AirTag vs Cube Trackers: Which Bluetooth Tracker Should You Choose?

March 5, 2024

Affiliate Disclaimer: HotAirTag is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you!

Finding lost keys, wallets, or other important items can be incredibly frustrating. But luckily, Bluetooth trackers like the Apple AirTag and Cube Tracker provide an easy solution.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the AirTag and Cube Tracker head-to-head on metrics like compatibility, tracking capabilities, privacy, design, and more. By the end, you’ll know which Bluetooth tracker is right for your specific needs.

Quick Summary

The Apple AirTag is the best Bluetooth tracker for iPhone users thanks to its integration with Apple’s huge “Find My” network of devices and precise tracking using Ultra Wideband technology. However, it only works with iOS devices.

The Cube Tracker works across iOS and Android but has a smaller crowd-sourced finding network. It’s also more affordable and discreet, but lacks the precision finding of the AirTag.

Overall, the AirTag is best for those already in the Apple ecosystem, while the Cube Tracker is a good cross-platform option on a budget.

Apple AirTag Overview

Apple Airtag

Release Date: April 2021

Compatibility: iOS/iPadOS devices only

Battery: User-replaceable CR2032 (lasts ~1 year)

Water resistance: IP67 water and dust resistant

Network: Utilizes Apple’s “Find My” network of ~1 billion devices

Dimensions: 1.26 x 1.26 x 0.31 inches

Tracking: Uses Ultra Wideband for precision finding within inches

Key Features

  • Leverages Apple’s massive “Find My” network to locate lost items
  • Ultra Wideband technology enables accurate tracking within inches
  • Precision Finding guides you right to the AirTag using directions and distances
  • Works seamlessly with iPhone, iPad, Mac and more
  • Small, sleek button design available with custom engraving
  • User-replaceable CR2032 battery lasts ~1 year
  • IP67 water and dust resistance rating

Cube Tracker Overview

Cube Tracker

Release Date: 2015

Compatibility: iOS and Android devices

Battery: User-replaceable CR2032 (lasts 1-2 years)

Water resistance: IP67 waterproof and dustproof

Network: Crowd-sourced network of Cube users

Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.4 x 0.3 inches

Tracking: Up to 150 ft Bluetooth range

Key Features

  • Works across iOS and Android devices
  • 150 ft Bluetooth connection range
  • IP68 waterproof and dustproof rating
  • Crowd-sourced finding network
  • Small, discreet 1.4 inch square design
  • Non-replaceable battery lasts 1-2 years
  • Can attach to keychains or stick flat surfaces
  • Affordable price point around $25

AirTag vs. Cube Tracker: Head-to-Head Comparisons

Now let’s dive into a detailed, head-to-head comparison of the Apple AirTag vs the Cube Tracker across 7 key factors:

Compatibility and Devices Supported

AirTag: Exclusively works with Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Does NOT work with Android or Windows devices.

Move Closer To Your Airtag

Cube Tracker: Works across iOS and Android devices, including phones and tablets. Provides cross-platform compatibility.

The AirTag is designed specifically for the Apple ecosystem, leveraging integrations with iOS/iPadOS and MacOS. This provides a seamless experience if you already use Apple devices.

But it won’t work at all for Android or Windows users. The Cube Tracker lacks the tight integration but supports both iOS and Android.

Network and Finding Capabilities

AirTag: Uses Apple’s “Find My” network of ~1 billion active Apple devices to help locate lost items anonymously.

Cube Tracker: Relies on crowd-sourced finding via other Cube Tracker users in the area. Network is smaller than Apple’s.

The AirTag’s integration with Apple’s massive network—including active iPhone, iPad, Macs and more—gives it a huge advantage for finding lost items. With nearly 1 billion Apple devices that can detect the AirTag, it’s almost always being passively searched for.

Cube’s network is crowd-sourced, meaning it only leverages other active Cube Tracker users in the area. This is a significantly smaller network, so the chances of the item being detected are lower.

