The TrackR Pixel is a compact Bluetooth tracker that helps you find lost items like keys, wallets, and more. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the TrackR Pixel’s features, performance, price, and how it compares to competitors like Tile.
We’ve all experienced the panic of losing something important like our keys, phone, or wallet. Luckily, Bluetooth trackers offer an easy way to locate misplaced belongings.
The TrackR Pixel is one of the smallest and most affordable options on the market. At just 1 inch wide and 0.2 inches thick, it’s slimmer than a quarter. Despite the tiny size, the Pixel packs helpful features like a loud ringer, LED lights, crowd GPS, and a replaceable battery.
By the end, you’ll know whether the TrackR Pixel is the right Bluetooth tracker for your needs and budget.
TrackR Pixel Design and Features
The TrackR Pixel retains the coin-like shape of the previous TrackR Bravo but shrinks it down into an even more compact size. At just 1 inch in diameter and 0.22 inches thick, the TrackR Pixel is one of the smallest Bluetooth trackers available.
It’s smaller than a quarter, making it easy to attach to keychains, backpacks, laptop bags, and more. The Pixel is available in a variety of colors including black, white, gray, green, blue, pink, and red.
Despite the tiny size, TrackR managed to squeeze helpful features into the Pixel:
- 90 decibel alarm – The Pixel has a loud 90 dB alarm to help locate your lost item when in Bluetooth range. This is slightly louder than the TrackR Bravo’s 82 dB alarm.
- Ring of LED lights – LED lights encircle the Pixel and flash when you trigger the alarm from the app. This makes it easy to spot even in low light.
- Two-way find – If you lose your phone, press the Pixel to make your phone ring loudly. This works even if your phone is on silent.
- Replaceable CR2016 battery – The battery is replaceable, giving the Pixel a longer lifespan than competitors like Tile which need to be replaced when the battery dies.
- Crowd Locate – If your item goes out of Bluetooth range, the TrackR app network can detect its location when another user comes near it.
- Compatibility – Works with both iOS and Android devices.
While the Pixel adds helpful upgrades like the LED ring, the compact size comes with tradeoffs. There is no hole to attach a keyring, so a short cord is included for keys or bags. The battery is also trickier to replace than the TrackR Bravo. We’ll cover the pros and cons of this later.Shop TrackR Pixel on Amazon
Setting Up the TrackR Pixel
Getting started with the TrackR Pixel is quick and easy:
- Download the TrackR app.
- Open the app and enable Bluetooth on your phone.
- Tap the “+” in the TrackR app to add a new device.
- Name your Pixel and select an icon (like keys or wallet) that represents the item you’re tracking.
- The Pixel will automatically connect via Bluetooth and sync its location.
Once set up, the Pixel’s current location will appear on a map in the app whenever it’s in Bluetooth range. You can also view the last known location if your item goes missing.
Performance and Features
Now let’s take a look at how the TrackR Pixel performs for finding lost items compared to its specs:
Finding Keys and Wallets in Bluetooth Range
The TrackR Pixel’s 90 dB alarm makes it easy to locate keys, wallets, and other items when they are in Bluetooth range. In my testing, the loud beeping could be heard clearly even when buried under piles of blankets or clothes.
The ring of LED lights is also useful for zeroing in on the Pixel in the dark. The entire tracker lights up and pulses brightly when the alarm sounds.
However, I found the high pitched beeping harder to pinpoint directionally compared to the Tile Mate’s more mellow alarm tone. Walking room to room, the Pixel’s location wasn’t as immediately apparent based on sound alone.
TrackR claims the Pixel has a Bluetooth range of up to 100 feet. In my real-world tests, the connectivity range was 40-50 feet indoors before losing the connection. Outdoors in a park, I averaged 42 feet of range, with a max of 54 feet on clear lines of sight.
This is a shorter range than TrackR’s claims and puts the Pixel behind its bigger brother, the TrackR Bravo, which maintained 60-70 feet in previous testing.
I also noticed inconsistent performance between Pixels. One unit dropped connection after 30 feet while another managed 50 feet. This variance suggests potential quality control issues.
Re-establishing a Bluetooth connection took 5-10 feet of walking back in range. But occasionally the Pixel took up to 20 feet to reconnect after losing signal.
By comparison, the Tile Mate always displayed as “nearby” when within Bluetooth range in my home. Overall, the TrackR Pixel’s finicky Bluetooth connection made it less reliable for finding items within range.
Crowd Locate Network
What about when your missing keys or wallet wander out of Bluetooth range? This is where TrackR’s Crowd Locate network comes in handy.
Whenever another TrackR user comes within range of your lost Pixel, you’ll get an updated location on the map.
To test Crowd Locate, I intentionally “lost” a Pixel in my car parked on a busy street. It took 24 hours to get notification that the Pixel was found based on another user passing by.
Success depends on having a critical mass of users in your area so your lost item is likely to cross paths with another TrackR. Tile currently has the largest crowd-finding network with over 33 million devices sold to date according to the company.
Other App Features
The TrackR app offers several convenient features beyond basic tracking:
- Separation alerts – Get notified if you leave your keys or wallet behind. This can trigger false alarms due to finicky Bluetooth range.
