Tile Pro, Tile Mate smart trackers get replaceable batteries, improved range

Tile Pro


Tile

With the upgrade to the Tile Mate and Tile Pro, Tile improves its smart tracking tags by making the batteries replaceable — a big complaint about the older models — increasing the Bluetooth range, bumping up the volume and adding a new Tile Premium subscription that provides extra services.  

Tile’s popular smart trackers compete in a crowded field — the latest includes Samsung’s SmartThings tracker — but because they’re limited to Bluetooth, with its lesser range, they’re cheaper than those that offer LTE and GPS at $25 for the Mate and $35 for the Pro. Tile Premium costs $30 a year or $3 a month. At the moment, it only supports iOS apps; Android is “coming soon.”

Most of the additional capabilities come via the subscription plan, including free battery replacements, the ability to manage a single Tile from multiple accounts, a 30-day location history for retracing your steps, and extended three-year warranty and text access to customer service. 

But the new devices also bump up the system’s Bluetooth ranges to 150 feet/45.7 meters for the Time Mate and 300 ft/91.4m for the Tile Pro. (The limit for Bluetooth 4.x LE is 328 ft/100m.) And they still offer the perk of being able to make your phone chirp remotely, even if the sound’s off and the ability to crowdsource the location of a missing item out of range with other users.

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