Trackers are a pretty neat tools to keep an eye and ear on things that you may have misplaced in anyway possible. Given that we spend more time on our phones and have a packed day, its pretty possible to forget something at home. We have seen a lot of trackers, in fact, personally – I still use my Chipolo Tracker – but Samsung’s SmartTag might have done something beyond being just tracker, that is to connect to your home instead.
Look and Feel
There’s nothing to be excited about with the unboxing because it’s a tiny little box that has just the tracker and the paperwork – that’s it. Personally, I think they could have included a little tie to strap it but there is a hole on top which you can use it to tie it to wherever you want. The feel of the tracker is just simple and nice – not to forget that the matte finish is a nice touch. Remember that, despite it has a matte texture, its definitely prone to scuffs and scratches.
So, I’d suggest spending a little extra to get the silicon cases like we did for our SmartTags.
Let me tell you upfront before you even purchase, this tracker does NOT work with any other phones except Samsung due to a specific requirement, that is Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 – and don’t get confused with the SmartTag+ which uses UWB and will only work exclusively with phones that has UWB.
All you have to do is launch the SmartThings app > Setup Device > Look for SmartTags. Once you find it and tap into it, the phone will then download the required protocol to make it work. Once its done, you can set it up. The tracker has a button that allows you to press to pair, once the phone detects it, the tracker will be up and running. Make sure to register for a Samsung Account to be able to bind it properly.
The whole app is pretty simple actually and honestly, its pretty much the same features as other trackers we have seen – there’s the Status which tells you where your object is – in this case its my key, an option to enable to find your phone with the tag, buttons for automation which I will get into a bit, Volume and the Ringtone for the tag and finally, the battery life.
Tracking the keys, well with the help of BLE 5.0 is as basic as it gets – because you can’t really tell it’s precise location unlike UWB which uses a whole different sensor to pin point the location. So the only thing you will see is “Nearby”, “Not Connected” – that kind of remark, and the GPS location based on the map is actually the last location where the SmartTag established a connection with your phone. Som its all a ball park figure going on.
Now the place where it truly shines is how the automation takes it up to a whole new level. There are two types of press: the normal click press and the press-and-hold. Now, in SmartTag, the app allows you to collectively have all your Smart IoT products in one screen – for easy managing and connectivity purposes. That means – if you have any of the supported appliances at home, you can set a command to the type of button press you prefer. In our case, we set the SmartTag to turn on/off the smartlights at Home and the command works perfectly. Now, if your phone isnt connected to the internet, it would not work as the SmartTag daisy chains to the phone and the phone connects to the network in order to execute the command.
Samsung claims that the battery will last for about 6 months which I wholeheartedly agree although I have not used it for that long. Given that my previous trackers from Chipolo lasted me way past 6 months and uses the same BLE to connect, I expect it to be as good as that. The batteries on the SmartTags are user replaceable – so, don’t worry as you don’t have to throw the entire device away and get a new one.
The Samsung SmartTag take the same idea which has been executed by brands like Tile, who are the pioneer in Trackers. But then again, Samsung took it to the drawing board to add a feature that they thought would be good addition – and that’s the automation tool. This got me excited enough that, right after Samsung sent us the review sample, a week later we purchased two more to use it not just to be a Tracker to my home keys but as a key to my home’s IoT. Samsung should open compatibility with other phones in the market that uses BLE, that way – it would be a good tracker for non-samsung users too.
Special thanks to Samsung Malaysia for providing us the SmartTag for review.