Technology

5 things to check when buying a Bluetooth tracker

Expected read time: 5 min

Bluetooth trackers use BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy technology and connect to your smartphone to help you find the location of your misplaced items. The finders will help you find your things as well as your phone by making them ring.

When you think about it, Bluetooth trackers are an amazing piece of innovative tech. They use very little power and harness the smart part of your smartphone to keep track of your things, all at an affordable price.

But there are some differences to pay attention to when buying a Bluetooth tracker, and we’re not just talking about the obvious ones, like shape and color.

1. Battery

Bluetooth trackers have a battery that can last between 1 to 2 years and in most cases, the batteries are either rechargeable or replaceable or offer a discounted renewal program for the whole tracker when the battery is non-replaceable.

Bluetooth trackers with rechargeable batteries typically have the shortest battery life and need to be recharged anywhere from every week to every 3 months. In most cases, you can recharge them using a standard USB mini charger (the same you'd use for older smartphones).

Ones with replaceable batteries can last anywhere between 6 months to 2 years depending on the model. Once the battery runs out, you can buy a new battery and replace it yourself. The replaceable batteries are usually standard coin-shaped batteries that you can find in most shops and online. They will cost between 1 – 5 $, depending on the brand.

Some smart trackers require a specialized tool to open the tracker and replace the battery and most tracker manufacturers will include such tools in your order. Mostly, you can use your fingernails, a nail file, or a pocket knife to open them and replace the battery.

Trackers with non-replaceable batteries are usually included in a renew & recycle programs where you replace the whole tracker when the battery runs out. The repurchase programs are discounted repurchase programs, where you can get the new tracker at a discounted price of up to 50%, and at the same time recycle the old one.

The costs of replacing a tracker every year are a bit higher than just replacing the battery, but the good news is these discounts usually apply to almost any tracker the company offers. You can upgrade your tracker to the newest model or just go with a different color to change it up.

2. Range

Any technology that is based on Bluetooth will work optimally at a range of up to about 100 feet. With Bluetooth or BLE trackers this range is extended to about 200 - 300 feet so that your phone can stay connected to your tracker across your house and not give off false disconnect alerts.

Ultimately the connection range will depend on your surroundings. Obstacles like thick walls, trees, and cars can decrease the connectivity range.

Companies will usually list the maximum range of a tracker in their product descriptions, so make sure to check out a few independent reviews before buying.

Check how those numbers hold up in an actual test. We recommend the YouTube reviewer ModernDayFamilyMan, as he likes to test any claims Bluetooth tracker companies make regarding their products.

3. Sound

Bluetooth finders are made to be heard, so one of the most important features is how loud the Bluetooth tracker is.

The tracker’s ringing must be loud enough to be heard even if your lost item is buried under a couch cushion, a pile of toys, or if you find yourself searching in a noisy environment.

Pay attention to the melody too. Will you be able to hear it in a noisy environment? Does the company offer a few different ringtones you can choose from or do they have one default ringtone for all of their devices?

4. Use case

Think about what you’ll be using the Bluetooth tracker for before your purchase. Will you use it to find your keys, your wallet, your backpack, or to track your pet?

Some Bluetooth trackers have additional features like a thin, card-like shape for your wallet, water resistance, and out-of-range alerts on your phone for when you forget to take your things with you.

Some you can share with your family and friends through the accompanying app if the item you want to track is used by a few people.

5. Price

Like with every other product, the prices of Bluetooth trackers can go from cheap to incredibly expensive.

You can factor the tracker’s accompanying features into how much you’re willing to spend, but there’s another great way to check if a tracker’s price is worth it before you buy.

You can view the accompanying app ratings and user feedback to check how satisfied others are with their product and how helpful the company is if something goes wrong.

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