Tile vs Chipolo: Guide to Choosing the Best Bluetooth Tracker in 2024

February 11, 2024

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Finding your lost keys or wallet in a hurry can feel like an impossible task. But Bluetooth trackers provide a simple and effective solution to locate misplaced items in seconds using your smartphone.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the two most popular Bluetooth tracker brands – Tile and Chipolo. We’ll examine their key features, real-world performance, and help you decide which is the best Bluetooth tracker for your needs.

Quick Summary

  • Best Overall: Chipolo One – Works on iOS and Android. Loud ringer, reliable connectivity, and accurate separation alerts.
  • Best for iPhone Users: Apple AirTag – Seamlessly integrates with iOS and Apple’s massive Find My network. Offers precise directions with U1 chip.
  • Best for Android Users: Tile Pro 2022 – Loud ringer and replaceable battery. Decent crowd-finding network.
  • Best Budget Tracker: Tile Mate – Cheapest Tile tracker with 3-year battery. Reliable but quieter ringer.
  • Best Wallet Tracker: Tile Slim – Slim design fits in wallets. Very loud ringer.
  • Best Key Finder: Chipolo One Spot – Works with Find My network. Loud ringer and accurate alerts.

How Do Bluetooth Trackers Work?

Bluetooth trackers are small devices that pair with your smartphone using Bluetooth technology. You attach them to frequently lost items like keys, wallets, remote controls, etc.

If you misplace a tagged item, you use the tracker’s app to make it ring loudly so you can find it. Most trackers have a range of 200-400 feet.

Advanced trackers use anonymous Bluetooth connections with a wider network of smartphones to help locate items even when they are far away from you.

Main Features

  • Ringing: Make your lost item play a loud sound to pinpoint its location.
  • Separation Alerts: Get notified if you leave your tracker behind so you can backtrack.
  • Last Location: See where your tracker was last connected if you lose it outside Bluetooth range.
  • Community Finding: Wider network of smartphones can detect your lost tracker and report its location back to you.
  • Phone Finding: Press your tracker to make your phone ring, even if silenced.

Tile vs Chipolo Comparison

Now let’s dive into a detailed comparison of Tile and Chipolo across key factors:

TileChipolo
Finder Network50 million<10 million
Works with iPhone
Works with Android
Water Resistance
Replaceable BatteryTile ProChipolo One
Separation AlertsPremium only
Phone Finder
Design Variety4 options7 options
Price Range$25-$35$25-$35

Below we’ll explore each of these factors in more detail.

Finder Network

One of the biggest advantages of a Bluetooth tracker is the ability to locate lost items even when they are far away, using a wider network of smartphones.

Tile has the largest finder network after Apple, with over 50 million Tile users worldwide. When another Tile user comes near your lost tracker, their app will anonymously report its location back to you.

Tile App

Chipolo’s finder network is still relatively small at less than 10 million users. The likelihood of your lost Chipolo being detected is lower than Tile.

However, Chipolo’s newer Spot trackers integrate with Apple’s Find My network used by over 1 billion Apple devices. This makes their finding capabilities nearly as powerful as Tile’s.

Chipolo One Spot Find My
One Spot

Device Compatibility

Both Tile and Chipolo trackers work seamlessly with iPhones and Android smartphones. You can use their apps and features interchangeably.

However, some Chipolo devices like the Spot and Card Spot work exclusively with Apple Find My and don’t pair with the Chipolo app.

Tile generally provides a better experience on Android than iPhone. During testing, Tile’s iPhone app had some connection and alert issues which weren’t present on Android.

Chipolo’s performance was consistent across both platforms. Their alerts and connectivity worked reliably on iOS and Android devices.

Water and Dust Resistance

All Tile and Chipolo trackers are splash, water, and dust resistant to some degree.

The Tile Mate is IPX7 rated, meaning it can be submerged under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Chipolo One has an IPX5 rating, so it can withstand low pressure water jets but not being fully immersed.

Both offer sufficient water protection for daily use. You won’t have to worry about rain, spills, or accidentally dropping them in water.

Battery Life

The Tile Pro 2022 is the only Tile device with a user-replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts 1 year.

Tile Pro 2022 Battery

Other Tile models and the Chipolo Card Spot have non-replaceable batteries lasting 2-3 years.

