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If you are always losing your keys, reading glasses, TV remote control, and other stuff, then you should check out some of the best Bluetooth trackers available right now: Tile and TrackR. These devices can help you quickly find anything you attach them to!
Maximum range of 100 feet.
Isn’t waterproof. You have to buy a water-resistant case.
Uses a replaceable battery. When its battery runs out, they send you a free replacement battery.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 About Tile
- 2 About TrackR
- 3 TrackR vs Tile: Which is the better buy?
- 4 Design and price
- 5 Bluetooth range
- 6 Waterproof rating
- 7 Alarm volume
- 8 Geofencing
- 9 Replaceable battery
- 10 Final Say: TrackR or Tile?
Tile helps you find the things you seem to always misplace. It is a Bluetooth-enabled tracker that comes with a free companion app. You can attach the Tile to any object, allowing you to locate it when it is not in its usual spot. Or you can use your Tile device to find your phone when it is in Bluetooth range.
The mobile app
The mobile app allows you to keep track of several Tiles and you can view a Google Map of the last known location for each one. When you tap on a Tile, you will be taken to a screen that shows you whether the Tile is connected (indicated by a green ring) and a find button that would activate the alarm on the Tile device.
What happens when you lose something? You can look at your phone and you would see that there is an eight-section ring around the Tile logo. These sections will tell you how close you are to the Tile. You would need to walk around the area and when all eight sections are lit, you can hit the Find button and Tile would sound an alarm to let you know where exactly it is.
Four Tile Versions: Tile Mate vs Slim vs Style vs Sport
The Tile Mate sells for $20, making it the least expensive Tile in the market today. You can easily attach it to your key ring, backpack, or just about anything with its convenient hole. You also have the Tile Slim, which is thin enough to insert into your wallet, passport, or even at the back of your mobile device. The Tile Slim sells for $30. Both the Tile Slim and Tile Mate have a range of 100 meters and an alarm that registers at a loud 88 decibels. They are also waterproof, with a rating of IP57.
Then there is the Tile Sport, which is good for the outdoors as it is very durable and rugged-looking. It is also twice as loud as the Tile Mate and Slim, and is more waterproof with an IP68 rating. Meanwhile, Tile Style is more for the fashionable woman. With a champagne and satin white color combination, this tracker looks as pretty and elegant as the Tile Sport looks rough around the edges. However, it has the volume, waterproof rating, and range of the Tile Sport.
What you might not like about Tile
Tile uses a custom battery in order to keep it small in size. You would need to replace your Tile every year, with the replacement Tile costing only around 60% of the original cost. This means that you would need to spend anywhere from $12 for a replacement Tile Mate, $15 for a Tile Sport or Tile Style, to $18 for a Tile Slim. Aside from the waste, you will need to change the Tiles on your smartphone as well. This might not be too much hassle if you have only one or two Tiles, but if you have several, it might be too much of a bother.
TrackR works the same way as Tile in that you just attach it to the things you want to track and pair it to your smartphone. It can also find your phone if you lose it.
There are two TrackR versions available right now. The TrackR Bravo helps you find your keys and things when you are within Bluetooth range. It comes in four colors: silver, black, rose gold, and sky blue. The TrackR Pixel is a better version when compared to the Bravo. It is smaller in size, a bit louder, and comes in more colors: black, white, gray, green, aqua blue, blue, pink, red, and purple.
What you might not like about the TrackR
The separation alerts feature is quite buggy, usually setting off the alarm even when the TrackR is just beside your phone.
There are also complaints that the TrackR’s alert volume is quite weak, certainly not as loud as the 82 dB advertised for the Bravo. This problem is not seen on the Pixel, which has an advertised loudness of 90 dB.
TrackR vs Tile: Which is the better buy?
