Tile have been in the business of creating trackers for a while now and the mate is probably the one the everyday user will pick up. Read on for my review of click here for the video review.
I recently picked up a Tile Mate to throw in my suitcase for a recent trip with the hope of being able to track down my case were it to go missing and have a heads up when it was about to arrive on baggage claim. After two weeks of use what’s my verdict? Read on to find out!
Let’s start with an introduction to Tile devices.
Tile have been in the business of creating trackers for a while and currently have 3 in their range, the Pro, the Mate and the Slim. The Pro and Slim retail at £30 and the Mate at £20 (although you can pick them up for about £15 on amazon or cheaper in bulk).
The Mate is pretty small and has a replaceable CR1632 battery which (tile claim) should last for a year. The design is pretty simple with rounded edges and a white front with a tile button on and a grey rear with a speaker and battery compartment. It also has a decent size hole so you can attach it to your keys, bag, cat, dog, bike (or whatever you like!)
But how does it function?
The Tile Mate works in one of two ways.
Firstly (and most importantly) it works as a bluetooth tracker.
Setting up the Tile is done easily using the Tile app and you can give it a name and assign a product type to it.
Once it’s set up you can view your Tile devices on the smartphone app or on the Apple Watch App. From here you can choose ‘Find’ to make the Tile ring (if you’re in range)…this is surprisingly loud and let’s you customise the ringtone.
You can also view the most recent location and this is where the tile gets really cool because it could be the last time it connected to your phone or it could be an updated location courtesy of the Tile community.
The Tile community is basically everyone who owns a Tile and Tile devices will update their location when another Tile user is close by. This means if you were to have your bike stolen but it was to be near a member of the community you could have an idea of where it is (or at least where it had been). The Tile community is constantly growing and in the medium sized town I live in there are 461 Tile members nearby (at time of writing).
On the right is an example of my Tile being picked up by the community in our hotel room a couple of weeks ago.
You can also mark your Tile as lost to get a notification when it surfaces! (I did this for fun at baggage claim!)
Within the app you can also set up Siri shortcuts allowing you to find your tile using your voice and share your tile with someone else.
Tile also have a premium service which costs $3 a month or $30 for a year and gives you things like a new battery each year, extended warranty, unlimited sharing and location history (opposed to the last known location with the free version). I’m not convinced this service is really worth that much and so it’s not something I’ve signed up to!
The second function of the tile is to help you find your phone. A double tap on the Tile button on the device itself will make your phone ring…handy if you know where your Tile is but not where your phone is.
In summary, the Tile Mate is an affortable and very very good bluetooth tracker that I can’t really fault.