Once again, Apple has been beaten to the punch. The question is whether it will catch up. While the company’s AirTags product has been much anticipated, the tech world is still waiting for the small locating device. In this time, Samsung has snuck in with Galaxy SmartTags, its own device that looks much like the popular Tile.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTags
Samsung Galaxy SmartTags were released along with a collection of other devices from the company. Resembling a Tile, they are square in shape but with much more rounded edges. They are 1.54 inches x 1.54 inches x 0.39 inches and have a hole so that you can place it on a keychain and contain a replaceable CR2032 battery.
The SmartTags are enabled via Bluetooth, connecting to a Galaxy device which will show the position of the tag on an app. This allows a user to find whatever it’s connected to or placed inside, such as keys, a backpack, a laptop bag, or even a dog collar. The version that is seeing a release relies solely on Bluetooth and not UWB (ultra-wideband), although a UWB version is planned for later this year.
The “SmartThings Find” app will show the location of the tags if in Bluetooth range. If not, it will show the last known location on a map. A button in the middle of the device can be pushed to emit a sound to help locate it if it’s nearby.
It uses the “Galaxy Find Network” to locate the SmartTags, a network comprised of Galaxy devices. This is the same way most small locator devices work. The more people that own them, the better, as it expands the network and leads to more exact positioning. It also provides a history of where the SmartTag has been.
But Samsung Galaxy SmartTags have a key difference from Tile and like devices. SmartTags can interact with smart home devices. Pushing a button on the tag allows for smart home automation. This allows you to turn on devices when you return home or turn them off when leaving.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTags will not work with all Android phones; they are not Android devices. They will only work with Samsung Galaxy devices. Being sold for $30 each or in a pair makes them competitively priced to the Tile and similar devices. They are open for pre-orders now and will start shipping by January 27.
It’s unknown when we’ll see Apple’s AirTags. The company still hasn’t officially announced them as an upcoming product. But with Samsung’s limited customer base of only Galaxy users, maybe the two aren’t really direct competitors.
Read on to learn about Samsung’s plans to work with the auto industry.
Image Credit: Samsung Media Resources