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Tile Pro (2022) review: Bigger, but is it better?
Tile Pro (2022)
Retail price: $34.99$34.99 at Amazon
What we like
What we don't like
Tile’s classic Bluetooth trackers have always been identifiable with their small, square shapes. However, the family has received a facelift heading into 2022. The Tile Pro, in particular, looks completely different, but has Tile made changes for the better? After all, the Tile Pro has a reputation as the best adventure-ready tracker on the market. Let’s find out if the changes are more than skin deep in our Tile Pro (2022) review.
What you need to know about the Tile Pro (2022)
- Tile Pro (1-pack): $34.99 / €34.99 / £29.99
- Tile Pro (2-pack): $59.99 / €59.99 / £49.99
The Tile Pro (2022) is Tile’s most expensive Bluetooth tracker you can buy at the time of writing. It features a small hole so you can attach it to everything from backpacks to camera straps, or even put it on your pet. Tile revamped the design this year, opting for an elongated shape with slightly rounded edges. The Tile Pro still offers a durable metal frame, though the hole has moved from the corner into the center of the top edge. The new Tile Pro also packs an official IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, which is a big improvement over the previous model’s IP55 rating for splash resistance.
While the classic Tile Mate sits in line with the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag and Apple AirTag, the Tile Pro remains in a class of its own. It’s still more expensive than either one at $34.99, and now it’s larger, too. That said, you can still enjoy the Tile Pro on either Android or iOS with the Tile app with no ecosystem lock-in, which continues to be one of Tile’s biggest advantages.
The new IP67 rating and refined design give the Tile Pro a new chance to stand above the competition.
Tile’s Pro model has long been the most colorful tracker in the family, with a slate of special edition patterns to test out. While the unique finishes haven’t come to the 2022 model yet, we expect them to do so soon. Right now, your best bets are either the black or white finishes — though we prefer the black as it’s less prone to scuff marks.
Although the Tile Pro is a well-rounded tracker in most rights, you’ll need a subscription to Tile Premium to feel the full power. It costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year, and it adds features like Smart Alerts, which triggers proactive notifications if you leave the Tile Pro at home or at a place it doesn’t recognize. Tile Premium for the Tile Pro also comes with a free battery replacement service and up to $100 in device reimbursements, or you can upgrade further to Tile Premium Protect for $99.99 per year and get $1,000 in coverage.
Despite the Tile Pro’s facelift, the controls are as simple as ever — one squeeze silences the ring from your phone and two presses rings your phone to track it down. The Tile Pro (2022) is still the loudest member of the Tile family when you ring it, too.
It should be noted that Tile is set to be acquired by Life360 — a company that has allegedly sold user data while carrying loose privacy rules. The sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. The existing Tile team will remain in place, and Life360 has said it has no plans to sell Tile user data. Nevertheless, it’s something to be aware of before investing in the Tile ecosystem.
When I received a pair of the new Tile Pro (2022) trackers, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the new design. After all, I loved the thin square shape of the previous generation. However, the new, longer Tile Pro shows just how necessary some minor design changes can be. While it may not be as aesthetically pleasing, the new shape means it’s not nearly as wide as before, which allows it to sit more comfortably among a set of keys, for example. It retains the tough metal frame too, which makes it more durable than other trackers.
Perhaps the best Tile Pro design feature is something that didn’t change from last year — you can still replace the CR2032 battery on your own. Tile ditched the replaceable component from the vanilla Mate, but its inclusion on the Pro gives the top-tier Bluetooth tracker a much longer lifespan. I figured the battery was a necessary sacrifice for waterproofing, but the Tile Pro shows that you can have the best of both worlds with its IP67 rating.
The new, longer Tile Pro shows just how necessary some minor design changes can be
One final physical change that Tile made for its 2022 redesign is a QR code on the back panel. This makes it easier for other users to return your lost items should they find your tracker. Of course, you’ll have to make sure to keep your personal information as up-to-date as possible.