The Chipolo One uses a replaceable CR2032 battery that lasts 2 years. This longer battery life with the flexibility of replacement gives it an edge.

Chipolo One Spot Battery

Separation Alerts

Chipolo trackers include separation alerts for free to notify you if you leave your tracker behind. You can customize the distance and receive sound, vibration, and visual alerts.

Tile requires a $30/year premium subscription to enable smart alerts when separated from your tracker.

In head-to-head testing, Chipolo’s alerts consistently activated sooner when leaving a tracker behind. Tile’s alerts had some reliability issues, especially on iPhone.

Phone Finding

Both Tile and Chipolo allow you to press their tracker to make your phone ring, even if it’s on silent. This helpful when you’ve misplaced your phone in the house.

However, the newer Spot trackers from Chipolo that use Apple’s Find My network don’t support phone finding.

Design Variety

Tile offers the most choice in tracker designs:

  • Tile Mate: Compact square shape for keys or bags
  • Tile Pro: Keychain friendly finder
  • Tile Slim: Slim wallet sized card
  • Tile Sticker: Small adhesive tracker
Tile Four Distinct Tracker Models

Chipolo has 7 tracker models to choose from:

  • Chipolo One: Keychain style finder
  • Chipolo Card: Slim card for wallets
  • Chipolo Spot: Small round adhesive tracker
  • Chipolo Card Spot: Wallet tracker for Find My
  • Chipolo One Spot: Key finder for Find My
Chipolo 1

Both provide versatile options to suit your specific tracking needs.

Price

Tile and Chipolo trackers are closely matched on pricing, ranging from $25-$35 for individual units. Their premium subscriptions are also identical at $30 per year.

You can often find them discounted in 2-4 pack bundles on Amazon.

Overall, Tile tends to be slightly more expensive than Chipolo for the same capabilities. But the differences are minor.

Tile Trackers

Now let’s review Tile’s tracker lineup and their key features:

Tile Mate

Tile Trackers

Best for: Keys, bags, everyday items

Battery: Non-replaceable, 3 year life

Water resistance: IPX7

Range: 250 feet

Price: $25

The Tile Mate is their affordable, entry-level tracker. It has a compact, square design in white and black color options.

The non-replaceable battery lasts 3 years. It has a 250 foot range and IPX7 water resistance.

The ringer volume is lower than other Tile models and it lacks some premium features. But it reliably tracks everyday items at an affordable price point.

Shop Tile Mate on Amazon

Tile Pro 2022

Tile Pro 2022

Best for: Keys, backpacks, travel bags

Battery: Replaceable, 1 year (CR2032)

Water resistance: IP67

Range: 400 feet

Price: $35

The Tile Pro is their premium tracker with the longest Bluetooth range at 400 feet.

It has an IP67 rating for better water protection. The CR2032 battery is replaceable and lasts 1 year.

This versatile finder easily attaches to keychains or bags. It has a loud ringer volume which is useful when items are hidden or in noisy environments.

The Tile Pro is the best Tile device for Android users thanks to its range and replaceable battery.

Shop Tile Pro 2022 on Amazon

Tile Slim 2022

Tile Slim 2022

Best for: Wallets, notebooks, luggage tags

Battery: Non-replaceable, 3 years

Water resistance: IPX7

Range: 250 feet

Price: $35

The aptly named Tile Slim has a thin, credit card-shaped design that slips easily into wallets or notebooks.

It has the same 3-year non-replaceable battery and IPX7 water rating as the Mate. The range is also 250 feet.

However, the Slim is one of Tile’s loudest trackers, with volume nearly as loud as the Chipolo One. This helps make up for its smaller design.

If you frequently misplace your wallet, the Tile Slim is the perfect tracker for it.

Shop Tile Slim 2022 on Amazon

Tile Sticker 2022

Tile Sticker 2022

Best for: Remote controls, cameras, gadgets

Battery: Non-replaceable, 3 year

Water resistance: IPX7

Range: 150 feet

Price: $27.50 (single), $70 (4 pack)

The tiny Tile Sticker is ideal for sticking to TV remotes, headphones, laptops, cameras, and practically anything else with a flat surface.

Measuring just 1.5 inches wide, its low profile design can be easily hidden out of sight. The 3 year battery means you can set it and forget it.

