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Keychain Tracker Best Buy

The best key finder still comes from Tile, which has dominated this category for years. Tile's ongoing reign continues even after competing products from heavyweights like Apple and Samsung have arrived to take on Tile's trackers. (And Google could soon join the mix with its own tracking device). Nevertheless, our testing shows that Tile's key finders are still the tops for tracking down lost keys or any other valuable item.

keychain tracker best buy

We've tested a lot of different key trackers, and we've discovered that some are more deserving of a place at the end of your keychain than others. Certainly, the cheapest option isn't always the top choice for best key finder, though there are some value-focused options out there.

The latest version of the Tile Pro, the top key finder available from Tile, offers a new look from past editions. Instead of the square design you may have grown used to, the Tile Pro (2022) now looks more like a traditional key fob with a rectangular shape and rounded edges at one end. It's not as stylish as past Tile trackers, but it's still a very capable tracker.

And that's why the Tile Pro remains our pick for the best key finder you can buy. It's got the best range of any key finder we've tested with a good, loud alarm. A two-way find feature helps you locate your phone if you've misplaced it just by pressing the Tile logo twice on the key finder. And the Tile Pro's battery remains easy to replace after about a year of service.

Tile continues to improve the software that accompanies its trackers. This year, Tile added an anti-theft mode which makes it hard for thieves to scan for Tile's trackers. That increases the odds you'll be able to recover a stolen item. (Anti-theft mode is available for all the Tile devices included in our best key finder rankings.)

If you've got the previous version of the Tile Pro from 2020, there's no need to upgrade, as the feature set remains as strong as ever. But if you have an older Tile or are looking for the best key finder around, your search should end with this latest edition of the Tile Pro.

Tile made some great improvements to the latest addition of the Tile Mate, which now performs more reliably than its predecessor. We consistently reached 200 feet when range testing this Bluetooth-based tracker, which is pretty impressive. The Tile Pro is a more fully featured device, but the Tile Mate costs $10 less, making it a great value for bargain hunters.

All Tile trackers work with both Android devices and iPhones, and the Tile Mate costs less than competing products from Samsung and Apple. That's why you should consider this key finder if you want a low-cost device that still delivers solid range and an audible alarm.

Owners of Samsung phones looking for the best key finder should consider the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag alongside the Tile Pro. Like the Tile Pro, the SmartTag fared well in our range testing, as we were able to stay connected to our keys from up to 225 feet away. We can also point to some real-world successes with the SmartTag, as our tester was able to find keys that were left behind using last-seen data from the companion SmartThings app.

There's a unique component to the SmartTag that other key finders don't boast. Because the key finder connects to Samsung's SmartThings app, you can use it to automate some smart home features with a press of the tracker's button. Be aware that this version of the SmartTag doesn't support Ultra Wideband connectivity for more accurate tracking like Apple AirTag does; for that feature, you'll need to pay up for the SmartTag Plus, which costs an extra $10.

SmartTag compatibility is limited to Samsung Galaxy phones running Android 8.0 or later, so if you've got another handset, you want to consider some of the other best key finder options. But Samsung's smart tracker is a perfect companion to devices like the latest Galaxy S models.

If you've got an iPhone, especially one of the more recent models, you'll want to try Apple's AirTag. This key tracker pairs with your iPhone over Bluetooth to help you track down lost items in the iPhone's built-in Find My app. If you've got an iPhone 11 or later, you can tap into the Precision Finding feature, which uses the U1 Ultra Wideband chip in newer Apple phones to provide more detailed directions on finding lost items.

Precision Finding is impressive, but perhaps the best thing about Apple's AirTag is how easy it is to set up. Our AirTag paired easily with an iOS 14.5-powered iPhone, and the Find My interface is a pleasure to use. (For more, check out our guide on what different AirTag chimes mean.)

AirTag lacks some of the functionality found in many other best key finders, such as two-way find features to locate a misplaced phone. More worrying, privacy features on AirTag needed some fine-tuning initially, as alerts that an unauthorized AirTag is trying to track you are slow in coming. Apple has released updates that try to address the problem (though Android users still have limited protection at best). We have a guide on how to tell if you're being unwittingly tracked by an AirTag and what to do about it.

The range of the Chipolo One is a little disappointing, as we had a hard time keeping our phone connected to the key finder beyond 50 feet. That means the Chipolo One is best suited for finding in a small area like your home as opposed to more spread out locations. Still, at $25, the Chipolo One costs less than the Tile Pro and has better features than the similarly priced Tile Mate. We think its the best key finder alternative if you don't want to pay up for the Tile Pro.

Given the issues we had with the Tile Slim, it may be worth considering Chipolo's wallet tracker. The Chipolo Card Spot costs the same as the Tile Slim but taps into Apple's Find My network to increase the chances of you tracking down a lost wallet or purse. We're currently testing the Chipolo Card Spot so stay tuned for our full review.

With its glossy, white plastic front and metal back, the AirTag looks and feels a lot like a pin-back button you might put on a jean jacket or backpack. The diameter is a little larger than a quarter, and the tracker is actually about a millimeter or two thicker than many iPhones, although its curved design makes it feel thinner. You have the option to add custom engraving when you order from Apple, with up to four characters (letters and/or numbers) or selected emoji; if you buy the four-pack, you can get different text on each. Noticeably absent is any sort of attachment mechanism such as a key-ring hole or adhesive back. Instead, you have to buy an extra accessory. Of course, Apple sells a handful of its own, and plenty of third-party companies sell all sorts of designs, as well.

Orbit offers a number of tracker styles, including the Orbit Glasses tracker, which fits on eyeglasses or sunglasses. Unfortunately the Orbit network is just too limited for us to recommend choosing Orbit over Tile. Anecdotally, I lost a pair of sunglasses that were outfitted with the Orbit Glasses tracker in busy and tech-heavy New York City. And despite marking them as lost in the app in hopes of an Orbit user passing by and finding them, I never received a notice that the sunglasses were found.

Slide one into your wallet or purse, link it up to a keychain, or even drop one in your car or laptop bag. Pair the tracker with your phone where it will then work with an app to help you find it should it go missing.

Some trackers are crowdsourced, like those from Tile. What that means is Tile users can help each other find missing or lost items. For example, if you misplaced your keys and another Tile user is within range, the app alerts you to the location. You can do the same for another user in reverse, where keeping the Tile app open on your phone can help someone locate a lost or missing item.

GPS trackers require line-of-sight to work, so are better suited to outdoor items or moving objects. Vehicles are a common one for these because they allow you to track in real-time without the need for crowdsourcing. Range is virtually unlimited, so long as a satellite can triangulate the location.

Where Bluetooth trackers generally run on small batteries that need replacing, usually after one year, GPS trackers are larger and could operate on either batteries or a power source, like a 12-volt socket in a vehicle.

Those apps warn about lower batteries, with suggestions on when to replace them, negating the chance that you use a dead tracker. With a timely replacement, any item tracker will continue to do its job of improving the chances of finding something lost or misplaced. 041b061a72


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