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I Tried Three Bluetooth Trackers—Here Are My Honest Thoughts

Scouted/The Daily Beast/Apple/KeySmart/Tile.
Scouted/The Daily Beast/Apple/KeySmart/Tile.

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If you’re prone to losing things like I am, you’ve probably considered using Bluetooth trackers to help you find your missing items, whether it's your wallet, keys, phone, or TV remote control. Heck, some pet owners are even using them (with a special collar) to track their cats or dogs.

Bluetooth trackers are small devices that attach to your items and are equipped with Bluetooth and/or GPS functionality. When paired with an app on your smartphone, the app can ping your missing item, utilizing the permissions on other users’ phones to help you find it or at least see the general or last known location (which is great for the times you leave your phone or wallet at the office, a restaurant, or friend’s house).

The three most popular Bluetooth trackers on the market right now are Tile (they offer various models, but I tried the Pro), Apple’s Airtag, and KeySmart’s SmartCard. Each of the devices features similar technology to help you keep track of easy-to-lose essentials but offers different features. To find out which one is best, I put all three to the test. Read ahead to see which one is best for you.

Tile Pro

Pros:

  • Compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

  • Good connectivity.

  • Offers a range of models to fit different items.

  • Batteries can be replaced (batteries last about one year, on average).

  • Can be used to track pets with compatible collars.

  • Quick pairing and setup.

  • It notifies you when the item is left behind but is a bit delayed.

  • Solid anti-stalking features.

Cons:

  • The Pro model requires a subscription.

  • GPS location is limited to a general area.

Buy Tile Pro at Amazon, $35

Buy Tile Pro at Tile, $35

Apple AirTag

Pros:

  • No need to download additional apps for iPhone users—the software is built into the phones (Find My App).

  • Can be used to track pets with compatible collars.

  • Doesn’t require a subscription plan.

  • Easy and quick setup.

  • Superior Bluetooth connection.

  • Great for Apple users who have limited storage space or just don’t want to download another app.

  • Replaceable batteries.

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Apple devices..

  • Limited anti-stalking features.

  • AirTag’s pinging sound is quieter than Tile Mate Pro’s.

  • Relied on being within 30 feet of another AirTag user to function properly.

Buy Apple AirTag at Amazon, $29

Buy Apple AirTag at Apple, $29

KeySmart Smart Card

Pros:

  • Compatible with iPhones and iPads using the Find My App.

  • Ultra slim design (only 2 millimeters thick—about two credit cards stacked together).

  • Rechargeable—no replacement batteries required.

  • Ultra slim design means it can be used for more items, including ID cards, lanyards, etc.

  • Solid Bluetooth connectivity.

  • It offers ‘Left Behind’ notifications, making it great for those who frequently forget their wallet, phone, etc., at home.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for pet tracking.

  • Not compatible with Android phones.

  • Slightly more expensive than comparable Tile and Airtag models.

Buy KeySmart Smart Card at KeySmart, $40

Overall, all three tracking devices are solid options. Because I’m an iPhone owner and prefer to avoid dealing with battery replacements, my favorite of the three is KeySmart’s SmartCard device. The ability to wirelessly charge the device is convenient, and the slim build means I can use it with more items, including IDs and my passport. If you have an Android, the Tile Pro is a great tool with a notably loud speaker and pretty reliable Bluetooth connectivity.

In short, which device you’ll want will depend on your phone and which features are most important to you, as each has unique advantages and drawbacks. No matter what, you can’t go wrong with having something to help you find those misplaced items. Now, where are my keys…?

MORE FROM SCOUTED:

KeySmart Launched the Slimmest Tracking Card to Date—and It’s Rechargeable

These Tile Trackers Help Me Keep Track of Just About Everything in My Life

Don’t Feel Like Losing Your Suitcase? AirTags Can Help

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