Tile “Item Discovery” Review

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It is finally here! After admiring the Tile app for two years, I finally got around my fear and ordered one.

Background

Just for some background, Tile app was one of the most successful KickStarter campaigns in 2013, raising over $2.6M [Source: CultofMac]. For those of you who don’t remember, Tile is simply a $20 Bluetooth-enabled tag that attaches to any possession (like a keychain or wallet) and is locatable on Tile’s accompanying iPhone and Android apps. This allows you to location your possessions in relation to your current location. This means approximately where your keys are inside your apartment or the last seen location.

Tile App DisplayWhat makes Tile different from almost every other similar device out there is that Tile’s users are all connected through the cloud, creating a giant search net that negates the disadvantage of Bluetooth’s extremely short range.

Since then Tile has successfully launched and up to 2014 have already tens of thousands of users around the world.

Unpacking

The Tile’s arrived in a simple brown bag. Within that bag is a small package holding my four Tile’s within. A simple instruction leaflet was attached to explain how it works. The packaging was very nice and my heart immediately started beating hard out of excitement.

Tile UnboxingConnecting

The process of adding each Tile is very simple and fun. Using the Tile iPhone app, I quickly created an account and then  assigned two tags. Created one for my wallet and one for my keys.

Tile app screen #1Locating Items

So now I have both Tile’s added, I can see all my possessions from the front screen. It shows when the last time the item was “seen”, meaning when the last time it connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth.

If I click on “Keys”, I can see the map of the last location and can even click the “Find” button, which will make the Tile on my keychain beep, to be easily found. After that I can even mark the item as “Lost”, which will mark the Tile as missing to all the other Tile apps in the world, notifying the original owner if anyone sees your item. This feature of course reliant on other Tile users, so would work better in areas like NYC and Silicon Valley.

Tile app screen #2Possible Issues

iPhone Battery Life – I’m using the Tile for a few days so far and so far I can tell my iPhone’s battery life is worse off. After some investigating I found out that my iPhone is actually paired with all my Tile’s all the time. While Bluetooth is pretty low energy, I still have a feeling it’s draining the battery.

Battery Life – each Tile is supposed to last 1-2 years, which is a bit of a bummer. There’s no way to replace the battery which means re-purchasing each Tile every few years.

Size – While still small, the Tile is a bit larger than I thought. Placing one within my wallet definitely added some bulk to it.

Summary

90%
90%
Awesome

Great packaging, great user experience, looks great and feels great. Hoping I won't need to use it for much, but secretly I can't wait to misplace something. Awesome!

  • Price
    8
  • Packaging
    8
  • Look & Feel
    10
  • Usability
    9
  • X-Factor
    10

About Author

Owner & Editor of FastStuff.com - Startup and technology enthusiast. Love to play around with gadgets and new toys. Can't get enough of drones!