REBO Smart Water Bottle Review: Truly An Environment-Friendly Approach?

The REBO smart water bottle is a very welcomed member to a surprisingly narrow niche market which just won’t properly get into the mainstream even though I think it needs to. First, lots of people do actually need a device to remind them to drink water and secondly, it’s better to use a single bottle instead of purchasing multiple plastic bottles over the years.

It’s better for both the environment and for your wallet. And I noticed that REBO is focusing its advertising campaign mainly towards this point, the environment, calling its device the ‘first smart water bottle that cleans the planet as you drink’. It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s true that they do seem to fund the collection of bottles every few ounces of drink that you consume. No idea if they’ll keep their promise, but if they do, it’s cool and creates a nice precedent.


The reusable bottle has been quite popular for a while and to get people to give the smart features a chance, you do need to create a proper app integration with suitable functions. Was REBO able to do so with its first bottle? We’ll put that to the test. But before going forward, know that very, very few manufacturers bother to continuously support their smart water bottles and even fewer have created a series of such devices. The only one that comes to mind is the Hidrate Spark. The LifeFuels is a close second since it still supports its smart bottle even after a few years have passed.

Design and Build Quality

The REBO smart water bottle consists of two main parts, one is the bottle itself which is made of SUS304 stainless steel and the second part is the cap which contains all the circuitry. The stainless steel container doesn’t seem to be thicker than your usual reusable water bottles (such as the Super Sparrow or 64Hydro), so expect a similar performance in terms of insulation. This type of bottles do quite well with cold beverages, but tend to get cooler far easier with hotter beverages (we’ll put it to the test in the following sections). The water container is covered by a grippy matte finish (mine was a darker blue which they call atoll turquoise or something) and inside, the metal has a special coating as to ensure that no toxins are released in the water.


The volume capacity is 20.29 ounces and the dimensions of the entire bottle are 10.0 x 2.9 inches (25.5 x 7.3cm). This means that it should enter most car cup-holders since it’s a taller and narrower bottle than other bottle from the market. Is it going to easily fit into a bag? It depends on the size of your bag, but yes, it’s going to be a bit heavier and taller than a regular plastic bottle.
The lid is made of plastic and it’s food-grade BPA-free; it also seems that it’s RoHS and REACH certified which means that it should also be phthalate-free, which is great. The lid is a bit on the larger side and it’s covered by a soft matte finish that’s nice to the touch.

The lid rotates inside the bottle (there is a red seal to prevent water from slipping out) and there is a silicone loop that helps carrying the REBO smart bottle around with relative ease. The opening mechanism is not that easy to operate (it’s very stiff) and I had to really push the finger on the plastic piece to get the lid open. So I am not entirely sure about the longevity of the mechanism – they could have used some spring-operated mechanism instead of a piece of plastic that can fail after a few months of constant use. I did like that there is a locking mechanism on the other side of the lid, so you won’t accidentally open the bottle and spill water everywhere. In any case, after opening up the lid, I could see that there’s a fairly large mouth and, towards the top, there seems to be a sensor (with two beams) for detecting the amount of water that’s left in the bottle.


At the top of the lid, there is a narrow LED ring which will light up to show the status of the bottle and to let you know that you need to drink water. Above the already mentioned locking mechanism for the lid, there is a silicone cover which, once removed, it will expose the USB-C charging port. And yes, there is a USB-C cable inside the box that you can use to charge up the REBO smart water bottle.

The LED status light

The ring LED will light up solid green when the bottle is fully charged up and it will flash blue to remind the user to drink water. If you lag behind with the water consumption (according to the set plan), the LED will start flashing white. Since this can be annoying during the night, it is very much possible to create schedules in the app. While charging the bottle, the LED will stay solid orange, it will flash orange when the battery is low and it will flash red if the battery is close to be depleted (it will flash red only if the bottle sits vertically on a flat surface). If the LED flashes purple, it means that the bottle has been disconnected from the app.


How does the REBO smart water bottle work?

The manufacturer says that it relies on a proprietary algorithm for measurement (a bit vague, I guess), but it has disclosed that there is an accelerometer embedded into the cap which has the role of detecting when the bottle is positioned on a flat surface and the lid is closed. At that point, the other sensor, called ToF (Time of Flight) is going to shine a laser light beam towards the surface of the water and attempt to calculate the amount of water that’s left inside the bottle. I know that some smart water bottles used to rely on a long sensor that sat inside the bottle and was attached to the lid (a sensor stick) to track the water intake – Hidrate Spark 2.0.

But I noticed that the manufacturers have moved away from that system and either prefer to use a sensing base to check the amount of water that’s left or what the REBO smart water bottle is using, a lid with sensors. LifeFuels went with a different system which detects changes in the water level (using a continuous level sensor) and it updates the app when the water reaches every quarter of the container.

