The Tile has dominated for a few years now as the ultimate bluetooth keyfinder. While there have been several devices that have tried to compete with the Tile, only a couple have made a real challenge at dethroning the king of key finders. When we compared the Tile vs. the TrackR we still found that the Tile sits on top. The Tile Mate vs. the Chipolo Classic? That’s where it gets a little more interesting!
We recently got our hands on two Chipolo Classic key finders and put them to work. After completing our review, we think that the Chipolo is one of the best on the market – let’s find out why!
Tile Mate vs. Chipolo Classic: Setup
Both of these bluetooth key trackers are easy to set up. They each have their own app which walks you through how to set them up over bluetooth.
The Tile and the Chipolo apps work with Android or iOS. The Chipolo setup requires that you download the app, click the device next to your phone, and – boom! – it’s immediately recognized. You then have the option to give a custom name for what you’re tracking. This makes it great for tracking multiple devices with one app! After that, you test out the ringing sound on the Chipolo and set up whether or not you want to track your phone or share the device’s location (more on these features later).
The Tile requires you to put in your email address and register for an account after you download it. The Chipolo does not require a registration but does ask for your email. After the Tile’s email setup, the setup is basically the same between the two. I timed it, and the Chipolo set up was about 1.5 minutes where the Tile was about 3 minutes. Not a big difference here.
Tile Mate vs. Chipolo Classic: Daily Use
I have used a Tile Mate for about three years now (you can definitely see that in the picture!) and I’ve really enjoyed it. I use it when I misplace my keys and I also use the Tile Slim to find my wallet. It does everything I need and I really can’t think of any better ways to do it. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to checking other ones out – it’s just that there haven’t been any major competitors to sway me. I’ll admit – the Chipolo has started to do that!
Both devices are pretty much identical with how you use them. You use the app to click a button and it rings your keys. Both devices also allow you to press them twice to ring your phone. As for the range, the Chipolo Classic is 200ft and the Tile Mate is only 100ft. That’s a huge difference!
Tile Mate vs. Chipolo Classic: Durability
When it comes to durability, there are some major differences. As you can see in my picture, the Tile is quite beat up. However, this is my third Tile in four years and it just feels more fragile than the Chipolo. My other Tiles’ ringers became quiet because they got beat up with general wear-and-tear. To combat problems like this, Tile released a Tile Sport (which we reviewed here) that is much more durable – even more than the Chipolo.
But when it comes down to the Tile vs. the Chipolo, the Chipolo’s hard plastic feels much more heavy-duty than the Tile Mate. There’s not a button like the Tile Mate – meaning that the button can’t get all pressed in and lopsided which damaged my previous Tile Mates. Instead of a button, the Chipolo relies on you squeezing the device itself which doesn’t feel nearly as fragile as the Tile.
The major difference between the two is water resistance. The Chipolo Classic is not water-resistant and the Tile mate is. This is a big difference considering how often we might hold our keys out in the rain.
Tile Mate vs. Chipolo Classic: Battery
From experience, I know that the Tile Mate battery can last 2-3 years. Not bad at all! Once it dies, the app alerts you that it is limited on power and that it’s time to get a new one. The Tile company cmae up with a clever idea for this – the ReTile program. ReTile allows you to buy a new Tile at a discounted rate once yours dies.
The Chipolo’s battery only works about 9 months – way less than the Tile! However, it does have a replaceable battery that is included when you buy it here. It also doesn’t require any tools to install. It’s basically a watch battery and there’s instructions on the Chipolo site for how to replace it.
Tile Mate vs. Chipolo Classic: Extra Features
Since they are Bluetooth trackers and not GPS trackers, that means that once you’re out of range you can’t see the tracker’s live location. Instead, both of them show you the device’s last location on a map. This is helpful, but is still lacking a better solution of finding your keys when out of Bluetooth range.
To help with this, both devices have something called Crowd GPS. Crowd GPS means that other Tile and Chipolo users that have the app on their phone could ping your nearby device and let you know its there. Pretty neat, right? Don’t worry – your personal info doesn’t get out in the open and the person passing by that has the Tile or Chipolo app doesn’t get a notification. The apps simply updates you that your device has been located and lets you know its last seen location.
The problem with Crowd GPS is that it relies on a lot of people using it. This is bad news for the Chipolo. Many more people have Tiles than the Chipolo which means that you are much more likely to find your lost key finder with Crowd GPS with a Tile rather than a Chipolo.
Overall, both devices function very similarly. They both show the tracker’s location on the map, they both ring your phone and tracker, and they both have Crowd GPS technology to help you find your lost stuff. However, the Tile Mate’s water resistance, battery life, and popularity mean that we think it’s still the best on the market. Not all is lost on the Chipolo Classic, though. It still has an easy setup process and multiple colors to choose from.
Up to 9 months, but has replaceable battery
Up to 3 years
Up to 9 months, but has replaceable battery