Unless you’re an athlete or regular gym-goer, you might not have come across the ShakesSphere range of shakers, which are designed to mix up protein shakes through the manual shaking of a tumbler. Well, now the brand has also launched a cordless portable blender that could be up for a spot in our coveted list of the best blenders.
Launched by elite-level sprint athlete Rick Beardsell, with backing from UK TV show Dragon’s Den, the brand has gone from strength to strength over the past five years. And the ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid is the next logical step in its journey, building on the functionality of the brand’s manual shakers, allowing you to blend ice and frozen fruits while remaining portable.
Charging via USB-C, the unit can blend up to 14 times before needing a recharge. It’s supplied with a Tritan tumbler, but fits onto almost all of the brand’s 24.6fl oz/ 700ml tumblers, which are available in a range of colors and finishes.
The blender itself comes in a sleek matte black or fluorescent yellow, with the ultra-modern shape reminiscent of a space rocket. It looks especially sleek when its three lights are illuminated while it’s charging or in use. But all this style doesn’t come cheap; the ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid is expensive for a single-serve blender.
However, in comparison to other cordless blenders – such as the Nutribullet Go – it aced our tests, proving that it isn’t all style over substance. So if you can afford to splurge on a trendy appliance for making smoothies on the go, it’s a great choice. But its limited functionality and capacity mean that it’s quite a niche product – and the smoothies it makes aren’t as smooth as you’ll achieve from a plug-in blender.
ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid price and availability
- List price: $90 / £72/ AU$129
The ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid is available worldwide directly from the ShakeSphere website or from Amazon. It’s expensive for a single-serve blender, but it comes with a ShakeSphere Tritan Clear Tumbler bundled in, which would set you back $25 / £23/ AU$36 if bought separately.
The unit is compatible with all the tumblers in the ShakeSphere range, whose prices start at $20 / £20/ AU$30 for the Original Tumbler and go up to $60 / £55/ AU$85 for the Steel Tumbler.
Price and availability: 4.5 / 5
ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid design
- 24.6fl oz/ 700ml capacity
- Rechargeable cordless base
- Cup isn’t dishwasher safe
This sleek and stylish cordless blender will appeal to those who appreciate simple, fuss-free design. But with its rocket-like shape and fun color-changing lights on its feet, this ShakeSphere blender still presents a playful edge. The logo and overall style are clearly aimed at the brand’s sporty target market, rather than general kitchen appliance consumers. And it arrives in either a subtle matte black or vibrant fluorescent yellow finish.
It’s a compact blender that, when assembled, measures 9 x 4 x 4 inches/ 23 x 10 x 10cm (h x w x d). The blender lid with its cover weighs just 16.6oz/ 470g, while the Tritan Tumbler and lid come in at just 8.8oz/ 250g when empty, so you’ll barely notice the extra weight in your sports bag.
The clear Tritan Tumbler has a 24.6fl oz/ 700ml capacity, and while the blender lid is compatible with most other tumblers from ShakesSphere, none have a larger capacity, which means you’re limited to this size of drink.
When the unit isn’t in use, a blade cover screws on top of the blender lid for safety. The cup has a separate leak-proof lid, with a steel slide cap that covers the drinking spout. A finger loop aids easy carrying. When the blender lid is screwed to the cup, the lights illuminate blue to indicate it’s correctly sealed and ready to go. If they’re alternating between blue and red, it isn’t attached correctly.
A power button on the base of the blender lid becomes visible when you invert it to screw it to the cup. The button has to be pressed for three seconds to initiate the automatic blending cycle, which runs for a set time before stopping automatically.
The blender charges via a USB-C cable that’s included in the box, but you’ll need to supply your own wall plug or plug it into a laptop or other device for charging.
Design: 5 / 5
ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid performance
- Simple to operate
- Copes well with ice
For our first go at making a drink with the ShakeSphere, we added mixed frozen berries, protein powder and milk to the tumbler. Having twisted the blender lid into position on top, we pressed the start button for the required three seconds for it to begin blending. However, it took us a few seconds to realize that once started, the whole unit needs to be inverted so that the ingredients meet the blades.
