"Tech Reviews" aren't something I do on here very often. However, interestingly enough, my iPhone SE vs. iPhone 5 Review is, to this day, one of my most read/searched posts on my entire blog.
I don't do tech reviews very often (see: ever), even though I am decently qualified to do so. I wouldn't even be writing this if I hadn't heard an ad for TrackR yesterday while listening to a podcast.
TrackR is basically a Tile knockoff. Or maybe TrackR came first. I don't know, and I don't care... Tile is the more popular version of the two. Basically, they are both "Bluetooth trackers."
***If you don't know what a Bluetooth tracker is, click this link***
As someone who bought (actually, was gifted) Tile over a year ago, I was rather annoyed to hear this company hail themselves as the absolute saving grace for any forgetful person, and even claim their users will "never lose anything ever again."
Give me a break.
I am very forgetful person, and I can tell you, in my one year of using Tile, I can count on one hand the amount of times it has helped me.
Don't get me wrong, Tile also advertise themselves in this way. I am sick of the way these Bluetooth trackers market themselves. They have a very limited scope of what they can actually do, and they are by no means the cure-all for a space cadet.
I have a Tile stuck (literally, stuck. I cant get it off) to the outside of my laptop, so I get asked pretty often, "Does that work? Do you like it?"
There are quite a few stipulations that most people don't know about the device. Before anyone purchases a Tile, they should know these facts:
1: Tile expires after a year
and so does TrackR. That means that after a year, the battery "dies," and the Tile can no longer be used. It become useless, and -get this- you need to buy new ones! That is right! You spend $30 on a tiny piece of plastic (or $100 for four tiny pieces of plastic) and they are useless in a year!
2: You have to be like... really close to your phone to ping a Tile
They claim Tile has a 100 foot range, but realistically, it is about 30ish feet. This isn't helpful because the map it gives you a very general area where your device is located, and then you have to walk around, attempting to ping it before it can be found. Why wouldn't you just look for it? For this reason, I think Tile would work for someone who lives in a tiny apartment. For anything larger, not worth it.
3. Your Bluetooth has to be on for it to work
If you turn off your Bluetooth (because it is a huge battery drain), your phone will stop tracking your Tiles. I am also not confident, but you might also need the app to be running in the background? Not positive on that one, but sometimes when I closed out of the app, the tracking would stop working. Which leads me to my next point...
4. Not dependable... so why pay money for it?
If I lost something I could theoretically look up where it was online using Tile, but what if that was just the last place my Bluetooth was turned on? If I lost my keys or wallet, I would never count on being able to find them with my Tile.
Bonus good point: As more people get swindled, the community grows, and that can help you find your stuff
So, if someone else uses Tile and has their bluetooth on and passes your Tiles, it updates their location. For this reason, when I am in a crowded place - like the airport, or a mall - I frequently get notifications that my "Tile location has been updated anonymously by another user," which is nice.
However, for this to help you find something you lost, someone who uses Tile would have to walk within 30 feet of you lost item..... isn't it just more likely that someone who doesn't use Tile would just see it?
Now you'll read stories that Tile has found luggage in other countries, and lost dogs... and I am sure that is true.... but for the day to day, "Damnit, where are my keys?" stuff, Tile just isn't convenient, or worth the price.
It had to be said. Let me know if you guys like these tech reviews, I am happy to do more!
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