The 150 foot range is lower than other Tile models. But the Sticker is loud enough to be heard when buried in couch cushions.

The Tile Sticker only comes in multipacks of 2 or 4 units. But the compact size allows you to tag numerous small items.

Shop Tile Sticker 2022 on Amazon

Chipolo Trackers

Next let’s look at Chipolo’s different tracker models and how they compare:

Chipolo One Spot

Chipolo One Spot 2022

Works with: Find My

Battery: Replaceable, 1 year (CR2032)

Water resistance: IPX5

Range: 200 feet

Price: $28

The Chipolo One Spot is one of their newest trackers made specifically for Apple’s Find My network.

It doesn’t pair with the Chipolo app – only Find My on iOS. But it taps into Apple’s massive tracking network.

The One Spot has an IPX5 water resistance rating and 200 foot range. Its ringer volume is very loud, making it easy to find.

The CR2032 battery lasts 1 year and is easily replaceable. The One Spot is an excellent Apple-friendly alternative to AirTag.

Shop Chipolo One Spot on Amazon

Chipolo One

Chipolo One 2

Works with: iOS, Android

Battery: Replaceable, 2 years (CR2032)

Water resistance: IPX5

Range: 200 feet

Price: $25

The standard Chipolo One works with both iPhone and Android devices.

It was the top performer in our hands-on testing. The range reliably reaches 200+ feet and connectivity is quick.

The IPX5 rating protects against splashes and spills. The replaceable CR2032 battery lasts 2 years.

Its loud ringer hits over 80 decibels, allowing you to easily find it behind obstacles or in noisy environments.

This versatile tracker + accurate separation alerts make the Chipolo One an excellent all-around pick.

Shop Chipolo One on Amazon

Chipolo Card Spot

Chipolo Card Spot

Works with: Find My

Battery: Non-replaceable, 2 years

Water resistance: IPX5

Range: 200 feet

Price: $35

The Chipolo Card Spot is designed for iPhone users who want an easy-to-hide tracker for their wallet or luggage.

At just 2.4mm thin, this credit card shaped tracker slips into a wallet without adding much bulk.

It taps into Apple’s Find My network to help locate items left behind. The non-replaceable battery lasts 2 years.

The Card Spot has the same 200 foot range and loud volume as the One Spot. If you have an iPhone and frequently lose your wallet, the Card Spot is an excellent choice.

Shop Chipolo Card Spot on Amazon

Chipolo Card

Chipolo Card

Works with: iOS, Android

Battery: Non-replaceable, 1 year

Water resistance: IPX5

Range: 200 feet

Price: $35

The Chipolo Card has the same slim, wallet-friendly design as the Card Spot. But it pairs with the Chipolo app instead of Find My.

So you can use it interchangeably with iOS or Android smartphones.

The sound volume is just as loud as the One Spot and One trackers. Its range reliably reaches 200+ feet in real-world use.

The non-replaceable battery lasts 1 year. While not as long as the Card Spot, you can get a discounted replacement when it ends.

For Android users who want a low profile tracker for their wallet, the Card is an excellent option.

Shop Chipolo Card on Amazon

Apple AirTag

Apple Airtag

We can’t talk about Bluetooth trackers without mentioning Apple’s wildly popular AirTag. Here are its key features:

Works with: iOS (Find My)

Battery: Replaceable, 1 year (CR2032)

Water resistance: IP67

Range: 800 feet

Price: $29

AirTag uses Apple’s U1 ultrawideband chip for precise directions and long 800 foot range. When in close proximity, you can use augmented reality and haptic feedback to pinpoint its exact location.

It taps into Apple’s massive Find My network of nearly 1 billion active devices to locate items left behind. No other tracker comes close to this crowdfinding power.

While the rang is long and U1 tracking impressive, the ringer volume on AirTag is noticeably lower than Tile and Chipolo’s offerings. It can be difficult to hear when muffled.

AirTags only work with iOS devices. There is currently no Android support. So it’s only viable for 100% Apple households.

But for iPhone owners who value longer range and precise tracking, the AirTag is hard to beat.

