Today we review two Tile models – Tile Pro and Tile Mate. In this review, you will see what the Tile Pro and Mate can do, how it compares to each other and which model is more suitable for you.
[Disclosure: We reached out to AXTRO WM Sdn Bhd. and they were kind enough to send us a Tile Pro and Tile Mate. This is not a paid review. All views expressed in this review are solely of the writer. We would like to thank AXTRO for sending us this unit. ]
What is it. How it works
The Tile is a bluetooth tracking device that is used to find your lost items. Just attach the tile to your belongings (i.e. keys, bagpacks, etc.) and you will be able to track it using the app.
At the front, is the Tile logo which acts as a button. At the back is the removable battery case and tiny speaker which plays the alert tone.
Looks – Tile Mate
Looks – Tile Pro
Do head to Tile’s official instructions for the Tile setup here.
The features below are present for both Tile Pro and Tile Mate.
Features – Track your belongings
The main feature of the tile is to track your belongings. Just attach a tile to your keys for example, and you will be able to track it via the Tile app. While using the app, you will be assisted by a proximity sensor and an alert tone. The proximity sensor will display how near or far you are to the tile. The nearer you are, the ‘greener’ the proximity sensor will be (screenshot below). With the alert tone, the tile will ring so that you can pin point its exact location.
Features – Find your phone
The tile is also useful when you want to find your phone. Double tap the tile button and your phone will ring immediately. The ring will be audible even if your phone is on silent. Very thoughtful indeed.
Features – Community’s help
Using the Tile requires a bluetooth connection, so if you are out of range, you can enlist the help of other Tiles users to detect your tile. So let’s say you dropped your keys at Point A and you’re now at Point B, tile users around Point A who have crossed paths with with your keys will send you a location update via the app. All this happens discretely to the other tile users and hence won’t affect their Tile experience.
Features – Alexa
You will be pleased to know that Tile works with Alexa. To do that say “Alexa, ask Tile to find my keys”. Alexa will then get your tile to ring.
Usage and Performance
Usage and Performance – car park, office and at home
The Tile Pro and Tile Mate were tested in three common environments; the car park, office and at home.
At the car park
One way of utilizing the Tile is by leaving it in your car. This is especially useful at the mall as you may forget where you parked your car. Enabling the alert tone in this scenario is not effective as you would not be able to hear any sound coming from inside the car. Nevertheless, the Tile would be able to point you to the right direction.
In the car park, I managed to get the following results:
Tile Pro range: 100 feet
Tile Mate range: 68 feet
At the office
Searching for misplaced items in the office is just a matter of going around desks and common areas like the pantry, toilet or meeting rooms. And if that fails, enabling the Tile alert tone would immediately pin-point where your lost item is.
In the office, I managed to get the following results:
Tile Pro range: 80 feet.
Tile Mate range: 78 feet.
As with the office, finding lost items at home is also a straightforward affair. All you have to do is enable the alert tone and within seconds know where it is. Bluetooth range in this scenario was more than sufficient as it covered my whole house.
At home, I managed to get the following results:
Tile Pro range: Bluetooth range covered the whole premises.
Tile Mate range: Bluetooth range covered the whole premises.
The range of the Tile Pro and Mate when observed in the environments above is in line with their specifications; with the Tile Pro having a longer distance. Although the Tile Pro and Mate has a specification of 300 feet and 150 feet respectively, you have to remember that obstacles (i.e. walls) in the environment may affect the connectivity.
Usage and Performance – Alert tone
To give you a rough idea how loud the Tile is, here are the The Tile Pro and Tile Mate in action outdoors.
Note: Please excuse the audio quality. Unfortunately the original high quality video was deleted and I had to rely on the one from the cloud.
Usage and Performance – Battery
Tile Pro uses the CR2032 battery type while the Tile Mate uses the CR1632 battery type. The battery for both Pro and Mate lasts for 1 year. There’s no way to check the battery level from the app but you will receive a notification to ‘Replace Tile’ when the battery is low. Once the battery is low, there’s still 1 more month of usage until it runs out.
Note: Only the Tile Pro and Tile Mate will allow you to replace the batteries. Other Tile models (i.e. Tile Slim) have built in batteries which are not replaceable.
Understand the constraints
The first thing you have to know is that the Tile Pro and Mate (and other Tile models) are bluetooth trackers, not gps trackers. Don’t expect to be miles or kilometres away from the tile and still be able to locate it from the app. Instead, a bluetooth connection needs to be established between your mobile and the tile, only can you start locating the tile. Also, because it is using bluetooth, it is bound by constraints such as bluetooth range and obstacles in your environment.
It is this reason that when searching for your tile, you can’t tap on ‘Find’ and expect the tile to show up on the screen immediately. The main misconception for myself was that I could now find my belongings wherever they are just because it’s attached to a tile. In reality, that’s not the case.
Tile is a guide
So the point you must realise is that the Tile is not a genie; it will not tell you “Your keys are in the next building on the 7th floor in the 2nd drawer of Tommy’s desk.” What it will tell you is “Go check out this area.” You can think of the Tile like a guide. It will bring you to close proximity and when you are nearby, it’s over to your eyes to comb the area. The alert tone can assist you, but depending on the environment, you may or may not be able to hear it.
Once you have understood this, only can you appreciate the thought and technology that Tile has put into their products.
Where to buy
Jumpadevice is proud to be partnering with Axtro to bring you a sweet deal.
To buy, head over to the Axtro website here.
Get 10% off any Tile model with discount code: JUMPADEVICE10
Valid until 9 September 2019.
Tile Pro or Tile Mate
The main area which differentiates the Tile Pro and Tile Mate is the bluetooth range and build quality. Get the Tile Pro if you want something sturdier and more solidly built. And with a range of 300 feet, you will have the best chance of locating your lost belongings. You’re not at a disadvantage though if you choose the Tile Mate either; both have exactly the same function. If you’re in the market for your first bluetooth tracker, and have a limited budget, then the Tile Mate is your option.
I like the Tile Pro and Mate. They are well built, and are matched by very thoughtful software. The real ingenuity of using the tile is in the community of Tile users. If you have lost contact with your tile, you can get assistance from other Tile users who have come across it. The best thing is the whole inner-workings occur discretely without interrupting the user’s experience. Also, the Tile Pro and Mate are the only Tile models that have replaceable batteries.
One area that can greatly improve the experience is the number of Tile users; the more there is, the higher the chances of your lost tile being discovered. Currently, the highest number of users detected in Kuala Lumpur is around 400 users. Compare that to other cities, i.e. NewYork (estimated thousand users) and you can see that there’s room to grow.
Overall, the Tile Pro and Mate are highly recommended products.