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Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate: Which is better?

By Linus T.
Updated May 2023

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate: Which is better?

Over a decade ago, in 2012, Tile launched the first-ever Bluetooth Tracker. At the time, the product was a game-changer for those who were constantly losing their keys or other important items.

Since then, many other companies have entered the race and launched their own native Bluetooth trackers, such as Apple's AirTag. So, how does Tile, the pioneer of Bluetooth trackers, compare to the Apple AirTag?

In this review, we compare the Apple AirTag and Tile Mate based on price, design, and performance to help you decide which Bluetooth tracker is best for you.

On our list

#1 Price

#2 Design & Specs

#3 Performance

Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag

Tile Mate

Tile Mate

1. Price

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

The Apple AirTag starts at US$29 for a single unit, while a 4-pack will set you back US$99. In comparison, the Tile Mate is listed at US$24 and their Essentials 4-pack is priced at US$79.

The price difference between the Tile Mate and Apple AirTags isn't significant enough to be a dealbreaker, although you can save a few dollars by choosing the Tile Mate. Additionally, during seasonal promotions, you may be able to get the Apple AirTags for a much more affordable price.

2. Design & Specs

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

The Apple AirTags come in a polished, glossy white body with a silver cover on the front. A quick twist of the silver cover will open up the unit, allowing you to replace the battery. The AirTag is also dust and water-resistant.

One drawback of the Apple AirTag design is the lack of a keyring hole, making it difficult to attach to your belongings. To solve this issue, you will need to purchase a separate accessory designed for storing your AirTag, which adds an extra cost to consider.

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

On the other hand, the Tile Mate has a polished matte black or white finish and a square design. At the top-left corner, there is a keyring hole that allows you to easily attach it to your belongings. The device also has an IP67 rating, which gives users confidence against drops and splashes.

Unlike AirTags, the Tile Mate operates using a non-replaceable battery. Although this battery should last three years, it is still a step backwards when it comes to technology longevity. If it's any comfort, Tile will recycle your Mate once it runs out. On the flip side, you get to explore newer models in the reTile program.

Beyond the "Mate" design, Tile also offers a great form factor. They have a "Slim" version for easy storage in tiny spaces and a "Sticker" alternative for easy installation.

3. Performance

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

When comparing the performance of Bluetooth trackers, a few key factors come to mind — audibility, range and network.

For audibility, the Tile Mate can reach up to 85 decibels while the Apple AirTag at a slightly lower 60 decibels. However, it's important to note that the Tile Mate's louder sound may be more effective in certain situations, especially if you're in a noisy environment or need to locate your item from a distance.

When it comes to Bluetooth range, the Tile Mate can provide a range of up to 250ft/76m. On the other hand, the Apple AirTag has a range of about 9 to 14 metres using the Precision Finding feature. This means that the Apple AirTag offers turn-by-turn directions towards your lost object, down to the tens of centimetres!

Beyond that, the AirTag will leverage Apple's Find My to update its location by utilising Bluetooth signals from other Apple devices. Tile also taps into its network via its app to help you locate the device when out of range. That said, Apple has a more extensive network than Tile around the world, which increases your chances of locating something out of range with the Apple AirTag.

The Tile Mate has a neat feature that the Apple AirTag lacks: two-way tracking. By double-pressing the button on your Tile, you can make your phone ring, which can help you locate it easily.

Compare Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

Final Thoughts

Apple AirTag vs Tile Mate

Between the two models, we believe the Tile Mate offers greater value. However, the Apple AirTag is still a great Bluetooth tracker, and we would recommend it if you are within the Apple ecosystem.

If you like to read more on Bluetooth Trackers, check out our other relevant guides here:

Best Bluetooth Trackers

Apple AirTag vs Chipolo ONE Spot

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag vs Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+

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