I have previously reviewed a few Bluetooth trackers, and it is a market with a lot of options. To date, it has only been Tile that I have particularly liked.
However, Chipolo recently sent me their Chipolo One and Card to check out, and I have been using them in conjunction with my Tile Mate for a while now.
Amazon lists various Chipolo devices, but there are currently just two that Chipolo sell, the One and the Card. In comparison, Tile has the Mate and Slim which compete but then also the Pro model and they have just launched the new sticker.
Chipolo One vs Tile Mate
The two brands have suspiciously similar pricing. With the latest One from Chipolo it is £21 for a single tracker or £89 for a six-pack so £14.83 each. The Mate is £19.99 or a four-pack is £59.99 or £15 each. You can buy the multi-packs direct from Chipolo.
The Chipolo One has a 200ft/61m range 120 dB ring and a 2-year claim battery life with a replaceable battery. It is also rated IPX5 splashproof. This comes in 6 different colours
The Tile Mate has a 200 ft / 61m range with 119db ring and uses a replaceable CR1632 which should last a year. Tile only have white for this model, and none of their products has coloured options apart from Black. Tile doesn’t state an IP rating but do say water-resistant.
So in terms of spec, they are about the same. The battery life claims are different, but I suspect they will be identical in real-life scenarios.
Chipolo Card vs Tile Slim
As far as the wallet-friendly options go, the Chipolo Card sells for £24/45/84 for 1/2/4 cards which is £24/22.50/21. Amazon are a bit of a rip off for this model but you can buy it directly from Chipolo here.
Tile slim is £24.99 for one card on Amazon.
The Chipolo One has a 200ft/61m range 120 dB ring and a 1-year built-in battery life. Chipolo has a renew program where you can recycle this and get a discount on the replacement, but they don’t state exactly how much you will pay.
The Tile slim has a 200 ft / 61m range, the same 95gb ring, and a 1-year built-in battery. This model is waterproof.
With this being designed for a wallet, perhaps the most important aspect is the size of the card. The dimensions are:
- Chipolo Card: 68mm x 37mm x 2.15mm
- Tile Mate: 86mm x 54mm x 2.4mm
In this case, the Chipolo Card looks tempting, being both cheaper and smaller. The one-year battery life is a concern though. However, a lot of people have claimed the Tile Slim does not get anywhere near 3-years. I have obviously not been able to test the battery life claims.
Fundamentally, both Chipolo and Tile have very few features, but they are both excellent at what they do. Both allow your phone to track the location of your belongings with Bluetooth and then issue a command to start the tacker ringing. Both work in the opposite too, you can double click Chipolo to find your phone. Your phone will also locate them on a map informing you if they are near.
If you are someone that loses your keys or wallet at home a lot, then Bluetooth trackers are a marvellous invention. Losing things out and about, you will have limited luck. If you know roughly where you lose something, then the 60m range with line of sight will make finding your keys or wallet much easier.
If you have no idea where you lost something, then you are probably out of luck, both brands have a community search feature, and in built-up areas, this may work, but I can’t see it being much use where I live.
There are two areas that Chipolo may edge ahead of Tile. You can use a Chipolo device like a remote for selfies. It is not something I would personally use often but it can be useful at a pinch.
More useful is that you can have Chipolo alert you when you are out of range of your tracker. Tile has smart alerts, but this is walled off into their premium service.
Chipolo doesn’t have one, Tile does. The only thing that is appealing about the Tile premium service is the location history and the above mentioned smart alerts (which are free on Chipolo). Location history would be genuinely useful if you lose something while out and about. However. unless you have a lot of Tile trackers, maybe the whole family using it, I would never consider forking out £30 per year or £3 per month.
Performance of Chipolo
Looking back at some of the other Bluetooth tracker reviews I have done, I have generally been quite disappointed with the performance. This normally comes down to the app, Mynt for example, just locked up on me all the time.
I have had no issues with Chipolo at all, it always finds my keys and wallet and the app never has issues. Finding a device for the first time can take a little while, but that is the same for Tile and other trackers.
The Card ring tone is not the loudest being notably quieter than the One. I only ever lose my wallet at home, and if I am in the same room as the Card I can still hear the alert, it may just take a little longer to find it compared to the louder One.
Both Chipolo devices are excellent and from my experience, the One offers the same performance as the Tile Mate. The app is well designed, and it is quick to locate the trackers, and the ring tone is loud enough to easily locate missing items (but the Card could be louder).
Chipolo doesn’t have the premium features that Tile has, while location history sounds very useful I can’t ever fathom paying £3 per month for such a feature.
It is worth noting that the Tile Mate (older version) often drops down to around £15 on Amazon. Alternatively, there is the Chipolo Classic which is currently £15.
For me, I lose my wallet far more than my keys. I pay for everything on my phone now, so I will just forget what I have done with my wallet. This, therefore, makes the Chipolo Card a bit more useful for me. The problem is that for both companies, the slim nature of these cards means they can’t have their battery replaced, so it can be quite an expensive investment. I am not sure what the discount is after your first Chipolo Card, but I certainly wouldn’t be happy about paying £20+ per year for replacements.
My personal opinion is they are both about the same in the grand scheme of things. Chipolo has a wider range of colours and a marginally lower RRP, and the out of range alert is something you would have to pay for with Tile, so technically it is a more appealing option.
Chipolo One & Card Review Rating
Overall - 85%
A pair of excellent Bluetooth trackers with a reliable app that should eliminate you losing your valuables in your home for good. Similar in performance to Tile, arguably slightly better with the out of range feature being free.
Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API