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Apple AirTag vs. Tile: which tracker is the best?

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Apple and Tile make some of the most popular smart trackers, but which one is right for you? Tile dominated the market for years until Apple took the world by storm by launching the AirTag.

AirTags are easy to use, compact and remarkably powerful. Either way, trackers from both brands have unique features and excel in very different areas.

So should you choose AirTags or go for a Tile tracker? Keep reading to find out.

AirTag vs. Tile: Pricing


Black tile trackers on white background
Image Credit: Tile

Unlike most things with the Apple logo on them, AirTags are remarkably affordable. AirTags are available in only one version. You can get a single AirTag for just $29 or a four-pack for $99.

While Apple created AirTags as a one-stop tracking solution, Tile offers a full suite of products designed to meet your needs.

Tile’s smallest tracker, the Tile Sticker, is closest in size to an AirTag. And just like the AirTag, it costs $29.99. The Tile Mate is larger and features a key fob cutout, but is more affordable at $24.99. Tile’s premium tracker, the Tile Pro, costs $34.99.

You can also choose the Tile Slim, a credit card-shaped tracker designed to slip into your wallet. It starts at $34.99.

AirTag vs. Sticker: Network

Hold an Apple AirTag

Many people ask questions about the range of Apple AirTags. Apple hasn’t officially revealed the Bluetooth range of the AirTags, but after about 30 feet they will start hopping on Apple’s Find My network. It’s the same network that can help you locate a lost iPhone or MacBook. The Find My network uses the hundreds of millions of Apple devices around the world to provide users with highly accurate tracking data almost anywhere.

Tile’s Bluetooth range will depend on the model you choose, but the Tile sticker can track up to 250 feet or 75 meters on Bluetooth. Upgrading to the Tile Pro can give you an impressive tracking range of 400 feet or 120 meters.

When Tile trackers are out of Bluetooth specification, they operate on Tile’s proprietary network. Unfortunately, the Tile network pales in comparison to Apple’s Find My network. While some estimates put nearly a billion devices on the Find My network, the Tile network only has around 35 million devices. And although Apple devices come with Find Mybuilt-inn, you need to install the Tile app on your phone to access the network.

If you plan to track primarily with Bluetooth, Tile’s trackers should give you more range. However, if you’re like most people and want to track your items anywhere in the world, AirTags will be much more accurate.

AirTag vs. Tile: Design


Put a Tile Slim in a luggage tag
Image Credit: Tile

There is a lot of reasons why you should buy Apple AirTags. But keep in mind that Apple designed the AirTag as a one-size-fits-all solution. This means that they are not designed for a specific tracking need.

Although AirTags are small and light, they don’t fit very well in most wallets. Likewise, AirTags do not come with a built-in key fob loop. That means if you want to clip one to your keys or a carabiner, you’ll have to pay extra for an accessory. On the other hand, Tile has designed each of its trackers to do a specific job.

As the name suggests, Tile Sticker has an adhesive back for easy attachment. You can easily stick one on your remote or headphones, places where it would be difficult to attach an AirTag. The Tile Mate and Tile Pro have built-in cutouts that allow you to clip them to your key ring. And because the Tile Slim is shaped like a credit card, it’s a fantastic option for keeping track of your wallet.

AirTag vs. Tile: Durability


Tile Pro tracker on a keychain
Image Credit: Tile

Apple designed AirTags to be strong and durable. AirTags are IP67 waterproof and can withstand rain, splashes and even being submerged for short periods of time. But keep in mind that they are water resistant and not waterproof.

Tile trackers are also IP67 water resistant; The company claims they can survive up to 30 minutes underwater up to 3 feet. But just like AirTags, they’re not meant to be constantly overwhelmed.

AirTags and Tile trackers are durable and long lasting. However, all of Tile’s trackers are plastic, while AirTags have plastic and stainless steel construction. This should give AirTags a head start when it comes to durability.

AirTag vs. Tile: Pet Tracking


Dog with a Tile tracker on his collar
Image Credit: Tile

Officially, AirTags are only for tracking your stuff, not your pets. But that hasn’t stopped some people from trying.

AirTags are lightweight and compact, which means they won’t be too heavy for most pets. However, you must remember that AirTags will automatically emit a sound if they are separated from their paired iPhone for too long. This sound could end up disturbing your pet.

Tile actually markets its products as great options for pet tracking. Both the Tile Sticker and the Tile Mate work great as accessories for pet collars. And unlike AirTags, Tile trackers don’t automatically sound or ping nearby iPhones. This means pet thieves are less likely to notice they are being followed.

AirTag vs. Tile: Security

Use an iPhone as a tracker

Although the AirTag is one of the the most innovative Apple products of the 21st century, they’ve also been a massive PR nightmare for Apple. There have been dozens of police reports involving AirTag harassment, and there’s even a class action lawsuit pending against Apple.

In response, Apple released several updates designed to make AirTags more secure. AirTags now play louder if separated from their owner, and they send messages to nearby iPhones if they are in range for too long.

Unlike AirTags, Tile trackers will not automatically play a sound if separated from their owner. However, Tile has integrated a feature called Scan and Secure into its mobile app. So if you suspect someone may be using a tile to track you, Scan and Secure lets you search for any trackers that might be nearby.

Most of the bad press surrounding smart trackers has targeted AirTags. However, Apple has a strong commitment to making AirTags more secure, while Tile is still largely catching up.

Which smart tracker is right for you?

Apple’s AirTags and Tile trackers are both great options for tracking your stuff, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.

Tile trackers have better Bluetooth range than AirTags. However, AirTags’ integration with the Find My network makes them far more powerful than any Tile device. But Apple’s unique solution means AirTags don’t work well in wallets and clip them onto anything that requires an accessory.

Both companies make high-quality trackers, but if you’re an iPhone user and want an ultra-powerful, easy-to-use tracker, the Apple AirTag is hard to beat.