Apple announced the AirTag at its ‘Spring Loaded’ event last month. AirTag is a simple tracking solution from Apple that helps you keep track of things like keys, wallets, and bags. The Bluetooth tracker from Apple is now available to order, but is it the only Bluetooth tracker you should consider? These are the top 5 AirTag alternatives that you should consider buying.
Bluetooth item trackers aren’t new at all. The idea behind Bluetooth tracking is simple; it just uses Bluetooth and GPS to keep track of things and has been around for years — Tile started back in 2014. These object trackers attach to important things like keys, wallets, bags, and purses, and then show up on your iPhone via an app. But with Apple’s entry into the Bluetooth tracking ecosystem, things are about to change.
Before we move on and take a look at AirTag alternatives, check out what Apple has incorporated into AirTag and its best features.
Here is the list of the best Apple AirTag alternatives to buy in 2021:
1. Tile Mate
Priced $4 less than Apple AirTag, Tile Mate proves to a worthy AirTag competitor. Tile has established a strong foothold over the Bluetooth tracking market, and the company offers quite a few models to choose from. Tile Mate is the cheapest offering from the company but offers plenty of useful features.
Like AirTag, Tile Mate uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to connect to your smartphone, irrespective of it being an Android smartphone or an iPhone. It has a range of about 200 feet which should suffice most users. If Tile Mate is not in your phone’s vicinity, you can put the Tile into ‘Lost’ mode so that you can track the Mate via other Tile users. On the contrary, AirTag relies on Apple’s vast Find My Network.
It’s powered by a standard CR1632 battery which is user-replaceable. But some users have reported issues opening the back of the key finder to replace the battery. AirTag’s battery can be replaced easily by pressing the back and rotating it. One advantage Tile devices have over AirTag is the Tile button. If you’re not able to find your phone, you can just press the Tile button on the Mate, and it will ring your device.
And yes, you can attach Tile devices directly using the hole of the device. With AirTag, you either rely on accessories, or you have to keep it in your bag, purse, or wallet. You can even pair the Mate to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to ring it up without even lifting your phone.
However, there are two downsides of Tile Mate in comparison to AirTag. The Mate features IP55 water and dust resistance, which is a bit weak compared to AirTag’s IP67 rating. Moreover, there is no Smart Alert feature included with the Mate. You have to subscribe to this Premium feature in the app that will cost an additional $2.50 per month (when paid annually).
➤ Buy Now – Tile Mate | $25 for one, $48 for a two-pack, and $62 for four-pack
2. Tile Pro
Tile Pro is a slightly costlier item tracker from Tile. It costs $6 more than Apple AirTag, has everything that Tile Mate offers, plus few more ‘Pro’ features. It has double the coverage of Tile Mate at about 400 feet and the loudest ring of all Tile models.
Unlike Tile Mate, you can skip the $2.5 per month Tile Premium subscription for Smart Alerts. You can also pair the Tile Pro to the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so that you can ring the device even if your phone isn’t around. It has a user-replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery, which Tile says should work ‘over a year.’
If you still haven’t made up your mind, check out our AirTag vs. Tile explainer, where we go into depth about both item trackers.
➤ Buy Now – Tile Pro | $35 for one, $60 for two-pack, and $89 for four-pack
3. Chipolo One and Chipolo One Spot
Chipolo is yet another company that pops up when looking for an item tracker. It’s smaller than Tile, is available in six colors, does not rely on any accessory to attach it to things like keys, and available for $4 less than AirTag. Chipolo also claims that it has one of the loudest rings — 120dB, to be specific — of all the Bluetooth item trackers.
Chipolo One works on both Android and iPhone and sets up easily via the Chipolo app and Bluetooth. Chipolo touts that the One has the longest battery life of two years in comparison to all Bluetooth trackers, even though it has the same CR2032 coin cell user-replaceable battery.
Unlike Tile, Chipolo does not require you to pay for any Premium subscription for the Smart Alert feature. You can directly configure it in the Chipolo app. You specify a maximum distance on the app. As soon as your Chipolo tracker crosses a certain distance, you’ll get an alert on your phone and a loud beep on the Chipolo device also, reminding you that the tracker is not around.
But, like all the other AirTag alternatives, if you lose your Chipolo One, you have to rely on other people around your tracker to have the Chipolo app installed on their smartphone to relay its location. This is where Chipolo One Spot comes in.
Chipolo One Spot combines the best of both worlds. It has all the features of Chipolo One, and it works with Apple’s Find My Network. So if you lose your Chipolo One Spot, you can track it via the Find My app, just like an AirTag. Its setup process is exactly like an AirTag and has other AirTag features like ‘Lost Mode.’
The only front where Chipolo One Spot loses to AirTag is the lack of ultrawide-band support. Therefore this tracker lacks the ‘Precision Tracking’ feature. Chipolo One Spot isn’t available to order yet — pre-orders are going live sometime later this month. Multiple reports say that the tracker will be priced below AirTag, making it a worthy AirTag competitor.
➤ Buy Now – Chipolo One | $25 for one, $75 for four-pack
4. Tile Sticker
If you’re looking for a smaller and cheap tracker that sticks to almost any surface, you should consider Tile Sticker. It’s very small at only 27mm width and 7.3mm thickness.
The reason it’s called Sticker is that it attaches to almost anything via the 3M adhesive bond at its back. Tile says that the adhesive should work for three years, which coincidentally is how long its in-built battery lasts. Even after having an adhesive at the back, Tile has managed to give an IPX7 rating to the Tile Sticker, making it waterproof up to 3ft/1m for up to 30 minutes.
It’s has a range of 150 feet, which for its size is quite decent. There’s also an in-built speaker in the device, which makes a sound as soon as the tracker crosses a certain distance. However, like Tile Mate, you have to subscribe to Tile Premium to unlock the Smart Alert feature.
➤ Buy Now – Tile Sticker | $25 for one, $40 for two-pack, and $55 for four-pack
5. T-Mobile SyncUp
Announced just a few days ago, T-Mobile’s SyncUp is already looking like a worthy competitor to Apple’s AirTag. Even though the price of the T-Mobile SyncUp is more than double of the Apple AirTag, it has some features that make it rank above the AirTag.
Unlike AirTag, which relies on Bluetooth and other Apple devices to be tracked, SyncUp Tracker has its own LTE connection and GPS chip, making it trackable from any part of the world. Other features of the T-Mobile SyncUp include IP67 water and dust resistance, optical sensor, and virtual boundary, which alerts you every time your tracker leaves a certain area.
However, there’s one caveat with the SyncUp, apart from its hefty price for an item tracker. It uses a non-replaceable 900 mAh battery, which has to be charged every week. T-Mobile says that the battery of the SyncUp should last for seven to ten days, after which you’ll have to charge it via the Micro-USB port.
Moreover, you have to add a data plan worth $5/month to your T-Mobile account for SyncUp’s data usage. SyncUp is available only for T-Mobile customers right now. The company says it is working with Sprint, Magenta Prepaid, and Metro, and it should be available for customers of these carriers soon.
➤ Buy Now – T-Mobile SyncUp | $60 for one
Which Apple AirTag alternative are you going for? Let us know in the comments section below!