Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery
Tile is one of those things you hope you’ll never need, but it’s an absolute lifesaver when you do. And although Tile is predominantly designed as a protection for your keys, both the Tile Mate and Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery have circles cut out for a keyring, the company’s online shop has accessories to make them more flexible. Adhesive pads mean the tile sits tightly on a laptop, while the luggage tag should make saying goodbye to your bags at the airport that bit less stressful. There’s no limit to the number of Tiles you can have in your account, and you can rename them to make them easier to track.
To be clear, the Tile itself doesn’t have GPS built in, that would kill the battery. But as your phone does, you can boot up the app and immediately see which ones are in range. If the app can see them, but you can’t, simply tap “Find”, and your Tile will start singing a maddeningly catchy electronic ringtone until you find it. If it isn’t in range, then the app will tell you when, and where, it was last seen. So you can take your phone nearby like a modern metal detector. As soon as it gets a signal, you can press find, and the Tile will make itself known with a jolly tune again.
If all else fails, you can mark a Tile as lost, at which point everybody with the Tile app becomes a silent search party. When someone walks past it, you’ll get a notification telling you where it was sighted, so you can see for yourself. The company claims to locate more than two million Tiles every day, so you certainly have better odds than finding your lost property without one. Previously, once your Tile ran out of juice, you’d need to send it back to the company, which would send out a fresh one with a new battery. Owners would qualify for a discount but you’d still be looking at paying 60% all over again every year.
The new Tile Mate and Tile Pro fix this with replaceable batteries. Panels on the back slip off to reveal a circular watch battery, a CR1632 for the Mate and a CR2032 for the Pro. Replace them, and things will carry in as before without involving the company at all. That’s the main headline, and it’s a great one, but there are other improvements, too. For a start, the range is up 50%. The new Tile Mate can talk to your phone up to 150 feet away, while the Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery can reach 300 feet. The volume is also 50% louder, meaning that you should be able to hear a Tile under an avalanche of cushions. You can even connect it to your chosen digital assistant, so your Google Home or Amazon Echo can join in the hunt.
Finally, there’s a new subscription service called Tile Premium. For a small monthly/ yearly fee, the company will send out replacement batteries for each Tile in your account when you need them, provide smart alerts to proactively warn you when you’re leaving a valuable behind, let you share multiple Tiles between accounts, provide a 30-day location history and extend the warranty to three years.
The Tile is a solid enough package in its own right: connect it, leave it, forget about it. It’ll be there again when you need it. It’s an odd time for the company to introduce this, just when it’s learning to let you manage Tiles yourself. The tile was always a great product, but having to send them back in for a brand new one every year left us cold. It felt both expensive and terrible for the environment. The new Tile Mate and Tile Pro fix both problems in one fell swoop. The tile was always great for peace of mind: now it’s even better.
Looking for other tracking options? Check out our GPS trackers page for more in-depth reviews.
Ease of Use
The new Tile Pro and Tile Mate rectify the biggest flaw of previous models, making them a must-have “thing” finder. Now, with replaceable batteries, both models are great purchases. All in all, if you need to be able to locate your important items, the new Tile models prove to be excellent choices.