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The 5 Best Bluetooth Trackers for 2021



Apple AirTag accessories
Apple

Nobody likes to lose their stuff, which is why there is a big market for Bluetooth trackers. You can keep track of almost anything with these handy little gadgets. Which one is best for you? We have a few recommendations.

Our favorite Bluetooth trackers

What is a Bluetooth tracker?

Before we get into the actual product recommendations, you might be wondering what a Bluetooth tracker is and why you might need one.

A Bluetooth tracker is a small device that you can link to things you don̵

7;t want to lose. They connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and have other sensors so you can see the location of the item on a map.

Think of Bluetooth trackers as “homing beacons” of science fiction movies. Simply attach yours to something and you can track the location, assuming you’re within Bluetooth range.

Best Bluetooth Tracker: Tile Mate

tile size in your pocket
Tile

Benefits

  • Supports Android, iPhone and iPad
  • Userbase is second only to Apple

Cons

  • Paid subscription for all functions
  • Smaller network compared to Apple’s AirTags

The best Bluetooth tracker for most people is the Tile Mate. (If you’ve invested in the Apple ecosystem, though, check out the Apple AirTag.) You’ve probably heard the Tile name before, which is part of the reason we recommend this tracker. Several Tile models are available at different price points, but the Mate hits the sweet spot.

With a 4.5-star rating after nearly 40,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say people are happy with the Tile Mate. There is a lot of fun about it. For starters, it works with iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It doesn’t matter which device you use, your Tile will work with it.

On the tech side, Tile claims the Mate has 200 feet of range. You would expect to get a little less than that in the real world, but it’s still very good. One of the biggest benefits of Tile is what happens after you leave that range.

When you disconnect the Tile Mate, you will see the last known location in the app. If that’s not enough to find it, you can mark it “Lost” and use Tile’s large user base to help you find it. This skill is only possible because of Tile’s popularity, which makes it hard to match.

The Tile Mate is powered by a user-replaceable CR1632 coin cell battery. With Tile’s $ 3 per month Premium plan, you get free annual battery replacements, but a pack of 5 only costs about $ 6 on Amazon. The main benefit of the Premium plan is the alerts you get when your tile has disconnected from your phone.

You can get one Tile Mate for $ 24.99 or a two-pack for $ 47.99. There’s even a pack of four for $ 62 if you want to cover everything in Tiles. That’s an affordable price, and most people don’t need the added cost of a Premium subscription.

Best Overall

Tile Mate (2020)

A solid, affordable Bluetooth tracker that supports all smartphones.

Best-Budget Bluetooth Tracker: Tile Stickers

tile sticker on skateboard
Tile

Benefits

  • Small and easy to stick
  • Water resistant
  • A less expensive tile

Cons

  • Smaller range
  • No user replaceable battery
  • Same drawbacks of tiles

If you are looking for something small or a little cheaper, Tile offers a model called ‘Sticker’. This model differs from the Tile Mate in a number of ways.

First of all, it is very small. The sticker is only 27 mm wide and 7.3 mm thick. It’s called the “Sticker” because you attach it to things with an adhesive backing and it’s small enough to go unnoticed.

Due to its size, the sticker has a smaller connectivity range of 150 feet. The speaker that makes a sound when you try to locate it is also a little quieter. The sticker lasts for about three years on one battery, but is not user replaceable. An advantage of this is that it is waterproof.

Those differences aside, you get the same features as the Tile Mate, just in a smaller package. A single sticker costs the same as the Tile Mate, but gets cheaper when you buy packs. Two are just $ 34.48 and four are just $ 54.74.

Best Budget

Best Bluetooth Tracker for iPhone: Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag attached to a bag
Apple

Benefits

  • Huge network
  • Lots of accessories
  • Precision guidance

Cons

  • No Android support
  • More expensive than a tile

While the Tile Mate supports the iPhone and iPad, there are some compelling reasons to opt for Apple’s AirTag instead.

The biggest reason is the crowdsourcing feature we mentioned earlier. Before the AirTag was announced, Tile controlled about 80% of the Bluetooth tracker market. That meant if you had to rely on other users for help, Tile was the obvious choice.

Apple’s AirTags are integrated with the company’s “Find My” network, so now there are millions upon millions of iPhones and iPads around the world that can help you find your stuff. They don’t even need to have an AirTag or install anything to do it. That’s hard for even Tile to compete with.

On the technical side, the AirTag works much the same as Tile products. It has a similar size and price and has a replaceable battery. Apple offers a lot more in terms of accessories, and if you have a newer iPhone, it can use Ultra-Wideband technology to find the tracker more accurately with the “Precision Finding” feature.

If you’re an Apple user and planning to stay one, there is generally no reason why you shouldn’t go for an AirTag. It’s all going to do the same things as the tile and connect seamlessly to your devices. AirTags cost $ 29 or $ 99 for a pack of four.

Best Alternative Tile Bluetooth Tracker: Chipolo ONE

chipolo one in the pocket
Chipolo

Benefits

  • Supports Android, iPhone and iPad
  • Free alerts out of reach

Cons

  • Not a crowdsourced network

Since both Tile trackers and Apple AirTags have such large networks to find your lost stuff, it’s hard to recommend anything else. But popularity may not matter to you, in which case the Chipolo ONE is a solid option.

The Chipolo ONE offers the same functionality as the Tile Mate, with a round body and more color options. It advertises the same 200-foot range and uses replaceable CR2032 coin-cell batteries, which can be found cheaply on Amazon.

The one big advantage of Chipolo over all Tile trackers is free alerts for when the tracker is out of range. You need the $ 3 Premium plan to get that with Tile. The one big downside are the aforementioned crowdsourcing features. You cannot get help finding your stuff from other Chipolo users.

A single Chipolo ONE will cost you $ 24.90, while a pack of four will cost you $ 75. The company also offers a sleek wallet tracker for $ 30.

Best tile alternative

Chipolo ONE (2020)

Chipolo makes a solid tracker if you don’t care about Tile’s crowdsourcing features.

Best Premium Bluetooth Tracker: Tile Pro

tile pro on camping gear
Tile

Benefits

  • Extra reach
  • Louder speaker
  • Water repellent

Cons

  • Paid subscription for all functions
  • Smaller network compared to Apple’s AirTags

All of the trackers we’ve mentioned so far were in the $ 25-30 range, but if you’re willing to spend a little more you can get some upgrades with the Tile Pro.

The Tile Pro is slightly bigger and thicker than the Mate, but they have the same shape and design. The main reason you might want to go for the Pro is its wider connectivity range.

The Pro is advertised to have 400 feet of range. Even if you take into account that real world usage is probably less than that, you’re looking at quite a bit over 60 meters. Tile also says the Audible Locating Ring is louder than the Mate.

Other than that, it basically has the same characteristics. The replaceable battery is the same as the Apple AirTag (CR2032) and is water resistant. It’s also available in black, red, and blue if you want something other than white.

One Tile Pro costs $ 34, while a two-pack costs $ 54.99 and a four-pack costs $ 89.99. Most people probably don’t need to spend the extra money on the Pro version, but it’s a nice option for those who need extra reach.

Best premium

Tile Pro (2020)

For a few extra dollars, you can get a longer range and a louder speaker.




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