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The best Bluetooth trackers of 2024: Expert tested

The best Bluetooth trackers of 2024: Expert tested
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If you’ve ever lost your phone, keys, wallet, or even your dog, then you need a Bluetooth tracker. This must-have accessory keep tabs on the items you can’t live without. These small devices attach to almost anything — a keychain, remote, your pet’s collar — so you can see their precise location on your phone at all times.  

But which Bluetooth tracker should you buy? With dozens of brands, sizes, and price points available, finding the ideal tracker requires a bit of information tracking (no pun intended).

Also: The best GPS trackers for kids in 2024: Expert recommended

What is the best Bluetooth tracker right now?

At ZDNET, we’ve reviewed and compared many of the best Bluetooth tracker offerings on the market, and we’ve rounded up our favorites below. Our pick for the best Bluetooth tracker overall is the Apple AirTag, thanks to its precision tracking, replaceable battery, and access to Apple’s Find My network. Read on for other top Bluetooth trackers you can buy.

Also: How to find out if an AirTag is tracking you

The best Bluetooth trackers of 2024

Pros

  • Precision tracking
  • Find My network is dependable
  • Replaceable battery

Cons

  • Designed only for Apple users (not for Android phones)
  • Accessory required to attach to certain items
  • Easily scratched

The Apple AirTag only works with Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, but it does so seamlessly and effectively. Using its built-in U1 ultra wideband chip (for Precision Finding) and Apple’s extensive Find My network, this coin-sized tracker can find anything it’s attached to — including keys, wallets, and bags.

AlsoApple AirTag review 

When you need to locate an item, open the Find My app on any Apple device and select the appropriate tag. The AirTag will then beep, which helps you find a missing item if it’s nearby. Though it is slim enough to fit in pockets and bags, the AirTag lacks a built-in loop, so you can’t attach it easily to keychains or other items. This is a common complaint among buyers since the lack of a loop necessitates buying a separate AirTag holder for some use cases. For example, I’ve bought wristbands for my kids to wear their AirTags at the park and keychain holders for my car keys.

The AirTag’s battery is rated to last one year and can be replaced with another CR2032 unit afterward. One AirTag sells for $29; a four-pack is typically priced at $99. However, the four-pack is often deeply discounted as part of limited-time deals. 

Apple AirTag Features: Price: $29 Battery life: Over a year | Real-time tracking: Yes | Monthly cost: Free | Connectivity: Bluetooth, UWB, NFC, Find My Network 

Pros

  • 400 foot range
  • High waterproof rating
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices

Cons

  • No ultra wideband precision tracking
  • Slightly larger than other tags

The Tile Pro has a greater tracking range (400 feet) than its competitors — including its sibling the Tile Mate. This tracker has a loud alarm that makes it easy to locate, and an IP67 to protect it from dust, splashes and rain. For reference, competing trackers like the Apple AirTag and Samsung SmartTag have a range of 200 feet via Bluetooth, half the range of the Tile Pro.

Another distinguishing feature of the Tile Pro is its design: It has an elongated shape, more like a key fob than a coin. The size makes sense since it has a larger-than-average speaker for a more discernible alarm and a replaceable CR2032 battery. It also has a hole at the top of the tile so you can easily attach the tag to your keychain. 

A Tile Pro tag sells for $35, which is well worth the money if you want the longest tracking range. That said, unreliable charging remains one of Tile Pro users’ biggest complaints. The Tile Pro works with the Tile app and with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Tile Pro Features: Price: $35 |  Battery life: Up to one year | Real-time tracking: Yes | Monthly cost: $8.33 to $16.99 per month | Connectivity: Bluetooth

Pros

  • Sleek design ideal for wallets
  • Alarm feature
  • Apple Find My integration

Cons

  • No ultra wideband tracking
  • Battery isn’t replaceable
  • Not compatible with Android

The Eufy SmartTrack Card has a wide 260-foot tracking range and works exclusively with the Apple Find My network, which Apple uses to help consumers locate their AirTags, AirPods, and other devices. The battery can last up to three years, and it carries battery life and Eufy describes it as “water resistant” but doesn’t provide a rating on the Ingress Protection Rating scale.

