It may not be that easy to spot the best smart water bottle from the variety of available devices since, from the outside, it can seem that you can just snap in a couple sensors to a regular water bottle, add a mobile app which connects through Bluetooth and you’re set, you now have a smart device, but, things require a bit more finesse and a proper implementation of all the necessary elements. That being said, a smart water bottle should be able to accurately track your water intake and, using a proprietary mobile app (it usually connects to either an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth) it should be able to create charts and new goals, as well as send notifications to remind you to drink enough water throughout the day.
The people that would most benefit from this type of devices are those that want to (or need to) keep track of how much water they drink: such as the outdoor workers (which are often vulnerable especially during the summer), those that work in an office (especially if you’re a programmer, professional gamer or working in any other IT-related job, where you are required to focus for longer periods of time, so it’s easy to forget you have to drink or eat), the elderly (which are actually one of the most vulnerable category of people to dehydration, that actually poses a serious threat for their health and may need to be regularly kept in check) and, lastly, it will also be suitable for people that like to keep track of everything that happens with their body (such as active people that practice outdoors sports – there actually are smart water bottles that will work with FitBit for more detailed stats – when will we actually see a FitBit water bottle?).
UPDATE 04.01.2020: The LifeFuels has been added to the best smart water bottles list
|LifeFuels Smart Water Bottle||Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle||H2OPal Smart Bottle|
|Read More||Read More||Read More|
|Ozmo Active Smart Bottle||EQUA Smart Water Bottle||DrinKup Smart Water Bottle||Noerden LIZ Smart Water Bottle|
|Read More||Read More||Read More||Read More|
It’s clear that everybody has at least one smart device inside their home and, while some time ago, the thought of having almost all your electronic devices connected and communicating to each other in order to create a smart home environment was something out of a sci-fi novel. But, since technology evolves at an unprecedented pace, we have become accustomed with having every electronic device interconnected and even the most unassuming objects have now gained the smart prefix.
Some of these devices have been created for medical purposes (which can span from the smart spoon for Parkinson’s sufferers which has a specific demographic to the heart rate and calories-burned trackers which are suitable for a more general public) and there are also a lot of smart devices which aim at improving our lifestyle: including the more popular smartphones, smartwatches, smart thermostats or smart locks, as well as the least common smart mirrors (which display live feed stats), smart toasters (which allows you to choose between different types of bread and let you know through a notification when the bread is done, so you won’t ever really have to worry about burning up the toast) and now, we also have smart water bottles.
So, without further ado, since we’ve already had a look at the best smartphones on the market (at an acceptable budget), as well as the best waterproof smartwatches and had a slight incursion into the world of the smart smoke detectors, it’s now time to have a look at which manufacturer managed to create the best smart water bottles.
1. LifeFuels Smart Water Bottle
LifeFuels has recently entered the smart water bottle market and, while its device does offer the expected set of features, such as a water intake tracking system and a reliable mobile app, the manufacturer decided to also include a nutritional layer to the device. I am happy to see new players entering this market since there really aren’t enough manufacturers to constantly support their product series – there is currently only one (Hidrate Spark), but the way LifeFuels built its smart water bottle suggests that they’re here to stay. Of course, I am talking about the FuelPods which can fill the water container with various types of vitamins (and not only) to both improve the taste of the beverage (those that don’t drink water very often probably aren’t that fond of it being tasteless) and to help boost your immune system and energy level. And yes, you can buy more FuelPods when the included ones are finished (or subscribe to a monthly plan).
You don’t necessarily have to purchase any additional FuelPods and the bottle can be used as a regular smart water bottle. That being said, the device itself is larger than expected and also a bit heavy, so at its 10.0 x 3.0 x 3.0 inches and 1.1 lbs (2.2 lbs when filled), you’re going to definitely feel the difference between it and a regular bottle (or even an insulated one). LifeFuel knew that the bottle will be a bit on the heavy side, so it added a lanyard for an easier carrying. But there is a reason for its weight and that is the bottom half of the device (the base) which is covered by anodized aluminum and if you turn it upside down, there’s a cool transparent cover that let’s you have a sneak peek to the three dedicated areas for the FuelPods (yes, these add quite a bit to the total weight).
That cover can be removed and needs to if you intend to turn the bottle on (the Reset and the Power button rests within that area). The top half of the smart water bottle is made out of transparent BPA-free tritan (with a dark tint) and it can be removed from the base to clean it (only this part is dishwasher safe, while the bottom part is to be cleaned with a soft cloth only), but, to pour water, I suggest to simply unscrew the cap since the mouth of the bottle is big enough to ensure that the water is not spilled everywhere (has a diameter of 1.37-inch).