The App and some Major Issues

Before anything else, make sure that the bottle is fully charged, so connect a USB-C cable and wait until the LED light gets blue. Then, you can download and install the REBO app which is available on both Android devices and iPhones. You will need to create an account (or use your Facebook, Google or Apple account – I wouldn’t), but please make sure to red the Privacy Policy since there is some data collection. The app will collect your name, email address, your picture, gender, age, height, weight, lifestyle, whether you’re pregnant, how many plastic bottle you used before the REBO smart water bottle and the amount of beverage that you drank in association with your location (lovely).


It’s worth noting that REBO says that they do not share your data with third parties, unless you expressly agreed to it. After creating the account, you can create a profile (doesn’t have to be that precise..) and then you can agree to a few app permissions. These include the Location, Bluetooth and Notifications. Since I was using an Apple device, the REBO app asked whether it could write and read some info into and from the Health app and I could finally Connect the bottle!

The process is very simple: just make sure that the LED flashes blue (meaning that it’s charged enough) and the bottle should be discovered by the app. I noticed that there are some instructions that say to keep the bottle vertical for about 10 seconds to get accurate readings, but I noticed that the data would appear after as little at 3 seconds. Also, the reading is not made in 25% increments as it happened on the LifeFuels, which means that you’re going to get a better idea about how much water you drank from the REBO smart water bottle. And everything was great and all until I decided to close the app and went on my merry way. About three hours and a few sips later, I decided to check the amount of water that was left from the app.


Apparently, the bottle was disconnected, so I tapped to reconnect it. Which was in vain, the app would not connect to the bottle again. The weird thing was that the app kept saying that the bottle needs to be charged, but it couldn’t have lost that much over the last three hours, right? Wrong! The bottle needed to charge for about half an hour before the ring turned from orange to green, so it lost about 17 percent.
It’s not a small number, so there is some battery drain that’s going on and the interesting thing is that I could reconnect to the app after the bottle was again fully charged. I think this is an error in the coding and there may have been a battery level limit way too high for the connection to the app. That or the manufacturer used an incredibly under-powered battery to keep everything up and running.

Returning to the now-working-again app, I could see that they went with a cool animation where the water would flow in the direction of how you moved the phone. I could also see the battery percent and could enable the LED ring. The next tab showed how much of my goal I had achieved in that day and the third tab showed the impact that my new habit had on the environment. It’s a nice touch and could help keep people motivated, I suppose. The last tab took me by surprise and it kind of made sense why they wanted my location. They have a map which shows the closest public fountains to where you are located, so you can refill the bottle without needing to buy bottled water. Tapping the cogwheel (from the top right corner), it will open the Settings.


Here, you can set Notifications and Reminders, set the Goal, adjust the Profile (includes Units), Calibrate the bottle and more. I don’t know if I need to clearly state it, but yes, the REBO smart water bottle works nicely with Apple Health.

How accurate is it?

Out of the box, the bottle is not very accurate and it would think that half of the bottle was full, while it actually was 3/4, so it was way off the correct values. There is a way to fix this by calibrating the bottle. This options can be found in the app and, after following the instructions, the REBO smart water bottle did get better at approximating the amount of water that was inside the container. I noticed that it’s still between 5-10 percent inaccurate, but it’s better than before.

It is easy to clean?

The plastic cap needs to be clean with a soft cloth and should not be submerged under water, but the metallic bottle can be thoroughly cleaned. And it should be done periodically. It’s also dish-washed safe (only the bottle container, not the lid), so that’s a bonus.


Battery life and some final tests

I have been monitoring the battery life of the REBO smart water bottle to see if the issue that I encountered when checking out the app resurfaced and so far, a couple of days later, it did not. The battery drain issue is also not present, but I will keep my eye on the matter and update this article as soon as I get new info. – A small update would be that the bottle now loses about 20% per day, so you should charge it every 4-5 days. It’s worth mentioning that to charge the battery from 0 to 100% requires about 3 hours. Before the finishing up, I decided to check how well insulated the bottle is, so I put some ice cubes with some water inside the REBO smart water bottle and left it overnight (the mouth of the bottle is large enough to easily fit ice cubes).

As I anticipated, the ice cubes melted completely after about 18 hours, so the water kept its coolness close to an entire day. With hot water (120 degrees F), things stood a bit differently, since the water was already only warm after less than 6 hours, so it’s quite far from the promised 12 hours.


The REBO smart water bottle does suffer from the usual issues that plagues its competitors as well. And that’s mainly in regards to the app and the tracking system. It certainly can get better, but it can take away from the experience especially if you’re an early adopter of this technology. The REBO smart water bottle clearly relies more on the mobile notifications that on anything else since the LED ring doesn’t really do that much, so an audible sound could have been a good addition. And yes, if they get the app right, it’s a good smart water bottle, especially since their mission for improving the environmental is a great cause.

REBO smart water bottle













  • The bottle can easily be carried around
  • I liked their mission for cleaning the environment
  • USB-C charging port
  • After calibration, the sensors can get fairly accurate at determining the amount of water in the container
  • The app is interesting


  • The app can behave weirdly at times
  • The lid's opening mechanism is needlessly stiff
  • The battery life is not that great

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