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Samsung Galaxy SmartTags set to beat Apple AirTags to market

Samsung looks certain to launch its Galaxy Buds Pro earphones and Galaxy SmartTag item trackers alongside the Galaxy S21 smartphone next week.

Ahead of the January 14 Unpacked event, the two rumoured accessories have been spotted within purported promotional materials for Galaxy S21 pre-orders.

The leaked image (below) comes from the reliable leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) and reveals Galaxy S21 customers will be able to choose the Galaxy Buds Pro or Galaxy SmartTag as a free gift (via The Verge).

Related: Best wireless earbuds

Samsung often offers some excellent accessories as a tempter to boost pre-orders and it appears things won’t be different for the forthcoming flagship handset range.

A smartphone displaying a location on map and a white tag resting besideA black Samsung smartphone with Galaxy Buds and Galaxy smartTag below

Image credit: Evan Blass

What it does mean is the SmartTags are likely to beat the forthcoming Apple AirTags to market as both companies look to impinge upon the Bluetooth item-tracking market established by Tile.

The Galaxy SmartTag trackers have been leaked multiple times – like pretty much every Samsung product in the last few years – in recent months, so it’s no surprise to see the launch at Unpacked next week. Apple’s answer to Tile has been long rumoured, but an expected launch before the end of 2020 did not materialise.

Given that both companies have very specific audience bases it’s difficult to imagine either company missing out on too many sales as a result of the competition. However, we can’t see Apple giving away AirTags with iPhone pre-orders either.

Earlier this week Tile’s answer to the incoming challenge was detailed by leaked internal documents published by TechCrunch.

According to the report, Tile plans to fit its next-generation trackers with ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, along with augmented reality within the companion app to help users track down their lost items.

Ultra-wideband (UWB) tech is included in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 as well as some Android devices like the most recent Samsung Galaxy Note 20. The tech is considered more accurate for capturing spatial and directional data than the Bluetooth standard, making it ideal for a new generation of item trackers.

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