Tile Mate Review: A Thin and Light Bluetooth Tracker
Have you ever lost your keys or misplaced your wallet? The vast majority of us have run into at least one of these problems at some point in our lives, and it can leave us fumbling and looking all over the place.
On the other hand, if you lose your phone, you can easily locate your device using Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager on the web. Unfortunately, other personal belongings in our lives aren’t quite as smart.
Fortunately, there is a company that is aiming to solve this problem. Tile, which hit the scene back in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign, is a simple Bluetooth tracking gadget that helps you locate your keys or anything else you can hold onto. Over the past few years, the company has turned into a huge success, as people in more than 200 countries currently use the platform to locate their lost goods.
The original Tile was praised for its functionality, however, users continued to say that the hardware was just too big. The company quickly took note of this issue and released the Tile Mate, a lighter and slimmer version of its predecessor. With the review unit of the new Tile Mate that the company sent us, we can find out if the new tracker is a worthy successor to the original Tile.
Unboxing and Setup
The unboxing and setup experience for the Tile Mate is incredibly simple. After taking the tracker out of its very simple packaging and downloading the Tile app for iOS, you simply pair the tracker with your smartphone and you are ready to go.
The pairing process is very simple, with the app directing you to pick the object your Tile Mate will be attached to and setting a ringtone for it. After doing this, you can track your Tile Mate using the app on your smartphone.
The tracker has a very minimalistic design, with one button and a pre-drilled hole in the corner, where users can easily place the device on a key ring. The device also has a tiny speaker cutout at the back, which allows an audible noise to be heard if you lose your device.
The button at the front of the device can be used in two ways. Users can tap the button to indicate that their device has been found, or users can double tap the button in order to locate their iPhone.
In my week of testing, I have found the app and the device to be very reliable. Finding the tracker or your iPhone are super simple, and if you are in one of those moments of panic because you lost your wallet, it is easy to initiate the feature to find your device.
Attach a Tile to an item and locate it by sound when it’s close but out of sight. If you still can’t find your Tiled item, use the Tile app to see its last known location on a map, or leverage the Tile community to find it for you.
Users should always keep the app running in the background, which will allow the Tile app to automatically remember the last time you were near your personal item. In my testing, running the app in the background didn’t have any noticeable impact on battery life (running on an iPhone 6s).
If your item isn’t where you last had it, select “Notify When Found” in the app and when any device in the Tile community simply passes by your missing item, you’ll automatically be notified of its most recent location. The company promises that the feature is 100 percent anonymous and works to protect your privacy.
This feature can be a downfall of the device, especially if you live in an area where there aren’t that many Tile users.
As for battery life of the tracker, the company is claiming one year of continuous usage. This will definitely vary on a user-to-user basis and I have not had the device long enough to be able to comment on this fact. The battery in the Tile Mate is non-user replaceable, which means that you will have to purchase a new one when the battery dies, which sucks.
However, the company provides an incentive for replacing your Tile and they call it the reTile program. When it’s time for a new Tile, the company allows its customers to upgrade their Tile to the latest technology and receive 50 percent off their new tracker. The company will even help you recycle your old Tiles.
Overall, if you are looking for a tracking device that will help you locate your personal belongings, the Tile Mate is a fantastic option. The tracker is thin enough to be able to fit just about anywhere, and it’s light enough not to cause you to feel any extra unnecessary weight.
The Tile Mate is available from the company’s website for $30 CAD each, with the option to buy a 4-pack for $90 CAD. They’re not exactly cheap, but if the device ends up helping you locate a lost item, it may be worth it.