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Ember Travel Mug 2 review: Keep warm and carry on

Look smart. Sip smarter.

Ember Travel Mug 2 Plus
Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus
4 out of 5 stars
4
Price
From $299
Capacity
355ml
Battery life
3 hours
Fergus Halliday
Jun 12, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read
Quick verdict: Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus

Ember's latest travel mug is only a little bit smarter than its last but it won't cost you a cent extra.

pro
Pros
pro Snazzy design
pro Intuitive to use
con
Cons
con Pricey
con App doesn't add much

The Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus isn't so much a new idea as it is a better version of an old one from a company that knows its niche. Even if the price is high as the number of improvements involved is low, it's hard to complain too loudly about the final product.

If you want a cheaper smart travel mug, there is no shortage of sketchy pretenders out there. Comfortable with spending more so long as the product involved is the superior one? Ember has you covered.

How much does the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2+ cost in Australia?

Starts at $299

In Australia, the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus starts at $299. That's pretty premium price for a travel thermos, even if it is smarter than the average mug. That said, it is more-or-less in line with the other Ember products and it doesn't cost a cent more than its predecessor did. Plus, you can always save by shopping around.

Check out the table below for a round-up of deals for the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus.

Store
Price
More info

Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus: Design and features

Ember Mug 2 Plus header

The Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus doesn't mess with the formula too much.

For those keeping close attention, the main difference between this and the previous Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 is one borne of firmware. In other words, physical changes have been kept to an absolute minimum here. The finished result still very much looks apiece with the rest of the Ember lineup.

At a glance, the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus looks like any other matte black travel thermos. It holds about 355ml of liquid at a time and features a clever lid that's easy to pop open for a sip but otherwise locked-in to the point of being leak-proof.

Once you get the knack down though, the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus is very easy to use and even easier to confuse for a standard and non-smart travel thermos. At least, until you brush the touch-sensitive LED display on the front. Invisible by default, this touch-sensitive surface will allow you to check in on the current temperature of your beverage and adjust your target temperature if desired.

The Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus caps out at 62.5 degrees and goes as low as 50 degrees Celsius. In practice, this setup serves a twin purpose. The first is that you can take your time and not worry about your tea, coffee or alternative beverage of choice getting cold. The second is that you can determine at a glance whether the liquid in the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 is too hot to drink.

The Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus offers 3 hours of usage per time, which should be more than long enough for even the most casual sippers. The unit also comes bundled with a coaster-shaped charger stand that's every bit as minimalist as its stout counterpart.

Other key points here worth noting are that the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus is dishwasher safe and relatively easy to disassemble and clean yourself if needed. That's not exactly an exclusive among travel thermos but it's nice to know that the extra smarts here aren't coming at the cost of compromises elsewhere.

Ember mug in gold

Ember Mug 2 review

Prefer to stay home? See our review of the Ember Mug 2 .

Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus: Performance

Ember Mug 2 Plus header

The Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus is a deceptively simple piece of kit. So long as you remember to leave it on its charger between uses, you just use it as you would any other travel mug.

While it is by no means necessary to use the smart travel mug, it's worth touching on the official Ember app. This software-based sidekick allows you to remotely control the temperature of the mug, set preferences for specific drinks and get notifications when your drink has reached whatever you set as its ideal temperature.

My experience with this app was a bit of a mixed bag. Although I did appreciate that it is not strictly necessary to use the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus, I did not like that the mug asked for permission to access my call history when I paired it to my phone and I did not love the fact that the app requires me to create an Ember account to make use of even its most basic features.

Despite that, there's something genuinely magical to returning to a drink and having it remain at that ideal sipping temperature. During the recent winter months, the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus has proved itself to be a great option for more flavorful teas (or mulled ciders) that are worth savoring.

Although this refreshed version of the second-generation Ember Smart Travel Mug is largely the same as its predecessor, it does come with one key new feature in the form of Apple Find My functionality. This means that you can add and track down the smart mug via the Find My app if you lose track of it. As far as features go, it's nice to have but not revolutionary. Also, it's kinda lame that there's no equivalent available for those in the Android ecosystem.

Ember Smart Travel Mug 2+: Is it worth the money?

Ember Mug 2 Plus header

There's no getting around the fact that the Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus is a very expensive and (probably) unnecessary luxury gadget.  You do have to be a specific kind of person to justify spending that much money on having tea that stays warm for longer. Of course, if you can, then you'll probably come away pretty happy with the results.

The Ember Smart Travel Mug 2 Plus doesn't reinvent the formula, but a handful of tweaks don't diminish or distract from its successes either.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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