New Bluetooth locators keep popping up like weeds. At the end of the day, they are all basically the same thing - you can't really go wrong.
If you are looking for a Bluetooth locator - meaning you are looking for something with a long battery life but a short range so you need to be within a few hundred feet at most of your phone to find it (see this post) - then you have probably seen more options than you know what to do with.
- Honey Key Finder
and of course, now Ping Home. So what's the deal / difference with all these. I'll tell you a secret - nothing really!
All Bluetooth devices will work somewhere between 30 - 300 feet, dependent on the number of walls and obstacles (like under a couch, in a draw) between them and your phone. Almost all of them will play some kind of noise to help you find it, though some "claim" louder than others, they are all roughly the same. They're all pretty small and thin - anywhere from the size of a stack of quarters to a small USB memory stick - so you can attach or drop them anywhere. Lastly, they all should have pretty decent battery life, anywhere from six to sixteen months, since they should use what's called Bluetooth Low Energy to save battery.
So what should you look for? Well here's a quick chart:
- Can the battery be easily replaced when it dies or do you need to buy a new device from the company when it dies? Tile, for example, has some devices with a replaceable battery and others that require you to buy a new one.
- Is the device water resistant? Look to see if it's rated at least IP67 or higher - those devices can fall in a glass of water and be fine (as long as it doesn't sit there).
- Is the range "boasted"? Some devices wire up the antenna to give you extra range. This makes it easier to find the device.
- How easy is the mobile app to use? All devices have a mobile app they pair with, but some are more "complicated" than others. Make sure to check out the mobile app screenshots in the app stores before buying a device.
Honestly, these devices are a very convenient and inexpensive way of finding misplaced items, like keys and purses, within range of your phone. They all basically use the same tech and do the same thing. Find one that looks ok and the price is right and just give it a go - you can't really go too wrong!