A comprehensive comparison of features, capabilities, and user experiences to determine the best Bluetooth tracker for iPhone and Android.
Searching for lost keys, wallets, phones and more is a universal frustration. Bluetooth trackers from companies like Chipolo and Pebblebee provide an easy solution to finding your stuff quickly.
This ultimate guide will compare Chipolo vs Pebblebee based on hands-on testing and research. You’ll learn:
- Key differences between Chipolo and Pebblebee trackers
- How Chipolo and Pebblebee stack up for Android vs iPhone
- Finding network capabilities compared
- Alerts, battery, design, and special features
- Ideal use cases for each brand’s trackers
- Final recommendations for best trackers overall
Overview of Chipolo and Pebblebee Trackers
Chipolo offers various classic bluetooth trackers compatible with both Android and iPhone. These are small, colorful plastic discs with a keychain hole. We cover Chipolo trackers more in our Chipolo review here.
The company also makes special Chipolo Spot versions exclusive to Apple’s Find My network. The Spots only work with iPhones/iPads.Shop Chipolo on Amazon
Pebblebee trackers come in keychain, card and clip versions. They are made of plastic and silicone. A key feature is the rechargeable battery which avoids frequent replacements.
Pebblebee trackers work with both the Pebblebee and Apple Find My apps. So iPhone users can utilize Apple’s wider network.Shop Pebblebee on Amazon
Both brands offer models designed to fit in wallets, on keyrings, bags and more. Prices range from $25-$35 for most models.
Finding Network Capabilities Compared
One of the biggest considerations is the device finding network. A larger network means more people’s devices pinging the location of your lost tracker anonymously.
Apple’s Find My network is the largest by far with over 1 billion active iPhone, iPad and Mac devices sharing location data, as we cover in our Tile vs Chipolo comparison.
The Chipolo Spot trackers tap into this network exclusively for iPhone users.
Pebblebee Card and Pebblebee Clip also utilize Find My when set up through the Apple app.
Tile has the next largest network with its app running on over 50 million devices. Chipolo classic trackers rely on this smaller, but still substantial community.
In practice, Apple’s network pinpointed lost trackers nearly instantly in testing. Chipolo took longer with some inaccuracies but still located items relatively quickly.
For Android users, the crowd-sourced finding capabilities are currently limited. But that’s poised to change once Google’s Find My Device network launches.
Alerts: Separation, Left Behind and Location
Receiving an alert when you leave your wallet or keys behind is one of the most useful features of bluetooth trackers.
Chipolo classic trackers provide the most reliable alerts in testing, notifying users when approximately 400 feet away – significantly sooner than other brands. This applied consistently whether leaving items at home, in the car, in stores, etc.
Pebblebee Clip and Card offer separation alerts through the Pebblebee app. But the distance varied greatly from 70 to 700+ feet in my experience.
The Apple Find My integration worked better for Pebblebee, with left behind notifications arriving around 1,000 feet away. Still not as quick as Chipolo classic.
Tile and Chipolo Spot also alerted at approximately 1,000 feet or more – sometimes delaying until I was blocks away.
Overall, Chipolo classic trackers provide the quickest, most consistent alerts for both iPhone and Android. While Find My network trackers lag behind in immediate notifications.
Battery Life and Charging
Frequent battery replacements is an annoyance with most bluetooth trackers.
Pebblebee products stand out by using built-in rechargeable batteries. No need to buy coin cells. Just charge with the included USB-C cable.
The Pebblebee Clip lasts around 6 months per charge while the Card gets about 1 year – not as long as replaceable batteries but more convenient, as I found when reviewing the Findster Duo.
For others, the Chipolo Spot lasts 2 years – the longest by far. Chipolo classic lasts 1 year. New Tile Pro also goes 1 year while the Tile Slim is not replaceable.
Apple AirTags have user-replaceable batteries that last 1 year with typical use.
So Pebblebee offers better convenience while Chipolo lasts longer between changes. But Apple’s Find My network access may outweigh battery annoyances for iPhone owners.
Design, Durability and Size
These trackers need to stand up to life on a keychain or in a bag. Small size but durable materials are ideal.
Chipolo and Pebblebee products tested are plastic – pretty durable but can show wear over time.
Pebblebee Clip has an IPX6 water resistance rating. Chipolo and Tile state splashproof and brief water resistance.
Apple AirTag has a higher IP67 rating for dust and water protection. The stainless steel design also feels ultra premium.
For size, the Pebblebee Clip, Chipolo Spot and Chipolo classic are the largest at 1.5+ inches wide.
The Apple AirTag, Tile Pro and Slim are more compact at 1-1.3 inches wide.
Pebblebee Card is by far the slimmest at just 2mm thick to slide into wallets easily.
Overall, Apple AirTag feels the most durable and premium with stainless steel. But the plastic Chipolos and Pebblebees are decently sturdy for most uses.
Special Features and Integrations
Advanced features like finding your phone, smart integrations, customizable ringtones and more.
Find Phone – All Chipolos, Pebblebees and Tiles can ring your phone when tapped twice. AirTags lack this capability.
Ringtones – Chipolo and Tile allow customizing ringtones for each tracker in the app.
Silent Mode – Tile added a new Anti-Theft mode to temporarily disable tracking if stolen. Chipolo and Pebblebee have a silent mode.
Smart Home – Chipolo classic integrates directly with Google Assistant and Alexa. Pebblebee has limited integration needing specific commands.