Shop Apple AirTag on Amazon

What To Look For in a Bluetooth Tracker

Here are the key factors to consider when choosing a Bluetooth tracker:

  • Device Compatibility – iPhone only, Android only, or both
  • Finding Network – Wider is better for finding lost items
  • Water Resistance – Minimum of IPX5 rating recommended
  • Battery Life – 1-3 years. Replaceable is ideal.
  • Security – Anti-stalking alerts and deterrents
  • Use Case – Look for a design suited to your needs
  • Range – At least 150-200 ft Bluetooth range
  • Volume – Loud ringers 85dB+ are best
  • Price – Between $25-$35 for most quality trackers

Look for a tracker that checks all of those boxes for your situation. Most people are best served by a moderately priced tracker in the $25-$35 range that has replaceable battery, loud ringer, long range, and works well with their smartphone OS.

3 Best Uses for Bluetooth Trackers

Beyond finding missing keys, there are some other great applications for Bluetooth trackers:

1. Wallet Tracker

Slim card-style trackers like the Tile Slim or Chipolo Card are perfect for slipping into your wallet.

You can quickly ring your wallet if you leave it behind in a store or restaurant. And if it gets lost or stolen, you have a fighting chance of tracking it down.

See our picks for MagSafe wallets with AirTag holders for iPhone owners.

2. Pet Tracker

Attach a compact tracker to your pet’s collar. That way if they escape or get lost, you can use the tracker’s ring feature or monitoring network to locate them.

For even better tracking, consider a GPS pet tracker like Whistle or Fi.

3. Luggage Tracker

Put a tracker in your suitcase so you can find it on airport carousels. Also helpful if the airline misplaces your bag during transit.

AirTags can even track checked luggage.

See our guide to the best luggage trackers for more recommendations.

Other Uses

Tile vs Chipolo: Which is Better?

So which brand reigns supreme in the battle of Tile vs Chipolo?

For iPhone owners, the Apple AirTag is the best choice if you value precise tracking, long range, and crowd finding power.

Chipolo’s Spot trackers are also excellent choices for iOS users thanks to Apple Find My integration. See how the Chipolo One Spot compares to AirTag.

For Android users, the Tile Pro 2022 is a top pick thanks to its loud ringer and replaceable battery.

However, the Chipolo One matched and even exceeded the Tile Pro’s performance in testing. It has a louder ringer, reliable connectivity, accurate separation alerts, and a 2 year replaceable battery.

See how AirTag and Tile trackers compare on features and performance.

So for Android owners, the Chipolo One is the best overall Bluetooth tracker.

FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Tile and Chipolo trackers:

Can you track a phone with a Tile or Chipolo?

Yes, you can press the button on either tracker to make your paired phone ring loudly, even if it is set to silent. This helps find lost phones easily.

Do Tile and Chipolo trackers have GPS?

No, Tile and Chipolo rely on Bluetooth connectivity, not GPS. They can only pinpoint the location of lost items when in Bluetooth range of your phone. For true GPS tracking, you need a dedicated GPS tracker.

How do you attach a Tile or Chipolo tracker?

Most Tile and Chipolo models have a hole or adhesive backing to easily attach to keys, bags, collars, etc. Some also come with key rings or adhesive strips. Accessories like straps and cases are also available.

Can a Tile or Chipolo tracker be hacked?

In extremely rare cases, it’s possible for a hacker nearby at the exact right time to potentially intercept the Bluetooth connection. But extensive encryption makes this highly unlikely. There are no reported cases of Tile or Chipolo tracker hacking.

How long do Tile and Chipolo trackers last?

Battery life ranges from 1-3 years depending on model. Chipolo One and Tile Pro have replaceable batteries, allowing them to last indefinitely. Other models must be replaced when the battery dies.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this guide has helped you decide whether Tile or Chipolo trackers are right for your needs. The core capabilities are quite similar, with the main differences being design, battery, and smartphone OS compatibility.

For iPhone users, Apple AirTag is the premium choice. But Tile and Chipolo Spot models offer alternatives.

Android owners get flexibility with Tile and standard Chipolo trackers. Overall, Chipolo One is the top performing Bluetooth tracker across different tests.

So consider your smartphone, intended use cases, and desired features. Then choose a tracker that best fits your lifestyle and needs. With Tile, Chipolo or AirTag, you’ll be able to quickly locate misplaced items with ease.