If you’re often scrambling to find your keys or wallet as you're heading out the door, a Bluetooth smart tracker could do wonders for your stress levels and time management. In a ‘Lost & Found Survey’ released by Pixie in 2017, the average person spent 2.5 days a year looking for lost items. That adds up to approximately 6 months in an average lifetime! Ain’t nobody got time for that! But what we do have time for is Bluetooth smart trackers, which can be a lifesaver for those who have a knack for misplacing or losing things.
These tiny gadgets help you track down lost items, whether they’re your car keys, wallet, TV remote, or glasses – just some of the things that tend to go AWOL. They rely on Bluetooth to keep tabs on your items, with some incorporating new technology such as ultra-wideband (UWB) to help pinpoint locations precisely. In this article, we’re going to look at the Best Smart Trackers you can get in 2021.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Best for Samsung Galaxy users
The Galaxy SmartTag is Samsung’s Bluetooth Tracker & Item Locator which is great for attaching to everyday items, like backpacks, keychains, and more, so they can be precisely and easily located. SmartTags connects to SmartThings Find – a service that’s built directly into Samsung Galaxy phones, making it the ideal SmartTag for Samsung Galaxy smartphone users. Through the service, you’ll be able to conveniently track and manage the location of that item from your smartphone, keeping tabs on your prized possessions. Most recently, Samsung launched the Galaxy SmartTag Plus – a newer version of the smart tag which uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to pinpoint locations even more precisely.
That’s not all it does though! If you’ve got Smart Home devices that are connected via the SmartThings app, the SmartTag makes things way more convenient. You can control various IoT devices with just a click of a button on your SmartTag. If you’ve got smart lights, for example, you can turn on the lights in your home before you even step inside.
The Galaxy SmartTag is powered by the common and affordable CR2032 battery, which is user-replaceable, making things all very convenient. Rather than replacing your entire SmartTag when it dies, you can simply replace the battery with one that’s readily available at your local supermarket or hardware store.
Best for iPhone users
The Apple AirTag is easily the best pick for iPhone users. It’s available as an AirTag Loop, AirTag Keyring, or just the AirTag itself making it perfect to keep track of keys, wallets, bags, umbrellas, and more. The AirTag uses ultra-wideband (UWB) to precisely pinpoint the location of your AirTag and item/s it’s attached to. On the iPhone 11 and up, you’ll be able to take advantage of Precision Finding and receive specific guidance telling you the proximity and direction of your AirTag. Precision Finding also combines AR, sound, and haptic feedback to help you out even more.
Even if the AirTag isn’t close to you, it’ll utilize Apple’s massive network of devices to find lost items. This works by sending out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network. These devices send the location of your AirTag to iCloud - then you can go to the Find My app and see it on a map. The whole process is anonymous and encrypted to protect your privacy. If the AirTag isn’t immediately found, you can place it into Lost Mode and you’ll be notified when it’s in range or has been located via the Find My network. With iPhones making up over 40% of the NZ smartphone market, there are few locations where your lost AirTag won’t ping the network, and the chances of your lost items being found are pretty good.
The AirTag is designed to keep going for more than a year on a standard battery, and your iPhone will let you know when the battery is getting low. It uses the common and affordable CE2302 coin battery which can easily be replaced.
Best for Android users
Tile was one of the first Bluetooth tracking devices to revolutionise the market, so it should come as no surprise that with their years of experience, they’re still putting out some of the best Smart Trackers available. The Tile family of Bluetooth trackers include the Tile Mate (loops on a string or keychain), Tile Slim (compact and shaped liked a credit card), and Tile Pro (tough and sturdy with a whopping 400-ft range and extra-loud ring).
The Tile trackers offer an impressive range of 200-ft to 400-ft, with a loud alarm volume. If the Tile is out of range, you can view a map on your phone displaying its location the last time your phone detected it. If you’re unable to detect it, you can mark the item as lost which will invoke Tile’s crowd-finding feature. Unfortunately, this network won’t be as extensive as Apple’s Find My network or Samsung’s Galaxy SmartFind network, but with over 35 million Tile trackers sold worldwide, there’s still a decent chance your lost Tile will be detected by the network. According to Tile’s data, of those marked lost, approximately 90% are found.
The Tile Slim tracker has a built-in battery this is designed to last up to three years. Because the battery cannot be replaced, you’ll have to buy a new Slim tracker once the battery has lived its life. The Tile Mate and Tile Pro use user-replaceable coin batteries which will last up to 1 year before needing to be replaced.
There you have it – the Best Smart Trackers in 2021. We recommend the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag for Samsung Galaxy users, the Apple AirTag for iPhone users, and the Tile Trackers for other Android devices. If you’re sick of losing your items, stop by PB Tech’s range of Bluetooth Trackers to grab your own and say goodbye to losing your things.