Smart Lost & Found: The Best Bluetooth Trackers

I’m one of those people that’s always losing things. I’ll be ready to leave and meet with friends for brunch, when suddenly, I’m running 20 minutes behind because I can’t find my car keys or my purse. I lose things in couch cushions, in the space between my desk and the wall, you name it! There’s no feeling worse than knowing you just had something in your hand and now you can’t find it.  It is maddening, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way!

Of course, those frantic searches could be avoided with a Bluetooth tracker. The tiny devices attach to your important belongings (your phone, car keys, purse, you name it) and help you locate them when they disappear!

 

What Are Bluetooth trackers?

A Bluetooth tracker or tag is a small, thin device that attaches to your most important possessions and allows you to ping (check) their location. It’s super useful if you ever misplace an item that’s attached to a tracker, which is why you should use them with important items. In the event that something gets truly lost, like left at a restaurant or on a park bench, your odds of finding it will be much higher if you have one of these smart products attached.

 

Why Do You Need a Bluetooth Tracker?

Being able to recover items when they are lost is invaluable. These simple devices could be the reason you recover a bag full of your child’s favorite toys, a cell phone with sentimental pictures on it, or a briefcase full of irreplaceable work notes.

 

Related: Best Fitness Wearables to Live Healthier

 

How to Install and Use Bluetooth Trackers

Bluetooth trackers don’t have a fancy or complex installation process. All you have to do is attach them to whatever you want to track, then you sync the tag with a mobile app, and you’re ready to go!

 

How Much Do Bluetooth Trackers Cost?

Most Bluetooth trackers are inexpensive, which is great if you end up loving them and want to buy a whole bunch to attach them to everything! The products on this list range in price from $20-$40, so they’re affordable enough to order in bundles, if you’re so inclined.

 

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For this guide, we’ve conducted extensive research, looking at over 30 of the top Bluetooth trackers on the market. Here are 10 of the best Bluetooth trackers in 2021:

 

The Best Bluetooth Trackers and Item Locators in 2021

 

Based on our research, here are the best Bluetooth trackers in the market:

 

1. Most Popular: Tile Mate (2020)

Tile Mate 2020 Item Finder

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A tiny device with powerful search and rescue capabilities.

 

The Tile Mate 2020 can make your phone ring even when it is on silent, which makes it much simpler to narrow down which pile of laundry you accidentally left it in! It’s small, easy to setup, and the app is super easy to use. Moreover, Tile comes with a replaceable battery that is guaranteed to last for up to a year. It’s easy to replace, too.

To sound an alarm on your phone, you can double-tap the physical button on the tag, which helps you locate it in crowded places if you left it sitting somewhere. A unique Community Find feature keeps you updated on the location of whatever you’re tracking through a crowdsourced system. It’s unique to the Tile brand.

 

Why you should get it

If you always misplace things and you travel quite a lot, Tile Mate is the tracker that you should go with. That’s because it has a huge community all over the world that could help you find your lost stuff. Many users love the small size, and also note that the device makes their lives easier.

 

Pros

  • Tiny, at just over 1 square inch
  • Ring your phone, even when it’s on silent
  • Strong lost & found community feature

 

Cons

  • Limited range (300ft)

 

Related: The Best Smart Luggage For Every Kind of Travel

 

2. Best Design: Apple AirTags

 

Apple AirTag 4 Pack

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Apple’s stylish take on the Bluetooth tracker.

 

Apple has finally announced its entry into the Bluetooth tracker market with the unveiling of the AirTag. Like any of its other products, the AirTag is designed to integrate seamlessly with the iOS ecosystem. Using the Find My app — Apple’s version of the device locator service — you can track your devices via a GPS interface.

The AirTag has a built-in speaker that can be used to play a sound, to locate it, or to receive alerts. This allows you to ping the tracker remotely, so you can find it easier thanks to the audible call-outs. The latest iPhone models also support precision tracking, which will tell you how close you are to the device and whatever it’s attached to.

A proprietary “Lost Mode” allows the trackers to be pinged by other Apple and iOS devices on the network, which is similar to the Tile trackers. This vastly expands the functionality and reliability of the trackers, allowing you to find devices even when they are not within Bluetooth range of your device(s).

Other features include AR-enabled visualizations and tracking, support for emoji and name engravings, a year’s worth of battery-life, and water-resistance.

 

AirTag pre-orders went live on April 23 2021, and the trackers will begin shipping out to customers on Friday, April 30 2021.

