If there’s one thing we’ve always wanted from the show Star Trek, it’s a universal translator. This is the holy grail of language devices and while it is possible now with apps such as Google Translate, depending on the phone you are using, the experience can be a bit clunky. That’s where the CheetahTALK Plus Translator comes in. The CheetahTALK Plus Translator is a small, portable, handheld translator that is simple to use and quick to translate.
First let’s start with the design, which we can agree that it is quite nice looking. It’s small and not much bigger than something like a remote control that you’d use for a Roku or Amazon FireTV. The design features lots of curves, gloss black coloring, and comfortable ergonomics that make it easy to hold and pocket. The front is glass and features a 1.54″ IPS-LCD touchscreen that is very bight and easy to read.
On front you’ll also find the buttons you use so the CheetahTALK Plus Translator can listen to your voice and the voice of the other person you’re talking to. On the right side, you’ll find one other button and that’s mainly just the power & sleep/wake button.
Other than that, it’s a very elegant design that’s very nice to look at.
I’m just going to throw out some quick specs here as much of the actual brains of the CheetahTALK Plus Translator resides within the CheetalkTALK app on your phone.
The device features a standby battery time of around 50 days, with about 12-hours of continuous use times. It also allows for 2-hours of noise-canceling recording and weighs just 1.4 oz.
Other notable specs include real-time translations of over 73 languages. There’s currently only 3 language pairings that can be used offline, but hopefully more will come in the future. There’s also Text-to-speech of 42 languages in the database. Most are of popular languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, and more. We will talk about this a bit more later.
While you can use the CheetahTALK Plus Translator offline, it’s not really truly offline. What I mean by that is that you can not use this as a standalone product. It must be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth in order to function correctly. On the plus side, with the app on your phone running, you don’t need to take your phone out to use the translator. Just pull out your CheetahTALK Plus Translator as if it were standalone and it works quickly.
Like I stated above, there are three language pairs that can be downloaded for offline use and faster translations. These are English <–> Chinese, Japanese <–> Korean, and Chinese <–> Korean. Here in the U.S., those three pairings might not be as useful so hopefully, they’ll have more in the future such as an English <–> Spanish set.
Until then, you’ll need an Internet connection from your smartphone to translate to those other languages. Luckily, even without them downloaded, it still translates very quickly and accurately in real-time.
Using the CheetahTALK Plus Translator is also super simple. Press and hold on the bottom portion of the button and speak. It will then translate what you say into the language of your choice. When the other person wants to talk, press and hold on the top portion of the button and release it when they are done. It will translate their speech into your language. If there is TTS, it’ll speak both languages. If not, it will just display the translated text on the screen.
In terms of the app, it works as it should and is mainly just used to setup the device and facilitate updates. It also keeps a log of your conversations and translated text.
The CheetahTALK Plus Translator is a fast, reliable, and fairly accurate translation device. The fact that it can project languages as well as show the text translations in real-time is a marvel. The volume on it is quite loud so those you use it with should be able to understand clearly what it is saying.
Also, while this isn’t fully a standalone device or able to really go offline on its own, don’t let that dissuade you from checking it out. It really is a very well made device that seems to get consistent updates, so hopefully that will mean some added features and offline language pairings so you can rely less on an Internet connection.
With that said, CheetahTALK Plus Translator will set you back around $99.99 and is currently up for pre-order on Indiegogo.