Tile Tile Mate & Tile Slim Review

Finders keepers?

The Tile was a chunky little plastic square that you could attach to anything you didn’t want to lose – car keys, memory stick, small child – and keep track of its location on your smartphone. At least, that’s how it was marketed. You could have been forgiven for thinking the Tile actually knew where it was. In fact no location-tracking equipment was built into it at all. Instead, it relied on communicating wirelessly with your phone at short range, via Bluetooth.

It’s clever and useful if you worry about losing things.


The idea was that if you lost the Tile, your phone would show you on a map where it was last located, which, logically, was probably where it still was. If you went to that place and found it wasn’t still there, the Tile app could ask Tile’s central server to ask every other Tile user’s phone to keep an eye out for your Tile – anonymously, of course – and tell you if it was found. It’s a clever and useful system, but only if you lose stuff in an area where a lot of people are early adopters of fancy electronic tags. As long as the Tile and your phone aren’t more than a few dozen yards apart, you can also make either play a loud tune on the other – handy if you often lose things around the house or car.

Last year Tile 2 added support for many Android devices as well as iPhones, and now there are two new editions: Tile Mate and Tile Slim. Mate is 25 per cent smaller and much lighter, which is fine, but the price has gone up. Slim is bigger but flatter, so you could stick it in your wallet, for example, or on a laptop case. It’s also more expensive, and both still wear out after about a year and have to be replaced.

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Tile Mate & Slim Combo Pack, Key/Wallet/Item Finder, 4-pack

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Last update was in: 2017-06-23 9:23 am


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There’s a discount for replacements of up to 30 per cent, and you can also buy four units for the price of three (a pack of four Tiles Slim, for example, is £100 from John Lewis, but we still think the prices are too high for this to really catch on.


Bluetooth LE tag • Up to 100-foot range • IP5 water resistant • 34x34x4.65mm, 6.1g (Tile Mate) • 54xS4x2.4mm, 9.3g (Tile Slim)


It’s neither cheap nor perfect, but if you have a particular item that you worry about losing, a Tile could be just the thing


Other Bluetooth-tracking tags exist (see Duet tracker right), but they’re not widely available in the UK and users report problems using them.

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