Tile pro key finder review: A Bluetooth tracker for iPhone and Android phone users alike – The Independent
Almost a decade before Apple revealed the AirTag device tracker, fellow Californian company Tile created a very similar product. Simply called Tile, the device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and to your keychain, bag or other possessions. Then, if you misplace that item, the Tile app can be used to track it down.
Tile has expanded its product range several times over the years, with numerous generations featuring improvements to battery life, water resistance, Bluetooth range and the loudness of the built-in speaker used to help reunite you with your lost things.
The latest flagship of the 2022 range is the Tile pro. It has a larger footprint than its simpler siblings, but boasts a tough metal chassis, a year of battery life from its replaceable, coin-style battery, and Tile’s longest Bluetooth range yet, of 120m. It also has the company’s loudest speaker.
If a misplaced Tile is within Bluetooth range, the app can be used to play a loud alarm from the Tile itself, helping you find it. If it’s out of Bluetooth range, you can call upon help from the wider Tile Network, where you are alerted via the app and shown the approximate location of the lost Tile when a fellow Tile user’s phone comes within Bluetooth range of it.
Tile once had this market to itself, but now faces stiff competition from Apple and the AirTag, as well as the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag and fellow possession-tracker company Chipolo. How does the 2022 Tile pro perform? Read on to find out.
How we tested
After connecting the Tile pro to our iPhone, we hooked it onto our keys and got on with our lives for the next few days. That’s the thing with trackers like this; once they are set up, you can mostly forget about them, safe in the knowledge that they’ll spring into action when you need them.
We can’t yet speak for the claimed one-year battery life. However, we have owned various models of Tile since 2016 and always find the battery lasts for slightly longer than the manufacturer’s claim.
The latest-generation Tile pro is available to buy now and is priced at £25 (Amazon.co.uk), making it slightly cheaper than the Apple AirTag (£29, Apple.com). Tile also sells bundles of its products for discounted prices; a pack of two costs £49.99 and a pack of four is £89.99 (Tile.com).
The Tile pro is larger than the Tile mate and sticker, and bulkier than the Apple AirTag too. It measures 58mm x 32mm x 7.5mm, and has an integrated hole for hooking onto your keys, bag or other items.
Tile offers the pro in black or white, and the only notable design feature is the Tile logo on the front, which doubles as a button. This is used for connecting the Tile to your smartphone during the initial set-up process, and a double-press can be used to play an alert from your phone, helping you find it.
Unlike the all-plastic Tile mate, the pro has a study metal frame to which the plastic front and back panels attach. A hole for hooking into your keys is cut into this frame, and the whole thing feels very well made. We think it’s extremely unlikely that the Tile pro would become detached from whatever you hook …….