3 ways Pebblebee Clip tracker tag is better than AirTag [Review]


3 ways Pebblebee Clip tracker tag is better than AirTag [Review]★★★★
Pebblebee Clip will be a real help if you need to find your keys left out on your back deck.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Attach the Pebblebee Clip to your keys, backpack or purse and you won’t need to worry about misplacing your item or leaving it behind. You can locate the missing item with your iPhone, or have the tracker tag play an audible alarm.

The item tracker is a rival to Apple’s AirTag, and both use Apple’s Find My network so they can be located almost anywhere on Earth.

I tested Pebblebee’s tracker tag and found a lot to like. It even improves on Apple’s offering, but not in every way.

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Pebblebee Clip review

Several years ago, I misplaced my keys and found them at the bottom of a bag of rubbish I’d chucked out earlier. That’s the day I became a fan of item trackers — because I had one on my keyring, finding the lost keys took me less than five minutes. Otherwise, I was never going to see them again.

Now I keep trackers on my backpack, AirPods case, wallet and anything else I’d be very upset if I lost or left behind somewhere.

I’ve been an AirTag user since day one, but there is room for improvement. Pebblebee Clip does the same things Apple’s tracker tag does, and I found three ways I think the third-party option is actually better.

A simple built-in loop!

To connect an AirTag to your keys or almost anything else, you need to buy an accessory that adds a loop.

The designers of Pebblebee Clip didn’t make that silly mistake. There’s a metal loop built into the tracker tag, ready to be connected to your keychain. And to emphasize the advantage, a nice mini carabiner comes in the box.

The accessory is 1.9 inches by 1.6 inches by 0.3 inches (40 mm x 49 mm x 8 mm). It weighs less than an ounce. That makes it almost exactly the same size and weight as an AirTag in the case needed to add a loop — and either fits equally well on a keychain.

Pebblebee Clip review
The Pebblebee Clip is immediately ready to go on your keychain. The mini carabiner is included.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Pebblebee Clip is easily rechargeable

When an AirTag starts to run out of juice, you need to buy a new battery, then take the tracker tag apart to insert the power source.

When the Pebblebee Clip’s battery gets low, you simply plug in a USB-C cable. This is the same way you recharge your MacBook, iPad, etc.

You check the battery level in Apple’s Find My application, which is available for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Apple created this app for AirTag, but the third-party tracker shows up, too.

Greater range than AirTag

When you’re looking for your misplaced item, your iPhone will make a Bluetooth connection to the tracker tag. The longer the range on the connection, the easier it is to locate your item.

I did a side-by-side range comparison between the Pebblebee Clip and AirTag, and Apple was not the winner. Both could connect to my iPhone 14 Plus at about 200 feet. When I moved back a further 30 feet, I could only connect to Pebblebee’s device.

That said, both tracker tags pass my basic performance test. I can put one or the other in a pants pocket in my bedroom, and trigger the alarm from my kitchen.

I can use the Find My application to trigger the alarm, or see the item tracker on a map.

And that brings up an important point: support for the Find My network. That means Pebblebee Clip (like an AirTag) can be located by other people’s iPhones, Macs and iPads via Bluetooth. That means, for instance, that you’ll get a notification that your misplaced Clip has been located at the train station you left two hours ago if someone with an iPhone wanders near it. And the system works extremely well in places with lots of iPhones, like cities.

This is where the range advantage over AirTag brings another benefit. The stranger’s iPhone or other device finds the tag with Bluetooth, and a Clip attached to your misplaced item is more likely to come into contact with someone’s iPhone.

Chipolo One Spot, Pebblebee Clip and Apple AirTag.
Chipolo One Spot, Pebblebee Clip and (a very shiny) Apple AirTag.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

But no cool UWB trick

Recent iPhone models can be used to locate an AirTag using ultra-wideband technology. The Find My app can display an arrow that points to the tag, and even list the distance.

Pebblebee Clip does not have UWB, so this feature is not available. At all.

That said, the arrow trick is only moderately useful. UWB’s range is shorter than Bluetooth, so locating a lost item needs to begin with activating the audible alarm. And once that is ringing, the arrow is almost always unnecessary — I can hear that the tracker tag is in my bedroom closet, for example.

On the other hand, if you have hearing difficulties, the visible arrow to locate an AirTag is the best option, of course.

AirTag is more waterproof

As Pebblebee Clip has a USB-C port, I find it surprisingly water-resistant. The device has an IPX6 rating, which means it can take rain, splashing and even short immersions in water.

But AirTag is waterproof. Its IP67 rating allows it to be submerged for up to half an hour.

So you don’t need to worry about the Clip getting wet, but AirTag is the better option for the collar of a dog that likes to swim.

In addition, Apple’s offering stands up to dust and dirt better. This is where the Clip’s USB-C port is a weakness.

Pebblebee Clip vs. AirTage: The two trackers tie on Find My

My favorite feature of the Find My application is separation alerts. As the name indicates, these notify you when you’re getting too far away from an item tracker. It means you can stop worrying that you’ve left your purse or backpack behind — you’ll get an alert if you do.

This feature works just as well with Pebblebee Clip as it does with AirTag.

Pebblebee Clip final thoughts

The Pebblebee Clip is about the size of an AirTag in a case.
The Pebblebee Clip is about the size of an AirTag in a case.
Photo: Pebblebee

I love tracker tags because they give me peace of mind. I don’t lose things very often, or leave them behind, but I really hate it when that happens. A location tracker on my backpack means I never worry about forgetting it at a friend’s house.

With full Find My support, Pebblebee Clip does just about everything AirTag does, but with less hassle. With Pebblebee’s tracker, you don’t need to buy something extra to connect it to your keys. Plus, charging is as easy as can be, and it has slightly better range than Apple’s tracking tag.

However, unlike AirTag, the third-party tracker doesn’t have ultra-wideband technology.



Pebblebee Clip costs $29.99. That’s the same as AirTag. However, if you need to buy a holder for the AirTag to add a loop, the third-party tag is the cheaper option.

Buy it from: Pebblebee or Amazon

If you want to shop around, you obviously know about Apple AirTag ($29.99). But close rivals you might be unaware of include Chipolo One Spot ($28) and the Momax Tracker Tag ($19.99).

Pebblebee 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.


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