The bottle can be recharged using the provided cable which gets connected to the front-facing microUSB port (yes, no USB-C here) and the battery can deliver up to 5 days on a single charge, but it will be heavily dependent on how much you’re using the FuelPods since the mechanism uses an internal motor and there are lots of LEDs that do take a toll on the battery life.
Note: The FuelPods that come with the device are Lemon Lime (rich in electrolytes), Blackberry (rich in antioxidants) and Peach (rich in multi-vitamins).
The LifeFuels smart water bottle has a dedicated app available for both Apple and Android users (be aware that the app can’t be installed outside USA – I tried it with an Android device) and, after installing the application, you will have to enter some personal info (regarding your well-being and body measurements) to create a personalized profile. After logging into the app, you can immediately see the status of the bottle, what type of FuelPods are already installed (each with the remaining amount of content) and you can also see a FuelLog to get a better understanding of your progress. You can dispense a dose of a specific FuelPod from the app or directly from the bottle itself (there is a central button for this specific reason) and each pod should suffice for about 30 beverages, but you will need to adjust the dosage from the app. And that’s another interesting aspect of this device because it allows you to create personalized beverages by specifying the amount of each type of pod content that will get into your water.
I also do have to talk about the water tracking accuracy which is decent, relying on a continuous level sensor to detect any change in the liquid quantity at a certain place within the bottle, so it won’t really register any ounce of water that you drink, but only when the water gets to a certain level – and you can see it in action in the app, where the icon of the bottle gets updated every quarter. It’s also worth noting that the app updates the icon almost instantaneously.
2. Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle
The Hidrate Spark 3 is the third iteration of smart water bottle coming from the American start-up company, with the first version being created after a successful KickStarter campaign, but, since it had some issues that needed to be addressed, the manufacturer released the 2.0 version of the Hidrate Spark (about two years ago) which was an overall improvement to the first smart bottle (a better syncing between the device and the app, a sturdier body, stronger glow). The Hidrate Spark 3 has kept everything that made its predecessor a reliable smart water bottle and it has also improved some key elements: the bottle comes with a better battery life, there’s a better sensor accuracy and the LED is customizable.
One of the main selling points of the Hidrate Spark was and still remains the design of the smart bottle. So, while the other manufacturers of smart bottles didn’t put much thought in the design process, the Hidrate Spark 3 features a nice looking plastic bottle (BPA-Free Food Safe Polypropylene and Tritan) with a geometric pattern all around which will greatly improve the grip. When put next to the Spark 2, the Hidrate Spark 3 is very similar to its predecessor, but you can notice that the bottom area is now significantly thicker (it houses the sensor and the battery and it’s no longer a seamless part of the main body) and, as a consequence, the smart water bottle can now hold only 20 ounces of liquid instead of the 24 oz of its predecessor. The fact that the bottom side is now larger, it may not fit that easily in most cup holders (while the Spark 2 did not have this problem).
Similarly to the H2OPal, the Hidrate Spark 3 won’t immediately calculate the consumed water while jogging or practicing any other outdoor sport, since it is required to put the bottle down every time you drink from it in order for the sensor to calculate the remaining water quantity (the sensor is a bit different than on the previous smart water bottle, since it now measures the water consumption from the bottom up instead of the other way around). This means that this smart bottle is better suited for people that work in an office environment or are going to the gym (sure enough, you can take the bottle with you and, as soon as you’ve finished running, the sensor will detect the changes in terms of water quantity).
The Hidrate Spark 3 tracks the water intake using a long sensor which lies inside the bottle and is attached to the lid: unscrewing the bottom bottle part will reveal the long piece of plastic – called the sensor stick by the manufacturer – which is now powered by a single CR2477 coin cell battery, instead of the two CR2032 batteries of the previous Hidrate Spark generation (the battery slot is now on the bottom, instead of the sensor stick). Furthermore, the manufacturer has added a series of multicolored LED lights inside the sensor stick which will glow in various patterns that can be set from the app. The LEDs are now more powerful and you can set them to light only when you’re awake: depending on the set goal, the bottle will glow at certain periods of time to let you know when you should drink water or ignore any type of progress that you made and glow at a fixed time; you can also set the LEDs to glow when you are behind your set goal.
