Tile vs. TrackR 2016: The Comprehensive Comparison of Top Bluetooth Trackers

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In the age of connected technologies, losingvaluables can be a frustrating experience. Thanks to the development of Bluetooth trackers like Tile and TrackR, keeping tabs on items such as keys, wallets or even pets is increasingly convenient. This article aims to offer a comprehensive comparison of Tile and TrackR 2016 models, providing insight into each product’s history, functionality, performance, and pricing. By examining user reviews and key features, you’ll find the information you need to make an informed decision about which tracker suits you best.

Understanding Tile

History and Conception of Tile

The brainchild of a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, Tile was born in 2012 out of the annoyance of misplacing everyday items. It’s since gained immense popularity, with its robust and user-friendly nature meaning that it’s cemented its place as a leading Bluetooth tracking solution.

Specific Functionality and Unique Features of Tile

Tile operates through a Bluetooth connection with an associated app, allowing you to ring your tile to aid in finding your lost item. Moreover, Tile’s community network can anonymously help find your items, extending its tracking capabilities beyond a simple Bluetooth range.

2016 Tile Model – Upgrades and Specs

In 2016, Tile introduced two key models: the Tile Mate and Tile Slim. The Mate featured a handy hole to attach to keychains, while the Slim, designed for wallets and similar items, was as thin as two credit cards. Both models had a Bluetooth range of 100 feet and boasted a non-replaceable battery that lasted for a year.

Pros and Cons of Tile

Tile’s clear functionality and easy setup have made it a favourite among customers. The range is also impressive and the community network can be a lifesaver. However, a non-replaceable battery could be seen as a drawback, necessitating a replacement Tile each year through the company’s reTile programme.

Understanding TrackR

History and Conception of TrackR

TrackR, founded in 2009, also owes its inception to crowdfunding. The founders’ goal wasn’t just to help locate lost items, but also to digitalise memory, essentially offloading the task of keeping track of items to a device.

Specific Functionality and Unique Features of TrackR

Like Tile, TrackR leverages an app, Bluetooth technology and a user community for helping locate items. A major differentiator is the replaceable battery, providing an eco-friendlier and cost-effective solution for consumers.

2016 TrackR Model – Upgrades and Specs

The 2016 models, TrackR Bravo and TrackR Pixel, were compact devices with a 100-foot Bluetooth range and a replaceable battery design. The Bravo featured a slim, coin-sized aluminium body, while the lighter and cheaper Pixel boasted bright LED lights to better spot misplaced items.

Pros and Cons of TrackR

TrackR shines with its replaceable battery feature, giving it a notable advantage over its rival. The addition of LED lights on the Pixel model aids in locating items in dark or crowded areas. However, some consumers have raised concerns about the device’s connectivity and range.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Direct Comparison of Features

Both Tile and TrackR offer straightforward setup and operation, using their apps utilising Bluetooth technology and engaging their respective communities when items are out of range. The significant difference lies in the battery – Tile’s are non-replaceable, whereas TrackR’s can be replaced, prolonging the device’s life.

Performance and Battery Life Comparison

While both Bluetooth trackers claim a 100-foot range, user experiences suggest that Tile’s range performance is generally more consistent. Battery life varies significantly with Tile offering a guaranteed one-year lifespan, contrasted by TrackR’s user-replaceable but shorter-lived battery.

Cost Comparison

Tile and TrackR are reasonably similarly priced at their basic level. However, Tile’s reTile scheme, where users are invited to upgrade their Tiles annually at a discounted price, can cumulatively become more costly than TrackR’s replaceable battery design.

Usability and Customer Experience

Feedback on usability and customer experience appears to favour Tile slightly, with many reporting more consistent performance and a more aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly app.

Consumer Reviews

What Consumers Are Saying

Tile typically receives positive reviews for its reliability, while TrackR is often praised for its replaceable battery. Both products have occasionally been criticised for their effectiveness in terms of range and sound volume.

The Verdict

Strengths and Weaknesses

Tile excels in terms of consistent performance, robust design and user-friendly application. TrackR, on the other hand, stands out for its cost-effectiveness over time due to the replaceable battery.

Personal Recommendation

If consistency, design and ease-of-use are paramount, Tile might be the better choice. However, for those who want a longer-lasting, cost-effective solution, TrackR, with its replaceable battery, is ideal.

Noteable Changes in Newer Models

Since 2016, both companies have made significant enhancements to their product lines, including improved range and volume, the introduction of replaceable batteries in some Tile models, and diversified designs to suit a variety of tracking needs.


Though comparing these Bluetooth trackers might seem like comparing apples and oranges, your choice really depends on individual requirements and usage context. Tile’s sleek design, user-friendly app and consistent performance might win over some users, while others may opt for TrackR’s replaceable battery option and cost-effectiveness over time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Tile Specifications and Usage

Q: What is the Bluetooth range of Tile?
A: For the 2016 models, the Bluetooth range is up to 100 feet.

TrackR Specifications and Usage

Q: Can I replace the battery on the TrackR?
A: Yes, both the TrackR Bravo and TrackR Pixel have user-replaceable batteries.

General Questions About Bluetooth trackers

Q: Can the Tile and TrackR apps run on my smartphone?
A: Yes, both apps are available for iOS and Android devices.

Direct Comparison Questions

Q: Which has the best range?
A: Both TrackR and Tile claim a 100-foot range, but according to user reviews, Tile might have a more consistent performance in this aspect.

Q: Which is more durable?
A: Both products are designed to be robust, but Tile’s non-replaceable battery ensures a minimum lifespan of one year for their 2016 trackers. TrackR’s battery lifespan might be shorter, but it can be replaced by the user. So durability can be subjective based on these factors.