My name is Tony and I have a problem. I lose shit. Constantly. In fact, I’ll probably misplace at least three things during the process of writing this review. Hopefully – knock on wood – it won’t be my car keys, though, because next up on the old review desk is the Tile Mate ($25).
My lovely fiancée gave me a Tile Mate for Christmas. Likely because she hates seeing me run around the house like a raving lunatic when I lose something (see: daily). And because I love mixing business with pleasure, I instantly knew I’d be reviewing this one. If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate this product, too.
The Tile Mate is easily the smallest piece of tech I own, so thank God it has a GPS tracker, or it’d get lost, too. It’s about half the size of the key fob for the Abode home security system I reviewed, and about 1/3rd as thick. It’s essentially a small, flat, square-shaped “tile” with rounded corners. There’s a button on the front of the device, and a hole to place it on a key ring. The speaker is around back, marked by three tiny holes.
And that’s it.
The Tile Mate contains a “custom power source” that supposedly lasts one full year. After said year – maybe a little longer – the battery is dead, and so is the device, since you can’t replace the battery. The “good news” is that Tile has what they call a “reTile” program, which gives discounts to return customers who replace their expired units.
Replacing a Tile Mate will run you $15, or 40% off. The discount amount varies for other Tile products.
You need to install the Tile app on Google Play and create an account to set up the Tile Mate. After doing so, the app asks you to press the button on the Tile Mate to put it into pairing mode. I paired my device with my Pixel 2, and the process took less than a minute from start to finish. Once paired, you designate which item you’re using the Tile Mate on – in my case, my house and car keys.
Performance and app features
The Tile Mate has a maximum Bluetooth range of 100 feet. Keep in mind, the effective range can (and will) be impacted by different environment types. On the plus, however, you can check your Tile’s last known location in the Tile app, should you find yourself outside of Bluetooth range. Also -and this is pretty nifty – location information is automatically updated whenever anyone in the Tile community comes within Bluetooth range of your Tile.
If you’re concerned about privacy, the company says there’s no need to be. Tiles are only visible to the registered user and they do not contain any personally identifiable information on them. If you mark a Tile as lost, other phones can find it, but they do so anonymously. In fact, they never even know they helped unless you send them an in-app thank you.
Tile can find your phone, too!
If you lose your phone, but you still have access to your Tile Mate, you can double-press the button on the device to make your phone ring – even if it’s set to silent. You can also locate your phone or make it ring by logging into the Tile website. Of course, there are other ways of locating your lost phone, but it’s nice to have options, right?
I’m head over heels with my Tile Mate, and I’m slightly ashamed of myself for not already knowing about the company’s products prior to getting my Mate for Christmas. I’m already thinking about springing for another one to put in my wallet, just in case. It’d be nice if the device was rechargeable, but I understand why it isn’t. Other than that, I have no issues here.
At $25 to buy your first Tile Mate, and then $15 per year thereafter, this is a pretty solid investment to help you keep track of the things you’re most prone to losing. The peace of mind is well worth it, to me.
Where to buy the Tile Mate
You can buy the Mate, or any of Tile’s other products, from the manufacturer website. As of the time of this post, you can save $5 and get a single Tile Mate for $20, a 4-pack for $50, or an 8-pack for $100. And you can get 5% cash back on your purchase if you’re using Ebates.
You are using Ebates, right?
You should be if you’re not.