The Nespresso Prodigio is a sturdy, reliable capsules-based espresso maker with added tech features. The performance is as smooth as any Nespresso coffee maker; however, the aesthetics and extra features don’t live up to expectations.
Adding Bluetooth to anything makes it better, right? We put that theory to the test by reviewing Nespresso’s future-ready Bluetooth-enabled espresso coffee maker.
Nespresso Prodigio Functionality
The Prodigio (Italian for prodigy) is an innovative little espresso maker that’s designed to appeal to the tech-savvy coffee lover. It’s a pure capsule-only espresso machine with a few extra helpful features you won’t find on other Nespresso models, including:
- 19 bar high-pressure pump.
- 27oz removable water reservoir.
- 25-second heat-up system.
- Ristretto, espresso and lungo cup sizes.
- Nespresso app controls.
- Auto power-off after 9 minutes.
- 14 capsules included.
- Capsule container holds 19 used capsules.
- Information booklet.
- 2-year warranty.
The Aeroccino milk frother you might have seen pop up in pictures alongside this espresso maker isn’t automatically included in the box. If you can’t find a bundle where they are sold together, you can find one easily on Amazon or on Nespresso’s website. You can’t turn your Nespresso espresso into a latte or cappuccino without one.
What stands out as the unique feature is the Nespresso app compatibility. It allows you to operate the machine via Bluetooth on your phone. The official manual has information on how to connect it up with the app on both Apple and Android phones.
Performance is smooth. You fill the tank, add your pod, press the button and hey presto, you’ve got an espresso. It’s very quick with a 25-second heat-up time and quick extraction. You’ve got a coffee in one hand in under 60 seconds.
The 3 different cup sizes are also a great feature, as most other Nespresso just have espresso and lungo. The small ristretto option is a nice touch.
Pod machines never quite live up to the flavor of freshly ground coffee, but we can confidently say that the Nespresso Prodigio (in fact the entire Nespresso pod line-up) produces one of the best flavors from the pod market segment.
Our response to the Nespresso app controls, which allow you to start brewing coffee from your phone, was one of pure excitement. Unfortunately, it only works with Bluetooth which doesn’t have a good range.
You can command it to make coffee in the morning from your bedroom, so it’s ready by the time you get out of the shower. Just remember to leave a cup there for your espresso the night before.
You can’t command it to start making coffee when you leave work as you can’t be more than a room or two away to use it.
Instead of being a truly useful app that starts the coffee maker when you genuinely are too far away to press the buttons, it just encourages you to be lazy and not walk the few steps needed to the other side of your house.
Nespresso Prodigio Design
It’s an ok design, but certainly not Nespresso’s best. It’s well-built too with no large faults being immediately obvious. After some research and questioning, we couldn’t find any common fault or problem that pops up with long-term use either.
The unit is attractive to look at and the buttons, lights, and controls are all very straightforward. Upon closer inspection, however, you can tell that the entire front panel is plastic and, well, it just feels cheap.
You can reprogram the cup volumes by holding down buttons and the user manual has illustrated instructions in case you’re lost. It’s designed to be quick and convenient with integrated tech to help with maintenance.
The descaling alert was a good idea and we’re glad it was incorporated into the design as it takes out a lot of guesswork as to when a coffee machine needs descaling. The empty tank alert, however, is just unnecessary. The tank is an external part of the machine that’s opaque so you can see the water level with your own eyes! It’s also adjustable, so you can bring it around to the side of the espresso maker if having it at the back doesn’t work for you. There’s no need for an extra alert.
NOTE: Don’t forget to check out our list of best espresso makers under $500.
Maintenance and Cleaning
As with all the Nespresso coffee makers, maintenance and cleaning is easy peasy. You have a dedicated Nespresso helpline if you need assistance installing it, and a 2-year warranty in case things go badly wrong. For offices and commercial settings, that warranty is reduced to just 3 months.
The removable reservoir is easy to clean, as is the drip tray. Cleaning the rest of the coffee maker involves a few minutes spare at the end of the day and a damp dishcloth. The used capsules collect in the built-in capsule container, which holds a total of 19 before it needs emptying out.
Nespresso’s descaling program is very easy to do and doesn’t take long. You will need to be present for it, however, as you need to press the buttons and put the water back into the reservoir halfway through. You can’t just let it go through the program itself, like other coffee machines.
- 3 cup sizes for different strengths.
- Smooth performance.
- Large used capsule compartment.
- Easy to use, program and clean.
- Additional tech features and controls aren’t useful.
- Design is a bit cheap.
Overall, this is a nice espresso coffee maker but the additional features (alerts and app controls) don’t feel well-thought-out. They’re a bit gimmicky and not entirely useful. Perhaps they were rushed to launch this product, or maybe they just didn’t have the budget to make the tech genuinely innovative.
It’s not a prodigy in any sense and you’ll be better off with other Nespresso espresso makers if you aren’t planning to use the app controls.
However, it does have some great Nespresso features including the descaling alert, 3 cup sizes and 28oz reservoir that aren’t standard features on other models. That might just win it over for you! We enjoyed testing it and the performance was smooth, as you’d expect from a Nespresso, but we just couldn’t confidently say that this model was any better than other non-Bluetooth models in the same line. Why spend extra money on the Nespresso Prodigio?
As with all pod coffee makers, you also need to factor in the cost of expensive Nespresso coffee pods and the environmental impact they have.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.