Though a card tracker is always a sensible purchase, the form factor ends up limiting its usefulness somewhat. Not so for the Chipolo Card, which combines a fully featured app, powerful tracking and a small, svelte design that means it can be used nearly anywhere. It has some drawbacks, like a non-user-replaceable battery, but for the price, it is a no-brainer.
- Handy button functions
- Fits into a wallet or purse easily
- Great Bluetooth tracking capabilities
- No replaceable battery
- Chipolo network coverage isn’t the best around
- Protection from the rainWith IPX5 water resistance capabilities, the Chipolo Card will survive a stint in the rain without problems.
- Handy button functionalityThe button on the Chipolo Card not only allows you to find your smartphone, but also doubles up as a camera shutter.
- Small form factorThe Chipolo Card is smaller than a regular credit card, making it easy to tuck away in a wallet or purse.
Between the hordes of Bluetooth trackers on the market, it can be difficult to tell which is best and for what job. Take the AirTag, which isn’t designed to be attached to anything in particular without relying on a first-party or aftermarket accessory. It doesn’t have a strictly defined use case, and so versatility becomes its strength.
This is traditionally a little more difficult for the likes of the Chipolo Card, which on the surface is intended to be inserted into a wallet or passport holder and then live there forevermore. Most of these trackers have a single use case in mind, which can be a bit restrictive – but the Card has a trick up its sleeve.
Though it is rectangular and thin enough to easily fit in a wallet or similar, it is also slim, maybe half the height of any other card and thinner too. This opens up a lot of other possibilities and changes the game completely.
There is the question though, does this different form factor impact its usefulness? Moreover, would a ‘standard’ round tracker like an AirTag do a better job?
- Thin card-esque form factor
- IPX5 water resistance
- No replaceable battery
From a tracker that has ‘Card’ in the title, it’s safe to expect one thing: it will be the shape of a card. This would certainly be the case for the likes of similar options from Tile, where not much imagination has been applied.
Chipolo has done something a little different however.
Its Card will certainly be able to perform that traditional function, but as it is smaller than even a traditional credit card, it can be used for tracking different objects too. It’d sit just as inconspicuously in the side pocket of a rucksack as it would in a wallet. Indeed its svelte dimensions is an advantage over other options – even those direct from Chipolo, like the Chipolo One.
It’s so thin, in fact, that it is a little difficult to believe that it’s nothing more than an empty bit of plastic. There is a tracking chip inside, along with a small battery, but it is disconcerting nonetheless. These are qualities one should desire in a tracker, of course, the point being that they should be able to disappear onto your person and still be useful.
One slight criticism that could be levelled is the lack of colour options available. The Card comes in any colour you like so long as it is white. If that is your favourite colour and you could conceive of liking no other, then you will be well served.
For those who have seen the rainbow of options available with the Chipolo One might be a little disappointed however. Not only does colour add a hint of playfulness, but it also makes the tracker easier to spot – an important element when it comes to anti-stalking measures.
Beyond colours, the Card is rated for IPX5 water resistance. This means that while it won’t survive full-blown immersion in water, it will be able to survive getting wet on a rainy day, which is as much as can be expected.
There is an unfortunate tradeoff of the strange design however; the battery isn’t user-replaceable. As it only lasts a year, that means it won’t be too long before it theoretically ends up as e-waste.
Chipolo has anticipated this, however, and offers a useful recycling program where you can send your old tracker in for free and get another in return at half the price of its RRP.
Features and performance
- Simple setup
- Button has multiple functions
- 60m Bluetooth range
No matter how pretty or convenient the shape of a tracker might be, it is nothing without the ability to track well – so how does the Chipolo Card fare?
Set up is a commendably simple process. With the Chipolo app download and set to ‘Add’ mode, it is an easy process of pressing the ‘pair’ button on the Card. All in all, pairing then takes around twenty seconds.
Once the connection is established via Bluetooth, it is rock solid. The speaker on the tracker is loud and clear and has a range of up to 60m, though that is line-of-sight. Elements like doors, walls and even signal congestion can reduce this range further – something worth keeping in mind.
The bigger element to consider is Chipolo’s user network, as that’ll be key for locating any items out of your smartphone’s range. Chipolo claims that its network is 5 million users strong, which will no doubt offer wide coverage, but it’s not as vast as alternatives from Apple and Samsung. As such, your tracker could still end up somewhere without a user in range, leaving it essentially invisible to you.
Back to the Chipolo app, it is very simply laid out and easy to use. You can track the Card on a map, see where it was last seen, set the Card as a camera shutter, set up voice assistant commands and more. It is intuitive and stable, and is, therefore, a win on every front.
It offers as much functionality as the standard Google ‘Find My Device’ app, if not quite as much range and reliability as Apple’s ‘Find My’ network does. That as a consequence may mean the AirTag could be a better option for iOS users, though only by a hair.
There’s also no UWB support as there is in AirTags, but again, that is expected.
Should you buy it?
You want a stealthy card-style Bluetooth tracker
With smaller dimensions than a regular credit card, the Chipolo Card is designed to be slipped into a wallet or purse.
You want the best coverage possible
60m Bluetooth range is fine, but Chipolo’s wider network of users isn’t as vast as alternatives from Apple and Samsung.
There are a lot of options available in the tracker market, even if all of them have the same essential function. What is useful for you will come down to the kind of device you use, the price you are willing to pay and the shape that would be most useful to you.
If you are looking to keep track of a wallet or similar, have £26/$30 to spare and own an Android device, the Chipolo Card is among the best options on the market today. iOS users will get a bit more use out of an AirTag, but it also costs nearly a third more.
The Chipolo Card does everything it sets out to do and does it well. But for a battery that was user-replaceable and a few more colour options, it would be a slam dunk.
How we test
We make sure to spend at least a week with each tracker, testing all of the advertised features. We’ll also test the range of the product, and how easy it is to set up.
We spend at least a week testing each tracker
We test the maximum range of each tracker
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It operates with a 60m range, though this will vary depending on walls, wireless interference and other factors.