Groove Smart Wallet Trace review – A minimalist wallet with built-in tracking

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REVIEW – Two years ago, I reviewed the original Groove Life wallet, and now I’m back with a brand new review of their latest Groove Smart Wallet Trace. What’s new with this EDC wallet, what’s different? It’s time to find out!

What is it?

The Groove Smart Wallet Trace is Tennessee-based Groove Life’s latest minimalist wallet that features a fun and fidgety slide-up card extender mechanism, RFID blocking, and tracking capability.

What’s included?

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  • Groove Smart Wallet Trace
  • Trace finder card
  • Grip sticker
  • Screw pack of replacement screws and screwdriver
  • Storage tin

Design and features

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The new Groove Smart Wallet Trace looks similar to the previous version I reviewed two years ago. The top surface which is made of 6061 anodized aluminum, is perfectly flat and has a cool brushed finish. A Groove Life logo in the upper left corner looks nice but is not too obtrusive.

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The edges are chamfered and the sides are flat. Two screws on each side give the wallet a cool industrial look.

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Two more screws on the bottom edge hold a cash clip which is removable.

The Groove Smart Wallet Trace is lightweight but solid. When it’s empty, it is very solid, with minimal flexing only when you use your thumb and index fingers to pinch the top and bottom together when the wallet is empty.

How do you deploy the cards?

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The Groove Smart Wallet Trace is designed to fit up to 6 cards.

  • 6 cards with no embossing
  • 5 cards with a maximum of 2 embossed cards
  • 4 cards with a maximum of 3 embossed cards

The cards are easily inserted into an opening at the top of the wallet.

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The wallet comes with a sticker affixed to the top that tells you how to use it.

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I didn’t want to leave the sticker stuck to the wallet, so I peeled it off. I was annoyed when it left a sticky residue. Luckily, some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball removed the residue without too much effort.

Like with the previous version of the Groove wallet, the top slides up with the upward pressure of your thumb. If the pad of your thumb is dry, it can be tough to get enough grip to slide it up. I mentioned this in my original review, and others must have also complained because Groove Life now includes a special sticker that solves that problem very nicely.

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The sticker is a thin layer of silicon with ridges that comes with a template, so you’ll be able to place it correctly on the top of the Smart Wallet Trace.

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Once in place, the sticker makes it very easy to slide the top up with a gentle press.

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The entire top of the wallet slides upward.

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As it does, the wallet makes a satisfying ratchet noise. The cards slide up and out of the top of the wallet and are displayed in a fanned format that makes it easy to remove the card you need.

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Then, you can use the card and slide it back into the wallet with the other cards when you’re done. The cards lock in place with a small plastic hook (shown above) that slides out from the side as you raise the cover and then pivots back in place when the cover sides back down.

The whole action is quick, smooth, and easy, without fumbling around. It’s just fun to use, and it feels a bit like a fidget toy.

Let’s track it!

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The Groove Smart Wallet Trace comes with a thin card that has a built-in Apple Find My compatible tracker (shown above on the right).

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The card itself is a little smaller and a little thicker than a traditional credit card. When I received my review sample, the Trace card was not pre-installed in the wallet, but all Groove Trace wallets that are now being sold will already have the Trace card installed. However, you can remove it if you need to, and here’s how to remove/install the Trace card.

The top cover of the wallet is held in place with a magnet. You can use a plastic credit card to pop the corner of the cover up so you can detach it. Then you can place the Trace card face down and replace the wallet’s cover and you’re ready to go.

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Once installed, if you slide the cover up and turn the wallet around, you’ll see the Trace card’s power button. You can press the button to power on the card and then you can use the Apple Find My app to turn on the tracking feature. It’s genius that the Trace card is hidden INSIDE the wallet.

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You can name the wallet and assign an emoji to the card, and then it will appear in the Find My app’s devices tab.

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Find My app

After the Groove Life Smart Wallet Trace is added to the Find My app, you can see your wallet’s location on a map. You can use the Find My features to find the wallet, play a sound so that you can hear where the wallet is, and have the app alert you if you leave the wallet behind. It works just like an Apple AirTag. But unlike the Apple AirTag, you can’t replace the battery in the Trace. The battery will last about two years, and then you’ll need to replace the entire Trace card. At this time, Groove doesn’t sell the Trace cards separately from the wallet.

See it action

What I like about the Groove Life Smart Wallet Trace

  • Easy to deploy cards
  • Hidden Trace card with world wide Apple Find My compatibility
  • 120 day replacement of Trace card if there’s an issue
  • 94yr warranty

What needs to be improved?

  • Nothing

Final thoughts

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Groove Life has another winner on its hands with the Smart Wallet Trace. This minimalist wallet looks great, is lightweight, is easy to use, and the hidden Find My compatible Trace card is a great feature. This wallet is a bit expensive, but a Groove wallet without the Trace card is $89.95 so an extra $35 for the hidden Trace card seems justified. The Groove Life Smart Wallet Trace is a worthy choice if you want a wallet that can double as a fidget toy that you’ll never lose.

Price: $124.95
Where to buy: Groove Life
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Groove Life. Groove Life did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

3 thoughts on “Groove Smart Wallet Trace review – A minimalist wallet with built-in tracking”

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  2. Pebblebee has a credit card sized tracker that works with both Android and Apple. It’s $35. I use that as I can use it with any of my wallets and it is more versatile.

    1. John, If you like to switch wallets frequently or don’t like a minimalist wallet like this one, I would agree. But the really cool thing about this wallet is that the tracker is hidden. If someone happens to steal your wallet, you’ll be able to track it and/or tell the cops where it is.

      1. the thief will just take out the cash, and immediately throw away the wallet. They don’t want to be caught with any evidence of the crime.

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