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Nespresso Prodigio: The connected coffee machine

With the Prodigio, the Nespresso app alerts you if the water tank needs descaling or is empty, among other functions.
With the Prodigio, the Nespresso app alerts you if the water tank needs descaling or is empty, among other functions. PHOTO: NESPRESSO

Brew coffee, schedule the brewing, manage your capsule stock and get alerted via the app on your smartphone

Get a freshly brewed cuppa by tapping on your smartphone's screen. No, you are not using Apple Pay, but the Nespresso Prodigio Bluetooth coffee machine.

The Prodigio connects to the free Nespresso app (available on Android and iOS).

You might already be using this app if you have a current Nespresso machine. It is the same app that lets you order coffee capsules, machines and accessories like cups.

But, with the Prodigio, the app allows you to brew coffee, schedule the brewing, manage your capsule stock, and get alerted if the machine's water tank is empty or needs descaling.

The machine itself looks like any other Nespresso machine with three buttons on top for selecting three different amounts of coffee to be dispensed.

It has an adjustable water tank that can be moved to the machine's sides to fit your kitchen top.

Prodigio uses an automatic capsule-ejection system, unlike the manual lever system of Nespresso Pixie or Inessia. There is a slider on its top for capsule insertion.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $398 (without Aeroccino3 Milk Frother system) and $528 (with Aeroccino3 Milk Frother system)


    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth


    WEIGHT: 3.6kg


    RATING


    FEATURES: 3/5


    DESIGN: 4/5


    PERFORMANCE: 3/5


    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5


    OVERALL: 3/5

To power up the machine, open this slider. It usually takes only 25sec before the machine is ready to make its first cup of coffee.

To use it with the app, pair the machine with your smartphone by following the instructions on the app. Your phone has to be within 10m of the machine.

Once pairing is completed, you can tap on an icon on the app to brew a cup of coffee straightaway. But obviously, you still need to insert the capsule and put your cup below the coffee outlet. If I am already in front of the coffee maker, I think it is faster to just press the machine's button.

Similarly, scheduled brewing sounds good if you want to have that early morning coffee boost. But you need to remember to leave a capsule and cup in the machine overnight.

By default, the app will show 16 coffee capsules remaining, as the package comes with this number of complimentary capsules.

As I am already a Nespresso member, it has a record of how many capsules I have previously bought. The app will ask if I want to add that same amount to the stock I have left. You can also manually add to or subtract from what you have left.

The app's alert management system will tell you if the machine cannot dispense any coffee because the used capsule container is full, or if the water tank is empty.

However, it is a bit disappointing that it cannot alert you when the water level is low. It is also supposed to remind you if your machine needs descaling.

But I did not get to use the review unit long enough to receive such an alert.

Price-wise, though, the Prodigio is quite reasonable at only $60 more than the manual Nespresso Pixie ($338).


  • Verdict: If you are looking for a new coffee machine, the Nespresso Prodigio is certainly one smart machine you should get. But it is not quite worth the upgrade if you already own a Nespresso machine.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'Nespresso Prodigio: The connected coffee machine'. Print Edition | Subscribe