With a loud speaker, a durable body, and good connectivity, the Tile Pro is the best tracking device for Android users. US Street Price$34.99
- Good connectivity
- Replaceable battery
- Loud speaker
- Durable build
- More expensive than competitors
- App doesn’t offer precise location data
If you’re on the hunt for your keys as you rush out the door, the Tile Pro ($34.99) might be the answer to your problems. It has the best range of any Tile we’ve tested, a speaker that’s loud enough to hear across the room, and good Bluetooth connectivity. For Android users looking for an alternative to Apple’s AirTag (our favorite tracker for iPhone users), the Tile Pro is your best bet. The AirTag is ultimately our Editors’ Choice winner for its lower price and superior connectivity, but the Tile Pro is a close second.
Slim and Durable
The Tile Pro is an oblong tracker that measures 2.3 by 1.3 by 0.3 inches (HWD). It’s available in black or white.
The device is made of plastic and has a thin metal frame with a hole for your keyring. On the front, there’s a large rubber button you can use to locate your phone. The speaker grille and replaceable battery cover are on the back.
The Pro’s heavy-duty plastic shell is durable. The tracker sports an IP67 rating, which means that you can submerge it in a little over three feet of water for 30 minutes without causing damage. There’s no flex if you try to bend it, and the metal frame means you don’t have to worry about the keyring hole cracking over time.
Tile says the Pro’s battery will last approximately a year. We think that’s a conservative estimate if you’re not using it constantly; we haven’t yet needed to change the battery in an older model that we’ve used for several years. Still, it’s best to err on the side of caution and replace the battery on an annual basis.
Setup and App
Apple’s AirTag only works with iPhones and iPads. Tile’s lineup is an excellent alternative for Android users, or for iOS users who don’t want to be tethered within Apple’s walled garden.
Setup is simple. Download the Tile app, create an account, and follow a few prompts to change the settings on your phone. Then, on the app’s main screen, just tap Add Tile and press the button on the front of the Pro. The pairing process only takes a few seconds.
Left to right: Tile Sticker, Tile Mate, Tile Pro, Tile Slim
Once your Pro is added to the app, you can customize its icon, name, and ringtone. The app feels a little dated, and if you have several Tile trackers, you’ll need to scroll down on your screen to find them all. It’s not a big deal, but it would be nice to see Tile make the app a little more user-friendly.
Every Tile tracker comes with a lot of functionality to start with, and you can upgrade it with a Premium subscription. Tile Premium costs $29.99 per year, and new Tile customers get a year free. It includes annual battery replacements, access to 30 days of location history, unlimited location sharing, and premium customer service. It also unlocks the Smart Alerts feature, which sends a notification to your phone when you forget to take the item attached to the Pro with you. (Apple’s AirTag offers a similar feature to Smart Alerts without a subscription.)
If you’re willing to pay $99 per year for a Premium Protect subscription, you get all the benefits of Premium, plus loss protection (up to $1,000) for the item to which the tracker is attached. To subscribe, you need to provide details about the item, along with a picture of the device tethered to the tracker, to XCover, Tile’s reimbursement partner. You’re eligible for reimbursement after you’ve been signed up for a month and the device has been missing for seven days. There are a few restrictions, so read the terms and conditions carefully.
Like all Tile models, the Pro is a two-way tracker; you can use the app on your phone to find your misplaced item or press the Tile button twice to find your phone. If you opt for the latter, you’ll hear the alert on your phone even if it’s on silent. Devices like smart speakers can also ping your lost items if you set the feature up in advance; you can even use a Comcast Xfinity Voice remote to find your missing items. Unfortunately, there’s no longer an option to check the location of your tracker on Tile’s site.
Tile claims the Pro has the longest range of its four trackers, reaching 400 feet via Bluetooth. (Unlike AirTags, Tiles don’t use ultra-wideband.) Unfortunately, Tile’s claims don’t really take real-world conditions into account; for example, you’ll rarely have a direct line of sight and no interference between you and your missing item. In our tests, our maximum range was 75 feet in a parking garage and 45 feet in a large residential lobby. Still, this is a solid result for Bluetooth.
The Pro has the loudest speaker of the bunch, maxing out at 128dB. Once you’re a few inches away, however, the maximum volume is 92dB. That said, it’s loud enough to hear across a room with plenty of ambient noise.
If you manage to lose your item and it’s out of range, you can open the Tile app and tap Notify When Found. This puts the tracker in Lost mode and will notify you as soon as another Tile user is within range of your item. The process happens in the background when another Tile user is within range, and they will not be notified that there’s a lost item unless you choose to send an anonymous thank you after you’ve collected the item.
Tile recently added a new Lost and Found feature for its latest trackers. This feature allows you to attach your name and phone number to the device. If it’s found by someone who isn’t a Tile user, they can scan a QR on the back of the tracker to get your contact information. This is an optional, but free, feature; if you don’t add your contact details, the person who locates your missing item will simply be directed to Tile’s site.
We tested the Pro by putting it and an Apple AirTag in the lobby of a large residential building. With nearly 11,000 reported Tile users within a few miles of our test spot, we assumed we’d receive missing item alerts within minutes.
The AirTag was found within a minute, but it took nearly an hour to receive a notification from Tile. Tile has a devoted community of users, but there are exponentially more iPhone owners than Tile users, and that gives the AirTag a big advantage.
Tile’s notification listed the correct address. Since we hid the trackers in the back of the lobby, the Pro didn’t appear immediately when we walked through the door. It took about a minute of wandering around before the tracker came into range. Once in range, we tapped the Find button to listen for alerts. Tile doesn’t offer the sleek turn-by-turn directions you get with the AirTag; instead, you see an icon of your tracker with a few circles around it. As you get closer to the item, more of the circles turn green.
Tile’s Lost and Found feature allows non-Tile users to contact you if they find your missing item
As for security, it’s an unfortunate reality that AirTags, Tiles, and any other trackers can be used to stalk people. Since the trackers can be located when any device with Bluetooth comes within range, it’s nearly impossible to prevent people from using them inappropriately. Apple added additional features like intermittent chirps to alert you if an unassigned AirTag is nearby. Tile plans to introduce a feature called Scan and Secure in early 2022 that will let anyone with its app scan for unassigned trackers in close range.
The Tile to Buy
The Pro is Tile’s priciest tracker, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. It’s well built, has an IP67 rating, and uses an easily replaceable battery. It works better than Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag ($29.99) because Tile’s large network of users on both Android and iOS, so it can help you locate a lost item more quickly. That said, the Tile Pro is missing the super-fast lost item notifications and detailed location data that you get with Apple’s AirTag ($29), making the AirTag the better buy for Apple users. But if you use Android, the Tile Pro is the best tracker to buy.