Is There a Comparable Tracker Available For Android??
If you’re on Android, let’s face it there isn’t an alternative to Apple’s AirTag that is remotely as good, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve been on the lookout for a new tracker that will work flawlessly with my Pixel 7 Pro. I found many products including a concept design for Google’s tracker, which the designers humorously called the GSpot.
I mean don’t get me wrong, it would be great if Google released an activity tracker, maybe even with Google Maps integration, but unfortunately, it’s not something I see happening any time soon.
That’s why over the last couple of months, I’ve been testing 3 alternatives, The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+, Chipolo and Tile. Here’s what I found…
The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+
The Samsung Galaxy Tag+ is actually a pretty decent device which not only has a decent battery life but also has a pretty decent app to go with it which can also track other Samsung devices.
But that’s the problem, it’s brilliant at tracking unless you don’t have a compatible Samsung phone, which means that I can’t use it with my Pixel 7 Pro. I seriously think that this is a missed opportunity, but I guess it’s just one of those.
At the time of writing this article the Galaxy SmartTag+ costs £39.99 which in my view is a bit expensive especially when we compare the price to the Tile Pro, which at the time of writing this article costs £29.99.
The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ also has some other pretty cool features such as the ability to use AR to find your device which I think is really cool.
You can even use the button to control various smart home devices. For example, you can use it to turn on the lights in your home before you even enter your house! Now that’s cool!
I’ve been using Tile for a very long time, I actually purchased my first Tile tracker back in 2016 to track my keys and my wallet and they were worth it. But the one thing that I didn’t like was the inability to change the battery, something which Tile now allows on selected models.
Since moving away from the Apple ecosystem, I’ve been using the KeySmart Max, which is a really cool key organiser that has a Tile teacher built-in and best of all, it’s rechargeable!
But my one problem with the KeySmart Max is that it doesn’t notify me when the battery is low which results in me forgetting to charge the device, which doesn’t help.
The second Tile device I have is the Tile Slim from 2020, which comes in the shape of a credit card you put into your wallet. But unfortunately, I had to retire this device a few days ago as the battery died after a solid 3 years, which is about right.
Unfortunately, you can’t really replace the battery on the Tile Slim, which is a shame and above all, a missed opportunity. I mean these devices aren’t cheap!
Out of all of these, Tile seems to be the most expensive option, especially as if you want extra features, you have to pay a monthly subscription which is either £2.99 per month or £29.99 annually.
The premium subscription gives you features such as smart alerts which notify you when you’ve left your item behind as well as free battery replacement and a worry-free warranty, which is said to protect the device even when your Tile gets damaged.
The price isn’t too bad, but I feel that it isn’t really needed, especially as competitors are giving this feature away for free.
I’ve actually only ever owned an official Chipolo product, but I do own the Ekster Wallet Tracker which uses Chipolo.
The Ekster Wallet tracker is actually a pretty decent product and is well worth the price. For starters, the card has a built-in solar panel which you can use to recharge the device, which I think is a brilliant idea!
Strangely enough, the official Chipolo card doesn’t seem to have this feature, but depending on which version you go for it does have a replaceable battery making it better than the Tile Slim.
I really like the Chipolo app, I think that it is clean and has a very nice user interface. My only complaint with the app is that if you’ve opened an account using your Apple account, you can’t log in on an Android device. As a workaround, I had to create a new account and share the device with that account.
But doing that means that you have to sacrifice your out-of-range alerts. The app brings up an error message which says “This feature is not yet supported if your Chipolo is shared”. I think it’s a real shame that this is the case, but this might be one that is simply out of Chipolo’s control.
After using the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+, various Tiles and the Ekster Smart Card that uses Chipolo, I can confirm that none of these devices works as well as the Apple AirTag, but it’s not the end of the world as Samsung, Chipolo, Tile as well as a handful of other manufacturers I haven’t tried seem to be doing a good job.
Out of the trackers I have tried, each has its downside. I mean I really like the idea of the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+, especially as you can use it to turn on your lights and because it uses AR to help you find your lost items. But sadly, it’s not compatible with my Pixel 7 Pro.
I like Tiles, but I feel that their competition is way ahead and on top of that, I hate the idea of paying a monthly subscription fee.
I haven’t really had much experience with Chipolo other than the Ekster Wallet Card, but I do feel that it is a reasonable alternative to the AirTag.
Overall, I think it’s fair to say that I am undecided when it comes to which device is the better alternative, as each brand has its benefits. Personally, I’m kind of hopeful that Google release a tracker that works with multiple devices and has some useful features on top of it.