MyPetzl Light Smartphone App
Where the new Nao+ is completely different from the previous Nao is that while it’s programmable, it no longer uses Petzl’s desktop Petzl OS interface. Instead Nao+ connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth which allows you to change settings at will and adjust light output ‘in real time’.
It’s an interesting idea and the app itself looks slick and professional. To use it, you simply start up the MyPetzl Light app then switch on the light to connect. After which you can tweak the settings, choose a new lighting profile to suit your activity – mountaineering, trail running or whatever – and even adjust beam strength in real time.
‘And while the bluetooth has been specced to minimise power drain on the torch, it still means you need a smartphone on hand if you want to change the red light setting. We reckon that’s a little bit too clever for its own good.’
We had some initial issues pairing the lamp, but once that was sorted we were impressed by the level of control you get.
You can check, for example, how much battery charge you have left and what your remaining burn time is. The ‘Live’ screen’s an interesting one too, giving you the option of altering light output to give a pre-set burn time.
We suspect though that many users will either not bother with the app. Or use it more simply to select one of the pre-set user profiles like multi-activity, trail-running, mountaineering or mountain biking.
You can customise these to suit your personal preferences if you choose, but so far we’ve found the stock settings work well enough for us at least.
Finally on the app front: as far as we can tell, it’s the only way of switching the rear red light on and off. No clicking a switch and turning the light on as you hit tarmac for example, you have to use the app.
And while the bluetooth has been specced to minimise power drain on the torch, it still means you need a smartphone on hand if you want to change the red light setting. We reckon that’s a little bit too clever for its own good. A simple switch would be quick and easy to use on the hoof.
Not a deal-breaker by any means, but an arguably unnecessary complication.
The original Nao, particularly in its 575-lumen version, was already one of the best fast-moving, high-power head-torches out there and the new Nao+ is even brighter and with impressive claimed burn times too.
The biggest difference though is that smartphone control. The Nao was already plenty bright, but the MyPetzl Light app means you can customise the settings on the fly. We suspect it’s one of those things that some users will love and others will simply ignore, but we’ll let you know how we get on.