Both TrackR and Tile promise to do the same thing: make lost items easier to find. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Once you lose an item but you are out of Bluetooth range, you can use the mobile app to see where it was last located. The best feature for both TrackR and Tile is the crowd GPS feature, where it can use other people’s smartphones to help you find your lost item. But there are things that these trackers do differently, and these are summarized in this side-by-side comparison table:
|Tile Style||Tile Sport||Tile Mate||Tile Slim||TrackR Pixel||TrackR Bravo
|Price||$25.00 (Check out the latest price here!)
||$25.00 (Check out the latest price here!)||$20.00 (Check out the latest price here!)||$30.00 (Check out the latest price here!)||$24.99 (Check out the latest price here!)||$29.99 (Check out the latest price here!)|
|Dimensions (inches)||1.48 x 1.48 x 0.23||1.57 x 1.57 x 0.23||1.34 x 1.34 x 0.18||2.13 x 2.13 x 0.09||1.03 x 1.03 x 0.22||1.22 x 1.22 x 0.14|
|Dark slate and graphite||White and matte silver||White and matte silver||9 color options||4 color options|
|Maximum Bluetooth range (feet)||200||200||100||100||100||100|
|Alarm volume (decibels)||98||98||88||88||90||82|
Design and price
Tile has more design options for its users. The Tile Style is for everyday use and is more geared towards women, while the Tile Sport is a rugged tracker that is meant for life’s rougher adventures. For daily use, you cannot go wrong with the Tile Mate, and of course, there is the Tile Slim, which is designed to fit into your wallet. While Tile has a square shape, TrackR is circular and smaller than Tile. Moreover, there are only two versions available for TrackR: Pixel and Bravo. However, you have more colors to choose from with TrackR.
Who wins? When it comes to design, Tile does not give you a lot in terms of color options, while TrackR does. However, Tile has a more attractive design than TrackR’s circular coin-like form. Tile also has affordable trackers, with the Tile Mate selling for only $20. Even the Tile Sport and Tile Style, which have better specifications, are priced competitively at $25. This is the same price as the TrackR Pixel and cheaper than the TrackR Bravo, which sells for $29.99. TrackR also has the lightest devices, both lighter than the lightest Tile version: Mate.
When you buy Tile or TrackR, you should be aware that it finds your lost things rather well when it is in Bluetooth range. Tile surely wins this with the Style and Sport, giving you more leeway with a Bluetooth range of 200 feet. TrackR’s devices only have a maximum range of 100 feet. Some users, however, have noted that the Bluetooth range for TrackR is severely more limited than advertised; it only gives you around 60 or 70 feet. What’s more, once you go out of range, TrackR finds it difficult to re-connect with your phone.
All of Tile’s devices have some degree of water and dust resistance, allowing them to be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. This helps make Tile a good choice for pet tracking. TrackR’s devices are not waterproof, and you have to buy a water-resistant case, which will cost you $10.
Tile Style and Tile Sport have the loudest alarm volumes at 98 decibels. The more affordable Tile Mate and Tile Slim both have 88-decibel alarms. TrackR Bravo, meanwhile, has a rated 82-decibel alarm, but some users are complaining that it is difficult to hear.
Tile does not offer geofencing features. Meanwhile, TrackR will send you an alert when you go out of your tracking device’s Bluetooth range.
So, TrackR wins in this category.
For some reason, Tile chooses to make its tracking devices disposable. The battery it uses is custom-made and lasts only for a year. You cannot charge it nor can you replace the battery. Once the battery runs out, you would need to buy another Tile. This means that while Tile prices its products competitively and cheaper than TrackR, you will be spending more in the long run. Tile tries to soften the blow by giving a 40% discount on your replacement Tile and making it so that the entire device is 100% recyclable.
On the other hand, TrackR uses a replaceable battery. When its battery runs out, they will send you a free replacement battery, so you do not have to spend at all.
Imagine this: you plan to use a tracking device for three years and you are choosing between a Tile Style and a TrackR Pixel. Over the course of three years, you would have spent $25 on TrackR, but you have already spent $55 on Tile.
Who wins? TrackR.
Final Say: TrackR or Tile?
Tile and TrackR are both good choices when it comes to devices that would help you find lost keys and lost anything. However, Tile has really good design, has less purchase price, and wider Bluetooth range than TrackR. Tile is also waterproof and much louder than TrackR. If you do not mind the ongoing cost, Tile should be perfect to ensure that you can easily find your keys, phone, and other stuff you might lose.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!