The Hidrate Spark 3 can be washed, but not in the dishwasher (only the lid and the bottom ring can be put in the dishwasher, the rest need to be cleaned bu hand in warm water). The fact that the bottom is removable and it relies on a rubber seal to keep the water from leaking can be seen as a weakness because the seal can wear off in time; at the same time, if the bottle is leaking after you washed it once, you may have put the seal upside down.
Note: Be aware that the bottle is not insulated, so the water will eventually have the room’s temperature.
The Hidrate Spark 3 uses an app which will work with iOS devices and with some Android phones (check the list on the manufacturer’s website to make sure your device is compatible) and, similarly to most other smart bottles on the market, the setup process is simple and straight-forward: after you’ve launched the app, you’ll be asked to sign-up using an email or a Facebook account, the former will require that you insert your name; afterwards, you will have to customize a hydration goal which includes choosing your gender, height, weight and birthday, select how active you are and allow the app to know your location (which will help you find your bottle easily, as well as create a more personalized goal based on the temperature and humidity in the area you live in). Next, the app will attempt to pair with the bottle (you need to place your mobile phone or tablet close to the cap of the Hidrate Spark – it uses Bluetooth) and you’ll be given instructions for calibrating the device (to do so, you first need to set the bottle upright on a flat surface, fill it with water and let it sit for 10 seconds – it needs to be empty beforehand).
After the setup process is done, you will gain access to the user interface: here, you will be able to see how much water you need to drink (and if you reached your goal), as well as visit the menu: Home, History (Week and Month), Friends, Bottle and Settings (set up your Profile, change your Goal, configure the Push and Glow Notifications, Connect to the Apps, change the Units, view More and Help) – immediately on top of the bottom menu, to the right, you can press Add Water.
3. H2OPal Smart Bottle Hydration Tracker
The H20Pal smart bottle is the latest product (and the only one, so far) to come from the technology-based startup ‘Out Of Galaxy’, a device that challenges the current setup of most other smart bottles by choosing to go for a different approach: instead of incorporating the electronic parts into the bottle itself (some have LED indicators or a small display to show you how much water you drank), the manufacturer decided to leave it as a separate part, so it can be used with different types of bottles.
So, H2OPal consists of two separate parts, one is the bottle itself, which is a borosilicate glass bottle (it’s transparent, so you can see how much water you’ve sipped) with various silicone bands positioned towards the top and on the middle for a more sporty look and, connected to the bottom, lies the second part of the H2OPal, which incorporates all the electronic parts and has the role of tracking your water intake.
The H20Pal smart bottle can be filled with 18.6 ounces of water (the mouth of the bottle is a bit narrow, so it may be a bit difficult to insert ice), it is dishwasher safe (you need to remove the bottom part) and it comes in two colour variants: pink and yellow or black and blue. If you fear that the bottle may break (and it will if you drop it), you can take off the silicone sleeve (towards the bottom part) and add it to a plastic bottle (for a perfect fit, it needs to have approximately a 3-inch diameter and it needs to weigh at least 2.9 oz when empty) and then simply reconnect the bottom mechanism to regain the smart features (it works fine with gym bottles which are usually made of plastic and it will give you some peace off mind if you think glass is too heavy, slippery and fragile).
Note: The smart bottle uses a single coin cell battery, which should be able to last up to 6 months.
The H20Pal can be connected to an iOS device and all you have to do is download and install the app (an Android app is currently in the beta stage) – the H20Pal app will work with Fitbit, the Apple Health app and will also sync with the Apple Watch.
After you’ve installed the app, you will be required to enter your name, choose your gender, set your birthday, height and weight, and you will be asked to select ‘How active are you?’ (can be Not very active, Lightly active, Normal active and Very active). Afterwards, you can enable some Additional Services (such as Location Data – can use the weather reports to adjust your daily goal, the Motion Data and Health Data) and add your H20Pal Tracker (you will be given instructions on how to activate the device which includes activating the Bluetooth and pairing the smart bottle – you will need to insert the PIN number). After the process is done, the H20Pal will ask you if it should send you notifications and you can visit the user interface (the menu includes Home, Profile, Statistics, Levels and achievements, Entry log, H20Pal Tracker, Tutorial and Settings (here, you can also enable Fitbit sync)).
Note: The H20Pal smart bottle can also be connected to Amazon Alexa, which will give you the possibility of asking Alexa to tell you the amount of water that you drank today.
