Agloves Bamboo Review: Touchscreen-Friendly Gloves

Agloves and other capacitive touch-friendly gloves are an accessory with an emerging mindshare. With winter already here, I’m sure many of you are finding the juggling of gloves and touchscreen driven phones at least a bit annoying. This is only going to get worse as things get colder — you’ll find that you have to make a decision between answering a call or using your phone or tablet and keeping your hands warm. I got the Agloves Bamboo for review. Read on to find out if they live up to expectations.

Skip to the review if you don’t care about the why and how I got them.

Background

I found out about capacitive touch-compatible (CTC) gloves years ago, after a friend of mind asked if there was any device he could use instead of a finger to control his iDevice. I had known about pointing styluses with special rubberized plastic made to mimic the characteristics of human skin and when I went on a Google-hunt (my favorite type of hunting) I found the styluses mentioned in addition to the gloves. I sent my friend the link and filed the existence of CTC gloves in the back of my mind, where I keep all of my quick reference filing cabinets.

If I were drawing up a list of requirements I would list: good build quality, warm enough for freezing-point temperatures (32°F), competitively priced compared regular gloves, unobtrusive, no behavior change, neither conspicuous, nor dorky looking and fashionable if possible—this was a woman after all, not me. So, I packed a lunch, bowed to the cat and off I went to hunt. It was easy enough to find plenty of contenders, but either they failed on one or multiple levels: This one was too expensive; this one was too dorky, this one just has two small conductive pads, and this one was meant for sub-zero temperature and too bulky, etc.

I realized that instead of a hunt, it was actually a round of Survivor, with the gloves being the contestants. I finally narrowed it down to a few and checked out reviews and the company sites for their background to see if this seemed like a company that would treat you like they wanted your business or if they were just cashing in on a market and treated the product like a gimmick.

The products were similar enough, but the company info for the Agloves said that they were made because they were tired of answering the phone with their nose. Two things struck me about that: (1) they made a product they wanted to use which is significant, and (2) the claim of answering the phone with your nose rang true because I have done that when my hands were full.— Winner!

I contacted the company to see if anyone carried them locally because a friend needed them for a trip she was taking in a few days. Less than a day later, I received a reply from Sarah Hansen, who told me that Verizon stores carried them. I called a Verizon store down the street. After a few minutes of phone maze navigation, I got to a real person. I was a bit annoyed by the phone maze, but luckily the person on the other end was beyond helpful. She looked up store inventor in the region and found nothing stocked. It turns out that Verizon only offers them online. I was sent out a pair gratis, for review, and got them in time for my friend’s trip.

Review

The Agloves Bamboo are touchscreen-friendly gloves fit comfortably. When I put them on I immediately noticed the construction quality and cooling effect bamboo has on the skin. Treated bamboo is antibacterial, but I do not know if the Agloves use this treated bamboo textile (They make no such claims on the tag.). I noticed the finger tips had seams and thought that it might be uncomfortable during use. I then tried them on my iPhone and it was like I wasn’t even wearing gloves. The touchscreen stayed responsive as ever, and at no time did I have to change my natural interaction with the device. I figured this would be the effect because the Agloves have silver thread interwoven throughout the gloves.

After using them a few hours, my touchscreen was still clean. Also, I didn’t feel like the gloves were getting uncomfortable either. I chalked this up to the bamboo. The only things I didn’t like were the plain natural color and the fingertip seam. But the color is purely subjective, and many people will probably like the natural color. The seams at the finger tips didn’t bother me either. I imagine that would make shortening the fingers easier and less obvious for those with shorter digits.

I lent them to my friend for her trip, and when she got back her observations were inline with mine. She too noticed the finger tip seams when I handed them to her and she put them on, but also reported that they didn’t bother her at all during the trip. The color didn’t bother her for a second. She said the temperature was in the 30s and 40s during her trip and the gloves kept her hands comfortably warm. She is allergic to a lot of things most people don’t think people can be allergic to. So, I was also a bit worried that the silver thread or bamboo would bother her. She did mention getting a bit of a rash on her wrists, but ruled out the gloves as the culprit. She was very pleased with how well the gloves performed, and didn’t have a single complaint. Even though I’ve asked for them back, she has yet to get around to it. So, I’ll probably end up buying my own pair.

The bottom line is the Agloves Bamboo touchscreen gloves function as advertised in cold weather with no loss of ability to use touch screens. The build quality is great and they meet all the requirements I listed above. I would buy a pair for myself (and probably will end up doing that).

Full Disclosure: I received these gloves for review from Agloves directly without any other compensation. (And I’m wondering if I could get another pair for re-review because my friend has claimed them under her banner. {Insert cheesy smile here}). If you are interested in learning more or buying a pair, check out Agloves site.

UPDATE: I bought a pair of sport Agloves on Shatner day from Think Geek. They be [sic] on sale last I checked. They too rock, minus the cool to the touch feeling. But at least they’re “as black as my soul!”

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One thought on “Agloves Bamboo Review: Touchscreen-Friendly Gloves

  1. Pingback: How to write a product review to help people decide if they want it. « The Chronicles of NoiVad

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