The new Tile trackers are cool, but the real Apple AirTags competitor arrives in 2022

Tile Slim, Pro and Sticker tracking keys, a wallet and a TV remote
(Image credit: Tile)

Tile has just launched the latest versions of its popular Bluetooth trackers. Its entire range of iOS and Android compatible products – including Tile Pro and Tile Mate – have been updated with new features for this year, but that wasn’t all Tile has to announce.

At the same time, Tile has unveiled a new tracker to stand up against the Apple AirTag that entered the market earlier this year. However, we will have to wait a little longer for it to release.

The Tile Ultra takes all of the great features packed into the Tile Pro and adds Ultra-Wideband tracking that’s used in Apple’s own tracker. Once you’re near enough to the Tile Ultra, you’ll be able to activate an augmented reality experience that will guide you to exactly where your missing item is hidden.

Like the rest of Tile’s range, the Tile Ultra will be compatible with both Android and iOS devices when it releases – some time in early 2022.

Pricing for the Tile Ultra isn’t yet finalized, but we expect it will cost slightly more than the Tile Pro (currently sold for $34.99/ £29.99 / AU$49.95). This would make it more expensive than Apple’s AirTags, but when you factor in the AirTag peripherals – such as the case you need to attach it to your keys – there likely won’t be much of a difference.

Tile Ultra's UWB tracking

(Image credit: Tile)

The 2021 Tile refresh 

You don’t have to wait until 2022 for a new Tile tracker though. 

The new Tile Mate, Tile Slim and Tile Sticker will now support a 250ft (76m) Bluetooth range. Ringing volume has increased, too, helping you to find lost objects at a greater distance than before. You’ll also find the Mate has abandoned its replaceable battery, as all three now feature non-replaceable batteries, offering up to three years of use before needing to be replaced.

The Tile Pro hasn’t changed much internally – keeping its 400ft (121m) Bluetooth range and replaceable battery that offers up to one year of use before needing to be changed – but its external look is more distinct. The Pro now has a more slim, rectangular look to better differentiate it from the Tile Mate

Whatever model you prefer, all of them now have an IP67 resistance score, meaning they're completely dust protected and can survive being submerged in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. 

The 2021 range of Tile Trackers

(Image credit: Tile)

You can pick up any of the new models today from Tile’s official store or from a slew of third-party vendors.  The updated Tile Mate will cost $24.99 / £19.99 / AU$34.95, the Tile Slim will sell for $34.99 / £29.99 / AU$44.95 and Tile Sticker will cost $29.99 / £24.99 / AU$34.95. The premium Tile Pro will set you back $34.99/ £29.99 / AU$49.95.

New features 

For owners of the new Tile Mate, Tile Slim and Tile Pro Lost and Found will give good samaritans another way to return your item to you. On the back of these trackers there is a unique QR code, which when scanned will give whoever finds the Tile basic contact information to be able to return your lost item to you.

Lost and Found is an opt-in feature which you set up when you mark the Tile as lost, so if you don’t want to hand out your personal info you don’t have to – alternatively you could choose to only give out certain details depending on what you’re missing.

Tile has told us they hope this QR-code powered feature will give non-Tile users a convenient way to return items they find.

Tile Lost and Found feature

(Image credit: Tile)

The rise of trackers like Tile and AirTags have also lead to people being worried about their use to stalk unsuspecting individuals. To combat this Tile will be introducing the new Scan and Secure feature to its app.

Scan and Secure has been created with guidance from an advocacy organization that specializes in domestic abuse and the misuse of technology. The feature will allow users of the Tile app to scan for and detect nearby Tile devices and identify to find out if unknown devices could be tracking them.

The feature won’t just detect the new Tiles but should be compatible with all but the very oldest Tile trackers – which only make up about 3% of those in circulation.

One of our favorite aspects of this feature is that you won’t need to sign up for a Tile account to use it, you’ll just need to download the Tile app to be able to use Scan and Secure and get some peace of mind.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.