Tile Pro Review Feature scaled

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Tile and Apple are two of the biggest players in the Bluetooth tracker market. These small devices can be attached to your keys, wallet, bags, and more to help you find lost items using your smartphone.

The Tile Pro is the flagship tracker from Tile, whereas Apple only has the Apple AirTag. One of the big advantages that Tile has over Apple is that they have four different trackers designed for different functions at different price points. This includes the Tile Slim, designed for wallets and the Tile Sticker, allowing you to attach the tracker to any object such as a remote or a bike.

Other brands have started to sell devices that work with Apple Find My, which makes up for this disadvantage.

Both the Tile Pro and Apple AirTag offer an enhanced range of features over the cheaper models.

Tile Pro vs Apple AirTag Specification

Tile Pro Review Design
SpecificationTile ProApple AirTag
Dimensions42 x 42 x 6.5mm31.9 x 31.9 x 8mm
Weight12g11g
Water resistanceIP67IP67
Replaceable batteryYesYes
Expected battery life1 year1 year
Wireless connectivityBluetooth, Ultra Wideband (UWB)Bluetooth, Ultra Wideband (UWB)
Compatible devicesiOS, AndroidiOS only
Alerts when left behindWith Tile Premium subscription ($2.99/month)Yes, free with iOS devices

As you can see, the two trackers have very similar core specifications. The main differences are:

  • The Tile Pro is larger and heavier than the AirTag.
  • The AirTag offers free left behind alerts, the Tile Pro requires a paid subscription.
  • The Tile Pro works with both iOS and Android, the AirTag is iOS only.

Tile Tracker Product Comparison

Tile ComparisonProMateSlimSticker
ColourBlack, WhiteBlack, WhiteBlackBlack
RangeUp to 400 ft /120 m Bluetooth rangeUp to 250 ft / 76 metersUp to 250 ft / 76 metersUp to 250 ft / 76 meters
VolumeLoudestLouderLouderLouder
BatteryUp to 1-year replaceable batteryUp to 3-year non-replaceable batteryUp to 3-year non-replaceable batteryUp to 3-year non-replaceable battery
Water-resistantWater-resistant (IP67)Water-resistant (IP67)Water-resistant (IP67)Water-resistant (IP67)
Dimensions (mm)58.8 x 33.6 x 7.737.8 x 37.8 x 7.285.5 x 54 x 2.527 x 7.8

Set Up

Setting up the Tile Pro is straightforward – you download the Tile app, create an account, and tap the Tile Pro to pair it. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes.

The AirTag setup is even faster if you already use an iPhone. You just bring the AirTag near the phone and it automatically pairs with your Apple ID. It’s seamless.

So, for setup, the AirTag wins for sheer simplicity if you’re in the Apple ecosystem. But the Tile Pro isn’t far behind.

Tile Premium Price and Features

Tile is another brand that has walled-off features into a subscription service.

The premium plans wall off the smart alerts and location history, whereas this functionality is free of charge with AirTags.

The premium plans have some features that justify the cost. This is mainly the item reimbursement, where you can get up to £75 a year or £750 a year for things that get lost because Tile can’t find them. You have to register the item and the Tile needs to have a functional battery. The item also has to have been registered for at least 30 days.

In the UK, this is classed as discretionary protection with the official wording stating:

Discretionary protection means that valid claims for reimbursement will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and it will be up to the Agent on behalf of the Board, to decide whether You will be reimbursed, in their ultimate discretion.

In the UK, this costs £30 or £100 per year, with the only difference in the plan being the item reimbursement amount.

In the UK, you can get a 1-month free trial, though you can’t use the reimbursement until after the 1st month.

In the US, they offer a 1-year free trial for the Premium plan.

Design

Tile Pro Review Design 1

The 2022 Tile Pro has been redesigned with a new rectangular shape with curved edges shape. It’s larger but thinner than the previous generation.

The AirTag uses a round, pill-shaped design. It’s compact and smooth.

The AirTag has no markings on its surface, while the Tile Pro shows the brand name.

Recenrtly, Tile have started selling

In terms of attachments, the AirTag has a bigger selection of cases, holders and straps from both Apple and third-parties. The hole placement is also optimised for straps.

The Tile Pro has a basic keyring hole, making it easier to attach to things.  You can buy additional accessories like stickers and straps separately. But the choice is more limited.

Tile Pro – Locating an item

When it comes to actually finding lost items, both trackers perform well.

The Tile Pro produces a loud ringtone to help you find keys or bags nearby. You can also view the last known location on a map in the app.

