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Tile Sticker (2022)
What we like
What we don't like
Tile Sticker (2022)
When you think of a Bluetooth tracker, you probably think of a small keychain attachment, typically with a hole in it. However, those classic tiles have their limits. If you want to keep track of a favorite charger or a trusty remote, you’re probably looking for something different. The Sticker is Tile’s answer. Let’s find out how it performs in our Tile Sticker (2022) review.
What you need to know about the Tile Sticker (2022)
- Tile Sticker (1-pack): $29.99 / €29.99 / £24.99
- Tile Sticker (2-pack): $54.99 / €54.99 / £44.99
Like all of Tile’s Bluetooth trackers, the Sticker’s design has been fully updated for 2022. The refreshed tracker now features flat sides, which make the sticker look a bit like a hockey puck. You’ll also have to use the side-mounted button to silence your ring any time you track down the Sticker. As you can see, there’s no punch hole to mount the Sticker, but the back panel is adhesive so you can attach it to just about anything around the house. That’s why it’s called the Tile Sticker!
Although many of Tile’s trackers take the Apple AirTag and Samsung Galaxy SmartTag head-on, the Tile Sticker is for a slightly different audience. It matches the competition on price, though the decision to trade a punch hole for a sticky back means you won’t be mounting the Tile Sticker on keys, backpacks, or pet collars. On the bright side, you still have the ecosystem flexibility to choose between Android and iOS as the Tile app will work on both.
See also: The best Apple AirTag alternatives
As always, you’ll have to sign up for Tile Premium if you want all of the best features. It will run you $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year, and it’s a must-have if you want Smart Alerts (notifications when you leave the tracker somewhere) and 30 days of location history. Tile Premium also adds free battery replacements for older Tiles, but like other Tile trackers with a three-year battery, the latest Tile Sticker (2022) isn’t included. You get up to $100 in item reimbursement with your subscription, or you can boost it to $1,000 with the $99.99 Tile Premium Protect subscription.
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.
The Tile Sticker shows its value as the smallest member of the Tile family. It’s only about the size of a quarter, so it’s easy to attach to most things around your house. I have mine attached to the remote for my NVIDIA Shield TV (seen above), and it doesn’t interfere with the buttons whatsoever. The Tile Sticker relies on a small adhesive pad on the back panel, which offers a secure hold in my experience so far.
One of the best changes Tile made with its latest Sticker is the new, three-year battery life. Previous versions offered just two years of juice, so it’s nice to have extra life at no extra cost. It’s non-replaceable, but it’d likely be difficult to offer an interchangeable battery system while also making sure it stays stuck down when attached to an object.
The Tile Sticker’s water and dust protection has now been improved with an official IP67 rating, up from the IPX7 we saw with the previous generation. This is a lifesaver if you accidentally spill water on your remote, though the improvement here is the dust-tight rating which was previously missing.
Tile managed to improve the Bluetooth range and battery life without bulking up its tiny tracker.
Tile even gave its tiniest tracker a big boost in Bluetooth coverage — the previous 150-foot range has ballooned to 250 feet. It really makes the improved battery life just that much more impressive. However, you still need a wide-open space to achieve the full range with any reliability.
We’ve had our questions about Tile’s anti-stalking features in the past, or rather the lack of them. Now, there’s a fix of sorts on the way in the form of the Scan and Secure feature. Essentially, it looks for unregistered devices on your person through the Tile app on either Android or iOS. Scan and Secure won’t launch until 2022, so we’ll have to hold our judgment.
What’s not so good?
While most of the Tile Sticker changes are for the best, it’s still not a perfect Bluetooth tracker. My biggest issue is that the adhesive section isn’t flexible, which means you can only attach the Tile Sticker to flat surfaces. It’s just fine for most chargers and remotes, but the new Fire TV remotes, for example, are slightly curved on the top, so it doesn’t attach evenly. I’d also have liked to see Tile include more than one replacement adhesive in the box.
While other Tiles offer rounded edges, the Sticker only works on flat surfaces.
All of Tile’s other trackers rely on a simple squeeze to ring your phone or silence the alarm. However, the Tile Sticker uses a small button on the side panel. It wouldn’t be too big of an issue using a button, but it’s incredibly tiny, and pushing sideways can wear away at the adhesive over time.
Whereas the AirTag and Galaxy SmartTag have huge ecosystems to track with, the Tile Sticker relies on Tile’s much smaller network of users for its tracking abilities. This is boosted by Amazon Sidewalk, which adds nearby Echo and Ring devices into the mix. Amazon Sidewalk is also limited to US users, though. Unlike the AirTag and Tile’s own upcoming Tile Ultra, the Tile Sticker also doesn’t offer ultra-wideband (UWB) support for precision tracking.
Tile Sticker (2022) review: Should I buy it?
If you’re mostly looking for a Bluetooth tracker to use inside your home, the Tile Sticker (2022) does the job. It’s small, loud, and the battery life lasts a good long time. While the adhesive design isn’t great for rounded or uneven surfaces, it holds fast when you set it just right. The Tile Sticker may not be as flexible as the classic Tile Mate ($25) or the Tile Pro ($35) overall, but it has plenty of use cases around the home.
Of course, Tile Premium has the potential to double the cost of your tracker at $29.99 per year. Considering you won’t be able to enjoy battery replacements, and you may not need Smart Alerts for something like a remote control, Tile Premium feels like less of a requirement with the Sticker compared with other Tile trackers.
Check out another Tile: Tile Pro (2022) review
All told, the Tile Sticker (2022) is a solid Bluetooth tracking option for anyone who uses both Android and iOS. It costs the same as an AirTag ($29) or Galaxy SmartTag ($29), though it’s designed for more specific uses — just make sure the precious thing you want to track has a smooth and flat enough patch for the Sticker before you spend your money.