Chipolo Card Spot review: Credit card-size item tracker for iPhone

Credit card-size item tracker supports Apple’s brilliant ‘Find My’ network [Review]

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Credit card-size item tracker supports Apple’s brilliant ‘Find My’ network [Review]
The Chipolo Card Spot is the size of an Apple Card, and helps you find you misplaced wallet.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Think of the Chipolo Card Spot as a very flat AirTag. Put either device into something valuable and you’ll be able to locate it with your iPhone, whether it’s lost in your home or out in the world. But the Card Spot is slim enough to go into your wallet — don’t attempt that with an AirTag.

I tried out Chipolo’s latest item tracker with support for the Find My network to see how well it survives daily use. And it came through with flying colors.

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Chipolo Card Spot review

None of us are perfect. My sister earned a doctorate in computer science and is a tenured professor at one of America’s premier universities. But she’s often so busy thinking about abstruse coding that she forgets where she puts things. That’s why she put item trackers on her keys and purse.

If that reminds you of you, the Chipolo Card Spot might be something you need. It’s about the size of a credit card, and can be located with Apple’s Find My application. With it, you can find your wallet in those pants in the laundry room, at the office or between the cushions in that shop you went to yesterday.

Take note: The Chipolo Card Spot is a different product from the Chipolo Card. Don’t confuse them.

Hardware and design

Chipolo Card Spot is quite slim
The Chipolo Card Spot is slim enough to fit in a wallet.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Card Spot looks like a goth credit card. Made of black plastic, it measures 3.3 inches by 2.1 inches and 0.06 inches thick. That’s the same length and width as a credit card, though the item tracker is a hair thicker.

But not so thick that it doesn’t fit in a men’s wallet. The accessory goes easily into mine.

“Chipolo” is lightly incised into the front. And there’s a single button that’s only used when setting up the item tracker.

Hidden inside is a 105 decibel speaker that lets the device send out alerts to help you locate it.

Rugged

Chipolo’s item tracker seems very sturdy. I’ve been carrying the test unit around in my wallet for days, and it’s not showing any stress from being sat on so often.

Card Spot is IPX5 rated, which means you can get it damp. Sorry to be gross, but this is probably so you won‘t have to worry about sweating on it.

No removable battery

Achieving that super-slim, rugged design comes with a drawback: The Chipolo Card Spot does not come with a removable battery. It’s supposed to last up to two years, but after that you’ll need to replace it.

Mine came with an offer to recycle it for 50% off the price of a new one when the time comes.

Chipolo Card Spot performance

You don’t need a third-party app to set up the Card Spot. It uses Apple’s Find My application, just as AirTag does. You use that same app to locate the Card Spot.

If/when you misplace your wallet, your iPhone, iPad, etc., tracks down Chipolo’s gadget via Bluetooth. The tracker emits a Bluetooth signal that your handset can detect.

It then shows up on a map in the Find My app. And the range is quite good. My iPhone 13 can contact the Card Spot anywhere in my house. It easily passes the “in a pants pocket hanging in my closet” test.

However, the tracker does not have Ultra Wideband. And UWB is necessary for the cool AirTag trick where an iPhone and the Find My application show you an arrow pointing toward your misplaced item.

Instead, your iPhone tells Chipolo’s tracker to play an alert sound. This is piercing enough that I can hear it all the way back in my bedroom from the kitchen. In my tests, it reached 75 decibels to 80 decibels.

The alert sound works well for finding items. The UWB arrow pointing to the location of an AirTag is cool, but is short range. I usually end up locating AirTag by sound … just like Chipolo’s tracker.

The Find My app also can notify you when you forget your wallet with the Card Spot inside. Get too far away from the tracker, and you’ll receive an alert on your iPhone.

Benefits of the Find My network

Chipolo Card Spot — Benefits of the Find My network
Apple’s Find My iPhone app lets you see the Chipolo Card Spot and other item trackers on a map. You can use the same app to set off an audible alarm.

Local tracking is just one of the tricks of the Chipolo Card Spot. It can take advantage of the Find My network, allowing you to locate it almost anywhere.

The Find My network is created by the hundreds of millions of iPhones, Macs and iPads in use around the globe. If you mark your item tracker as misplaced, all those computers will start looking for its Bluetooth signal. When they find it, you’ll be notified of the exact location, and be shown it on a map.

In real-world terms, you can drop your wallet with the Card Spot inside in the men’s room at an airport and use the Find My app to locate it from three gates away. All that is required is that someone with an iPhone or another Apple computer get somewhere near it.

Chipolo Card Spot final thoughts

Chipolo Card Spot is much slimmer than Apple AirTag
Only one of these fits easily in a men’s wallet.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you’re in the habit of misplacing your wallet, the Chipolo Card Spot is just what you need. It doesn’t take up much more room than a credit card. And it can help you find your wallet if it’s in the laundry basket — or London.

Pricing

A Chipolo Card Spot costs $35. A pack of two runs $60.

Buy from: Chipolo

If you don’t need the flatness, there’s the Chipolo One Spot ($28). It offers essentially the same features in a keyring-friendly design.

Or there’s AirTag ($29). But again, this tracker is also not at all suited for carrying in a standard wallet.

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