And-Everything-Else
Love, Life And Everything Else 

REVIEW OF THE BEST BLUETOOTH TRACKING DEVICES

In this review of the best Bluetooth trackers, we will compare a range of personal tracking devices from the cheapest iTag to the more expensive Tile.

Bluetooth trackers are meant for finding whatever object that one attaches the device to.  A common usage is to attach the tracker to a keychain. Using a smartphone and mobile App, one can then easily find the keychain, up to a range of no more than 75 ft. The more useful feature is the reverse tracking of the smartphone. Many people misplace their smartphone as well. However, not all Bluetooth trackers have this reverse tracking feature.


iTag Bluetooth Tracker

We start with one of the cheapest tracking device on the market. Cheap does not mean poor quality, as we found to our delight when we get our hands on the iTag Bluetooth Tracker. There are many vendors selling similar looking devices on Qoo10. We zoomed in on a Bluetooth tracker from nanyangvillage.com.  The mobile App is available for iPhone and Android (OS 4.3 and above). The App can connect a smartphone to up to 10 devices. The range is up to 75 feet if unobstructed. In a typical home setting, the range is halved. So many people are mistaken that it is not practical. Once, you move out of range, your smartphone will sound an alert. You can silence the alert and carry on with your activities. When you move back into range, the device will be automatically linked up again. The practical way to use this device is to switch off the “Anti-Loss” feature on the App when at home. Just use the “Find Me” feature for home use.  The App also has a “Do Not Disturb” option. This way, you will not get any alert on your smartphone when you move out of range. However, the Bluetooth tracker will still emit a beeping sound. Overall, the device is well made and the App is feature-packed. With a battery life of 6 months, we rated this device 4 out of 5.

Feature and Function                   3.5/5.0

Performance                                   4.0/5.0

Value for Money                            5.0/5.0


Protag Duet

The Duet by Protag has the same function as iTag with two additional features. The first is a radar that uses bars and buzzing to indicate how close a lost Duet is to your smartphone.  The second is that the anti-loss alarm will not sound if the Duet and the smartphone are connected to the same wi-fi network. This cut down the alarms when you move around the house. We rated this device highly for features and performance but at US$29.90 from Amazon.com, it is a bit expensive.  So we rate it a 3.7.



Feature and Function                       4.0/5.0

Performance                                   4.0/5.0

Value for Money                             3.0/5.0


Pally

Pally Smart Finder boost of a 2+ year battery life and very loud (90dB) alert sound. The batteries are standard AAAA batteries. In the open, operating range is around 70 feet.

If you are a Bluetooth 4.0 software developer, Pally Smart Finder’s firmware can be upgraded wirelessly for other usage, for example, home automation and security. Well, we are not software developer, so that feature is lost on us.

At US$24.90 from Amazon.com, it is just a tad cheaper than the Duet. We give it the same rating as the Duet, a 3.6.




Feature and Function                       4.0/5.0 

Performance                                   4.0/5.0

Value for Money                            3.0/5.0




Tile

The Tile has great performance. Unfortunately, it has a non-replaceable battery and can last for one year only. So you are paying US$20 for one year usage. One great feature is that it promise to find your lost belonging by leveraging on a community of users. Each Tile connected iPhone is a node in a network that extends the range of the Bluetooth tracker far beyond its own range of 150 feet. Tile was first launched for iPhone. The Android App was released later but supports OS 4.4 and above only. It is not compatible with the older Android smartphones. Pity about the cost. We think that this is practical for tracking some really expensive stuff and not just your keys or smartphone. We rate it 3.8 and hope that the price will drop drastically soon.

Feature and Function                   4.5/5.0

Performance                                   5.0/5.0

Value for Money                            2.0/5.0


Which is the Best Bluetooth Tracker?

Is it worth the money? I opine that spending below $10 for such a gadget is well worth the money. It gives me a peace of mind. My wife avoided many occasions of frustration because she can now easily find her iPhone around the house.

In term of features, there is little to choose between the more expensive brands and the generic ones. Why pay more? The highly touted Tile is even more expensive if you consider that you have to renew your subscription yearly. What do you think?