Review: Tile Pro and Tile Mate, adds replaceable batteries

Tile is a great little product that does one thing great.. it locates your most prized possessions. By attaching the Tile to your keys, your bag, your suitcase, or...

Tile is a great little product that does one thing great.. it locates your most prized possessions. By attaching the Tile to your keys, your bag, your suitcase, or even your pet, you can locate it anywhere in the world thanks to a network of Tiles talking to each other. 

After connecting the Tile to your phone (via the Tile mobile app), you can tap ‘Find’ to sound the customisable ringer on the Tile. If the tile is in range of other users (there are 162 in my area), it’ll report back and share it’s location with you, via the app. This way you can go and retrieve your precious goods. 

I’ve reviewed Tile before and like many users, I identified that the internal battery was an issue as wasn’t removable, which meant although it had year-long battery life, the product became landfill when it was flat. 

This time around, Tile should be commended for listening to it’s customers (and reviewers) and implementing a replaceable battery on the device. What’s great is that they came up with a great design that meant having a user-removable battery didn’t increase the size of the product. 

The new range of Tile Bluetooth trackers (Pro and Mate), simply turn it over, press and slide the corner and the cover is opened, revealing a watch-style battery you can easily replace. This is smart and Tile will sell lots more of the devices given they now have long-term reusability. 

One of the other great features is just how connected these little guys are. The Tile Mate features a Bluetooth range of 45 metres (150 feet), while the top of the range, the Tile Pro achieves a massive 90+ metres (300 feet). 

Tile Pro

Tile Pro

The Tile pro features twice the volume and after testing it, the volume is a substantial increase over previous models. This is important if you’re to hear it from another room, or even outdoors. 

Amazingly Tile actually thinks a lot about the robustness of their devices and stress test them extensively, probably a lot more than you’ll ever do. They do drop tests, like keys falling out of your pocket, or off the roof of a car, they do squish tests, like having them jammed between a seat or between your leg and tight jeans, but also tumble tests, like if your crazy ex decides to throw them across the room, through a window, on to the street. This should give you confidence they’ll hold up to real-world usage in the long-term. 

Smart home integration

It wouldn’t be a smart device if it didn’t integrate with home automation. Tile Pro works with both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. This means when you’re looking for your phone and your keys, you can simply say “Alexa, ask Tile to find my keys” or “Ok Google, Ask Tile to find my keys” and the Tile will start to sound its ringtone.

You can also ask these voice assistants for the location of your keys, should they be outside of your current earshot. For the few seconds it takes to join your smart home voice assistants and your Tile accounts it’s a great integration piece and will help buyers to choose this product. 

Tile Mate

While not quite as feature rich as the Pro, it does come at a cheaper price and a different colour (white instead of black), so there’s a couple reasons both in design and price point that you may choose the Mate. 

Also featuring the replaceable battery, the Mate also features the smart home integration of it’s more expensive big brother and similarly, if you press the button on the Tile, it can ring your phone (even on silent), should you loose that.  

Tile Packaging

Tile Premium

Tile are offering a Premium subscription service for A$39.99 per year or you can go month-to-month for A$3.99. For that money, you get access to 6 features/services across all Tiles registered on your account. 

If you choose to go for Premium, then you sign up on the website or iOS app, with the ability to cancel at any time. Android versions are coming soon. 

  • Free Battery Replacements
    Premium subscribers are eligible to receive free, automatic battery replacements annually for an unlimited number of Tiles in their account. Batteries are shipped prior to on-year post activation, eliminating the need to search for and purchase replacement batteries.
  • Smart alerts
    Tile has always helped customers find their missing items, but now with Smart Alerts. Tile helps Premium subscribers take a proactive approach to keeping track of their valuables. Subscribers can set up alerts to be notified when they leave home without specific Tiled items, saving precious time for today’s busy lifestyle. Smart Alerts is launching in Beta. 
  • Unlimited Sharing
    Multiple Tile users can now manage the same tile device making it easier to track shared items, like the living room remote. All shared users can ring the Tile when within Bluetooth range and view the “Last Place Seen” to help find lost items. 
  • Extended Warranty
    Premium subscribers will receive extended warranty for a full 3 years on all new Mate and Pro devices. All Tiles go through rigorous physical stress tests and are built to last well beyond just one year: As a Premium subscriber, if your Tile fails within the first 3 years, Tile will replace it. 
  • Premium Customer Care
    In addition to email and online chat, Premium subscribers can access an exclusive text line with Tile’s support team. Customers can text directly through the Tile app for expedited support. 

Price and Availability

The new Tiles are from tomorrow (October 3rd 2018), available directly from Tile.com or from major retailers like JB Hifi, Harvey Norman and Office Works. 

Now for the retail pricing:

  • Tile Mate – A$39.95.
  • Tile Pro – A$59.95.

Overall

By adding the ability to replace the battery in Tiles, without increasing the size, while also improving the functionality, demonstrates how Tile is listening to feedback and improving the product. This means those who buy into Tile, are far more likely to buy multiple as they’re no longer on the hook for an annual replacement, simply a relatively cheap battery replacement. 

If you have keys, luggage, bikes etc that you care about the location of, then Tile is a great solution to being able to track that so you never loose it. 

8.2
Review: Tile Pro
The Good
  • Replaceable batteries
  • Increased range
The Bad
  • Limited colour options
  • Design
    8.5
  • Features
    7.5
  • Value
    8.5
Categories
HardwareReviews

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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