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Lovense Solace review: Power and performance, at a price

Updated:
May 3, 2024
Published:
May 1, 2024
lovense solace review 1
6.8
We like
Pro
Extremely powerful
Well-designed
Long battery life
Tons of Features
We dislike
Con
Limited interactive content
Expensive
Bulky
3

One of the most prolific manufacturers of smart sex toys, Lovense has made a name for itself with connected vibrators for vulvas. The Lovense Solace, however, is one of the company's range of penis toys - a stroker that boasts powerful performance and a range of software-enabled features.

While it may come with an eye-watering retail price, it aims to justify it with its show-stopping power - but the real question is whether it does enough to eclipse the likes of its biggest rivals, like the Kiiroo Keon.

Lovense Solace review: Design & Tech

So loud, you better warn your neighbors

The Solace is made of smooth black plastic, with a distinctive squared-off design. Alongside the LED power indicator, there are five buttons on the top face to provide direct control for elements like thrust speed, depth, and pattern. The design is attractive and intuitive, but there's no disguising the fact that this unit is a bit of a beast.

Weighing just under 1kg and measuring 10cm wide by almost 30cm long, it's hardly discreet in terms of its size. While you could technically stuff this in an overnight bag, it'd take up a lot of room. It's also fairly loud while in operation, thanks to the powerful motor, so you'd better make sure you've got either an empty house or thick walls before you start using it.

The inner sleeve - which is a neutral, textured affair by default but can be swapped out for a more realistic sleeve sold separately - measures just over six inches long in total, with a maximum thrusting depth of 2.75 inches. The battery promises up to 12 and a half hours of usage on a single charge, with a charge time of just over an hour and a half. That would certainly appear to be the case - throughout our testing, we didn't find ourselves having to reach for the charging cable at any point.

Cleaning is straightforward - simply hold down the button to extend the inner holder from the main device, pop it out, and remove the internal sleeve, then reassemble it once clean.

Mounting the Solace to a desk or table via the included clamp is simple and quick too, with a versatile array of positions and angles, although the size means it's not as convenient as it could be. Once you've finished a session, the cleanup is also a little awkward.

Lovense Solace review: Features & Functionality

You'll want to take advantage of the smart features

You can use the Solace without the app, controlling the patterns via the inbuilt buttons, but things really open up when you take advantage of the smart features. Pairing with the Lovense Vibemate app on iOS or Android is fast and easy, which offers a range of software-based controls and features, including the ability to create your own custom thrusting patterns, or download pre-made patterns from other users.

If you're looking for something a bit more involved, the Solace boasts compatibility with a range of interactive adult games, and that's technically true, but it runs into a bit of a problem. Firstly, the selection of titles it's compatible with is fairly limited - 26 in total, according to the website - and many of them are free-to-play games structured around coaxing micropayments from players.

There are several more expansive paid options on the list, none of which we were able to test, but the free options we tried out were fairly limited in terms of their functionality and gameplay, and we faced repeated issues with getting our toy to connect to the game or respond to its input. Even when we did get it working, we found the interactivity to be somewhat basic, not matching in-game activity to any significant degree.

Most adult games are developed by individual creators or small teams, which means slightly shonky UI and technical infrastructure, so these limitations are perhaps unsurprising - but it's still not conducive to a fun experience if you're spending half an hour of playtime trying to troubleshoot tech issues.

Another headline feature is interactive video, which puts in a stronger showing here: the company has partnered with a range of adult film networks to offer both compatibility with the Solace (and other toys) as well as discounted membership prices.

If you're not willing to pony up for a paid membership, Lovense also offers Vibemate - a free browser with built-in support for toys like the Solace. You can find a taster of this functionality in the Lovense app, where you can watch a select handful of YouTube music videos with accompanying vibration patterns.

If you're not a fan of getting your rocks off to Imagine Dragons, heading over to the app properly unlocks a range of video options, including free tube sites and hentai series, which are paired with vibration patterns. However, these patterns are user-created, and may not necessarily sync to the actions of the video you're watching, which renders the whole 'interactive' aspect somewhat moot.

If you're a fan of cam streamers, you can also sync the Solace up with streamers, but this appears to sync with the sound from the streamer or the velocity of tips received, rather than with any compatible Lovense toys.

The app also includes some more unusual modes - namely Sound and Speed mode. The former syncs rhythm and intensity with ambient noise levels (such as a live concert, for example) while speed mode adjusts the tempo based on your current rate of acceleration in a vehicle. Neither of these makes a huge amount of sense with a device like the Solace and is presumably designed primarily for more discreet devices like the Hush 2 or Lush 3.

A more interesting feature is Control Roulette, which anonymously pairs users up, allowing them to control each other's toys as well as chat or send voice messages. However, we tried it a couple of times and didn't manage to connect with anyone. However, if you have multiple toys, you can sync them together for simultaneous play with a partner - either together or long-distance - or for maximum solo fun.

Lovense Solace review: Experience & Verdict

A beefy stroker with some lackluster features

The Solace, along with the associated app, offers a lot of bells and whistles to explore, but most of them don't deliver on the promised interactivity, offering little more than arbitrary triggers to fire off seemingly random patterns.

It's fortunate, then, that the Solace's basic functionality is enjoyable enough to make up for it. The motor is powerful and smooth, and the slick design and high-capacity battery mean you'll be free to play for a long time. If you want to fine-tune your experience with custom patterns or explore long-distance play with a partner, you'll be well catered for too - although we wouldn't blame you if you just stuck to the essentials and let the more advanced features gather dust.

The downside is that it's a pretty significant investment if all you're after is a motorized stroker. With a suggested retail price of just under $400, it's steep in comparison to the likes of the Kiiroo Titan or Keon, and although it's currently on sale for $189 at the time of writing, we'd be hard-pressed to recommend it at full price.

With that being said, however, most of our issues with it could hypothetically be fixed by greater adoption, more robust API support, and a wider array of first-party partners. The device itself is sturdy enough to last for a long time, and with greater community support, it could be a real winner. As it is, it's an extremely beefy stroker with an overabundance of somewhat lackluster interactive features - but if you're looking for a long-term investment, this could be it.

Images

The Lovense Solace provides an excellent experience, at a cost
6.8
Summary
This souped-up stroker may have too many features for its own good. Powerful motor, let down by the size and sound.
Design
8/10
Experience
9/10
Features
8/10
Ease of Use
6/10
Value
4/10
Power:
Battery
Charging Time:
1.5
hours
Battery Life:
12.5
hours
Control:
Built-in, App
Color(s):
Black
For:
People with a Penis
Waterproof:
Splashproof
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Lovense Solace review: Power and performance, at a price
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