Over on the software side, Tile is finally taking anti-stalking technology seriously… sort of. We mentioned the lack of any anti-stalking measures as a key omission in our previous review, but Tile now has an answer in the form of its “Scan and Secure” feature. While the details are still thin and it won’t be available until “early” in 2022, the feature will let Tile and non-Tile users on both Android and iOS scan their immediate surroundings for unregistered trackers. While not as comprehensive as some of Apple’s anti-stalking methods, it’s a step in the right direction at the very least.
What’s not so good?
While many of Tile’s changes are for the better with the latest Pro, it’s not perfect. The tracker is slightly larger than before, though it still only offers one year of battery life. I also struggle to get behind Tile’s white finish, no matter the model. It tends to pick up marks no matter how hard you try to keep it clean.
Tile still claims that the Bluetooth range of the Pro is a whopping 400 feet, which sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, it still is. Unless you live in an open area with almost no trees, houses, or other interruptions, you’ll pretty much never see a comparable range.
Tile's enhanced Bluetooth range sounds good, but it's still almost impossible to achieve.
The Tile app remains a double-edged sword in that it’s still reliant on a Tile Premium subscription. While it’s easy to add and manage trackers, you can’t tap into things like Smart Alerts without a monthly — or annual — subscription. If subscriptions were universal, it would be one thing, but other ecosystem agnostic trackers — like the Chipolo One — don’t demand an additional fee for similar alerts. On the bright side, Tile Pro users enjoy the free battery replacement perk that’s missing from cheaper Tile trackers.
Another change to hit the Tile app is an updated map. While you were once able to see a map showing a certain number of users in your local area, that has since been removed. It may be with privacy in mind, but it’s not as easy to tell how many Tile users are around to help you track objects. More Apple and Samsung users are still there for their respective ecosystems, which puts the Tile Pro somewhat behind the eight ball. Amazon Sidewalk integration helps with numbers by keeping nearby Echo and Ring devices in the fold, but this is restricted to users in the United States.
There’s also the biggest missing feature to talk about: ultra-wideband support. The upcoming Tile Ultra is slated to add UWB-enabled precision tracking features to rival the AirTag, but I can’t help but think the feature should be part of the Tile Pro. This tracker is already more expensive than the AirTag, yet lacks pinpoint accuracy of Apple’s device. Having to wait for a new, more expensive Tile pokes a few holes in the value of the Tile Pro (2022).
Tile Pro (2022) review: Should I buy it?
The Tile Pro (2022) still offers all of the great features we loved last year — it’s loud, well-built, and can hop between Android and iOS. While the new design isn’t quite as attractive at a glance, its thinner profile makes it easier to carry around.
Overall, the Tile Pro is still a great buy, especially if you have outdoor adventures in mind. The water resistance is on par with the rest of Tile’s offerings, but the metal frame will take more of a beating than cheaper trackers. The impending launch of Scan and Secure will also finally provide a modicum of anti-stalking protection, even if it’s less comprehensive than we’d like.
The Tile Pro (2022) remains the best Bluetooth tracking experience for most users.
It remains more expensive than most other Bluetooth trackers, but it’s worth the cost if you’re not an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy user. You can still try the AirTag ($29) or the Galaxy SmartTag ($29), but they’re best if you’re already ingrained in either ecosystem. If you find yourself with a Galaxy S phone and an iPad together, it’s best to play Switzerland and track with a Tile.
See also: The best Apple AirTag alternatives
We’ll hold judgment on the impact of Scan and Secure, but you’ll have to decide whether you want to pay for Tile Premium or not. It’s essential for features like Smart Alerts, but it does make an already relatively expensive Bluetooth tracker cost even more.
There’s also the Tile Ultra which is the elephant in the room when talking about the Tile Pro. While Tile hasn’t detailed the Ultra’s entire feature set or price, it’s set to add UWB support and augmented reality tracking. If you want the very best Tile, you may want to wait a little longer.
In the meantime, though, it can’t hurt to give a single Tile Pro a try. Alternatively, multi-pack discounts mean you could grab one and give another as a gift. If you’re looking to save some bucks, be sure to give the Tile Mate (2022) ($24.99) a look too, which has the same IP rating, but a less durable build and a quieter ringer.