Airtag vs Tile
Apple has recently released its AirTags, which are tiny item-tracking devices aimed for keeping track of keys, personal items, bags and even pets, it’s not the first of its kind, Tile actually started selling trackers some 8 years ago; however Apple’s take on item tracking is different, they follow a slightly different approach on locating and reporting missing items. To make up your mind we’ll explore each tracker’s ups and downs so that you can find what suits your lifestyle the most.
Compatibility is the primary decisive factor, AirTags only support IOS while Tiles work with both Android and IOS, so if you’re an android user there isn’t much of a choice here.
Apple’s AirTag comes in one size $29 for a single tracker or a $99 four pack.
Tile makes 4 different trackers starting from $20 to $35. AirTag’s main competitor, the Tile pro costs $35 and a four pack goes for $90.
The Tile mate is the smallest tracker they make and it costs $25 or $70 for a 4 pack, this makes it one of the cheapest trackers on the market, however it falls short next to the pro which has louder speakers, longer tracking and color options.
Tile slim looks like a credit card and is made to fit in flat spots like wallets, it costs $30.
The last Tile model is the Tile Sticker which has an adhesive as the name suggests and is made to stick to surfaces, the four pack sells for $60.
Both the AirTag and Tile have close range Bluetooth tracking through their native apps, (Find my) for AirTags and (Tile) app on IOS and Android, they have built in speakers for audio alerts. They also allow the community to help locate missing items.
You cannot track a tile without the tile app, Also AirTags cannot be tracked by Androids however they can still be identified using NFC to help recover it to the owner.
The AirTag uses an advanced U1 chip that enables (Ultra wideband) enhanced precision tracking features for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users and still maintains (Bluetooth tracking) compatibility to any IOS devices that can run IOS 14.5 Firmware.
When tracking a lost AirTag, the U1 chip can be used to precisely calculate the distance and direction to it using camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope, while utilizing sounds, haptics and visuals to quickly help locate the lost item, supported range is about 300 feet. AirTags can be found by other iPhone users and identified by Androids using NFC.
AirTags use a one year replaceable battery, support free custom engraving and is IP67 water resistant.
Tile uses Bluetooth tracking technology (ranging from 150ft to 300ft) and utilizes its apps “community find” feature to help track lost tiles. Once “Lost mode” is activated, the user will receive a notification if the tracker is found. Tile Mate and Pro are water resistant while Tile Slim and Sticker are “waterproof”. Tile offers a premium subscription for getting smart notifications, free battery replacement, location history, extended warranty and better customer support.
Airtags have a rounded design with shiny white plastic shell that overlaps the front and sides, on the back sits a polished metal disk that’s customizable with engravings of users choice.
AirTags can not inherently attach to items for tracking so unless you are dropping AirTags loose in a bag or a wallet, you will need to get an extra accessory to attach it to stuff like keys, luggage etc.
Tile Mate has a small square design with a hole to easily attach to keychain or other objects through a tie. The body is made of plastic and only comes in white, it comes with a speaker that’s smaller than the pro.
The Slim comes in a thin rectangular design that resembles a credit card, its low profile design works well in wallets and pockets. It also comes in various color options like the pro.
Tile Pro also comes in square design and has the same hole for attachment, but the body is made from metal instead of plastic, has a louder speaker and offers a variety of colors including Black, White, Rose Pink, Azurite Blue and Ruby Red.
Tile Sticker is a small round tracker that’s the closest looking to AirTags, however they come with an adhesive that sticks to surfaces, making them suitable for remotes, headphones, gadgets etc.
To achieve about one year of battery life, the AirTag and Tile Pro both use a replaceable CR2032 battery, while the Tile Mate uses a replaceable CR1632 battery. Users easily open their AirTag, Tile Mate, or Tile Pro and replace the battery when it runs out.
The Tile Slim and Tile Sticker’s batteries are not replaceable or rechargeable. When the battery dies, users have to dispose of their tracker and purchase a new one, however they do have a longer three-year battery life.
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