Samsung appears to have a new Tile competitor on the way

Samsung seems to be close to launching a new Tile-like device for tracking lost items. The tracker, likely called the Galaxy SmartTag, has been leaking out over the past month, and there’s some speculation it could be announced alongside the Galaxy S21 later in January.

The Galaxy SmartTag would use Bluetooth to connect with nearby devices and broadcast its location, so owners could find it later if they misplace whatever it’s attached to. It’ll be powered by a replaceable button cell battery, according to a regulatory filing spotted by GSMArena, so you won’t have to throw it out and buy a new one when the battery dies.

Samsung’s tracker sounds a lot like a Tile, and it’ll apparently look a lot like one, too. Leaks show the SmartTag as a small square with rounded corners and a hole at one edge for slipping a keychain or lanyard through. Photos of the device filed with Taiwan’s telecom regulator were publicized by 91mobiles, and they line up with an illustration of the gadget that was leaked from Samsung’s SmartThings app.

So far, it’s not clear that Samsung is doing anything out of the ordinary here — this seems to be a pretty standard fare item tracker. Samsung released a tracker back in 2018 that connected to cell phone networks for continual tracking. More recently, in October, Samsung launched an app that helps owners of its gadgets locate their existing devices using Bluetooth, which seems like groundwork for the upcoming SmartTag.

Mostly, this seems like more bad news for Tile, since Apple is rumored to have an item tracker in the works, too. That could mean two major new competitors in one year, if both of these devices actually ship.

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