The AirTag works similarly, playing a sound to locate items. But it also uses Apple’s U1 chip with Ultra Wideband technology found in newer iPhones to offer Precision Finding. This gives you exact directions and distances to guide you right to the AirTag.

When trying to locate a device within range, I’d say they are about even in performance. The AirTag does a better job at directing you to the location of the device, but the Tile Pro is quite a bit louder.

Tile Pro – Locating a phone

One advantage that Tile has over Apple is that the Tiles have a button that you can double press, which will then make your phone play an alert sound.

I regularly lose my phone in the house and normally use my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro for this function, but the Tile Pro is an excellent alternative option.

Tile Pro Battery Life

Both trackers use standard CR2032 coin cell batteries. The batteries are rated to last around 1 year before needing replacement.

In real-world use, the batteries often last longer than the official 1-year estimate. I have seen reports that the Tile Pro batteries tend to last around 18 months before needing a swap.

I have had the Apple AirTag in my suitcase since May 2022, and there is no low battery warning yet.

Battery life seems very similar between the two brands. The AirTag might have a slight edge as Apple has more control over optimising the hardware and software. But I haven’t noticed a significant difference in practice.

Tile Pro vs Apple AirTag – Locating an item with crowd-sourcing

Both the Tile Pro and the Apple AirTag rely on crowd-sourcing to help locate lost items. When another Tile user or AirTag user comes into proximity to your lost item, their device will anonymously record its location and share it with you through the respective app. This crowd-sourcing feature greatly increases the chances of finding your lost item, especially in urban or suburban areas where there is a higher concentration of Tile or AirTag users.

The Apple AirTag taps into Apple’s much larger Find My network. With over a billion active Apple devices in use, the chances of another user coming across your lost AirTag are far higher.

Tile Pro Review QR code 1

In practice, this means the AirTag is able to provide location updates much faster as its network is so vast. The Tile Pro’s network, while still useful, is far smaller in comparison.

Tile has a basic but useful function with the 2022 models of the Pro, Mate, and Slim having a QR code printed on the back that can be scanned when someone finds your lost Tile. When you enable the Notify When Found feature, you will be given the option to enter your contact information and coordinate the return of your Tile.

Apple sort of has a similar feature, but it sounds less effective. You can hold the top of your iPhone near the white side of the AirTag until a notification appears. Tap the notification. This opens a website that provides information about the AirTag, including its serial number and the last four digits of the phone number of the person who registered it. If the owner marked the AirTag as lost, you might see a message with information about how to contact the owner.

Price and Alternative Options

The Tile Pro has an MSRP of £30 for a single tracker, while a single AirTag costs £35.

Tile frequently offers discounts and bundle deals. For example, at the time of writing (Black Friday) you could get a Tile Pro for £22.50 or a 2-pack of Tile Pro trackers for £37.50.

In comparison, the AirTag was discounted to £29 (which seems to be the regular discount) or a two-pack for £58. This, therefore, makes Tile much better value for money.

However, the AirTag offers free lost item alerts, for which the Tile Pro requires a Premium subscription. So, over time, the AirTag can work out to be better value.

Overall

Both the Tile Pro and AirTag perform the core task of finding lost items well.

The AirTag is generally going to be the best option if you are an iPhone user. The main reason or this is the much larger network of users that can crowdsource finding a lost AirTag. There are also no additional subscription fees. The AirTag also has a wider range of accessories which can potentially make it more versatile.

For Android users, Tile has always been the best Bluetooth tracking option, and the Tile Pro is the best option for tracking most objects. It is superior to the AirTag in many ways: it is louder, includes a keyring hole, has a QR code, making locating the owner much easier, and the premium subscription allows you to be reimbursed for lost items.

Tile is also great if you want to take advantage of the Slim tracker, which is ideal for wallets. While Apple doesn’t have a competing device for the Sticker, you can buy a circular AirTag Holder with a 3M sticker to easily attach it to things.

Tile Pro Review vs Apple AirTag

Summary

For Android users, Tile has always been the best Bluetooth tracking option, and the Tile Pro is the best option for tracking most objects. It is superior to the AirTag in many ways: it is louder, includes a keyring hole, has a QR code, making locating the owner much easier, and the premium subscription allows you to be reimbursed for lost items.

Overall
90%
90%
  • Overall - 90%
    90%

Pros

  • Best tracker for Android users
  • Loud alert
  • QR code to make it easier to identify the owner of a lost Tile
  • Cheaper upfront price than AirTags

Cons

  • Less Tile users to crowd source a lost Tile

Last update on 2024-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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