Be aware that the way this smart device works is that you need to put the bottle down every time you fill it with water, so the tracker can take all the necessary measurements and, after you drank the water, you have to put the bottle down once again, so it can measure the changes in the quantity. This means that it is less suitable for joggers and more for people that work in an office or those who go to the gym. If you don’t want to keep the Bluetooth enabled all the time or simply don’t have your phone nearby, the H20Pal will also work offline, so, even if you refill the bottle several times, after it can be re-synced to the app, it will take into account all the data.
Note: Every time you add a new bottle, you have to re-calibrate the tracker: it can be done by going to the H20-Pal Tracker option on the app, selecting Advanced settings and choosing calibrate (you will need to enter the volume of the bottle, calibrate it empty and then calibrate it when it’s filled).
4. Ozmo Active Smart Bottle
The Ozmo Active Smart Bottle is one of the two devices available from the Hong Kong-based startup company ‘Groking Lab’, especially created for people that need to keep track of their water consumption and, in order to bring a unique feature to the table, it has sensors which can detect whether you have filled the bottle with water or with coffee (the other device available is the Ozmo Java+, which is also a smart bottle, but especially created for coffee drinkers – it can keep the coffee warm at 144 degrees F).
The manufacturer decided to steer clear of the fragile glass bottle and the material choice for the Ozmo Active was ABS plastic, which should provide better protection in case you accidentally drop it and it will look more at home while you’re jogging or biking (although it’s not transparent, so you won’t see how much water is left inside the bottle). That being said, the smart bottle doesn’t really have an attractive design, but it does make up for it with the robust built quality (the bottle also weighs 12.7 ounces and it has a 16 ounces capacity).
The smart bottle comes in blue, grey, purple, red, seafoam green, pink and white, it has a top handle for easy carrying and, towards the bottom, there is a removable tab which exposes the recessed Reset button and the micro-USB charging port (to fully charge the battery, it should take roughly two hours and the battery life is rated at about 3 weeks).
On the side of the device, you’ll notice three LED lights: if the middle LED is enabled, then the lid isn’t properly closed, so the bottle won’t be able to track your drink; if one light is enabled, then you’re reached 20% of your hydration goal, otherwise, if two LEDs are active, then you’re reached 50% of your goal and three lights indicate that you’ve reached your goal (the three LED lights will also become active to let you know when the device is fully charged). Furthermore, the Ozmo Active smart bottle will let you know when the lid is securely closed by vibrating once, will alert you that the lid is open by vibrating three times and, if you haven’t been drinking water for over an hour, it will vibrate six times.
Note: Unlike the H20Pal, which has the tracker and the bottle separately, the Ozmo Active doesn’t have two separate parts, which means that you’ll have to clean the device as a whole: you’ll have to do it by hand, as it is not dishwasher safe.
While the Ozmo Active Smart Bottle will work fine on its own as it has integrated inside the bottle a way of notifying you on your progress (the LED lights), you can connect the bottle to either an Android or to an iOS device using the Ozmo app (the app won’t send any notifications and you’ll have to rely solely on the bottle’s LEDs and vibrations). The Ozmo Active is also compatible with FitBit, Garmin, Misfit and Apple Health apps, and it has an integrated barcode scanner which can be used to scan the nutritional info from all the new food labels.
To do so, you need to download, install and open the app, and tap Get Started: this will open up the Profile window, which will ask for your gender, age, height and weight (all this info will help the app determine your daily water intake goal). Afterwards, you will have to connect the Ozmo bottle to the app: keep the mobile phone close to the bottle and wait until it vibrates and until the trio of LED lights will blink.
After the pairing process is done, you can start adding water (you’ll see a live representation of the amount of water that’s being poured inside the container). From now on, every time you take a sip out of the bottle, the sensors will automatically detect it and you can see in the app how much close you are to your goal. You can also add coffee inside the container and the sensors will immediately pick it up and you will be able to see in the app that a different interface is loaded, especially designed for the coffee intake (the system is not perfect as sometimes, the sensors can mistake water for coffee or vice versa).
Note: After you’ve added the necessary water, make sure that the lid is closed securely to activate the Bluetooth (when it is tightly sealed, the middle LED will turn off).
5. EQUA Smart Water Bottle
EQUA is a relatively young Slovenia-based company which ran a successful Kickstarter project in order to release its first smart water bottle, a device that still follows the same blueprint as its competitors (leakproof bottle + mobile application) and its main differentiating element is the addition of marble lids. It’s a bit concerning to see that mainly the start-up companies have the courage to try and conquer this new IoT segment, while more established players still don’t really have that much faith in this technology (except for Thermos with its one-time project).
