Bluetooth trackers are handy devices that help you locate lost items like keys, wallets, bags and more. Just attach a small tracker tag, sync it with your phone, and you can ring the tracker when it’s in Bluetooth range or see its last known location on a map.
Two of the most popular Bluetooth tracker brands are Tile and Pebblebee. But with so many models available, how do you choose the right one?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Tile and Pebblebee trackers side-by-side on key factors like design, features, apps, battery life and more. Read on to find the best Bluetooth tracker for your needs and budget.
Tile vs. Pebblebee: At a Glance
|Most Popular Model
|Replaceable (lasts 1 year)
|Rechargeable (lasts 6 months)
|Tile Premium $2.99+/month
|$35 for 1 Tile Pro
|$30 for 1 Pebblebee Card
Tile and Pebblebee Product Lineups
Tile offers the most diverse lineup of trackers, with four main models:
- Tile Pro ($35) – The flagship Tile tracker with the longest range and loudest ring.
- Tile Mate ($25) – A more affordable Tile tracker with reduced range.
- Tile Slim ($35) – A slim card-shaped tracker for wallets.
- Tile Sticker ($30) – A small, waterproof sticker tracker.
Pebblebee has a simpler two-tracker lineup:
- Pebblebee Card ($29.99) – Pebblebee’s flagship tracker with the longest range.
- Pebblebee Clip ($29.99) – A compact tracker with a built-in clip.
Both brands also offer tracker bundles and multi-packs for additional savings. For example, a 4-pack of Tile Mate trackers costs around $70, vs $100 for buying individually.
Design and Durability Comparison
The Tile Pro and Pebblebee Finder have similar slim, compact designs that easily attach to keys, bags and more.
Here’s how the two most popular models stack up:
The Tile Pro has a square, minimalist design with a button in the center and a keyring loop at the top. It comes in black or white.
The Pebblebee Finder has a distinct ridged, puck-like shape. It also has a central button and a keyring hole at the top. The Finder only comes in black.
Both trackers are compact, lightweight and discreet enough to attach unobtrusively to valuables. The Pebblebee Finder is a hair thicker while the Tile Pro is slightly wider.
In terms of durability, the Tile Pro and Pebblebee Finder have an IP67 water resistance rating, meaning they can withstand splashes, rain and being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
The Pebblebee Finder is rated for 10 foot drops, while Tile doesn’t specify drop protection. But both should hold up well to everyday use.
For wallets and bags, slim card trackers like the Tile Slim and Pebblebee Card are available.
Features and Functionality
Both the Tile Pro and Pebblebee Finder provide the core features you expect in a Bluetooth tracker. You can:
- Ring your tracker from your phone when it’s in Bluetooth range
- Ring your phone from your tracker if you lose your phone
- View your tracker’s last known location on a map
However, Tile and Pebblebee take slightly different approaches when it comes to extended features and functionality.
Range and Volume
Two key factors are the max range your tracker can be detected at, and the volume level for ringing your tracker.
Tile claims a 400ft range for the Tile Pro – the longest of any Tile tracker. In PCMag’s testing, the Tile Pro maintained a connection up to 300ft.
Pebblebee lists a max 500ft range for the Finder. In real-world use, 200-300ft is more realistic depending on obstructions.
For volume, the Tile Pro hits 100+ decibels while Pebblebee lists the Finder at 115dB. Both are loud enough to hear easily when ringing from another room.
In summary, both trackers deliver on providing an extended Bluetooth range and loud ringtone to help locate your lost items in most real-world situations.
A major advantage of Tile and Pebblebee trackers is that you can tap into the wider community to help locate lost items.
If another person’s Tile or Pebblebee comes near your lost tracker, you’ll get notified of its most recent location.
Tile has the advantage here with millions more active users than Pebblebee. The odds of coming near a fellow Tile user are much higher.
However, Pebblebee’s finding network can still help increase the chances of getting your lost tracker back.
Both the Tile app and Pebblebee app can notify you if you leave your tracker behind and move out of Bluetooth range. This separation alert is handy for reminding you if you forget an item.
With Tile, separation alerts require a Tile Premium subscription for $2.99+/month. For Pebblebee, separation alerts are included for free.
Some other notable features of Tile vs Pebblebee trackers:
- Sharing – Tile lets you share access to your trackers temporarily with friends. Pebblebee lacks a sharing feature.
- Virtual Leash – The Pebblebee app offers a Virtual Leash alert to notify you if you move too far from a tracker. Tile lacks a similar on-demand alert.
- Amazon Alexa Support – Both brands work with Alexa voice commands to ring your tracker.
- Google Assistant Support – Only Tile trackers currently work with the Google Assistant.
- Siri Support – Tile also works with Siri but not Pebblebee.
- Anti-stalking alerts – Pebblebee added Scan and Secure technology to detect and alert if unknown trackers are traveling with you. Tile lacks native anti-stalking alerts.
- Rechargeable battery – The Pebblebee Clip model has a built-in rechargeable battery, a unique option. Tile still relies on replaceable coin cell batteries.
Overall, Tile edges out Pebblebee when it comes to integration with smart home platforms and phones. But Pebblebee provides greater flexibility of alerts.
Tile vs. Pebblebee Apps
The companion apps for Tile and Pebblebee Bluetooth trackers also have some significant differences.
The Tile app provides a more polished, user-friendly experience overall. The interface is clean and intuitive, with your tracked items clearly visible on an interactive map.
Tile also offers a Premium plan with advanced features like 30-day location history, unlimited sharing, and smart alerts.
The Pebblebee app is functional but feels a bit dated in comparison. However, Pebblebee doesn’t lock any core functionality behind a subscription paywall. All the essential tracking features are available for free.