The Eufy SmartTrack Card is a credit card-sized Bluetooth tracker that fits seamlessly in a wallet or passport holder. It’s 2.5mm thick, about the thickness of three credit cards stacked together. In addition to working with Apple Find My, this tracker also works with the Eufy Security app to deliver features like finding silent phones and sharing items. You can ping the SmartTrack Card from your phone and vice versa, which widens the scenarios for locating your missing item. 

While SmartTrack users on Amazon say it’s a perfect fit for wallets and a tracker that gets the job done, opinions are split on battery life. As a user for over two years, I’ve had no issues with battery life but I have found that its tracking isn’t as reliable as the AirTag. Android users need to look elsewhere (Tile and Chipolo both have wallet-sized trackers).

Eufy SmartTrack Card Features: Price: $17-30  | Battery life: Up to three years | Real-time tracking: Yes | Monthly cost: Free | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Apple Find My network 

Pros

  • Real-time location tracking
  • Panic button for urgent situations
  • Charger included

Cons

  • Requires subscription plan
  • Needs frequent charging

Besides locating keys and wallets, Bluetooth trackers make handy gadgets to keep an eye on your child, senior, or pet. If you can spend a little more for added safety and security features, look to the Jiobit Smart Tag, which sells for $150 (it’s often on sale for $130 at Jiobit’s website) plus subscription. The Jiobit clips easily to a belt, collar, or backpack, and it provides always-on connectivity and real-time location tracking.

Jiobit’s required, dedicated cloud subscription is where Jiobit’s magic lies. The subscription costs an additional $8.33 a month (paid annually) for the basic level, which provides access to Jiobit’s real-time tracking features, 30 days of location history, location-sharing, and the ability to contact either 911 or a designated carer. Also of note: Jiobit and Tile share the same parent company, Life360.

Jiobit Smart Tag features: Price: $130 | Battery life: One week | Real-time tracking: Yes | Monthly cost: $8.33 (paid annually) | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, GPS 

Pros

  • Doubles as smart home button
  • Integrated speaker
  • Rugged design

Cons

  • Only compatible with Galaxy phones
  • Bulky design

Like the Apple AirTag and iPhone, the Samsung SmartTag2 is at its best when paired with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The Galaxy SmartTag2 is a formidable Bluetooth tracker with a loudspeaker, a replaceable battery, and a rugged build that can handle a bump or two. 

Also: The best Samsung phones 

The SmartTag2 Bluetooth tracker is thinner and slicker than its predecessor, with a bigger keyring and a metal insert inside that provides greater durability. Beyond its new design, the SmartTag 2 increases its battery life to up to 700 days. It also has a new Power Saving Mode, a new Lost Mode, and an improved Compass View over its prior iteration. Customer reviews are mixed on battery life, but the SmartTag has a replaceable CR2032 battery.

Unlike the picks above, the SmartTag2 doubles as a trigger for smart home automation. You can press the tag to turn on lights, kickstart air conditioning, or even open the garage door. However, it’s only compatible with appliances that fall under the SmartThings ecosystem, which is more limited than Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Home Kit ecosystems.

This tracker sells for $30, but we’ve seen it go for much less, making it a great value buy for Samsung users.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag2 features: Price: $30 | Battery life: Up to two years | Real-time tracking: Yes | Monthly cost: Free | Connectivity: Bluetooth, GPS 

The Apple AirTag is the best Bluetooth tracker for its Precision Finding, long battery life, and access to the dependable Apple’s Find My Network feature. 

We chose other great options to fit a variety of needs. The Tile Pro’s 400-foot range is fantastic if you want a long-distance tracker. Meanwhile, the JioBit Smart Tag is a wise choice for parents and carers if you need real-time location tracking. 

