Tile is a popular brand when it comes to Bluetooth trackers and the Tile Mate is their first product being officially distributed in India by BrandEyes (which also distributes Skullcandy products in the country).
In essence, Tile is a small, cute plastic chip that you loop through your keyrings or through other personal effects and then forget. Sometime later when you can’t locate your things, you have the option to open the Tile app on your Android or Apple phone and make them beep.
But of course, with prices starting at Rs. 2499, the Tile Mate does more than just that.
If you are anywhere near as clumsy with your keys as I am, you have surely long fancied the option to ring and find them. But does the Tile Mate reliably works as advertised? We will explore the pros and cons in our Tile Mate review that follows.
Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker Price and Specifications
|Tile Mate- Key Specification
|34.7mm x 34.7mm x 6.2 mm
|150 ft / 45m
|Replaceable coin-cell (CR1632)
|Price in India
Tile Mate Review: Design and Build
The square-shaped Tile Mate is slim enough and light enough to not be any inconvenience when looped through your keys or even when placed in an average wallet.
The tracker looks premium in pristine condition but can pick scuff marks and scratches rather easily. Which is why it’s a problem that there’s only matte white finish on offer.
The bigger and black finish Mate Tile Pro that has a higher Bluetooth range and can beep louder isn’t available in India as of now.
The good thing is that the Tile Mate is powered by a user-replaceable standard coin battery. Which is to say that you won’t have to bother about charging your Tile and once the battery drains out (expected once a year), you can swap it for a new one for just around 100 bucks.
Tile Mate Review: How Reliable Is It?
Chances are that you wouldn’t be using your tracker every day, but whenever you do it’s imperative that it works. The Tile Mate, fortunately, is extremely reliable. Even when it lay dormant for days, we could turn on Bluetooth on our phone and ring it in one attempt every single time!
This reliability is extremely valuable, but the Tile still has its limitations. The listed range is 45 meters, but perhaps this is true for open areas without any obstructions.
The beeper is loud enough to hear over the din of a noisy room, however, you may not hear the tile ringing when you are outdoors or whenever your tile lays concealed in a drawer, under a cushion, or snuggles down between sofa seats.
If you have your Tile Mate and your phone within range, you may double press the Tile button to ring and find your phone – this is something we found immensely helpful and used very frequently.
Users may also link their Tile account to Google Assistant and directly ask Google Assistant on their phone or Nest (Home) devices to find their tiles. For instance, if you have the tile attached to your Keys, you can ask Google Home “Hey Google, Ask Tile to find my keys” and your ‘keys’ Tile will start ringing.
Tile is also working on refining Google Assistant integration and once the update arrives (later this year) you will be able to directly say “ Hey Google, find my keys” to ring the ‘keys’ Tile.
You can use similar commands on Alexa devices by first enabling the Tile skill. Unfortunately, the Tile skill is not yet available on the Amazon India skill store (It’s there on the Global store).
Tile Mate Review: Location tracking, community find, and App subscription
The compatible Android app has a simple interface and reserves a few features for the Pro users who subscribe to monthly or annual plans. Using the app, you can change Tile ringtone, track location history (Pro), share location with friends and get alert notifications whenever you accidentally leave the Tile behind (Pro).
The location access is based on your phone’s GPS and the tracking will only work when your phone and Tile are within Bluetooth range.
In case you lose your Tile, you may also benefit from Community Find feature. If your tile isn’t within range, select “Notify me when found” option, and once done, you will get an email with your Tile coordinates as and when your Tile comes within the Bluetooth range of any other Tile user.
Of course, the efficacy of Community Find will depend on how densely populated Tile users are within your community, but there are quite a few stories on the internet testifying that this may actually work.
The Pro version of the Tile App costs an additional Rs. 2200 (Rs 191.58/ month) for yearly subscription and Rs. 219 when billed monthly. The subscription model is understandable since it provides incentives to developers to keep improving the product, but the added cost further piles up. For the subscription, I would have expected a few extras, say standalone GPS tracking (if we are being optimistic).
For now, Pro mode entitles users to free battery replacement, premium customer support, location history, Unlimited location sharing, and Smart Alerts (alerts for when you accidentally leave your Tiles behind).
Tile Mate Review: Should you buy it?
Tile Mate is a reliable Bluetooth tracker with a long-lasting and swappable battery, one that can be accessed using smart home devices like Nest Hub or even Amazon Echo lineup (once the Tile skill makes it to Amazon India Skill store, that is).
This pretty much covers the checklist we have for a basic tracker. A louder audio output would have made Tile Mate a lot more useful, though.
The Rs. 2499 starting price with a subscription-based Pro model sounds a bit steep for markets like India, but that’s not a drawback per se. The upcoming Tile alternative from Apple is likely to cost more.
If you value what the Tile Mate can do and are willing to shell the premium, go ahead and buy it.
Tile Mate Review: Quick Bytes
To access your Tiles via Google Assistant, phrase your commands starting with “Ask Tile to..”. The first time you use the voice command, Google Assistant will ask you to link your Tile account. Once done, you may use commands like “Ask Tile to find my keys” or “Ask Tile to find my camera”.
For Tile to work with Amazon Alexa, you will need to enable the Tile Skill in Amazon Skill store. The skill is currently available only for Amazon Global store and not for India store.
Answer yes, it is. Even if your tile hasn’t been paired to your phone for days, you can simply turn on Bluetooth and ring your Tile in one attempt.
Tile Mate is rated to work over 45m or 150ft. The Tile Pro, which isn’t available in India, has double the range.
Yes. You can double press the Tile button to ring your phone. This works only if your phone Bluetooth is turned on.
Tile uses the GPS of your phone for location access and does not have stand-alone GPS tracking. Location tracking works fine. Location history is available in the app only for Pro subscribers.