair of Isotoner's Smartouch 2.0 matrix nylon ultra plush gloves, which have conductive threads woven into the tips of three fingers on each glove (that's one more finger than the previous version of the gloves provided).
The conductive threads on the tips of the thumb, first, and second fingers of the gloves conduct electricity to your touchscreen in much the same way your fingers do—so opening bookmarks, such as email, Google, and calendar, on the touch screen was as easy as doing so with ungloved fingertips.
The gloves also have grippy threads woven into the palm (as well as the third and fourth fingers), which makes holding a phone, tablet, MP3 player, or any other type of electronic device extremely easy. Side note: This feature also greatly assists with holding a leash with two active dogs on the other end.
I'd also like to praise the gloves as toasty warm, with an acrylic fleece lining inside their stretchy, waterproof outer layer. However, the layer that makes the gloves warm also makes them a bit thick.
I found that typing passwords, as well as other more detail-oriented functions, was harder to get right than just clicking my bookmarks and shortcuts.
I also generated many more misspellings while typing longer text messages with the gloves on. Those lucky enough to be using a newer smartphone with a larger screen or a tablet may not be as inconvenienced.
I really liked the ability to manipulate the touchscreen with any of the three conductivity fingers, which made resizing screens and flicking through Facebook feeds and email extremely easy, no matter which way the phone was oriented.
My bottom line:
If you want to use your phone outside in chilly or cold weather for quick, basic tasks like quickly checking email or news sites—and still keep your hands warm—these gloves are great.
If you hope to stand outside in the cold and perform detailed tasks with a high degree of accuracy—such as writing involved emails—while wearing SmarTouch 2.0 gloves, you may face disappointment, especially if you are working on a device with a small screen.