My Opal App Review and Why I Switched to Another App?

Tom VincentApril 9, 2024
Webmaster - DTechClub
Contenu vΓ©rifiΓ© par un expert de la rΓ©daction

Nowadays, a lot of people are addicted to their phones and Opal is an app aiming to fight phone addiction. To overcome my huge loss of time and focus, I tried Opal.

In this review article, I will give you my honest opinion about the Opal app and why I switched to Jomo.

A few months ago, I realized I was spending way too much time on my phone. I felt I had to reduce my screen time, but I didn’t know where to start.

I switched off my notifications and set limits on my iPhone, but still, I always exceeded those limits or bypassed them, sabotaging my plan at the same time... 

That's when I stumbled upon Opal. On their website, Opal highlights that their users save over 2 hours a day thanks to their app; that's exactly what I wanted to save.

What is Opal?

Opal is an iPhone app that helps you reduce your screen time. It keeps track of how much time your device is active on an app and restricts them to your interests.

opal app

Opal has the following features: 

  • App blocking: This feature helps to filter some apps and websites that might hinder your progress. For instance, you can put a ban on social media apps and gaming apps while working or studying.
  • Focus timer: Eliminates any distractions for any given time.
  • Screen time tracking: Opal monitors the duration that you spend in every single app or site. This information will assist you in narrowing down sites and apps you tend to overuse. 
  • Scheduled breaks: To take breaks during the day. It will help you not to be stuck on your phone all day long.
  • Whitelist: Whitelist your emails or your work app on Opal so that you can study or access your emails even when you're using a deep block mode to block access to all apps.

In order for Opal to work properly, you must authorize the "Screen time permission" to Opal.

Then, you can begin restricting the time each app can be used.

If you pass the time limit for each app, Opal blocks access to that app until the next day or week. You can override the block, but only for a certain number of times.

opal block apps

Is Opal Effective in Reducing Screen Time and Users' Screen Time? 

For the last four months, I have been using Opal to reduce my screen addiction.

I tried Apple's time limit, but it didn't work because I could easily make it so I could continue using whatever mindless app I was using previously. I also realized that I was spending an excessive amount of time on TikTok. 

I usually found it challenging to simply β€œput the phone down,” but Opal has proven to be a valuable app for me. One thing I love about Opal is that you can custom it to suit your own preferences.

I can limit apps or websites and also get a focus timer when I want to concentrate on something. This has facilitated me to focus on my work without spending so much time watching Tiktok and YouTube.

Currently, I am unable to use Tiktok or YouTube and whenever I attempt to, the message β€˜Tiktok was blocked during your session’ appears.

tiktok block opal

I love the option that allows me to pause from using Opal or set my app to not allow me to override it until the timer is up.

After the first month of using Opal, I definitely felt I gained back my time and my deep focus.

Aside from the things I've mentioned, there are two cool features I really love while using Opal

  1. Once you’ve been locked out of an app, if you want to go into it you have to first go to the Opal app, and then wait for a 10 second countdown before you can β€œtake a break” up to 15 minutes. You can take as many breaks as you want during a session, it’s just a painstaking process which makes me more likely to stay out of those apps entirely.
  2. Opal automatically lock you out of an app WHILE YOU'RE IN IT. For example, if you have Opal set to lock you out of Instagram at 9pm and you are on Instagram at 9pm, the screen will suddenly go dark with the message that Opal has begun. This is life changing as it helps break the cycle of endless scrolling without me having to set anything up before I open apps, which I often do without noticing.
opal screen time

I feel very good when I go through my phone records and realize that I did not waste more than two hours a day on distracting apps.

Overall, Opal was very helpful in reducing my screen time and enhancing my productivity.

I’ll rate this app with 6 stars if I could since it has helped me become productive and manage my screen time. But there is a big problem: it is very expensive.

Opal Price plan

I find €21.99 per month too expensive and that's why I looked for alternatives on Reddit.

I saw that a lot of users were satisfied with Jomo, which offers the same features.

I found a better alternative, Jomo 

Although Opal has been a great app, it is quite expensive for me. Its annual price (€99) will surely make you think twice about your pocket.

The free version of Opal only allows you to set limits on apps and track your screen time. You'll need the premium plan to create deep focus sessions or even put important apps on a whitelist while working.

For the last two months, I have used Jomo together with Opal. To be honest, at first I couldn't differentiate them except on the prices. But the more I learned to use Jomo, the more I realized that Jomo is 10x more powerful.

