Tile’s tracking device products have been around for more than a decade but haven’t really faced any serious mainstream competition until Apple and Samsung launched their own competing products. Although Tile, which is a California-based company hasn’t launched any new products over the past couple of years, they did refresh their entire product portfolio in 2021. Tile also continues to improve their app and services so buying a Tile product in 2023 is totally reasonable. In fact, I highly recommend getting a few if you want to keep track of your valuables, especially since Tile works with all smartphone and smart home platforms including Apple, Google, and Amazon ecosystems. In fact, if you have an Android phone, an Apple AirTag is out of the question since they are incompatible.
So which Tile tracker should you get? This guide will help you out.
The Tile Mate is the company’s most affordable Tile tracker priced at $24.99 USD ($74.99 for a pack of 4). As the budget product in the lineup, the Tile Mate is well-rounded in terms of specs with an impressive 3-year battery life, water resistance, and a maximum Bluetooth range of 250 feet. How does tile mate works? One of the corners on a Tile Mate has a hole making it an ideal companion for bags, keys and pet tags. It also comes in a wide range of colors and designs. Like all tile products, your Tile Mate can be located using Tile’s free app, which can also set your tracker to make noise to help you find it if you can’t immediately see it.
The Tile Mate’s main downside is that the battery can’t be replaced, which effectively turns it into a tiny paperweight when fully drained. Just always remember to be a good environmental citizen by taking any emptied Tile Mate trackers to your local e-waste recycling center!
Watch my video review of Tile trackers
Next up the pipeline is Tile’s smallest tracker – the Tile Sticker. As the name suggests, this tracker has as a strong adhesive on the back and smaller surface area making it great for attaching to small objects like remote controls and game controllers. The Tile Sticker is also a nice choice for some larger objects such as bikes since you can actually attach it to a concealed spot a little more discreetly. Despite being smaller, the Tile Sticker can keep up with the Tile Mate in terms of battery life and even has the same Bluetooth range. The only two sacrifices you make here is the lack of a hole for hanging and a slightly higher cost at $29.99 USD ($97.99 for a pack of 4)
Both the Tile Mate and Tile Sticker trackers are quite small, but they aren’t necessarily thin enough to fit into tighter spaces such as a wallet. This is where the Tile Slim plays its role since it’s only barely thicker than a credit card! Like the Tile Sticker, it has the same specs and battery life although the built-in speaker is slightly louder than the other more affordable Tile trackers, which will help you track it down if it is still buried in your wallet. Thinness does come with an extra tax though with a single tracker costing $34.99 USD and you only get small savings buying a 2-pack for $62.99. The price of being thin!
A lot of mainstream gadgets have a “Pro” version, and the Tile tracker is no exception. This is a “Pro” device in the sense that professionals who have extremely valuable belongings and require the most reliable tracking should get it. The unit is slightly larger than a Tile Mate and it resembles a car key remote, but it gains three exclusive advantages – a much louder speaker, an increased Bluetooth range of 400 feet, and a replaceable CR2032 battery.
Like the Tile Mate, the unit has a hole for secure attaching to luggage, keys and other important items.
Tile also priced the Tile Pro at $34.99 which is the same as the Tile Slim and you can save a significant amount by buying a pack of 4 for $99.99. Available colors come in only black and white though.
The battery should last about a year before you need to replace it—which is on par with something like Apple’s air tag.
Other Tile Features
Every Tile tracker works with the Tile app for iOS and Android devices. This app allows you to scan for any Tile trackers you own within Bluetooth range and mark them on the map. Once detected, you can have the tracker ring so you can locate it. For any Tile trackers that are not in Bluetooth range, the app relies on Tile users having the app running in the background on their smartphones in order to help triangulate the location of other trackers in the area. It will show you the tracker’s last recorded location on the map—but not who it’s with, or whose phone might be picking it up. Privacy, you know.
Tile also offers a paid subscription service called Tile Premium which provides extra features and warranty for $2.99 USD a month or $29.99 a year. Subscribing unlocks the Smart Alerts feature which works by giving your smartphone a push notification whenever you leave behind anything with a Tile tracker attached (again, similar to Apple AirTags). It can also keep location records of your Tile trackers over the past 30 days.
Finally, Premium means you can share access to your Tile tracker with other friends and family members who have the app installed in case you need their help in finding a lost item—something even Apple AirTags original version does not allow.
As long as you have an active Tile Premium subscription, you can request Tile support to replace any defective and damaged Tile trackers. You also get direct access to the customer care team. If you live in the US and you lose an item with a Tile tracker and the app cannot locate it, Tile can also reimburse you with the product’s value as long as it’s not over $100. Opting for a Premium Protect plan priced at $99.99 a year increases the reimbursement maximum to $1,000, which might make this a solid insurance policy for things like bicycles.
Tile’s competitors like Apple AirTag may offer some extra benefits and functionality if you have an iPhone, but Tile trackers do still provide solid core features to the millions of users who don’t own an iPhone.
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