REVIEW: The Datacolor Colorreader

Stephen Watson
November 21, 2018

Costs £119 at

We recently got sent something that you would not normally see reviewed on What Mobile as its a product you expect Interior designer to use and not really the general public. However, with more and more people getting into DIY. One question will always come up. What colour paint should I buy?  or I want a new colour paint to complement my new furniture. What Do I do?

Welcome, The Datacolor ColorReader.

The Datacolor colorreader is a product designed to help you match colours so its perfect for anyone in the design sector or fans of DIY if you need to find out the exact colour of a physical object.  The colorreader is a very portable gadget that is great for taking with you on the move so you can match anything of colour. The device is connected to your phone via the app and a Bluetooth connection.

So setting up this device did take me a bit of a challenge just because I had never seen a product like this so after some time with the Datacolor support who I have to say are fantastic it made perfect sense. So open the packaging and your find the device and the USB-C charger cable. Give it a charge I did this for about an hour and it seems fine longer could be required. Then to power up, you will find a button on the top and once you press it your see a yellow light and its on. To pair it download the app and then pair via the app. (Do not pair in your own phone settings it won’t work!)

Once paired you must calibrate the device and this is done by putting the cap on with the little white lens turn the cap and it will lock. Then when you go into the app make sure you turn the location on and then click Calibrate. That takes a few seconds. Once done take the lid off and you’re ready to roll. To scan something and find a colour simply hit the read button and the lens at the bottom of the device will make a flash. To get this device to work the colorreader has to be flat like the image below.

The data then appears on the app on your phone and this happens very quickly. The app will then come up with 3 different options now two of the options I feel are so close in colour you would struggle to tell the difference and third was more of a darker colour.

Now here is where this comes into its own but at the same time makes me feel its more suitable to an interior designer than a general DIY fan. In the top left your see it say matched from All Fan Decks. Click on it and your see a list now I found out you would get many more different fan decks in the US as there rules on paint matching is very different to what we have in the EU. We only have 6 options. You can select as many or all of the fan decks as you want this helps narrow down the match.

Once done each of the 3 samples comes with a RAL code now this is the paint match and could be taken to a paint store and made up on the spot.  However, the app does so much more!  Tap the colour you want out of the 3 options and you’re welcomed with 4 options above the normal 4 options that appear all the time.  The four options are the following view colour deck, coordinate colours, Add to Palette and colour data.  

The first option shows you where the colour is on the deck change the deck and it will look different. Note the name of the deck is displayed in the top left.

The second option is the coordinate colours now you might have found that match but what other colours work with it. Remember the saying “Yellow and Green shall never be seen!”  The is a great feature as it helps you see how your match goes with the others that come up.  You get 4 options: Complementary, Triad, Analogous & Monochromatic. You can even save the palette and send it to someone which is great if a designer needs to get info on the colour scheme to a client. Going back to 4 options you also have add to the palette which as mentioned means you can send to someone and then colour data which gives you the detailed breakdown of this match.

So overall yes i see what datacolor are doing with this device and I think if a great idea trying to reach out to the more experienced DIY user but I still think this is more suited to a design industry in terms of the way it can match and give you a number of fan decks to choose from and then allow you to match that colour with others that suit. It’s a great product there no argument and what they have done is if you go into the website displayed in the box there some handy tips and videos to show you what to do. My only negative is the videos seems to show more of the Datacolor ColourReader Pro I would have preferred a video based on what I had but the video still fine. Check out the site:

As for the cost, I think its a tad expensive for your experienced DIY fan at £119 but for someone in the design industry, it’s very affordable. Do I think my dad going for a tin of paint will swap the trusted samples or will use this device i don’t think so?

However, if you’re an interior designer or you got hooked on changing rooms or DYI SOS and want a tool to add with your redesign you simply can not go wrong. It allows you match a colour form anything is less then a min. And the device will not be subject to wear and tear compared to colour fan’s most of have if we are looking to decorate and knowing a designer she got tons. It also lets you get a exect match as if your painting something special it will tell you the direct match which is very important.

So worth buying if you’re in the design industry and if you are a keen DIY expert who a dab hand with technology. It’s well worth the investment. I would be very keen to see what intake of this product is if you’re not in the design industry and just want to paint your house.  

If you would like to buy its available for £119 via Clicking Here


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