Apple AirTags offer a simple and inexpensive option Track tons of everyday items. The only problem is that they are tied to Apple products. Android users have multiple options, but there is one that stands out above the rest.
These simple Bluetooth-enabled devices can be attached to objects and you can track their location with an app. Android users may miss out on the easy, system-level integration of AirTags on iPhone, but they’re not without options.
The best: Tile Mate
tile is undoubtedly the name that most people think of when it comes to Bluetooth trackers, and with good reason. The company has been around for a while and offers several different models to choose from. In our opinion, the Tile Mate is best suited for most people.
Like AirTags, the Tile Mate uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to connect to your Android phone or tablet. The Tile Mate’s range is advertised as 200 feet, but in the real world you’ll likely get a little less. This is still very good and should be sufficient for most situations.
What if you are not in this area? The Tile app shows you where the tracker was when it was last connected. If that’s not enough, you can mark it as “Lost” in the app and get other Tile users to help you find it.
Older Tile models were essentially disposable as the batteries couldn’t be swapped out, but that’s no longer the case. The Tile Mate uses a standard CR1632 lithium battery, which is easy and inexpensive to replace yourself.
That Tile Mate is slightly larger than an Apple AirTag, but has a keyring hole so you don’t need an additional accessory to attach it to anything. Unfortunately, the Tile Mate only comes in white, but they exist Third Party Cases available.
For $3 per month, you can subscribe to “Tile Premium” for some extra features. This includes free battery replacement (a 5 pack is only about $6), a longer warranty (from 1 to 3 years), 30-day location history, unlimited location sharing, more notification options, and text support.
All in all, the Tile Mate is a very solid counterpart to AirTags and has the flexibility to work with more than just Apple products. Tile Mate is $24.99 for one or $47.99 for a two-pack. That’s $5 less than the AirTag.
Tile Mate (2020) 1 Pack
A solid, affordable Bluetooth tracker that supports Android devices.
Honorable Mention: Chipolo ONE
Tile has a solid reputation, several different products to choose from, and a large network of users. However, if for some reason you don’t want to go down this route, Chipolo One is another good option.
Chipolo One offers the same features as the Tile Mate for the same price. It’s round instead of square, but similar in size and also has a keyhole. Chipolo offers a nice range of colors which is a bonus.
The only benefit you get with the Chipolo One over any Tile tracker is alerts when you’re out of range. You have to pay for the premium subscription to get this feature with Tile. We don’t think that’s enough to make you choose the Chipolo One, but your use case may vary.
In general, the Chipolo One is a perfect Bluetooth tracker, but it’s hard to beat Tile’s large user base when you need help finding something.
A very good tracker that not being a Tile just hurts.
What about Samsung Galaxy SmartTags?
If you are an Android user with a Samsung Galaxy device, you might be interested Samsung’s own Bluetooth tracker. Unfortunately, the company’s Galaxy SmartTags don’t have many advantages.
Although they have similar functionality to AirTags and Tiles and are inexpensive, Galaxy SmartTags are very limited. For one, they only work with Samsung devices, not even other Android devices. They’re also missing some of the sensors found in the tile.
If you don’t get a free Galaxy SmartTag when you buy a Samsung phone, we think you’re much better off with the Tile Mate or the Chipolo One.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Samsung’s own Bluetooth tracker only works with Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
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