Welcome back, folks. The past few weeks have been extremely annoying and frustrating for me, which was not helped in the slightest by my birthday falling in the middle of last week. However, that’s all behind us now, so I’m moving my birthday to this week and to celebrate I’m back in the saddle, grabbing the blogging bull by the horns, wrangling some fresh content, and no doubt additional rodeo metaphors as well.
The 21st century economy is a strange, dreary place
Back in October, I got an e-mail from “Houston Golden,” “Co-Founder at BAMF Media and Head of PR for Torro Bracelets,” offering to send me something called a “Torro bracelet” to review. I get a surprising amount of unsolicited e-mails like this given how small the site is, but who am I to turn down some free blog content? So I said I’d be happy to take one of these gadgets and write a review, although first I did warn him the review would be honest.
A few strange e-mail exchanges led me to wonder, what is BAMF Media and why is its co-founder also the head of PR for a jewelry company? The answer, you may have already guessed, is that BAMF Media is a marketing company and I assume its co-founder is the “head of PR” for all their clients.
So if you want to buy a white label product from China, stamp it with your company’s logo, and market it in the United States, you hire BAMF Media to engage in some “PR hacking” to make sure everyone in the “BAMF influencer program” tells their followers to go buy your product.
I find this entire ecosystem unspeakably depressing, but on the other hand I have a giant stack of drained gift cards by my desk so I’m not exactly in a position to judge.
Torro is a product you never knew you needed because you don’t
I can be a bit slow, so it took me a little while browsing the Torro website for my free item to realize what the product actually is, and I had to confirm it with the founder (and I assume sole employee) to make sure I understood.
So, deep breath: Torro bracelets are USB charging cables. But they’re USB cables you can wrap around your wrist. That’s it. Take a look:
The model I selected is the “Penny II” (sadly seems to have since sold out) in the medium size, and you can see it’s a bit tight on my extremely narrow wrist, so I’d suggest ordering a large no matter how small you think your wrists are.
Torro bracelets aren’t even very good charging cables
If you squint just right you can kind of see the logic behind the product.
If you’re going out on the town and don’t want to carry a bag, you might find a regular-length charging cable cumbersome to bring with you, but since we all live on our mobile devices these days, you might also reasonably worry about your phone dying, for example if you plan to call a car in order to get home.
Likewise, if you’re traveling (they reached out to me specifically to describe this as a “travel hack”) you might get robbed and lose your regular charging cable, and need to power up your phone in order to cancel your credit cards or whatever.
Which is why it’s notable that Torro bracelets aren’t very good charging cables. There’s probably a more technical way to put it, but the phone end of the cable is both stubby and bulky, like Danny DeVito. It literally does not fit into the charging hole of my iPhone case. Here’s a comparison with my normal charging cable (Torro on the left in both pictures):
It’s both too wide to fit into the charging gap on my case, and too short to reach the charging port on my phone from outside the case. Now, some cases are easy enough to pop off it might not matter one way or the other to you. But if your product is only supposed to do one thing, you’d hope it could at least do that one thing with a minimum of fuss.
They also sent me an external battery, which seems to work ok, although unlike my Limefuel battery (an excellent product that does not seem to be manufactured anymore) it doesn’t have any way of indicating the remaining charge.
So, who wants it?
I told BAMF Media that if they sent me two bracelets I’d do a reader giveaway for the second, but they didn’t seem to think that was a good enough “PR hack,” so I just have the one. However, I’m not using it, so if anyone wants it, wish me happy birthday in the comments and include your best throwaway e-mail address and I’ll pick somebody to bestow it on. Free USPS shipping within the United States! Terms and conditions don’t apply.