AirTag alternatives for comparison
Whether it’s a piece of luggage, a bicycle or the contents of a handbag – thanks to practical trackers you can not only start your holiday with more peace of mind these days, the bike thieves will also be put in their place and the long search for your own front door key is finally a thing of the past. The basic principle of the gadget is the same for all trackers. When connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth or ultra-broadband technology, the daily helpers are able to track lost items. But is there actually competition for the popular tracker model from Apple? Here you can find out what alternatives are currently available on the market and how they differ from the top seller. (Have you seen this? Bike Theft Prevention: Thieves Hate This Simple Trick)
This is what makes AirTag so special
In addition to the usual stylish design of the Apple product, AirTag also offers the IP67 water protection standard. This means: It is dust and waterproof and still fully functional even after 30 minutes under water. AirTag is kept alive by a CR2032 button cell battery and according to the manufacturer lasts up to a year. Similar to competing trackers, Apple’s AirTags use Bluetooth to locate objects. However – and here lies the big difference – not exclusively! iPhones 11, 12 and 13 equipped with the U1 chip can also locate AirTags with millimeter precision via ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. The function “Precision Finding” or “Exact Search” helps here. So far, Apple has had little competition in the tracker market. In addition to long-term competitor Samsung, brands such as Tile, Chipolo and Cube offer useful finders. (Also read: Airport chaos: find your suitcase with this smart gadget)
You should know these AirTag alternatives
#1: Tile Pro Tracker
The Tile brand currently offers the largest selection of Bluetooth trackers. Here you can basically choose between two versions. While the Tile Mate model can find tracked items up to 76 meters away, the Pro version can find lost favorites up to 120 meters away. Communication takes place via iOS or Android smartphones, Google Home and Alexa. Depending on your needs, the trackers can be stored in luggage, on zippers or on a key ring. If you want to track more delicate things such as your own camera or glasses case, you can use the brand’s stickers, whose terrain extends 45 meters and whose battery life lasts up to three years. Good to know: Tile also offers a credit card-sized tracker that can also be used to safely and conveniently track flat items like your own wallet. (Speaking of which: Apple AirTag in the test: How object tracking works!)
The catch: The standard search function including the accompanying app is free, but if you want to use other functions such as the “proactive search function” or the “intelligent notification”, you need to take out a subscription. A special highlight: With Tile, swarm intelligence can be used. If you lose a tracker and are out of range, other Tile users can anonymously find the tracker as part of the “Shared Search” feature.
#2: Galaxy Smart Tag from Samsung
Samsung is also hot on Apple’s heels when it comes to trackers, bringing serious competition to AirTag with the Galaxy SmartTag. The only downside: Galaxy SmartTag can only be used by users who have a Galaxy smartphone running Android 8 or later. The tracker is controlled via Samsung’s SmartThings app and can monitor an area of up to 120 meters. Special highlight: With the “Find Offline” feature, other Galaxy devices can act as search aids. The tracker is available in white, black, mint and pink and lasts up to 300 days thanks to the button battery. (Also Read: iPhone Alternatives: The Best Comparable Top Smartphones At A Glance)
#3: Chipolo Key Finder
The Chipolo Key Finder is available in the colors blue, white, yellow, green, red or black and can be used via an app with both Android and iOS. According to the manufacturer, the tracker lasts up to two years with one battery charge and, thanks to 120 decibels, is the most powerful Bluetooth tracker on the market. Chipolo also boasts a special highlight: if the smartphone moves too far away from the key fob, the Chipolo app sends a warning. If the phone is out of Bluetooth range, Chipolo can find the last active location. And if you leave your cell phone, you can click to send a signal to the device, even if it’s turned off. Like Tile, Chipolo also offers a credit card-sized tracker and a community search feature. (Speaking of: 10 cheap AirPods alternatives in the test – is cheaper also worse?)
#4: Cube Key Tracker
Even in extreme weather conditions, Cube’s Key Tracker cannot be distracted from its mission. So the gizmo is not only waterproof, but can also function without problems at temperatures below 0 degrees. The tracker can be located via smartphone using the Bluetooth connection. But it is also possible the other way around, by activating the cube, sending a signal tone, a vibration or even a flashing signal to your own phone. This also works when in silent mode. According to the manufacturer, the battery in the Cube can be changed once a year. When charged, the gadget has a range of up to 30 meters and a volume of 80 dB.