The Tile Mate is the cheapest tracker in the range, but it offers the same functionality as the rest. At £19.99, its basic look and feel means you won’t be disappointed if it takes a kicking. New to trackers? Buy this. A tracker fan who wants something cheap and reliable? Then you should buy this, too.
- Tile Premium features
- Feels cheap
- Features restricted to Premium
- Review Price: £19.99
- 200ft range
- Bluetooth LE tracking
- One-year battery life (replaceable)
- iOS and Android
What is the Tile Mate?
The Tile Mate is the entry-level unit in Tile’s range of trackers. The Mate is ideal for attaching to a keyring, coming with a loop to hook it on, plus it isn’t so big that it will make your keys too cumbersome.
Despite being the cheapest Tile in the lineup, it offers the same functionality as all the rest of the model in the range. As such, it’s an obvious choice for most tracking purposes.
Tile Mate design and features – Cheap-feeling build, but it works to the Mate’s advantage
The design of the Tile Mate is unlikely to blow you away, but it doesn’t really need to. The Mate has a white-coloured front, with a Tile button for ending tones or reverse-tracking your phone, and a grey back.
The build of the Mate is far from premium – it sort of feels like a kids toy. However, this isn’t necessarily a negative. The build means you’re unlikely to fret over where you put it and whether it becomes scratched or scuffed. It can be placed on your keyring, in a bag or in a pocket, and you’ll feel perfectly at ease tossing it around. With the Tile Mate, convenience is key.
All the tracking features common to Tile are available with the Mate. Simply sync up your Tile to the app on your phone and you’re all set. Thereafter, you’ll be able to determine whether it’s in the vicinity and get it to call out if you can’t quite find it. Tile also uses other Tiles to determine the last known location of your tracker, if it happens to be out of range.
Put simply, the Tile Mate has one job – and it does it well.
Tile Mate app and premium – A simple interface, and a Premium version adds more features
The Tile app works the same with the Mate as it does with the rest of the Tile lineup. The app sports a simple interface: the homescreen displays any Tiles you have connected and lets you customise the name and icon for your tracker. The icon has a green ring around it if your Tile is in range. If it isn’t, then the last known location is shown along with information on when it was last tracked.
If you want to find a Tile, you click on the icon and click “Find” – your Tile will begin ringing if it’s in range.
There’s also a map view that displays the location or last known location of your Tile, providing an easy way to catch up on the status of multiple trackers.
Aside from the main experience of the app, there’s Tile Premium too. Premium costs £30 for a year, or £2.99 a month.
Premium has some great features that really feel like Tile 2.0. The standout feature is Smart Alerts, which lets you set locations in the Tile app and assign your trackers to these locations. This lets Tile send you a notification if you leave the house without your keys or your work bag.
Tile doesn’t let you set time and date restrictions on when you receive these alerts, however. So you’ll find that you’re alerted to leaving your work bag at home even at the weekend.
Tile Premium comes with a three-year extended warranty, unlimited sharing to let your friends and family also track your Tiles, and battery replacement. Battery replacement is for the Tile Mate and Tile Pro, which allow you to change the battery – with Premium, Tile will send you the replacements for free, no matter the number of trackers you have.
The main downside of Premium is that the features aren’t available to all – but the functionality it adds is impressive so it makes sense for Tile to want to make some money from these ideas.
Should I buy the Tile Mate?
The Tile Mate is the tracker that most people should buy. The £19.99 price is competitive with companies who have not seen the success that Tile has.
Keys, bag, coat – no matter the item, a Tile Mate will work for it. In fact, the Mate is so good that it draws attention away from Tile’s more advanced products. The Tile Pro is a souped-up version of the Mate, but unless you’re doing extreme sports or something of that ilk, I see no reason to fork out the extra cash.
The Tile Mate is cheap, durable and – more importantly, it does the job.