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it can allow the new companies to be more creative and find new solutions to older problems, so, let’s see if EQUA has managed to create a balanced device and made the smart water bottle market more attractive.
When compared to the more recent smart water bottles, you’ll notice that EQUA focuses a lot more on its appearance, so the bottle itself is made of high quality stainless steel covered by a satin finish (it’s available in five colours/patterns), relying on the double wall insulation to keep liquids hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours – the bottle is also condensation-free and its dimensions make it suitable to most car cup holders (it measures 9.8 x 2.8 inches and has a capacity of 23 oz).
The upper cap, as well as the handle, are made of electroplated metal, the lid featuring the advertised real marble piece (black marble Drenov Gric from Slovenia) which does give the bottle a premium feel. But, unlike some other smart water bottles (such as Ozmo Active), the lid isn’t attached to any sensor and won’t count your sips (it’s just a regular piece), instead, EQUA adopted a similar approach to the H2OPal, so it relies on the bottom piece to track your daily water intake and to display glowing reminders (using a built-in LED light). In order to ensure that the bottle won’t slip, the bottom of the device is made of silicone and, to recharge the battery, you need to remove the bottom tracker and insert the included cable into the (now exposed) micro-USB port.
But, how does the EQUA smart water bottle works? It seems that the manufacturer relies on an accelerometer (motion sensor) to calculate the amount of water you drink – the claim is that it detects your movement and translates it into data using machine learning, which means that it’s prone to inaccuracies, but will get better in time. So, all you have to do is drink water from the bottle and the sensor should send the data in real time to the application.
Speaking of which, the app will display your daily goal (it will need your height, weight and lifestyle), it will track your daily water intake and it can also display a calendar with all the days in the month to give you a more detailed look on your overall performance (the application is compatible with both iOS and Android OS and it connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth). Furthermore, if you don’t want to use the app, the EQUA smart water bottle can be used in standalone mode by relying solely on the bottom LED. Just a light tap on the bottle reveals your current progress: if you’re on track, the LED will slowly flash and, if you need to catch up, the LED will flash rapidly; furthermore, every time you take a sip from the bottle, the LED will glow.
Note: The bottle is dishwasher safe, you just need to remove the cap and the tracker first.
6. Drinkup Smart Water Bottle
Even though the smart devices market is in full bloom right now, there aren’t that many manufacturers willing to give this rather niche type of device a try, so we are often left with start-up companies that sometimes don’t find the balanced formula between the design, functionality and the price point. One of the latest available smart water bottle also comes from a startup company which focuses to find this perfect balance in the form of the DrinKup smart water bottle and it does seem to be on the right track considering that it accurately shows the amount of water remained in the bottle in a digital manner (on the lid) and it doesn’t annoy the user with ‘smart’ mouthpieces that don’t last that long and are most often than not inaccurate.
The DrinKup bottle looks pretty unassuming and you could hardly differentiate it from the regular water bottle: the device itself features two main parts, the stainless steel recipient (grade 316 (18-10)) and the fairly large lid with parts made of various materials (Aluminium Alloy 6061, High grade Tritan (BPA free plastic) and Food Grade PP). The bottle capacity is 17oz (500ml), it measures 9.8 x 2.87 inches and, when empty, it weighs about 0.77 lbs (also, because of its ergonomic shape, the bottle has a decent grip and taking into consideration that it has a double vacuum insulation, there shouldn’t be any condensation on the outside).
Some of you with a more keen eye will notice that this isn’t the first time you saw this type of design and that an older start-up company (Moikit) was the first to develop a strikingly similar bottle through crowdfunding. But, besides the identical design (which I have no idea how and why they procured), there doesn’t seem to be any other ties between Moikit and Baltek (the current developer of the DrinKup smart water bottle).
The most interesting part of this device is, obviously, the bottle cap which features a top-facing circular display (with a 5 x 16 pixels resolution) and, depending on a specific type of movement, you get different stats: tilt the bottle to see your water balance status in percentage (it is advisable to keep it above 90 %); flip the bottle upside down until it vibrates and then turn it back in an upright position to see the temperature of the water (the sensor needs between 5 to 8 seconds to show the temperature). Other info that can be seen on the small display are the HOT indicator (when the water temperature exceeds 122 degrees F), the stale indicator X (when the water has been placed for longer than 24 hours, so it needs to be replaced), the Drink Reminder with an icon in the shape of a heart (when the water balance goes below 80 %), the firmware update indicator, the low battery indicator and more.
