Tile Sticker review: Tiny item-tracker tag | Cult of Mac

New Tile Sticker will help you find anything [Review]


Tile Pro, Tile Sticker, Tile Mate and Tile Slim
The round Tile Sticker is the new model, but there are also updates to Tile Pro, Tile Mate and Tile Slim.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Anyone who’s ever spent a half hour searching for the TV remote can understand the appeal of the Tile Sticker. Glue it to anything relatively flat and you’ll never misplace that item again, as your iPhone can have this tiny tag play a loud alarm. Or put one on the headphones you can never find, or maybe the back of your ID badge.

There are also improved versions of the Tile Pro, Tile Mate and Tile Slim out today to help with finding your keys or wallet. Just don’t get lost in our reviews of all four new item trackers.

Tile Sticker review

The new Sticker is only an inch across. At 0.25 inches think it’s not as flat as its name implies, but is still the smallest Tile ever. It’s the right size to be put on a child’s toy, a flashlight, or the TV remote… any item that gets frequently misplaced.

This accessory is waterproof, and the developers worked with 3M on the adhesive. Tile suggests putting this tracker on camping equipment so don’t feel like you need to be overly protective of it.

If you know where the remote is but can‘t find your iPhone, simply push the button on the Sticker to set off an alarm on the handset. That trick works on any Tile model.

The Tile Pro and Mate have removable batteries, but not Sticker. The internal battery is supposed to last for 3 years though, so don’t worry about having to replace it too often.

Tile Sticker performance

Tile Sticker is rated to have a 150 foot range. I did real-world testing by placing it in a back bedroom behind a closed door at the end of a long hallway. The iPhone app found it very quickly, and the built-in speaker was loud enough that I could hear the alarm playing.

Next, I buried a Tile Sticker in the couch. Even at the other end of a long hallway the iPhone app found this tiny accessory. I had to be in the same room to hear it with all the cushions to muffle the sound, though.

Tile app

A Tile tracker is useless without the Tile application. This allows you to set off the audible alarm in the remote device.

It can also show a circular graph approximating the distance from each tracker, which is useful when your iPhone can connect to your Sticker (or other type of Tile) but you’re too far away to hear the audible alarm.

The major disadvantage of the Tile app is it cannot point you in the direction of the tracker you’re looking for, which forces you to wander around listening for the alarm. Apple is reportedly prepping a rival for Tile that will be able to indicate direction. If the rumors are true, Apple Tag could be serious competition.

Tile Sticker final thoughts

Non-scientific polling finds that people without kids might not see the need for Tile Sticker. Parents who find important items moved to the oddest locations probably will. If you’ve ever, just as an example, found the TV remote in the refrigerator while all four kids deny leaving it there then you can understand this product.

The price is $39.99 for a 2-pack. That gives it the lowest price per tracker available, through of course you have to buy two.

Tile Slim (2019) review

Tile Slim 2019 with its predecessor
Tile Slim 2019 (on the left) fits much better in a wallet than its predecessor (on the right).
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The svelte Tile Slim isn’t new but has been redesigned to be much more useful. It’s now the same size and shape as a credit card. The earlier version was square and thicker, and didn’t fit very well in men’s wallets. The new version can go anywhere a credit card or drivers license does.

It comes only in black, and is as undecorated as it can be. Clearly, it’s meant to be tucked away where no one sees it.

The battery can’t be swapped out, but is supposed to last for 3 years.

As mentioned, the obvious place for the Tile Slim is your wallet. To keep it from getting muffled, this new version is twice as loud as its predecessor. It also works well as a book mark — never misplace your book again.

Tile promises 200 foot range. To test it, I put the Slim in a man’s wallet in a trouser pocket in a bedroom at the end of a long hallway — the iPhone app connected from farther way than I could hear the alarm playing.

The Tile Slim costs $29.99.

Tile Pro (2019) review

Tile Pro 2019 with its predecessor
The 2019 Tile Pro (on the left) is nearly identical to last year’s version (on the right).
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The premium device in this company’s lineup is the Tile Pro, which gets an upgrade in 2019. The external design changed only very slightly; as with last-year’s model, remains 1.1-inch square and 0.2 inches thick, with a business-friendly look, whether you choose a white or black casing.

Last year’s Tile Pro was the first with a removable battery, and this hold true for the newest model. Just don’t expect to need to swap very often — I’ve been using the 2018 version for a year on the original battery.

The big change in the 2019 version is increased range. It’s good for up to 400 feet, which 100 ft. more than its predecessor. To test it, I put it in a back bedroom, closed the door, walked down a long hallway, down a set of stairs and into the foyer. The latest Tile Pro still connected to the iPhone app, and could shriek aloud enough to be heard even at that distance.

Tile Pro is $34.99. It’s the most expensive of this company’s offerings but is also the most powerful.

Tile Mate (2019) review

Tile Mate 2019 with Tile Mate 2018
The only visible difference between the new Tile Mate (on the left) and the 2018 model (on the right) is some wear and tear on last year’s unit.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Those who don’t need all the range or the sleek looks of the Pro can opt for the Tile Mate instead.

It operates at up to 200 feet, 50 feet longer than the previous iteration. In my testing, it could get a connection down a short hallway and through a closed door, but no farther. That’s farther than the 2018 unit sitting next to it could operate.

The Tile Mate is $24.99 and comes only in white, with a very functional look.

Tile provided Cult of Mac with review units for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth app reviews of Apple-related items.


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