Review: Tile Style (Pro series)

At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all lost something valuable to us. But thanks to technology, that can end, today. Smart trackers are a fairly established industry...

At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all lost something valuable to us. But thanks to technology, that can end, today. Smart trackers are a fairly established industry now, after kicking off with the OG – Tile back in 2013 on Kickstarter. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength. The little smart tile can be attached to whatever you like, keys, bags, luggage etc. If you ever loose, or just want to track the location of your valuables, then fire up your phone and see where it is. The smart part is the ability for these trackers to connect to each other, creating a global network of location trackers.

Thanks to Tile’s success, there’s now many, many millions of these guys out in the world, which means yours is likely to have its location identified quickly. If any other tiles come in range of yours, you can receive a notification on your phone of the last place they were seen. This is IoT at its best, a connected network of devices, used to help people locate the things they love. 

The 1.5″ square tile gets an upgrade with their latest product line, the Tile Pro series, now including the Tile Style and Tile Sport. We took a look at the Style and if you’re someone who loves matching accessories, or someone who prioritises the design of your smartphone over every other feature, then you’ll love the Style.  

Design

The Tile Style features a white face and rear body, while being surrounded by gold trim on its smooth, curved edges. This is complimented by the gold appointed Tile button in the center of the tile, which is pressed to pair the device with your phone.

The small package is 37.5mm x 37.5mm x 5.9mm and weighs just 11 grams, making it barely noticable when added to your keyring and will have no problems hanging from your ignition.

Inside that efficient, good looking package is a watch-style battery and thanks to the use of Bluetooth LE technology, the battery is guarenteed to last a full year. When the battery does run out, you’ll need to engage the reTile option, which gets you a new Tile at a discounted price. This is done through the app. It is a shame the design doesn’t feature a user-replaceable battery.

Features

The new Tile Style and Tile Sport features some important upgrades over previous generations, maybe so much so that existing users will consider an update. There’s now 2x the range, 2x louder and they’re now IP68 waterproof (up to 1.5m for 30mins).

The extra range around 60 meters is particularly helpful given the success rate of finding your tile (and attached item of value) goes up dramatically as the world of other Tile users move around the world and may come within range of your tile, altering you to its location.

In terms of the volume, the extra volume (98dB) will help you hear the tone emitted from a longer range. This is particularly beneficial if you live in a large home and your keys are in the couch or fallen behind your bedside table, somewhere that would otherwise mask the sound and hide its location.

The Tile’s new waterproof feature is a reflection of an understanding that life happens. Imagine you dive in the pool with your keys in your pocket, or you have it clipped on a bag and it starts raining, now you can be confident it’ll survive.

Price and Availability

The Tile Style (and Tile Sport) are available now from the Tile website, or from retailers like Harvey Norman.

Each Tile Style costs A$49.00 or you can save on a combo 2-pack for A$89.00.  The new features and design do make the most recent Pro series more attractive, but that does come at a cost with the original Tile available for just $25.00.

At any of those price points, if it saves you from loosing your valuables, its pretty easy to justify the cost .

Overall

The Tile offers great piece of mind for those who move around the world a lot and want to ensure their valuables are trackable. If the worst happens and your precious belongings are misplaced or worse, stolen, its great to know there’s a way to get data on where it may be.

Of course the Tile Style is the best looking version of the Tile, while also being the most feature-rich, so the only decision you have to make is does the Tile or the Sport suit you best?

I suspect most people will want multiple Tiles, so the cost of Tile entering your life is likely 2,3 or 4 of these. Sometimes technology services have limitations for people in regional areas, but I was glad to see in my area of Albury Wodonga, there were 128 Tile Members, so the system works great.

Given it is Christmas time, the inclusion of customised ring tones (including xmas favourites like Jingle Bells) is a nice touch.

8.5
Review: Tile Style (Pro series)
The Good
  • Gold accented design
  • Light weight
  • Waterproof
The Bad
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Design
    9.0
  • Features
    8.5
  • Value
    8.0
Categories
Hardware

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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