The Instagram-Famous Find That Helps Me Start My Day Off on the Right Foot — Organized and Calm

published Dec 27, 2023
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Credit: Tidbyt

I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve never been a fan of smart-home devices. Sure, I love home tech like remote-controlled light bulbs or fun LED TV lights, but anything with any sort of “smart home assistant” built into it has never been my cup of tea. That being said, I have always loved the information aspect of these devices. Having a piece of smart home tech that can keep me up to date on all of my “need-to-know” info is undoubtedly 1. Helpful and 2. Cool. So, when I came across the Tidbyt, a device that seemed to be the answer I was looking for, I knew I was having a Goldilocks moment.

I first saw the device one night while scrolling through Instagram and thought, “Wow, this thing looks really interesting.” Later that week, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon began to take place: I was suddenly seeing the Tidbyt everywhere. With social media abuzz over this stylish piece of home tech, I decided to take the plunge. With about six months of use under my belt, I can confirm, dear reader, that this smart display is not a social flash in the pan — it’s the best piece of home tech I own.

Quick Overview

A Quick Look at the Tidbyt Display

  • A smart display that shares all of your essential daily “tidbits” of information, helping keep you in the know and off of your phone
  • Displays everything from your calendar, the weather, and the time to mass transit schedules, sports stats, and much more through its ever-growing internal “app” library
  • Utilizes a companion app to make customizing the display simple
  • Doubles as a stylish decor element
  • Built without speakers, AI, or mics
  • Compact and stylish with its solid wood casing, available in multiple colors

Design Features That Stand Out

When it comes to the design, on a visual front, the Tidbyt is unlike anything I’ve seen on the market. With its retro-inspired LED display, I lovingly refer to it as my adult Lite Brite thanks to its pixelated face. Top that off with a streamlined solid wood casing, and it’s the first piece of home decor I can think of that somehow balances mid-century design and ’80s retro -flair tastefully. (Note: the Tidbyt is available in either a walnut or beech wood design).

From a tech standpoint, it’s also in a league of its own thanks to its, well, simplicity. When you hear it referred to as a smart display, it’s easy to initially confuse this device with the Echo Shows and Google Nest Hubs of the world. However, I want to make one thing abundantly clear: This is not your typical smart-home display. If you’re looking for something to control your lights, answer questions, or pull up recipes, you’ve come to the wrong place. However, if you’re looking for a visual information hub that’s super customizable and actually adds some style to your space, then you’ll love this device.

Credit: Sarah Vazquez

How It Performed

Setting up the Tidbyt couldn’t be easier. After unboxing, all that’s left to do is plug it in, install the Tidbyt app (available for both Apple iOS and Android), and find the perfect spot to show off your display. Once you’re set, open the app; it’ll walk you through connecting to your Wi-Fi and then you can start customizing your display with your choice of hundreds of apps!

As for installing the “apps”, I feel it’s important to note that when I mention “apps”, I’m talking about the different display options controlled through the Tidbyt app; you will not be downloading dozens of additional apps to your phone. Instead, you’re given a library of internal “apps” that is constantly being updated with new and fun picks.

Credit: Sarah Vazquez
A quick look at the Tidbyt app library.

For me, the Tidbyt has become an essential part of my daily routine. It looks a little like this: I wake up, make a cup of tea, catch some sun on my sofa, and take a look at my stats for the day. While enjoying my cuppa, I take note of everything I need to know without touching my phone. The weather? Check. My train schedule? Check. My calendar? Check. Heck, I can even get news updates on what’s going on in the world and check in on the next time my favorite soccer team is playing. It’s allowed me to start my day without doomscrolling but still informed, and for that, I’m a forever fan.

What I Loved

  • The app library is constantly being updated: When I first got my Tidbyt, I was a bit disappointed to see that when it came to the mass transit options, they didn’t offer a ticker for the NJ Path train. However, in just a few short months, a corresponding app was added to the library, along with a host of other major city transit systems. I loved being able to see firsthand that the app library is always growing.
  • No speakers, AI, or mics: One of my biggest gripes with traditional smart home displays and “assistants” is all of the possibly invasive technology. With this pick, I never have to worry about if someone is listening to me.
  • It’s incredibly stylish: I love the retro look of this device. It was the perfect finishing piece for my living room setup. And not only is it a statement piece, it’s a conversation starter. I’ve even had coworkers on Zoom calls notice it in the background, stop me mid-sentence, and ask, “What is that thing?” Who doesn’t love a good talking point?
Credit: Sarah Vazquez

Good to Know

While this display can function as a clock (with multiple designs to choose from), there is no built-in audio alarm system, so if you’re looking for an alarm clock, this won’t be the device for you.

Also, if you’re not ready to give up your smart assistant just yet, it is compatible with Google Home so you can see specific apps when you need them with a quick voice prompt.

Should YOU Buy The Tidbyt?

All in all, the Tidbyt is a sleek, fun device that’s become a vital part of my day-to-day, but I would specifically recommend it if you’re someone who’s looking for:

  • A simpler take on the smart display that’s easy to set up and manage
  • Something to help you spend less time on your phone in the morning
  • A functional and stylish piece of home tech

Due to overwhelming demand, the device is currently sold out. However, new orders can still be placed and will ship in February. Plus, if you lock in your order today you can save $10 with the code LOCKITIN at checkout. Sweet!

Buy: Tidbyt Display, $199

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