The fact that it has all this functions available on the lid’s display, it indicates that you can use the DrinKup even if the device is not synced with a mobile device (it will still detect the temperature, remind you when you should drink water, record the water intake and more). That being said, DrinKup will work with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS, but, before you can initiate the pairing process, you need to first charge the bottle’s battery. To do so, you need to remove the lid and remove the rubber piece in order to expose the USB port and the small recessed Reset button.
Use the USB cable (provided in the box) and fully charge the 400mAh Lithium Polymer battery (from 0 to 100, it will take about 2 hours). Next, download and install the app on your mobile device, register a new DrinKup account and then follow the necessary steps to pair the smart bottle to your phone/tablet (includes creating a profile – gender, age, height, weight, record period and daily goal) – it uses the Bluetooth 4.2 BLE for the connectivity. The application’s interface will show you various statistics about your daily water intake, as well as a history of any previous periods of time.
Note: The battery can last anywhere between 30 to 90 days depending on your use.
If you want to wash the DrinKup water bottle, you need to first remove the smart lid (which should only be cleaned using a piece of cloth) and then you can clean the container, but I would not use a dishwasher since it may damage the insulation.
7. Noerden LIZ Smart Water Bottle
The French-based start-up company Noerden has recently released their first take on a smart water bottle and it’s quite different than its main competitors, offering an unusual set of features than we are accustomed with the likes of Hidrate Spark or DrinKup. Instead of an app and the tracking of the water intake, the LIZ bottle can sterilize the water using UV, it can tell the temperature of the beverage (if it’s cold, warm or hot) and it will notify you every two hours to drink water through a pulsating LED.
The HydraCoach was another smart water bottle that lacked an app, so it also couldn’t connect to a smartphone, to a FitBit device or to a smart home environment, but it did have a small built-in display to help you keep track of your progress, but the Noerden LIZ doesn’t have any of these elements and the only way to interact with it is through the touch-sensitive lid (for this reason, I did have some trouble seeing it as a smart water bottle and, as I said in the full review, it’s more like an enhanced water bottle).
The bottle itself is made of 304 stainless steel on the exterior and out of 316 stainless steel on the inside, while the only plastic element (food-grade BPA-free polycarbonate) is the thick lid. The LIZ bottle comes into two variants, one has a volume of 16 ounces and measures 9.8 x 2.9 inches, while the other, which is shorter, has a volume capacity of 12 ounces and measures 7.6 x 2.9 inches. The model that I tested is covered by a white glossy finish (doesn’t seem to retain visible fingerprints), while the lid is matte white and, thanks to its weight (0.7 lb) it’s not easy to tip it over (even when it’s empty) – there is also a silicone anti-slip pad attached to the bottom of the bottle to keep it from moving around.
Just like with most other smart water bottles (except for the H2OPal), the lid is the part that contains all the sensors and other circuits and the same is available for the Noerden LIZ which has a couple of exposed pins on the outside to which you can attach (magnetically) a small piece of plastic that contains a micro-USB port – this way, you can recharge the battery of the LIZ bottle, but bear in mind that it’s very easy to lose it, so it’s best to keep it always attached to the provided USB cable. If you remove the lid (counter-clockwise movement), you’ll be able to see the UV emitter and the temperature sensor, both pointing downwards and to activate either of these functions, you will need to use the touch-sensitive top section of the lid (where rests the LED). After taking the water bottle out of the package, make sure to remove the plastic cover from the bottom of the lid and then tap and hold for a couple of seconds on the top of the lid.
This way, the LED will flash white and every two hours, the LED will flash a few times to let you know that you need to drink water. To see the temperature of the beverage, tap once on the lid: blue will mean that the liquid is cold (underneath 98 degrees F), yellow will mean that its warm (between 98 and 140 degrees F) and red means that the beverage is hot (above 140 degrees F). When I tested this function, I noticed that you need to shake the bottle a bit so the water reaches the temperature sensor in order to get an accurate reading. As for the main feature, the UV-sterilization, you need to double tap the top of the lid and wait until the process is done (the LED will flash white for a few seconds).
If you were wondering whether the UV emitter can actually kill the bacteria and remove the odor, the answer is yes, considering that the rays should easily penetrate such a small quantity of water (it may not work that well will colored beverages, such as coffee or juice).
The manufacturer says that the battery should last for a full month when using the UV sterilization once a day and I have been using it for about a week and, so far, it’s still working fine – there is no indicator for the battery life, but the LED will flash red when it goes below 5%.