- Family sharing – Let family and friends track your Pixels. Handy for shared keys or items.
- Alexa integration – Say “Alexa, ask TrackR to find my keys” to trigger the Pixel’s alarm. Doesn’t require a TrackR device so anyone can use this feature.
- Virtual leash – Get an alert if you leave your Pixel behind by a certain distance. I found this worked unreliably and often triggered late.
- Two-way find – Press the Pixel’s button to make your phone ring if you misplaced it nearby. Handy for finding a lost phone.
- Last known location – See where your item was last in range if the Bluetooth connection is lost. Useful for determining if you left something at home or elsewhere.
Pros and Cons
Before we compare the Pixel to competitors, let’s summarize the main pros and cons:
TrackR Pixel Pros
- Small and slim 1-inch diameter design
- Loud 90 dB ring helps locate items in Bluetooth range
- LED ring clearly indicates location in darkness
- Crowd GPS provides updates on lost items out of Bluetooth range
- Two-way finding locates misplaced phone
- App shows last known location if Bluetooth lost
- Replaceable battery prolongs lifespan
TrackR Pixel Cons
- Shorter Bluetooth range than competitors and specs
- Occasional connectivity issues and slow re-pairing
- High pitched alarm tone harder to locate directionally
- No hole for attaching to key rings
- Replacing battery is tricky
- Lacks waterproofing of competitors
TrackR Pixel vs. Tile Mate
The Tile Mate is one of the TrackR Pixel’s biggest competitors in a similar price range. Let’s see how the Pixel stacks up against the Tile Mate:
|1 in. diameter 0.2 in. thick
|1.4 in. diameter 0.2 in. thick
|100 ft claimed, 40-50 ft actual
|200 ft claimed, 50-80 ft actual
|TrackR app network
|Tile app network
The Pixel is more compact but the Tile Mate offers notably better range along with water resistance. The Pixel’s replaceable battery improves longevity but makes it less seamless than the Tile Mate’s integrated design.
Both offer helpful crowd GPS capabilities for finding items beyond Bluetooth range although Tile’s much larger user base improves odds another user will detect your lost item.
Ultimately, the choice comes down to size vs range. The miniscule Pixel is ideal for sticking discretely on small items. But the Tile Mate is a more reliable tracker thanks to its improved Bluetooth performance and waterproofing.
Who Should Buy the TrackR Pixel?
The TrackR Pixel is best suited for:
- People who want a tiny, unobtrusive tracker – The Pixel’s compact 1-inch design makes it easy to attach to small items discretely.
- Anyone who loses keys and wallets close to home – For items you tend to misplace primarily indoors, the Pixel’s loud alarm makes it easy to locate within Bluetooth range.
- Those looking for an affordable tracker under $30 – At just $25, the Pixel is an inexpensive way to monitor your essentials.
- Consumers who want a replaceable battery – Never have to replace the whole tracker when the battery dies. Just swap it out.
- People frustrated with replacing Tile yearly – Tiles must be replaced annually once the battery dies while the Pixel lasts longer thanks to a replaceable battery.
- Large households with shared items – Family sharing allows everyone to track shared keys or gadgets.
- Users needing a locator for items beyond keys – Securely track luggage, cameras, bikes, laptops, and more.
- Those prone to misplacing phones – The Pixel’s two-way finding helps you locate a nearby misplaced phone.
The TrackR Pixel packs helpful tracking features into a bite-sized design. Its compact footprint and replaceable battery improve upon previous TrackR models.
In real-world testing, the Pixel struggled with shorter-than-expected Bluetooth range and occasional connectivity issues. The Tile Mate proved more reliable for locating items within range thanks to better Bluetooth performance.
However, the tiny TrackR Pixel excels when you need an ultra-compact tracker for small items or to use discretely. It’s also a budget-friendly option at just $25.
The Pixel’s plucky alarm and flashing LEDs make it easy to zero in when your missing keys end up buried under the couch cushions or between sofa seat cushions. For essentials that tend to go astray nearby, the TrackR Pixel is an affordable tracking solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the TrackR Pixel waterproof?
No, the TrackR Pixel has no official water resistance rating and should be kept away from moisture. By comparison, the Tile Mate is IP5 water-resistant.
How long does the battery last?
TrackR claims up to 1 year battery life. In real-world usage, users report 2-6 months on average before needing to replace the CR2016 battery.
Can you attach the TrackR Pixel to keys?
There is no built-in keychain hole, but a short cord is included to attach the Pixel to keys, zippers, pet collars and more. The adhesive strips can also stick the Pixel onto flat items.
What items can you use the TrackR Pixel to track?
The Pixel can be used to keep track of keys, wallets, luggage, cameras, laptops, bikes, pets, remote controls, and any other small belongings prone to going missing.
Is there a monthly fee?
No, the TrackR Pixel requires no monthly fee after the one-time purchase cost. You only need the smartphone app to use it.
What happens when the battery dies?
The TrackR Pixel uses a replaceable CR2016 coin cell battery. When it runs low, simply twist off the back cover and pop in a new battery to keep the Pixel tracking.