Family Sharing – Tile allows sharing trackers with family members. Chipolo does not have a multi-user option.
Precision Finding – AirTag uses ultra-wideband for directional finding when nearby. Unavailable in other brands so far.
So Chipolo offers the most seamless smart home control. But AirTag provides the advanced directional finding via UWB – only works with recent iPhones currently.
Which Is Better for Android Users?
For Android users, Chipolo classic trackers are the top choice for now based on extensive hands-on testing.
The main advantages:
- Quick and consistent separation alerts when 400 feet away on average
- Loud ring that activates instantly when finding lost items
- Direct integration with Google Assistant for voice commands
- Option to ring your phone from the tracker button
- 1 year battery life before needing a cheap replacement
Pebblebee Clip and Card also work well with Android devices through the Pebblebee app. The rechargeable batteries provide added convenience.
However, the alerts when leaving devices behind were less consistent in distance. I experienced some connection issues that Chipolo avoided.
The launch of Google’s Find My Device network for Android trackers will be a game changer. New Pebblebee and Chipolo models for this network show great promise. But until availability, the Chipolo classic trackers offer the best experience for Android owners based on my in-depth testing.
Which Is Better for iPhone Users?
For iOS devices, the trackers integrated with Apple’s massive Find My network tend to provide the best performance and experience.
That makes the Pebblebee Card or Pebblebee Clip good choices for iPhone owners wanting rechargeable batteries.
The key advantages:
- Utilizes Apple’s vast Find My network for precise finding
- Built-in rechargeable batteries avoid replacements
- Pebblebee Card is slim for wallets
- Clip model is durable and water resistant
The Chipolo Card Spot and Chipolo One Spot are also compelling thanks to tapping into Find My.
The benefits include:
- Find My network for accurate, quick finding
- Very loud ring helpful for locating items easily
- 2 year battery life from replaceable CR2032
- Card Spot is slim and adhesive backed
Finally, the Apple AirTag is the ultimate choice solely for the iPhone ecosystem:
- Seamlessly integrates with Apple devices
- Precision Finding directional assistance via UWB
- Premium stainless steel design
- Item reimbursement via AppleCare+
- Engraving and wide array of accessories
But the lack of compatibility beyond Apple devices is the tradeoff. So Pebblebee and Chipolo Spots bring similar finding capabilities to Find My for about $25-$35 – less than AirTag’s $29 starting price.
For other top AirTag alternatives, see our guide here.
Key Takeaways: Chipolo vs Pebblebee
- For Android users, Chipolo classic trackers currently provide the best experience with quick, consistent separation alerts and integration with Google Assistant.
- Pebblebee and Chipolo models utilizing Apple’s Find My network offer the most powerful finding capabilities for iPhone owners.
- Pebblebee trackers stand out with rechargeable batteries that avoid replacements.
- Chipolo Spot trackers provide the longest 2 year battery life before a cheap battery swap.
- Apple AirTag is the top choice for a seamless finding experience within the Apple ecosystem.
- All models offer decent durability and water resistance for most needs. Prices range from $25-$35 for Tile and third-party brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pebblebee or Chipolo trackers waterproof?
Most Pebblebee and Chipolo trackers have IPX5 water resistance or better, meaning they can withstand spraying water and rainfall. However, none are fully waterproof for submersion. The Apple AirTag has slightly better IP67 dust and water resistance. For more on the water resistance of AirTags, see our guide here.
How accurate are Bluetooth trackers?
It depends on the crowd-sourced finding network. Apple AirTag and Chipolo Spot can pinpoint locations within approximately 50 feet thanks to Apple’s Find My network. Tile and Chipolo classic are less precise but still get you within around 100 feet typically.
What are some creative ways to use Chipolo or Pebblebee trackers?
Get creative with sticking, tying or hiding them on bikes, luggage, cameras, outdoor gear, etc. We cover some AirTag bike mounts here. The options are endless!
What happens if a Pebblebee or Chipolo is out of range or battery dies?
If a tracker moves out of Bluetooth range and can’t connect to the app, its last known location will display on a map. A dead battery renders it unfindable until replacing the battery or recharging in Pebblebee’s case.
Can someone else detect if there is a Pebblebee or Chipolo tracker in their belongings?
Yes, Android and iOS devices will notify users if an unknown tracker is traveling with them. This protects against unwanted tracking by others.
Do I need a paid subscription to use these trackers?
Tile trackers require the annual Tile Premium subscription ($30 per year) to enable alerts when leaving devices behind. Chipolo and Pebblebee provide this without a subscription. Tile does offer free lost item reimbursement up to $100 even without the paid plan.
- For Android devices, the Chipolo One Spot currently provides the best overall experience until Google’s Find My Device network launches.
- For iPhones, the Pebblebee Card is my top recommendation for Find My integration and the convenience of the rechargeable battery.
- Across Apple and Android devices, the Chipolo One classic tracker impresses with the quickest separation alerts and direct integration with Google Assistant.
- The Apple AirTag can’t be beat for a seamless tracking experience within the Apple ecosystem.
With convenient recharging, multi-year battery life, crowd-sourced finding, alerts when leaving devices behind and much more – Pebblebee and Chipolo offer excellent alternatives to AirTag and Tile for keeping tabs on your gear.
Hopefully this comprehensive comparison helps you choose the best bluetooth tracker for your needs and provides peace of mind that you’ll never lose your items again! Let me know if you have any other questions.