The Pebblebee app also offers more flexibility for configuring different alert settings to your liking. But the overall user experience falls slightly short of Tile’s sleek ecosystem.
Battery life is an important practical consideration for Bluetooth trackers. Here’s how Tile and Pebblebee compare:
- Tile – Uses replaceable CR2032 coin cell batteries that last around 1 year. The Tile app alerts you when the battery is low.
- Pebblebee Finder – Has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts around 6 months per charge. You recharge via USB cable.
- Pebblebee Card – Lasts up to 1 year per charge.
Rechargeable batteries are more convenient since you don’t need to manually replace the battery. However, after 1+ years the rechargeable battery capacity may decrease.
The replaceable batteries in Tile trackers consistently deliver 1 year of life. But you do need to swap in a new CR2032 when they die.
Overall battery life is similar, but Pebblebee offers the flexibility of a rechargeable model while Tile provides replaceable batteries with consistent 1-year lifespans.
Cost Comparison of Tile vs. Pebblebee
In terms of upfront price, Tile and Pebblebee trackers are competitively priced starting around $20 for an entry-level model.
However, keep in mind that Tile offers a subscription Premium plan with additional features for $30/year or $3/month. So the total cost of ownership is higher with Tile if you want those extra capabilities.
Here’s a pricing breakdown of the most popular models:
You can also save by buying multi-packs. For example, a 4-pack of Tile Mate trackers is $70, vs. $100 for individual units.
Tile vs. Pebblebee: Which Is Best For You?
Here is a quick recap of how Tile and Pebblebee Bluetooth trackers compare across key categories:
- Design – Tile edge for a more minimalist, aesthetically pleasing look, but both are compact and durable.
- Features – Tile has better integration with smart home devices, while Pebblebee provides more flexible alerts. Tile’s finding network is significantly larger.
- App – Tile app is more polished and user-friendly. Pebblebee app offers free access to core features.
- Battery life – Tile provides guaranteed 1 year life from replaceable batteries. Pebblebee gives the flexibility of a rechargeable model.
- Price – Very similar starting prices around $25. Tile premium plan adds to long term cost.
- Tile Pro is best overall if you want long range, loud volume, and premium features. It has the most seamless integration.
- Pebblebee Finder is a good cheaper alternative. The rechargeable battery adds convenience and alert flexibility help make up for a smaller finding network.
- Tile Mate is the best budget tracker under $25. You make some performance trade-offs but still get access to Tile’s robust ecosystem.
Beyond Tile and Pebblebee, Apple’s AirTags have exploded in popularity for iPhone users. AirTags leverage Apple’s vast “Find My” network for unparalleled finding aid. Android users, however, are limited to just seeing if an AirTag is traveling with them.
Hopefully this guide has helped you decide whether Tile or Pebblebee trackers are a better match for keeping tabs on your keys, wallet, remote and other valuables on the go!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main differences between Tile and Pebblebee trackers?
The core functionality of Tile and Pebblebee trackers is similar – you can ring your tracker from your phone, ring your phone from your tracker, and view locations on a map.
However, Tile has advantages in its huge finding network, integration with smart home devices, premium features, and more polished app.
Pebblebee stands out for its flexible separation alerts, rechargeable batteries, and lack of subscription fees.
Can you use Tile trackers if you have an Android phone?
Yes, Tile trackers work with both iPhones and Android phones. You can download the Tile app from the Google Play Store. All of Tile’s main features are available on Android.
The only caveat is that Tile lacks integration with Google Assistant for voice commands. But you can still use all tracking functions.
How accurate are Bluetooth trackers for finding lost items?
Bluetooth trackers use proximity detection to show your item’s last known location. This means you’ll see where your tracker was when it was last in Bluetooth range with your phone.
The location tracking isn’t literally live. But it will get you in the general vicinity of a lost tracker tag. Using the ringtone and community network then helps you pinpoint the specific spot.
Can you use Pebblebee trackers if you have an iPhone?
Yes, Pebblebee trackers are compatible with both iPhones and Android phones. You can download the Pebblebee app on iOS to sync your tracker.
One limitation is that Pebblebee lacks integration with Siri for voice commands. But you can use the Pebblebee app directly on an iPhone to ring and locate trackers.
Do I need a paid subscription plan to use Tile or Pebblebee trackers?
Tile offers a Premium subscription plan with extras like smart alerts, location history, and item reimbursement insurance. This costs $30/year or $3/month.
It’s not mandatory though – you can use the basic tracking features for free on Tile devices.
Pebblebee doesn’t offer any subscription plans. All features are included for free.
How long do Tile and Pebblebee tracker batteries last?
The popular Tile Pro tracker uses a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts around 1 year before needing replacement.
Pebblebee Finders have a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts around 6 months on average per charge. The Pebblebee Card can go up to 1 year per charge.
So battery lifespan is similar. Pebblebee gives you rechargeable convenience while Tile provides consistent 1-year battery life.
Can you track a phone or laptop with Tile and Pebblebee?
Yes, you can attach a Tile or Pebblebee tracker to larger valuables like laptops, cameras, bicycles, etc. to help track them down if lost or stolen.
The tracker won’t prevent theft on its own. But being able to see your device’s last known location can aid recovery. Just be sure to activate the tracker and mark the item missing promptly after it goes out of range.
Do Tile or Pebblebee work for tracking pets?
You can safely attach a Tile or Pebblebee tracker to a pet collar to monitor your pet’s location. However, the limited Bluetooth range means they aren’t well-suited as stand-alone pet trackers. A GPS pet tracker that provides live location tracking is better for that purpose. But a Bluetooth tracker is a handy backup for tracking a pet that slips a collar or digs under a fence.