 

Why You Should Get It

If you’re already deeply invested in the iOS ecosystem, and regularly use the Find My app it makes sense to go with Apple’s AirTag — you’re already there. Plus, it’s water-resistant, has excellent battery life, and did we mention it looks fantastic?

 

Pros

  • Apple design you know and love
  • Made for the iOS ecosystem
  • Track using Find My App
  • Wide network tracking with Apple Lost Mode

 

Cons

  • No built-in keychain loop

 

 

3. Best with LTE: Samsung SmartThings

Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker

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Track your valuables over a cellular network.

 

To track your items just about anywhere, go with Samsung SmartThings Tracker . As long as there’s a cellular network in range, you can track your item(s). You can also configure geo-fence zones, that will tell you when the tag enters or leaves that area.

The best use for the tracker is to keep tabs on your naughty pets! You don’t have to worry if they get through your fence. Just attach one of these babies to their collar and you can find them wherever they go! Another practical application is to keep an eye on your kids. What’s more, if they have the tracker, they can press the power button twice to send their location to you, in real-time, letting you know it’s time to pick them up from school or a friends’ house. The button can also be used to send SOS alerts during an emergency situation.

 

Why you should get it

If you want a basic item locator that does more than just tracking, then Samsung SmartThings is the one for you. It can send SOS alerts during emergencies. It’s durable and water-resistant, so it’s an excellent choice for tracking your kids, too.

 

Pros

  • Cellular connectivity (LTE GPS)
  • Durable, waterproof, and weatherproof
  • Get alerts when the tracker leaves or enters personalized zones
  • Up to 10 days of battery life
  • 1-year data plan included

 

Cons

  • Not compatible with old Android phones

 

4. Best Selfie Support: Honey Key Finder

Honey Key Finder

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Snap a selfie. Keep an eye on your stuff.

 

The Honey Key Finder eliminates the need to lug around a selfie stick, because, in addition to working as a tracker, it also connects with your phone’s camera. With the push of a button you can snap a group photo without running back and forth between your phone and the photo zone! It will track items up to a 200-feet radius and relies on Bluetooth to do so.

It has a loud buzzer function along with a bright LED that flashes to aid in finding the tag, or item attached to it. And the device is made of surgical-grade stainless steel so it’s ultra-durable. It can certainly take a beating and keep on trackin’!

 

Why you should get it

Besides helping you find your keys, phone, and other important stuff, this little tag can be also used to trigger your camera (cool for selfies).

 

Pros

  • Replaceable Battery
  • 200-ft Range
  • Remotely control your phone’s camera
  • Bright LED and loud buzzer

 

Cons

  • The instructions are not detailed or intuitive

 

 

5. Best Range: Tile Pro

 

Tile Pro (2020) Item Finder

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One of the most powerful trackers, with 400-feet of coverage.

 

The Tile Pro 2020 has a range of up to 400-feet, and it will beep loudly when tracked. There are different ringtones to choose from, too, if you want to customize your alerts. The small device is dust and waterproof, and it has a replaceable battery inside.

Like many of Tile’s devices, it offers support for the Community Find feature which taps into support from nearby users to help locate lost and valuable items, like a phone, jewelry, or keys. They come in different colors, and they’re small enough to link to a bag, luggage, and much more.

 

Why you should get it

This device is small enough to clip to your bag’s zipper, without you noticing it’s there. If you want a tracker that is small, but is pretty powerful, durable, and offers wide coverage, then get the Tile Pro.

 

Pros

  • Wide range up to 400-feet
  • Find lost stuff with the help of the Tile community
  • Includes convenient key ring loop
  • Shows last known location on a map

 

Cons

  • The app sometimes prompts you to upgrade or shows promotions

 

 

 

6. Best Lightweight: TrackR Pixel

 

TrackR pixel Bluetooth Tracking Device

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Attach it, sync it up, and forget it.

 

The TrackR Pixel is one of the smallest and most lightweight Bluetooth trackers on the market. It’s so discreet that a thief probably wouldn’t notice it, or they might mistake it for a keychain or charm. As with most of these trackers, you can keep an eye on it’s location — and whatever it’s attached to — through the mobile app. It even syncs with Alexa so you can ask her to find your gear.

The battery is replaceable, and you can order a replacement through the mobile app free if you’re not comfortable with doing it yourself. Similar to Tile’s community feature, you can use a global crowd locate mode to find your items with the help of the surrounding community.

 

Why you should get it

It’s sleek, it’s small, and it’s super functional. Above all, it’s one of the more affordable Bluetooth trackers on the market.

