Apple AirTags offer an easy and cheap way to track tons of everyday objects. The only problem is they’re locked to Apple products. Android users have several options, but there’s one that stands above the rest.
These simple Bluetooth-enabled devices can be attached to things and you can track their location with an app. Android users might miss out on the easy system-level integration of AirTags on the iPhone, but they aren’t without options.
The Best: Tile Mate
Tile is undoubtedly the name most people think of when it comes to Bluetooth trackers, and that’s for good reason. The company has been around for a while and it offers several different models to choose from. The one we think is best for most people is the Tile Mate.
Like AirTags, the Tile Mate uses Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to connect to your Android phone or tablet. The range of the Tile Mate is advertised as 200 feet, but you’ll probably get slightly less in the real world. That’s still really good and should be enough for most situations.
What happens if you’re not in that range? The Tile app will show you where the tracker was when last connected. If that’s not enough, you can mark it “Lost” in the app and crowdsource other Tile users to help you find it.
Older Tile models were essentially disposable since the batteries couldn’t be replaced, but that’s no longer the case. The Tile Mate uses a standard CR1632 lithium battery that can easily and cheaply be replaced yourself.
The Tile Mate is slightly bigger than an Apple AirTag, but it has a key-ring hole so you don’t need any extra accessories to clip it to something. Unfortunately, the Tile Mate is only available in white, but there are 3rd-party cases available.
For $3 per month, you can subscribe to “Tile Premium” for some additional features. Those include free battery replacements (a 5-pack only costs about $6), a longer warranty (up from 1 to 3 years), 30-day location history, unlimited location sharing, more alert options, and text support.
All in all, the Tile Mate is a very solid counterpart to AirTags, and it has the flexibility to work with more than just Apple products. Tile Mate costs $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 great reputation, several different products to choose from, and a big network of users. However, if for some reason you don’t want to go that route, the Chipolo One is another good option.
Chipolo One offers all of the same features as the Tile Mate for the same price. It’s round instead of square, but similar in size and has a keyring hole as well. Chipolo does offer a nice selection of color choices, which is a bonus.
The one benefit you’ll 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 that feature with Tile. We don’t think that’s enough to opt for the Chipolo One, but your use case may vary.
In general, the Chipolo One is a perfectly fine Bluetooth tracker, but it’s hard to beat Tile’s big user base when you need help finding something.
What About Samsung Galaxy SmartTags?
If you’re an Android user with a Samsung Galaxy device you may be interested in Samsung’s own Bluetooth tracker. Unfortunately, the company’s Galaxy SmartTags don’t have many benefits.
While they have similar functionality to AirTags and Tiles, and are priced closely, Galaxy SmartTags are very limited. For one, they only work with Samsung devices, not even other Android devices. They also lack some of the sensors found in the Tile.
Unless you get a Galaxy SmartTag for free with the purchase of a Samsung phone, we think you’re much better off with the Tile Mate or Chipolo One.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Samsung's own Bluetooth tracker only works with Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
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