Alia is made from high quality silicone and ABS plastic. The silicone is food-grade, non-porous, phthalates free, hypo-allergenic, and latex free. Plastic is also non-porous and phthalates free. While silicone is rated 10/10 on Edenfantasys' material safety scale, the product earns an 8/10 due to its use of plastic, which prevents cleaning methods like boiling or placing in the top rack of a dishwasher. Yet all the same, the fact that it is non-porous should leave you with a worry-free user experience in terms of material safety.
The texture of the silicone feels like soft and smooth velvet, and it is slippery and smooth even before applying lubricant (if you so choose). It becomes very slick once it meets lubricant. The silicone is firm since it covers an ABS shell, but since this toy is designed for external stimulation this factor may not matter to most users. All in all this texture will work well for any user, beginner to advanced.
The use of plastic on the toy (the silver part in the images), does not make the toy seem cheap at all. The silver color gives the toy some great contrast to the three colors it comes in. The plastic is very smooth, with no rough edges where it meets the silicone or at the interior seam at the center of the toy. While you can feel the seam, the two plastic halves fit together perfectly and very smoothly so it is barely detectable. While the plastic can attract smudges from your fingers during play, these are easily wiped off.
Because of the toy's tight construction, the toy is listed on the website as being waterproof. However, the instruction manual says that users should avoid getting soap and water in the DC socket. I'm assuming they are just attempting to cover all their bases. However, as the DC socket is at the bottom of the toy, you could avoid getting too much water in the DC socket even if you use it in the shower. I'd probably avoid holding the DC socket under a faucet. Just be sure the socket is dry before attempting to charge it
The toy has no real smell or taste, a definite benefit to the silicone construction.
The look of the Insignia Alia is almost more comparable to the worlds of fashion or high-end design than to other sex toys. It's sex toy couture. We chose the black version, that when matched with the silver center, makes for a very chic combination.
The overall shape resembles an egg, about 3 1/8 inches long from tip to base, and two inches wide at its widest point. Lelo describes the 'tip' of the egg as the 'pleasure point' where vibrations are strongest. Vibrations are transferred throughout the toy, however, and might leave your hand a bit numb after prolonged use at its highest setting. It's worth having a bit of a numb hand considering what other parts of your body will be feeling. It is certainly not uncomfortable to hold, even at its highest setting.
The tip is anatomically designed, and though it can be used in whatever way you wish, the tip can rest perfectly on your cit as the body of the toy rests between your outer labia. Since the toy transfers vibrations throughout, it will give you pleasure from your clit to the vaginal opening, stimulating every bit of your vagina.
The plastic forms a concave surface that disappears into the center of the toy, forming a very useful handle for solo or partner play and big enough to stick a few fingers through. Looping your pointer finger through the toy works great for partner play.
As you can see in the images, the buttons are formed right from the same silicone as the rest of the toy, with an indented ridge around each of the three oval shaped buttons. The minus button is closest to the tip, the function button in the middle, and the plus button towards the base. I found this slightly counter-intuitive, as I would have thought the + and the - would be reversed. However with a bit of use you'll find yourself reaching for the right buttons. The + and - buttons are convex and easy to find with the fingers, while the functions button is slightly concave. The raised + and - make these buttons easy to find with your fingers, and you can tell between the two without looking. When you press a button, the indented ridge running around the three button glows white, and the interior glows with a slightly green color.
A key feature of this toy is its internal, rechargeable battery. The outlet for the plug is a very small DC-socket in the base of the toy. The charger seems like your typical slim cell-phone charger. The buttons will pulse during charging, and when fully charged will come to a steady glow. When your charge is running low, the buttons will flash rapidly. The initial charge took about four hours, but subsequent charges take about two hours. Lelo says that each charge should last for four hours of play.
The Insignia Alia is extremely discreet. Its design does not scream sex toy, and it is very quiet during operation. As stated above, once it is between your legs it is barely noticeable, even for the user. Certainly no one in the next room would be able to hear the toy making it a great toy when discretion is a must.
The toy's vibrating functions are controlled by three oval shaped buttons, a + button to increase vibration intensity, - button to decrease, and a cycle symbol to switch through the various vibration patterns. It is worth playing around with the buttons for a second to figure them out before you begin playing, but in the end are easy to use. Press the + button and hold for a second to turn the toy on and start the vibration. After that, single short clicks on the + and - buttons change the intensity of the vibration. In playing with the toy I noticed about nine distinct intensity levels, from very soft to very powerful. Press and hold the middle button to cycle through the various functions of the toy. The sensation changes when you depress the button. The Insignia Alia has 6 function to choose from. Since you can change the intensity with each, this allows you to find what will really get you off, and gives you plenty of variety.
1- Constant vibration
2- Slow steady pulsation
3- Quicker pulsation
4- Escalating intensity
5- Starts off slow, to a peak of intensity, then decreases back to slow
6- Pulsates with distinct rhythm, changing intensity. Feels almost like it is synced with a song
Holding the - button decreases the intensity until the toy turns off.
The vibrations are most intense at the tip of the toy but as stated above, vibration is transferred throughout making it possible to create amazing sensations for every part of your vagina.
Silicone toys are never compatible with silicone lube. Water based lubes are recommended.
For cleaning, Lelo recommends that you use warm soapy water, and never use alcohol-based cleaners. It also recommends not to expose the toy to extreme heat. One kind of tricky part about cleaning is the DC socket, as it is probably not the best idea to get too much water or soap down there. You should certainly be sure the socket is dry before attempting to charge the toy.
Storage is simple as Lelo provides a storage pouch in the packaging. It is a simple black satin draw-string pouch with a white satin interior. It has a small Lelo tag along one side near the drawstring. The pouch is the perfect size for storing the toy. The packaging also works great for storage, and is described below.
One other thing to be mentioned here is the warranty that comes with the toy. It includes a one-year warranty which will not cover cosmetic wear and tear or misuse, but does cover the mechanical parts of the device if they stop functioning. The product also comes with a ten year (!) quality guarantee, where if the toy stops functioning, you can send it back to the company. They will dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way and offer you 50% off your next Lelo purchase from their online store. This should certainly help convince users who might be worried about shelling out the cash for the initial purchase.
The packaging certainly suggest high class and is worthy of an un-boxing video (if I can figure that out). It comes in a very sturdy textured gift box. The interior is formed from a soft foam covered in a soft velvety material. A flap lifts up to reveal the charger, a very useful and complete instruction manual, and the warranty information. One of the full-color booklets also gives you a very nice tour of Lelo's other products. It also comes with an added gift, a gold-colored brooch which takes its form from the shape of the buttons. After using this product, I would proudly wear this badge, and hide a naughty smile after unknowing complements.
Some potential users intrigued by the design or the performance of this toy might become a little hesitant because of the price, but long-term this might not be as expensive as it might initially look. We've worn out countless eggs and bullets, and by the time you add up this cost as well as the innumerable batteries these use up, this might be even a less expensive option.
Time will tell if this toy will hold up long-term, but for now we are comforted by the warranty and the knowledge that if anything goes wrong, it will either be replaced within a year or we will receive a deep discount within 10.
After trying this toy we are definitely going to consider purchasing more options from the Lelo line. After feeling these vibrations, the prostate massager is definitely something we will have to try.