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Not everybody is born with an elephant’s memory, which leads to a tendency to lose things. However, finding things is much easier and effortless with advancing technology.
If you are the kind of person who always wished there was a tracker on everything, you’re in luck. Tech companies have taken the onus of making life a little bit easier for everyone by making products that track lost items. The two most popular ones right now are TrackR and Tile.
In our guide today, we will be exploring what both these products are about. We will be going into some details like how they function, some similarities, and of course, what differentiates them from each other. Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will be able to make a clear decision about which one is better for your needs.
So, without further ado, let’s look for some answers!
TrackR vs. Tile | All You Need to Know
Before we get into which out of the two products is better, let’s talk about why you might need a tracker and when to buy one. Most Bluetooth trackers are quite affordable and compact, so they do not take up a lot of space. These trackers are great for small items as well as for kids and pets that like to run about.
Bluetooth trackers are ideal for people who have a tendency to lose things like keys, glasses, wallets, or just want a tracker as a precautionary measure. Since they are usually compact, attaching them to anything does not add to the item’s weight. And that’s why products like TrackR and Tile are so popular. Now, let’s explore each of them individually!
TrackR launched in 2010 and has been a helpful little device to everyone ever since. This one launched before Tile, so it had an advantage since it was the first of its kind. It’s basically a small Bluetooth tracker that effortlessly attaches to any item. TrackR is a battery-operated device with replaceable batteries.
Coming to how it works, it is reasonably easy to understand. It can connect to your phone or any device that has Bluetooth. Once it is attached to the item, it will keep an eye out for it. If the item goes too far from the phone, it can notify you, hence making it an excellent anti-theft device as well.
All the tracking is done via a phone app which makes it easy to monitor. The product itself is not very expensive and is catered to people who are on a tight budget. Apart from having a loud and audible alarm, it also has lights to make it more visible. However, it does come with its own set of drawbacks.
TrackR comes in two versions – TrackR Bravo and TrackR Pixel. Unfortunately, those are the only two options available that are limiting when compared to Tile’s product options (which we will discuss in a bit). Plus, it is not waterproof, so it cannot be attached to anything that primarily stays outdoors like bikes.
As we mentioned above, TrackR is available in two versions. They are both great trackers with a decent range of about 100 feet. Plus, it is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. However, the Bravo is an older version which is why Pixel is the preferred one.
While they both function quite well as trackers, Pixel is more compact than Bravo. Moreover, the former is also louder in terms of decibels. Pixel has a decibel level of 90 while Bravo stands at 82. Another great thing is that the shape of the TrackR Pixel is circular with light around it, which makes it more visible in dimly lit rooms.
Tile launched in 2013 but gained traction rather quickly. It is a small weightless tile that can track anything it is attached to. Just like TrackR, this one also needs to be connected to Bluetooth. After its initial launch, it released another generation with added features and enhanced performance in 2015.
- FIND KEYS, BAGS & MORE -- Pro is our high-performance finder...
- FIND NEARBY -- Use the Tile app to ring your Tile Pro when...
- FIND FAR AWAY -- When outside of Bluetooth range, use the...
- FIND YOUR PHONE -- Use your Tile to find your phone, even...
In the second generation batch, the products were made to have a better range and louder speakers. The tile mobile app is pretty simple to understand as well. All you need to do is head over to the map section of the app to see where things are.
From this point on, it is quite easy to find the missing item. Just like any map, you can navigate to the item to locate its exact spot. After reaching the area, if it is still not visible, then click on the “find” button, and a loud audible alarm will go off.
As we mentioned earlier, the second generation has a better Bluetooth range than the first. The most baseline model has a range of about 200 feet, which is a lot more than what TrackR has to offer. Tile’s premium model has an increased range of 400 feet.
Other than these features, an additional (and subscription-based) feature is info sharing. Tile users can share information regarding the items a Tile is attached to along with tracking privileges on paying the subscription fee. This makes it easier for two people to locate shared things like house keys and car keys.
Tile, as good as it sounds, also has a few drawbacks. To start with, it is much more expensive than TrackR, especially the premium models. Plus, it does not have replaceable batteries, which means that users will have to buy a new one if it gets spoilt.
