Lelo F1s review: A sex toy that may well be ahead of its time
The Lelo F1S is a bit of a weird beast. Yes, it’s a discreet ‘male stroker’ toy, but it’s one with one eye firmly on the future, and less focus on now. And for a sex toy, that’s a pretty weird sales proposition.
On a more practical level, the Lelo F1s costs $179/£150 which is a fair chunk of change for a male masturbator toy at any time. It’s not the most expensive though, with Kiiroo’s male interactive sex toys generally coming in at around this price point or higher.
Those devices, like the Fleshlight Launch and Kiiroo Titan, tend to justify that cost with the promise of interactive synced porn though, as well as manual modes. The Lelo F1s doesn’t make any such promises though, and won’t sync with any content currently, including VR porn.
Technically, the device on sale is a ‘developer kit’, but is essentially finalized hardware.
So, what can it do right now?
Lelo F1s: Design and hardware
There is no doubt that the Lelo F1s looks like the most engineered of any sex toy for men that we’ve tested so far. There’s no removable sleeve, no external moving parts, no mains power supply… this thing screams ‘premium’ and is small.
For the most part, that’s probably not a bad thing to keep in mind when designing a sex toy – the Fleshlight Launch is a great experience, but also weighs about 2kg – but the Lelo F1s allows an insertable length of just 4.3-inches, which is simply not going to be enough for many people.
Another slightly odd choice is the viewing window on the side of the device. On one hand, it provides a view of the inside workings of your sex toy, which is sort of cool, but on the other it seems to be pretty much in the wrong place if you wanted to look in the window while in use.
On the top of the F1s in the center is the main power button, with speed controls on either side for manual control. Beneath the power button is a capped charging port – which uses a proprietary USB charger.
That’s a bit of a shame, but it is great that the entire thing is waterproof, which makes it simple to clean.
The inside of the fixed sleeve is ridged, and all smooth silicone, while the outer casing is made of soft-touch ABS plastic.
Lelo F1s: What’s in the box?
Battery life is claimed to be up to two hours, but this really depends on what speeds you are using – if you use it non-stop at maximum power, it isn’t going to last two hours.
Lelo F1s review: In Use
While there’s a demo app you can download on iOS or Android devices to see some of the capabilities of the data sensors in the device, you don’t really need it to use the F1s necessarily.
The Lelo F1s is dripping in trademarked terminlogy – namely, SenSonic and Cruise Control technology, the latter of which can be found in some other Lelo devices, like the Sona Cruise (we have a review of this under way too).
In laymans terms, what that means is that the eight different sensors and two motors keep power consistently delivered, by cranking up the power when it detects you holding it more firmly. That’s the Cruise Control element, while SenSonic refers to the motor at the base of the device, which emits sonic vibrations, rather than traditional direct vibrations.
Where other toys offer interactivity or different pre-set patterns, the Lelo F1s puts you in full control instead, allowing you to tweak the intensity of the sonic vibrations and speed of the traditional ones. This is best achieved via the F1s Demo App (it’s not on the app store with the name ‘Lelo’), but you can control the speed via the plus and minus buttons on top.
The app also shows some other data too, like the temperature of the device, speed, pressure, which is why there are eight sensors in it.
Normally, we’d give a rundown of the app’s features, but that’s not really the point of the F1s Demo App – it gives basic control, but is more a showcase for the potential functionality that can be derived from those sensors.
So, yes the app gives you control over the two different motors independently, and a bunch of data, but not a whole lot of other actual functionality.
However you control the F1s, you’re going to want to apply a whole lot of lube to yourself and the device before getting started, as the experience is a tight squeeze from top to bottom. Part of this is the contoured design of the sleeve, and partly because it’s just a bit too small in general.
The Cruise Control technology actually plays more of a positive role in general use than you might expect. With the diminutive dimensions of the device, there’s a good chance you will end up thrusting as deeply as possible, Cruise Control saves some of the motor power for these times to ensure that the power doesn’t drop out as more pressure is applied.
It’s hard to describe the ‘SenSonic’ vibration experience, except perhaps to say that it feels non-directional and can vary between quite buzzy to slightly more rumbly vibrations. The least intense speed has the least buzzy vibration.
Perhaps more importantly though, when combined with the other motor, it does give a unique, intense feeling that’s genuinely different to other masturbators on the market, specifically one that’s rarely found in a toy designed for a penis.
The device itself isn’t noisy, but the combination of such an incredible tight suction-like fit and lots of lube makes for a lot of loud squelchy noises if you move it around vigorously while switched on anything above the lowest power modes. Using it without lots of lube really, really isn’t recommended.
Lelo F1s: Overall
As I said at the start, the Lelo F1s is a bit of a weird one. On the one hand, it is about as discreet as a toy for men gets, delivers a unique experience, and has some big plans for its future potential, thanks to the wealth of sensors. It’s also great that it’s fully waterproof, and this is something that other manufacturers should get on board with too.
However, it’s also a bit on the small side, and most critically, still doesn’t have any third-party apps available to make use of its open data interface and APIs. This doesn’t mean that no other company will make experiences, but it simply hasn’t been an option – the software developer kit still isn’t available to developers, though a company spokesperson told us there should be movement on that front soon.
Until then, what you have is some refined hardware and a unique sensation that combines to make a sex toy that feels like it hasn’t yet reached its potential, or even quite found its reason for existing, which, again, is a weird way to be thinking about a sex toy.
If you buy the Lelo F1s, it’s probably because you’re the sort of person that wanted to get a first gen smartwatch or Fitbit: it’s not essential to your life, but it’s undeniably intriguing.
There’s no doubt that the Lelo F1s is for technology enthusiasts as it stands today, and while there could be a ‘killer app’ or integration of the device’s sensors in the future, it doesn’t exist yet. Nonetheless, the F1s provides premium design and a unique sensation for an intriguing proposition.
- Novel design
- Small and discreet
- Very snug fit
- Unique sensation
- Fully waterproof
- A little too small
- Proprietary charging socket
Read Next: Fleshlight Launch Review