Precision Finding:

AirTag: Uses Ultra Wideband technology for precision finding within inches once you’re in range. Provides exact distance and directions.

Airtag Find My

Cube Tracker: No Ultra Wideband. Relies on Bluetooth signal strength for approximate distance which is less accurate.

Cube Tracker Devices Supported

The AirTag also excels when you’re trying to locate the tracker when it’s nearby. The Ultra Wideband chip provides highly precise directions and distances down to the inch.

The Cube Tracker lacks this advanced tech, so it’s not as precise for pinpointing the exact location once you’re in the general vicinity.

Design

AirTag: Small 1.26 inch button design available in white, silver or space gray. Can be engraved with emoji or text.

Apple Airtag

Cube Tracker: Discreet 1.4 inch square tracker available in black. Very minimalist design.

Cube Tracker Design

Both the AirTag and Cube Tracker feature compact, discreet designs. The AirTag is slightly smaller and available in more color options. It can also be engraved for personalization or identification.

The Cube Tracker has a plain black square design that blends in easily. Neither stands out visually when attached to keys, a bag or other items.

Battery and Lifespan

AirTag: Uses a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts approximately 1 year before needing replacement.

Airtag's Battery

Cube Tracker: Now features a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery, allowing for approximately 1-2 years of use before needing a battery swap.

Cube Tracker Battery

With both the AirTag and Cube Tracker utilizing replaceable CR2032 batteries, they can last indefinitely with regular battery replacements, offering extended usability and convenience.

Durability and Water Resistance

AirTag: IP67 water and dust resistance rating. Can withstand being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Airtag Waterproof

Cube Tracker: IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. Can be fully submerged much deeper than 1 meter.

Both trackers feature solid water and dust resistance.

Security and Privacy

AirTag: End-to-end encrypted location data. Features to deter unwanted tracking of people. Scannable NFC chip shows AirTag’s serial number.

Cube Tracker: No specific anti-stalking features mentioned. Relies on smaller crowd-sourced network for anonymity.

Apple built in proactive alerts and notifications to deter the AirTag from being used to secretly track people without consent. While rare, this has happened in extreme cases. The NFC chip allows quick scanning to identify an unknown AirTag.

The Cube Tracker’s much smaller network provides more anonymity than Apple’s massive Find My network. But it lacks any stated anti-stalking capabilities.

Price

AirTag: $29 MSRP per tracker from Amazon. Available in 1 and 4 packs.

Cube Tracker: Around $25 MSRP per tracker on Amazon. Only sold individually.

The Cube Tracker is a bit more affordable, usually running about $25 USD on Amazon. The AirTag starts at $29 from Apple for a single tracker, with 4-packs available for $99.

Main Takeaways

  • The AirTag is the best Bluetooth tracker for iPhone & Apple ecosystem users thanks to its integration with Apple’s massive “Find My” network and Ultra Wideband powered precision finding.
  • The Cube Tracker provides good cross-platform compatibility across iOS and Android. It’s budget-friendly and very discreet.
  • The AirTag offers unparalleled finding capabilities through Apple’s network of nearly 1 billion devices.
  • Cube Tracker has a smaller crowd-sourced network, but is waterproof.

Accessories and Extras

The right accessories can make your Bluetooth tracker even more convenient and versatile. Here’s an overview of key accessories for the AirTag and Cube Tracker.

AirTag Accessories

The AirTag itself does not have any attachment mechanism like a hole for keychains. So you need to purchase an accessory to attach it to your keys, bag, etc.

Apple offers basic key rings and loops ranging from $12.95 to $449 for designer brands like Hermes. More affordable 3rd party options are widely available.

