I have a great memory. I can recall the exact score line of the two AFL Grand Finals the Adelaide Crows won, I know all the words to ‘Come On Eileen’ and I remember the biological process that helps your bones to develop. However, I cannot tell you where I put my keys this morning, so Bluetooth trackers are my best friend.
But what’s better? The TrackR Pixel or the Tile Style?
Lifehacker has previously taken a look at the Tile – a Bluetooth tracker you can attach to your keys or slip into your wallet to track any device you may not always remember the location of, but we haven’t taken a look at too many other Bluetooth trackers on the market. Recently, Tile responded to the criticisms they received about having a non-replaceable battery, but it seems consumers are ready to look elsewhere.
Enter the TrackR Pixel. How does it stack up to the Tile?
Here's the pure specs for how the two match up:
|TrackR Pixel||Tile Style|
|Size||26.2mm diameter||37.5mm squared|
|Battery||Replaceable CR2016||Non-replaceable (1 year life)|
|Bluetooth Type||BLE 4.0||BLE 4.0|
|Bluetooth Range||up to ~30m range||up to ~60m range|
|Volume||Up to 90dB||98dB|
|Price (1-pack)||~$32 AUD||$35|
What Are The Major Differences Between The TrackR Pixel And The Tile Style?
When you look at the two trackers side-by-side there’s not a whole lot of difference in form factor. For physically attaching the devices to the items you want to track, The Tile Style has a hole in one corner, so can get on a keyring or a purse rather easily, whereas the Pixel comes with a key loop. Both include adhesive pads, if you want to stick them onto a laptop or some other equally important device.
From the perspective of replaceable batteries, the TrackR clearly wins. While Tile offer ‘re-Tile’ which is a program that lets you purchase an additional Tile once the battery in yours dies, the ease of replacing a battery shouldn’t be discounted. For a long-term user, the TrackR is going to be the clear victor.
Do any particular features or the Tile offset that issue? Potentially. The addition of an IP68 waterproof rating is especially important, depending on how you use the device. The Pixel is water-resistant, but submerged in any H20 and it’s in big strife. The Tile also has a much better range, which is definitely helpful depending on what you’re trying to track. Although it touts an 8 decibel advantage, in practice the volume doesn’t seem to differ dramatically, especially when I’ve thrown my keys in a backpack.
How do the apps perform? Very similarly. There's no extra features or huge differences in the UI and they're both extremely easy to set up and to navigate.
Overall, the TrackR is a viable alternative to the Tile, for those that are looking for something with a replaceable battery. Tile still packs in the features, and this is important, but I can certainly see why people would be turned away from a non-replaceable battery.