With the first blending cycle complete, there was still some protein powder stuck to the side of the tumbler, and we could also see some large pieces of berry skin. So we started a second blending cycle, which blended most of the protein powder and reduced the size of the fruit skin.
The resulting drink was pretty well blended. Its texture was gritty as a result of the berry seeds that remained whole and some small pieces of skin, but the protein powder and the rest of the berries were liquidized. The drink wasn’t as well pulverized as we’d expect from a powerful, full-sized blender. Nevertheless, the results were impressive given that this is a cordless blender and the cup was about 1/3 full of hard, frozen berries – which it broke down in under 80 seconds.
Our second blend consisted of banana, protein powder, cocoa powder, peanut butter and milk. The ShakeSphere blender took only one blend cycle to liquefy these ingredients. The protein and cocoa powders were well mixed as was the peanut butter. The drink was virtually smooth, although there were some very tiny pieces of banana present – and by tiny we mean the size of a grain of sugar, so small enough not to bother most people. That said, if your preference is for a completely smooth drink then you’d probably have to blend it a second time.
Next up was a smoothie recipe that’s used to test all the blenders that we review, consisting of pineapple, spinach, apple juice, banana and Greek yogurt. It took just one blending cycle to turn these ingredients into a tasty drink. Some specs of spinach were visible, and the smoothie had a slightly pulpy texture; it wasn’t the silky-smooth drink that we’d expect a full-size blender to produce. But, for a small cordless blender it was an impressive result in under 40 seconds.
We did a blend with just water and six ice cubes to assess how well it crushed ice – and we were impressed. One blend cycle was sufficient for all the ice to be completely pulverized. What’s more, the blender remained stable on the counter throughout the blending cycle.
Despite being advertised as performing 30-second blend cycles, in our tests each cycle lasted for approximately 39 seconds. However, it’s noticeably quiet in comparison to most blenders we’ve reviewed, maxing out at just 75dB, which is similar to a vacuum cleaner.
One downside evident in all tests was that, despite being correctly screwed to the cup, the blender often didn’t display the blue lights that signal that it’s correctly attached. As such, it wouldn’t begin blending; we had to unscrew and rescrew it several times, which became quite irritating. Especially since it wasn’t at all obvious why the blender couldn’t recognize that it was correctly installed.
The ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid’s tumbler cups aren’t dishwasher safe, but they clean very easily. Simply fill with water, pop on the lid and give the tumbler a good shake, or you can add water to the cup, screw on the blend lid and start up a blending cycle. We found both methods effective.
Performance; 4 / 5
ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid battery life
- Charges via USB-C
- Red lights indicate a low battery
- Battery exceeded manufacturer’s claimsty list
In our tests, the blender was able to complete 26 blending cycles before it needed a recharge. This is almost double the 14 cycles stated by the brand. The three lights turn a solid red if you try to start it when the battery is too low.
A full recharge of the battery took four hours, which is at the lower end of the 4-6 hours claimed by the manufacturer. The lights remain red for the duration of the charge. Once the blender is fully charged, the lights switch to green; but there’s no way to check the battery percentage mid-way through.
Battery life: 5 / 5
ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid score card
|Price and availability||The ShakeSphere range is available worldwide. There’s no denying it’s pricey for a single-serve blender, but it’s only slightly more expensive than a similar-sized Nutribullet.||4.5/5|
|Design||With its stylish rocket shape and effortless simplicity, design is one of the ShakeSphere Portable Blender E-Lid’s strong points||5/5|
|Performance||Easy and convenient to use and blends drinks well, but doesn’t create 100% silky-smooth results.||4/5|
|Battery life||Battery lasts well and most people won’t need to charge the unit more than once a week.||5/5|
Should I buy?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
- First reviewed: September 2022