Airtag Accessories

Some popular AirTag accessory types:

  • Keychains – Attach your AirTag to your keys for about $10-15. Look for durable metal and leather materials.
  • Straps – Wraparound straps let you fasten an AirTag to luggage, bikes, dogs collars and more. Prices from $7-15.
  • Adhesive holders – For sticking an AirTag to phones, laptops or items without good holes/loops. Choose thick 3M adhesive.
  • Waterproof cases – For tracking items that may get wet like outdoor gear or kids’ accessories. Around $10-15.

Cube Tracker Accessories

The Cube Tracker has a hole in one corner for attaching a keychain ring. But you can also purchase specialized accessories:

  • Keychain loops – Sturdy keychain loops replacement for basic ring. Around $10.
  • Adhesive pads – Stick the tracker on flat surfaces like bikes, laptops, etc. About $6 for a 2-pack.
  • Luggage straps – Wraparound elastic straps work to attach Cube to luggage, bags, dogs collars and more. ~$7 each.
  • Waterproof cases – For full water protection when tracking items that may get wet. Prices around $10.

Getting the Most From Your Tracker

To maximize the value of your investment, utilize these tips for getting the most out of your AirTag or Cube Tracker:

  • Register your tracker immediately and turn on notification alerts.
  • Add your contact info and a message for “Lost Mode” to aid finders.
  • Utilize Separation Alerts to notify you when leaving items behind.
  • Take advantage of crowdsourced finding networks when out of Bluetooth range.
  • Familiarize yourself with precision and distance finding for when items are nearby.
  • Know how to trigger the tracker’s alarm sound to help locate it.
  • Ensure correct side is facing up for maximum signal strength.
  • Check battery levels periodically in app and replace when needed.
  • Add a protective case/holder to prevent damage and loss.
  • Update tracker firmware when new versions are available.

Following these best practices will help you avoid losing your valuables and quickly find them if you ever get separated.

You can also compare AirTag to other item trackers like ByteTagWhistleOrbit, and Ekster.

FAQs About AirTag vs Cube Trackers

Is the AirTag or Cube Tracker better?

For iPhone/Apple users, the AirTag is better due to its integration, finding network, and precision tracking. For cross-platform, the Cube Tracker is recommended.

Do AirTags work with Android?

No, the AirTag is designed solely for Apple devices running iOS/iPadOS or MacOS. It does not work with Android phones.

Do Cube trackers work with iPhone?

Yes, the Cube Tracker is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It provides cross-platform support.

Which Bluetooth tracker has the longest range?

The Cube Tracker is stated to have a 150 ft Bluetooth range vs the AirTag’s ~30 ft range. But the AirTag’s massive finding network offsets short Bluetooth range.

Can the Cube Tracker precisely locate items like the AirTag?

No, the Cube Tracker lacks Ultra Wideband technology, so it is not as precise for pinpointing the exact location of lost items.

Which Bluetooth tracker lasts longer on a single charge?

The Cube Tracker now features a replaceable CR2032 battery, extending its lifespan with each battery swap every 1-2 years. The AirTag, lasting approximately 1 year, also uses an easily replaceable standard CR2032 coin cell battery

Is the AirTag or Cube Tracker more durable?

With an IP68 rating, the Cube Tracker is fully waterproof and offers superior dust protection. The IP67-rated AirTag withstands splashes and submersion around 1 meter.

Do these trackers have monthly fees?

No, the AirTag and Cube Tracker themselves do not require any monthly or annual fees to use. Optional subscription upgrades are available.

The Bottom Line

Bluetooth trackers like the Apple AirTag and Cube Tracker provide invaluable peace of mind by helping keep track of your valued possessions.

For those embedded in the Apple ecosystem with iOS devices, the AirTag offers seamless integration and unparalleled finding capabilities through Apple’s massive crowd-sourced network.

But it lacks compatibility beyond Apple devices. The affordable Cube Tracker fills the gap by providing good cross-platform functionality, albeit with a smaller crowd-finding network and less precision.

Ultimately, choosing between the two comes down to weighing your current devices, priorities for tracking range and features, and budget. But either option beats frantically searching for your lost items on your own.