Tile has dominated the tracker space in recent years, offering a series of small gadgets that you can attach to your keychain, slip in your wallet, or attach to other stuff so you can find it when it inevitably goes missing.
But Tile has always had competitors, and recently Apple and Samsung have gotten in on the game. Now T-Mobile wants in too… but the wireless carrier’s new SyncUp Tracker does things a little differently.
Rather than relying on Bluetooth or WiFi, the SyncUp Tracker works with T-Mobile 4G LTE network which means you can use it to keep track of your things as long as their within range of a T-Mobile cell tower. But there’s a cost… literally.
First up, there’s the cost of the tracker itself. The hardware sells for $60, which makes it one of the pricier options in this space. Then there’s the monthly charge to add the SyncUp Tracker to your cellular plan. T-Mobile charges $5 per month.
That brings the cost of using a SyncUp Tracker to $120 for the first year and $60 for each additional year.
The upside of this system is that if the items attached to your tracker aren’t within range of Bluetooth or WiFi, you won’t need to rely on a network of other people’s devices to ping your device if it happens to be nearby, which is how competing tracker systems work. Just pull up the SyncUp Tracker app on your iOS or Android device and you should be able to find the last known location of your things on a map no matter how far away they are.
You can also set virtual boundaries to receive an alert if your tracker leaves the area, use a light sensor to get a notification if an item is moved from one environment to another (for example if someone takes it out of your bag or locker), or locate a nearby item by making it ring.
The tracker is also IP67 rated for dust and water resistance.
One fairly significant down side though? You’ll need to charge the SyncUp Tracker weekly, if not more often. T-Mobile says its 900 mAh battery “lasts for up to 7 days depending on usage.”
This is the sort of gadget that really seems most useful if it’s there when you need it, but if you rarely have to think about it. Weekly charging seems like a sort of pain.
The SynCup Tracker will be available from T-Mobile stores starting May 7, 2021.