This table can help you compare the best Bluetooth trackers based on pricing and special features:

Bluetooth trackers

Price

Special features

Apple AirTag

$29

Precision Finding, one-year battery life

Tile Pro

$35

400-foot tracking range, IP67 water protection 

Eufy SmartTrack Card

$30

Compact size fits in most wallets, 260-foot tracking range

Jiobit Smart Tag

$150

Always-on connectivity, real-time tracking 

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag2

$30

Compatible with smart home devices, scratch-resistant design 

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note that prices vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

The main factor you should consider when shopping for a Bluetooth tracker is compatibility—the AirTag and Eufy SmartTrack Card, for example, only functions with Apple devices. For more versatility, we’d recommend looking into Tile’s Bluetooth offerings.

It also helps to know what you’re tracking. Coin-shaped trackers will do the trick for keys and smaller items. For larger belongings such as wallets and passports, consider card-shaped options.

Choose this Bluetooth tracker…

If you want…

Apple AirTag

Best overall for precise location tracking and a battery that’ll last a year.

Tile Pro

Long-distance tracking with a range of 400 feet and a loud alarm.

Eufy SmartTrack Card

A sleek, Apple-integrated tracker for your wallet.

Jiobit Smart Tag

Real-time location tracking and a panic alert button.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag2

A Samsung-compatible tracker that can double as a smart home button.

The best picks tick all four boxes and then some. They’re also distinguished by unique selling points that make each ideal for specific uses. That way, if you want a Bluetooth tracker on your pet’s collar or need one that works with your Samsung ecosystem, look for models that support these features. When selecting the best Bluetooth trackers, we considered the following key factors. 

  • Precision: How accurate and consistent is the device at finding our items, whether it was close by or far away. 
  • Battery life: What’s the point in investing in a Bluetooth tracker when it can die on you during an essential time? Within the list, we considered battery life and noted each device’s durability so you can confidently make your pick.  
  • Speaker volume: Nothing is worse than knowing an object is nearby but you can’t locate it. This is where the speaker volume comes in: If a tracker’s volume is too low, you won’t be able to find your device. If a tracker has a loud volume, you can at least hear it beeping so you can follow the sound. 
  • Tracking range: Bluetooth devices like these trackers rely on signal strength (RSSI) to estimate the device’s locations or items. We considered the range to determine how reliable these devices can be in a time of need. 

At ZDNET, we follow a comprehensive testing method to evaluate Bluetooth trackers and provide insights into their performance and reliability to help buyers choose the best one for their circumstances.

We test Bluetooth trackers by noting the entire experience, from unboxing and setup to features and performance. This involves evaluating whether the location tracking for a Bluetooth tracker is accurate when compared to its actual location, monitoring signal strength when trying to find a tracker, and assessing how reliably it connects and reconnects to your main device, which is commonly a smartphone.

During testing, we also evaluate the maximum signal range, the app experience, and the effectiveness of proximity alerts, measure the battery life, perform drop tests, and test how each Bluetooth tracker performs in areas with a lot of Bluetooth interference. 

Most Bluetooth trackers have batteries you can swap or recharge. If a tracker lacks a replaceable battery, its manufacturer often incentivizes trade-ins with discounts. 

Many batteries can last between one and two years. Your manufacturer will have this information available in the owner’s manual and website so you can plan when to replace it. 

A Bluetooth tracker either attaches to a personal item (think wallet, backpack, even belt) or can simply reside inside that item. Next, you enable location tracking by connecting the tracker via the manufacturer’s app. This way you can have a visual of your item’s location. Bluetooth trackers have a limited range, with an average of 200 to 300 feet, and you must be within the signal range to receive accurate information. Some items, such as Wi-Fi speakers, might interfere with the signal, so use the devices in an area with less potential interference so you can receive the strongest signal. 

The Bluetooth trackers above are my top five recommendations, but the following devices can also keep your belongings in check:

View at AmazonView at Best BuyView at Best Buy

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