 

Pros

  • Incredibly small and lightweight
  • Get free battery replacements via the app
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Sound and light alerts to help locate item(s)

 

Cons

  • It takes some time to complete a ping

 

 

7. Best Universal: Tile Sticker

 

Tile Sticker Item Finder

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Track anything and everything!

 

Tile Sticker (2020) has an adhesive backing that will attach to virtually any surface. You can stick it to your phone, a tablet, your car keys, books, a bag, and much much more. When you want to track the item, it will ring so you can find it easier. You can also reverse track your phone by pressing the button on the tag.

Inside the little device is a built-in battery which should last for up to 3 years. The Bluetooth tracking works up to 150-feet away, and the Tile community network will take over if it’s out of that range. The Tile brand and app also works with voice assistants like Google and Alexa.

 

Why you should get it

This Tile tracker sticks to any dry surface whether metal or plastic. The battery lasts for up to 3 years, and the Bluetooth connection is reliable up to 150-feet away. Outside of that range you can get support from the Tile network.

 

Pros

  • Adheres to any surface
  • Waterproof
  • Long battery life of up to 3 years
  • Tile application for easy find with network support

 

Cons

  • Chunky and not sleek

 

Related: 6 Best Wireless Phone Charging Car Mounts 

 

 

8. Best Battery Life: SpotyPal

SpotyPal BlueTooth Tracker
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Solid battery life, on a standard, replaceable watch battery.

 

This ultra-lightweight and super sleek tracker might have a silly name, SpotyPal, but it’s a worthy competitor. Thanks to Bluetooth LE, and a strong battery, it will last for up to 12 months. The battery is replaceable too — it’s a CR2032 watch battery. In open air, the tracker has a range of up to 70-feet, and it’s compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices. You can track items through a web browser too if you don’t have a phone nearby.

It has a two-way separation alert that will go off if you move too far away. That’s handy for making sure you don’t leave your keys, phone, handbag, or other items behind. It also comes with a small 3M adhesive which you can use to stick it to your items or devices, as well as a lanyard-style clip.

 

Why you should get it

This is an ideal product for anyone who wants a low-maintenance tracker and for someone who doesn’t really enjoy a low-battery notification every 3 months or so.

 

Pros

  • Bluetooth LE technology
  • Battery lasts for up to a year and is replaceable
  • Lightweight, can be attached to anything
  • Powerful app

 

Cons

  • Bluetooth connection only

 

 

9. Best Unique: Tile Slim

 

Tile Slim Item Finder
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Easily slide this tracker into anything–your passport maybe?

 

Tile Slim (2020) is a slim, credit-card sized tracker that fits where other devices may not, such as inside your wallet, within the folds of a passport, in a bag, and beyond. Like other Tile devices, you benefit from the network if and when it’s out of range. The community function will help you locate, monitor, or ping the device from just about anywhere.

It has a tough shell that can take a beating, and the battery lasts for up to 3 years.

 

Why you should get it

Track your misplaced essentials using Tile Slim which can slide in your wallet effortlessly, and other places that most comparable trackers cannot.

 

Pros

  • Very discreet and super thin
  • Tough and water-resistant
  • Battery can last up to three years

 

Cons

  • No replaceable battery

 

 

10. Best Versatile: Cube Key Finder

Cube Key Finder Smart Tracker Bluetooth Tracker

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Find your item, cue the camera, track your dogs or kids

 

The Cube Key Smart Tracker is waterproof, has a replaceable battery, and a super durable shell. It also offers a crowd-find feature, similar to Tile’s network tracking, and a reverse phone finder. You can control your camera’s shutter using the physical button, allowing you to take selfies and group photos.

Most importantly, the mobile app is polished with an easy-to-use interface and lots of neat features, like the crowd find function.

 

Why you should get it 

It’s reliable, it’s waterproof, and it offers a lot of extra features. What else is there to ask for?

 

Pros

  • Crowd find feature
  • Control your phone’s shutter remotely (selfies anyone)
  • Waterproof
  • Replaceable battery with extra batteries included

 

Cons

  • Limited range without the crowd support

 

 

The Best Bluetooth Trackers

 

Here is a quick comparison of all the Bluetooth trackers in our list:

 

1Tile Mate 2020 Item Finder

  • Replaceable battery with warranty
  • makes your phone ring even on silent mode
  • Huge lost and found community
  • Limited range
90

3Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracking Device

  • Cellular-wide coverage
  • Durable
  • With 1-year data
  • Limited Android phone compatibility
NA

4Pebblebee Honey Key and Item Finder

  • Replaceable battery
  • 500 feet range
  • Camera control
  • Short range
60

5Tile Pro (2020) Item Finder (2-pack)