Tile takes a very common problem everyone has and attempts to solve it while maintaining an elegant design that is suited for all. Tile Sport is rugged-looking and made for the outdoors, while Tile Style focuses on having a feminine design as it is made for women. However, both of these are waterproof with an IP68 rating. Apart from the different look, they are essentially the same.
Apart from Style and Sport, Tile has two more variants – Mate and Slim. Tile Mate is the baseline model and the least expensive of the lot. Slim, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive and has a sleeker look. They both have a range of 100 feet and a waterproof rating of IP 57.
They are both similar in everything except design as Tile Slim is made to fit into thinner spaces like a wallet and passports. On the other hand, Tile Mate is a little thicker and can be attached to backpacks or used as a keyring.
Tile and TrackR – Similarities
The first similarity between the two is that they both need to be used with an app. Whether it is an iOS or Android device, the app is the most critical aspect of this product. In order to use these trackers to the fullest of their capabilities, it is necessary to register on the app and then set it up.
There is no way this can work if the tracker is not attached to the item since those items usually do not have an independent bluetooth connection. Hence, the trackers need to be hooked, glued, or just slipped into all your stuff that needs monitoring.
The tracker loses its efficiency if it cannot alert the user of the missing items’ whereabouts. This is why both the products have loud and audible alarms that will notify you about the items as long as you’re in the range. TrackR even has an alarm that will go off if the item goes too far away from the phone.
Tile and TrackR – Differences
One of the most significant differences between the two is that one has replaceable batteries while the other does not. TrackR is the one with replaceable batteries, and what this does is, it eliminates the expense of buying new batteries. Since Tile does not come with replaceable batteries, people will have to buy new models if the old one gets spoiled.
TrackR is not waterproof while Tile is, making it a better option for people who need to monitor outdoor items. The baseline products have an IP 57 waterproof rating, while the newer premium ones have a rating of IP 67. The latter is aimed for more outdoor use and the Sport variant is one of them.
Needless to say, this waterproof rating does not allow the Tile to be submerged in water. However, slight water contact like at the pool or during light rains is not going to affect its performance. This is a lot better than TrackR, which is not waterproof at all.
Range and Geofencing
TrackR only offers a range of 100 feet in all its models. This is a lot lower than Tile, the baseline model of which has a range of 200 feet, and it goes up to 400 feet in the premium models. However, the good thing about TrackR is that it will notify you if the item is too far from the phone.
Geofencing is a product’s ability to inform you about the area you are in. TrackR’s feature where it notifies that the device is out of range is called Geofencing, which is not available in Tile.
Lastly, the two differ in shape. Tile is a small square-shaped device, sometimes with a hook to convert it into a keychain, while TrackR is circular. This is not much of a factor that can determine whether you will buy it, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.
Which Bluetooth Tracker Is Superior?
After discussing both in detail, it is evident that these trackers are not very different from each other. However, the differences they do have can be a strong reason for choosing one over the other. There are certain aspects to be sure about before you decide which one is best suited to your needs.
The first thing to consider is whether the item that needs tracking is an indoor or outdoor item. If it is mostly indoors, buying TrackR will be a much better option since it is not waterproof and does not need a huge range. This can actually save you some bucks as well.
However, if the item that needs tracking is a bike or car, then Tile is better. Even if you want extra protection and a longer range for an indoor item, then Tile is the one to choose. The only issue is that it is a bit more expensive than TrackR.
The next thing to keep in mind is whether you want to spend money on new batteries or a new tracker altogether. If it is the latter, then it won’t be an issue to invest in Tile. This is mainly because Tile does not come with replaceable batteries and needs to be replaced if damaged.
In this regard, TrackR is better if you do not want to spend excessive amounts on new trackers. Having a spare set of batteries at home is much more cost-efficient than going out and buying new trackers.
Geofencing can also be a significant point to consider, but this is only helpful if it is actually needed. This is especially for people who want to put trackers on pets and children. This way, they will know if the kid or pet has run out of range.
Both the brands we have reviewed are very efficient and reliable, so it can be challenging to pick a favorite. We strongly suggest noting down which features are the most important and then seeing if the desired brand has those features.
To sum it up, TrackR is affordable, small, and does what it says. Tile, on the other hand, is the more premium alternative. The choice is, now, in your hands.
We shall be back soon with many more such guides. Until then, stay safe and alert!