Use Bluetooth Tags to Keep Track of Your Crap

Use Bluetooth Tags to Keep Track of Your Crap

Samsung recently announced a pair of tiny, battery-powered dongles called SmartTags that will help you keep track of your important items.

These key-fob-like devices have a months-long battery life and communicate with Samsung phones via Bluetooth. Clip them to a set of keys, a pet’s collar, a backpack, a purse — really, anything you can attach a keychain to. If it ever goes missing, you can use Samsung’s SmartThings Find app to track ‘em down. This even works if you’re disconnected from the SmartTag; the tags ping off nearby Samsung devices using encrypted connections, anonymously telling the SmartThings Find app where they are. They can even make noise to help you pinpoint their location.

Samsung announced two types of SmarTags: The SmartTag and SmartTag Plus. While both can help you track and find items, they have different features.

  • SmartTag: The basic SmartTag uses Bluetooth Low Energy. This is the same type of Bluetooth wireless headphones use to sync with your phone. While this means you can connect your SmartTag to any Galaxy smartphone and that any near-by Samsung devices can be used to triangulate it’s location, you’ll only be able to see the tag’s approximate distance in the SmartThings Find app; it won’t lead you directly to your missing stuff.
  • SmartTag Plus: The more advanced SmartTag Plus communicates via ultra wideband (UWB) signals. The only Samsung devices that support UWB connections are the Note 20 Ultra and the upcoming Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra. However, users will be able to see precisely where the SmartTag Plus is. The SmartThings Find app will even include AR-based directions that can help you find a missing SmartTag Plus — kind of like a waypoint marker in a video game.

Along with the differences in tech and device support, the two SmartTags differ in price and availability.

The Bluetooth Low energy SmartTag is available now. It costs $38 for one, or you can buy them in packs of two (for $64) or four (for $108) for a slight discount. Samsung is also bundling one free SmartTag with all Galaxy S21 smartphones for a limited time.

The SmartTag Plus will launch a little later in 2021, and cost about $50 for one or $85 for two.

The new SmartTags could be a convenient addition for Galaxy phone users. However, those on iOS or non-Samsung Android phones should look into Tile tags if you’re seeking for a similar product compatible with your device.


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