So if you're looking for a cheaper working alternative, definitely try Jomo:

jomo app store

Settings are more advanced, and there are features I love that Opal doesn't have: Squads to reduce screen time between friends and family, conditions, and Screen time journaling (the first app to do this)!

FeaturesOpalJomo
Scheduled Sessionsβœ…βœ…
Simultaneous SessionsβŒβœ…
Always-On Session / App locksβœ…βœ…
Immediate Sessionβœ…βœ…
Strict Mode / Deep Focusβœ…βœ…
Edit Name / Iconβœ…βœ…
Templatesβœ…βœ…
Unlimited Breaks / Interruptions per dayβœ…βœ…
Limited Breaks / Interruptions per dayβŒβœ…
Edit duration of breaksβŒβœ…
Delay before taking breaksβœ…βœ…
Edit durations breaks between breaksβŒβœ…
Break exerciseβŒβœ…
Blocked Websites on ANY browsersβŒβœ…
Block Adult Websitesβœ…βœ…
Whitelistβœ…βœ…
Block In App purchasesβŒβœ…
App groupsβœ…βœ…
App limitsβœ…βœ…
Habits to unlockβŒβœ…
Changing cooldown for app limitsβœ…βŒ
Screen Time in real timeβœ…βœ…
Screen time budgetβŒβœ…
Feeling about apps / Scoreβœ…βœ…
Notifications in real timeβŒβœ…
Pick ups in RTβœ…βœ…
Most used appsβœ…βœ…
Activity done on appsβŒβœ…
Sort by activity not appsβŒβœ…
Custom feeling / score on appβœ…βœ…
Remove apps from screen timeβœ…βœ…
Groups / SquadsβŒβœ…
Public Leaderboardβœ…βŒ
Private Leaderboardβœ…βœ…
Weekly Screen timeβœ…βœ…
Monthly Screen timeβœ…βœ…
Lifetime Screen timeβœ…βœ…
Milestonesβœ…βŒ
Random Global Statsβœ…βœ…
Feeling score trend / Focus score trendβŒβœ…
Weekly focus reportsβœ…βŒ
Progress indicator (chart, or gauge)βŒβœ…
Monthly Pricingβœ… 21,99$βœ… 6,99$
Weekly Pricingβœ… 4,99$❌
Annual Pricingβœ… 90$βœ… 29,99$
Lifetimeβœ… 399$βœ… 99$
Family PlanβŒβœ… 59,99$/year
Student Discountβœ… β‰ˆ50$/yearβœ… 14,99$/year
Mac AppβŒβœ…
Browser extensionβœ…βŒ
Supportβœ… (β‰ˆ3 days of delay for human answer)βœ… (β‰ˆ1h of delay for answer)
Help Centerβœ…βœ…
Languages supportedβœ… πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡«πŸ‡·βœ…πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡«πŸ‡·
TOTAL SCORE:36/53πŸ† 47/53 πŸ†

Jomo also has a beautiful dark mode and allows you to customize blocking screens. On the blocking screens you can even add your own message, something you can't do with Opal.

Customizable Jomo Blocking Screens

Jomo offers all of the same features as Opal (and more) but the premium version cost just €6.99 monthly or €29.99 annually. This is very cheap in fact if you compare it to the price of Opal Pro.

And for the price of a year's subscription to Opal, you get Jomo for a lifetime. If you're a student, you can even get it cheaper!

Jomo Price plan

Jomo works similarly to Opal. After installing Jomo, you will need to grant Jomo the necessary access rights. Then, you will be able to track your screen time and limit specific apps or websites.

If you're interested in Opal, my advice is to try Jomo first. They offer the same settings, and their free version lets you try out the app to see if you have all the settings you need.

Jomo dark mode

Conclusion

Opal is one of the best screen time apps and if you're focused on reducing your screen time, Opal's deep focus mode is my favourite mode when I want to focus and complete my priority tasks.

However, the high price of Opal's pro features made me want to switch to Jomo. 

Opal charges €99.99 for its annual plan as compared to Jomo's annual plan at €29.99. Paying €99.99 for a year or even €21.99 for a month puts a huge dent in my budget and I had to switch to Jomo which is in my opinion better (more advanced) and at a cheaper price.

I have been extremely pleased with my switch to Jomo. I believe that it is as good as Opal but WAY cheaper.

About the Author: Tom
Tom is the founder of DTechClub.com and has been fascinated by VPNs since 2012. He writes about online privacy, is always testing VPNs (both new and existing services), and is highly interested in the challenges of accessing certain sites and content in various regions. In addition to his interest in VPNs, he loves indie films and playing flamenco guitar.
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