Bluetooth trackers can make life easier for the perennially forgetful.
Attach one to a phone, a wallet (or maybe even a cat) and when it goes missing, you can ping the tracker from a phone to help you locate it.
Not to be confused with Google’s Pixel phone, the TrackR Pixel was first announced at CES 2017. It has a louder ring and longer range than the larger TrackR Bravo ($21 at Amazon) and is slightly cheaper, at US$25 (£19/AU$34). It’s also one of the smallest options out there.
Being small comes at a cost: Unlike the Tile, the Pixel doesn’t have a hole big enough to hang it from a keychain. Instead, you’ll need to use the included thread. Adhesive strips are included in case you want to stick it on something like a remote control.
The Pixel also has an LED that lights up so if you’re rummaging around in a bag or in a dark room, it should be easier to find. If you lose your phone, just press the button on the Pixel to ring your phone, even if it’s on silent.
|Trackr Pixel||Trackr Bravo||Tile Mate||Chipolo Classic|
|Water-resistant?||No||No||Yes (IP5)||Yes (IP5)|
But what if you lose something outside of Bluetooth range? (Most of these trackers work within a 100-foot/30m radius.)
It’s still possible to track down an item with a TrackR Pixel attached. When TrackR users are within range, you’ll get a notification through the app with your item’s last known whereabouts. Other Bluetooth trackers have similar crowdsourcing features.
The battery is replaceable so you don’t have to buy a new device each time it dies, unlike the Tile. It’s also useful to have a removable battery just in case the device goes haywire. I’ve used the Bravo before and the only way I could get it to sync with a new device was by taking out the battery.
TrackR has an Alexa skill that lets you use a voice command to find a phone — although it’s worth noting that you don’t actually need to buy a TrackR device to enable and use the Alexa skill.
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