  • Powerful range at 400 feet
  • Last known location
  • lost and found community
  • Stylized look
  • App attempts to make you upgrade all the time
90

6TrackR pixel Bluetooth Tracking Device

  • Sticks to anything
  • Long battery life
  • Waterproof
  • Noisy
80

7Tile Sticker (2-Pack)

  • Easy setup
  • Replaceable battery
  • Wide Bluetooth coverage
  • Not waterproof
80

8SpotyPal The Original - Upgrade Your Life - Item, Key, Phone Finder, Panic Button, Separation Alert, Replaceable Battery - Navy Blue

  • 1 year battery
  • Lightweight
  • Wide Bluetooth coverage
  • Bluetooth only
NA

9Tile Slim Item Finder (2020)

  • Discreet
  • super slim
  • Tough against water
  • App needs improvement
90

10Cube Smart Tracker

  • Easily hooked
  • Multi-functional
  • Extra batteries included
  • Connects in low ranges only
80

 

 


 

—  Bluetooth Trackers Buyer’s Guide & FAQ  —

 

What Should You Look for When Buying Bluetooth Trackers?

Do you often lose things and spend hours searching all over your home for them? Sounds like you need some Bluetooth item trackers. Whether you’re talking about a Bluetooth tag with local tracking, or a GPS tracker with distanced location data, they will help you recover your gear and more.

If you’re thinking of buying one, here are some features you should watch out for:

 

Price – Bluetooth trackers are often very affordable given their feature sets. Prices range between $20 to $50. Just remember, if you’re planning on attaching a tag to all of your important belongings, you’ll need quite a few. That can get pricey real quick!

Range – Tracking distance is going to depend on the tag and the technology in question. For example, a tracker with GPS will be searchable from much farther away. Bluetooth trackers must be within range of your wireless device you’re using to track, be it a mobile or control hub. The maximum effective Bluetooth range is influenced by many factors.

Design – Do you want something sleek and lightweight that will be hardly recognizable? Would you rather a more durable tag that you can attach to your luggage? Consider the design of the trackers you’re looking at and be sure they match your needs and interests!

Battery Life – Unlike smartphones and larger devices, Bluetooth trackers typically don’t use a lot of energy. That means they can last up to 10 days or more under certain conditions. What’s more, some trackers have a rechargeable battery, while others use a standard watch cell.

Additional Features – Trackers can do a lot more than just ping a location. Some include selfie support, so you can snap photos remotely. Others are more durable and waterproof. Consider some of the extra features you would want and narrow down your search that way!

 

The Best Bluetooth Trackers FAQs

Are you planning to buy some Bluetooth trackers? Are you curious how easily you can attach them to your gear? Do you have another question we haven’t covered somewhere else in the guide? Then pay attention, because here are some of the most common questions and answers people have about Bluetooth GPS trackers:

 

Q. Is Tile the Best Tracker? If Not, What Is Better Than a Tile Tracker?

A. Tile is “one” of the best, yes, but it’s not the only reliable and functional tracker on the market. There are many others, some that offer more features, and others that have a more affordable price tag. Even the Tile brand offers several tracker types, from the original to the Tile Slim.

 

Q: How many trackers can I link to my phone at once?

A: It really depends on the product and its companion app. Some mobile apps can keep track of 8 to 12 tags at once, or more.

 

Q: Can I remove a tracker from my account?

A: Yes, you can remove a tracker or tag at any time. You can also leave it attached to your gear, or remove it physically from whatever you were tracking.

 

Q. What Is the Smallest Bluetooth Tracker?

A. The Tile Slim is the thinnest model, and fits neatly inside a bag, pocket, or wallet. The Honey Key Finder is also pretty small.

 

Q: Can I turn off tracker audio notifications?

A: Some trackers will produce a ringing sound when they are being located. Usually, you do have an option to mute this noise.

 

Q: Will it really show its location even at great distances?

A: It depends on the range that your device is capable of, which is usually determined by the wireless technology. Bluetooth does not have as wide a range as GPS, for example.

 

Q: Is It Possible to Adjust the range of my tracker?

A: No, the range is fixed.

 

Bluetooth trackers are extremely helpful and inexpensive devices. Once you try one of the products on this list, you’re probably going to want to order a handful of them so that you can track all of your most prized possessions! Many of these products can even be ordered in sets, so you can attach them to your phone, your pets, your keys, or whatever you want!

What items would you keep safe with a Bluetooth tracker? Leave a comment below!

 


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