Which jacket was I wearing yesterday? Are they in that one purse? How about the backpack? Did I leave them in my pants that are now IN THE DRYER? Noooo.
—Me, every morning.
There are a lot of useless gadgets on the market — Dash buttons for binders, $700 juicers, internet-connected laser pointers for cats, and the like – but Tile isn’t one of them. It can find your stuff when memory fails you.
Bluetooth trackers, like Tile, are a pretty elegant tech solution for an everyday problem. They’re small, typically no larger than a tin of lip balm. Almost every tracker has the same features (including Trackr, Chipolo, and, of course, Tile): the ability to ring the item from your phone, display the item’s last known or current location on an app, reverse-find a phone by pressing on the tracker itself, and tap into a network of the device’s users to crowdsource your search when the tracker goes out of Bluetooth range.
I bought my Tile more than a year ago. Of the three trackers I considered, Tile had the most Facebook likes and therefore, perhaps, the most users (“millions,” according to the company)?? Yeah. Idk. Those users, I figured, could come in handy when I lose them for good. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But even on my own, Tile has come in handy more times than I’d prefer to admit. My boyfriend has been driven INSANE by the 90-decibel Tile chirp I activate every morning to find my door key.
The company sent a review unit over, on loan, and I’ve been playing with it and trying to lose my stuff ever since.
It’s fundamentally the same product as the original Tile, but much slimmer and minus a key ring. There’s an integrated button you can double tap to locate your phone, and it will also appear in the app with a map of its current or last known location. It has the same IP5 splash-proof rating and 100-foot Bluetooth LE range.
The first is price. Slim is $30 for one or $100 for four, while Tile is $25 for one or $70 for four.
Tile Slim also includes four new ringtones: Bionic Birdie, the Classic Call (that my BF wants to destroy), Pep in Your Step, and Blues for Slim. The new sounds, unfortunately, are not rolling out to the original Tile.
Lastly, Slim is designed to be slipped into tight spaces, versus attached with a carabiner or keyring. Adhesives are $5 for a three-pack and are sold separately.
It fits super nicely in the back folio pocket of my Moleskine.
It’s great for chunky wallets, passports, notebooks, and weird backpack pockets. If you prefer a money clip, however, you probably shouldn’t get the Tile Slim. It’s still a little too thick for wallet minimalists.
The Tile Slim is also slightly quieter than the second-generation original Tile at 82 decibels (vs. 90) but still audible when buried at the bottom of your laundry basket.
Trackr already offers a wallet version of its product, but it’s almost twice as thick as the Tile Slim.
And, unlike Trackr, the battery in Tile products can’t be removed or replaced, which means that users must recycle or “reTile” them after one year. Customers can sign up for the reTile program to trade their old Tiles for new Tiles at a discount. The Tile Slim will be eligible for reTile at $21, compared to the original $30 price.
Ultimately, if you’re a Tile user, you’ll benefit from more Tiles in more places. I personally have never used the Tile community to locate a missing item, but do get “You just helped someone find a lost Tile” notifications almost every day. So, YOU’RE WELCOME, whoever keeps losing their stuff at Market and 6th.
Tile location tracking is already offered as a part of Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl app. But Nomad power banks, EcoReco scooters, and Inspire wallets will be the first consumer products to take advantage of the Tile platform. Companies that partner with Tile will receive location insights to better understand how and where customers are using their products, which doesn’t sound creepy at all.
In any case, it’s a good day to be a Tile user.