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Home / Tips and Tricks / New Samsung SmartTag finds lost Galaxy S21, keys, more: price, date of sale, how it works

New Samsung SmartTag finds lost Galaxy S21, keys, more: price, date of sale, how it works



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The SmartTag is so small that it doesn’t get in the way.

James Martin / CNET

This story is part of THIS ONE, where our editorial team brings you the latest news and gadgets from the fully virtual CES 2021

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Samsung held its first Unpacked event of the year on Thursday, where next to one trio of new Galaxy S21 phonesthe company also introduced the SmartTag. It’s a direct competitor to Tile, the tiny Bluetooth trackers that help locate lost items like keys, your phone, pets, and anything else you routinely misplace or want to attach the tag to. Samsung includes a free SmartTag Galaxy S21 preorders.

There are several things you should know about the new product. For starters, SmartTags connect to SmartThings Find, a service already built right into Samsung Galaxy phones – SmartThings is Samsung’s hub for smart home devices. There are also two different types of SmartTags, which makes things instantly confusing (don’t worry, we’ll explain below).

Here’s everything we know about Samsung’s SmartTag so far (and what we don’t know), from the price and the way it works, to how to figure out which SmartTag to buy.


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Samsung SmartTag: what does it do?

The SmartTag from Samsung is a small battery-powered device that you can attach to things like a wallet, backpack, or even your pet. It is not clear what kind of battery SmartTag uses, battery life or how to replace it. We asked Samsung for more details.

Once it is set up and linked to your Samsung account, the tag can be found using the SmartThings Find app on your phone.


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How do you use a SmartTag to find a lost item?

After realizing that you’ve lost an item, open the SmartThings Find app on your smartphone. Then tap it Find map, choose the device you want to locate and wait for it to load.

When you are close to the lost item, use the on-screen meter to indicate how far away the item is. The fuller the meter becomes, the closer you are. To help you find the tag, you can have it play a sound.

Why are there two different types of SmartTags?

In a classic Samsung move, there are two different types of SmartTags. The first, available alongside the Galaxy S21 series, uses Bluetooth Low Energy as the connection standard. The other version, called SmartTag Plus, uses ultra-wideband connectivity. We don’t currently have a launch price or date for the second version.

There are two versions of the SmartTags as not all Samsung Galaxy phones support UWB, but they all support BLE. Only Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra support UWB.

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SmartThings Find is the app you use to locate list items.

James Martin / CNET

What is the difference between the two SmartTags?

If you use the SmartThings Find app to find tags equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy, you won’t be able to see the exact location of a tag, but an estimate of how far away or near it is. It’s the same kind of technology used to stream music from your phone to your wireless earbuds or make your phone act as a key with a smart lock.

With ultra wide band, your phone and the tag can talk to each other and estimate a more accurate location, within inches. Using a series of short pulses, a UWB device can communicate and measure how long it takes for one of the pulses to be received and answered by another UWB device. In short, UWB is much more accurate than BLE.

We are looking for more information about the expected difference in range between the two. We have a much more detailed explanation here of what UWB is exactly, how it works and other ways it can be used.

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The Galaxy S21 from Samsung is a beautiful phone, right?

James Martin / CNET

Are both Bluetooth and UWB SmartTag models available at the same time?

No. Samsung will launch the BLE version first and the UWB version later. The company didn’t say when, just that it’s coming. Since a SmartTag is bundled with Galaxy S21 preorders, we assume the BLE version is included.

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Samsung / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

How much do SmartTags cost?

The SmartTag available for the Galaxy S21 launch is $ 30 for one, $ 50 for two, and $ 85 for a four-pack. The UWB version will launch for $ 40 for one and $ 65 for a two-pack.

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Samsung / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

What is this bundle deal with a Galaxy S21?

When you pre-order a Galaxy S21, you get one SmartTag for free, along with a credit that ranges from $ 100 to $ 200 depending on the S21 model you order.

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It’s a shame you can’t use a SmartTag to track down the new S Pen for the S21 Ultra.

James Martin / CNET

Do both tags work with any Galaxy phone?

No. Currently, last year’s Galaxy S21 Plus, S21 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra support UWB SmartTag technology. All other Galaxy phones only support the BLE version of the SmartTag.

What else do I need to know?

UWB’s extra features mean you can use a dedicated augmented reality mode in the SmartThings Find app that lets you determine the location of a tag in the real world, instead of using a meter that fills in as you get closer .

With AR you can hold your phone up and see exactly where the tag is, using a combination of your phone’s camera and an image in the app to see the world around you.

The battery life is expected to last for months, but it is unclear whether the battery is replaceable. We have asked Samsung for more details and will update when we know more.

Once we get our hands on SmartTags and the S21 we’ll update this post with more information. Until then, check out our first impressions of the S21 Ultra. If you want to reserve an S21, here’s everything you need to know. We also take a deep dive and look at the S Pen capabilities of the S21 Ultra.


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