Lelo admits to faulty SenseMotion remotes: The good news and the bad news
A few months ago I reviewed the abysmal Lelo SenseMotion Insignia Tiani. Insignia SenseMotion Tiani? What a mouthful either way! The fact is, I and other reviewers, had come to the same conclusion: Lelo’s hyped SenseMotion was a total failure. For some reason though most of us assumed that the technology itself failed and Lelo hadn’t actually tested it before sending it out into the world; we all assumed that it was another disappointment in the growing line of increasingly-expensive Lelo sex toys. Jaded, much?
Rumors swirled that someone had contacted the warranty department at Lelo, they had been sent a new remote, and lo and behold – SenseMotion worked like it was supposed to! After first chalking this up to a PR rumor, I finally looked into it and my contact at Lelo didn’t so much as confirm as “eluded to” the fact that the first run had faulty remotes in some of the toys and a new remote would actually perform as intended.
I was skeptical. I admit it.
I was wrong! They DID fix the remote. I inserted the Tiani and then put pants on1. I was alone for my test so I changed the remote to the one setting where it did not vibrate and I um….well…I set it on the cat tree. What! It allowed me to walk 15 feet without barriers of walls! I found that I was able to get about 15 feet away before the vibrations cut out. However the difference now is that all it required was for me to move just a foot in another direction and the vibrations started up again. I was able to walk into another room and it still worked. I was able to sit down. And cross my legs. And effectively have the ENTIRETY of the Tiani covered in flesh.
And it still worked.
Given that this was the major complaint of many reviewers, having a functioning remote could very well change a lot of opinions. Heck as far as “public remote controlled vibrators” go, this change might technically edge up the Tiani over the We Vibe 3 for public use. The range on the We Vibe 3 is a mere 10 feet and while it works fine with flesh, heavier clothing requires the remote to be close by. Anyways.
Here’s the bad news. You knew it was coming, so don’t act all surprised.
The new remote makes the SenseMotion work as it should. Which is, I admit, quite neat. However it does not change the intensity or style of vibrations in the actual Insignia Tiani vibrator. They are still weakish and surface-buzzy as hell. If I were very sensitive, then this toy might serve as a great tease but I can’t see how it could bring about orgasm. 2 The fact that the remote now has 500% better reception with the vibrator still doesn’t take away from these negative points which still mean I don’t like the Tiani and would hesitate to recommend it:
- The vibrations are just piss poor
- The slender arm meant for insertion simply doesn’t stay put for me if used as a “public” vibrator, not during intercourse. I was not really very aroused so I can’t imagine it faring any better if I were wet
- The remote requires batteries
- The remote requires a special tool to open the back – I tried to open it without it, and failed. As I said in my initial review of the Tiani, you could use a coin but that would end up scratching the metallic-painted plastic over time. Some people think that this is not a big deal and that some of us are big baby whiners. To them I say bravo: you have normal functioning in your hands/fingers/grip. I do not. Lube on your fingers? Fuggeddaboutit. You’re not opening that back without the plastic key.
- The remote is large and not discreet; if you put it in the non-vibrating mode then you still have to have it visible to know what setting it is on. If you leave the vibrations on, then it is no longer discreet enough for public use. The vibrating remote is also louder than the toy itself.
- The price tag is around $150.
The bottom line is this: Lelo vibrators come with a warranty, and the faulty remote that you might have gotten is covered under this warranty. Simply contact them for a replacement remote. When you contact Lelo’s warranty department, I must warn you that your replacement remote will ship out from China. This international shipping means that discretion is compromised – on the outside of the UPS International bag will be a ziploc-style bag for the documentation paperwork that is needed for customs. This is made so that anybody can view the paperwork without opening up your package. However, this also means that snoopy neighbors/roommates/parents can easily get to the paper and find out exactly what is contained in the package.
I will end this update on a positive note: It does appear that honest reviews are getting back to Lelo and they are taking them to heart. They listened to the honest reviews and they fixed the remotes. They claim to be making the SenseMotion toys more powerful, however, I cannot and will not attest to that without seeing it for myself.
They also claim that they made the Lily and Nea, two first-gen Lelo clitoral vibrators that were about as lackluster in vibrations as the Tiani, more powerful – yet unlike the Mia, they have not made this news public. Why not, I wonder? I suppose it would lead to customers who care about it wondering if the retailer they are purchasing from is sending old stock or newer, updated and more powerful versions. I don’t know if the Lelo Tor cock ring had any increased vibration intensity of their first-run Bo cock rings, but I can say that despite initial concerns on the lack of stretch in the cock ring itself, their updated Tor II cock ring does have better vibrations – more powerful and more rumbly. If those vibrations in the Tor II that I have were in the Tiani? I might recommend it more.