Apple AirTags vs Tile Pro: Which should you buy?

When it comes to Apple AirTags vs. Tile Pro, we think the new AirTags are the better choice for Apple users. There's a lot to love about seamless Find My integration, a huge user base ready to go, and other great features like Precision Finding with an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 and the U1 chip.

Apple AirTags vs Tile Pro: The full breakdown

Airtag Stuffed Animal

Airtag Stuffed Animal (Image credit: Apple)

While the Tile Pro is Tile's high-performance tracker, we think the Apple AirTags can give it a run for its money. Let's take a look at the full specs.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Apple AirTagsTile Pro
Cost$29 each, or 4-pack for $99$35 each or 4-pack for $100
ConnectivityBluetooth LE, U1, NFCBluetooth LE
AppFind MyTile
BatteryUser-replaceable CR2032User-replaceable CR2032
Battery warningYesYes
Bluetooth rangeUnknown400-feet
NotificationsIncludedRequires Tile Premium
Precision FindingYes (iPhone 11 and 12 models only)No
PersonalizationFree engravingNo

When it comes down to the Apple AirTags vs. Tile Pro, we believe that the AirTags are the way to go for most Apple users. After all, AirTags integrate seamlessly with the Find My app, so all of your AirTagged items will show up alongside your Apple devices and even friends. Even setting it up is as easy as AirPods — hold it up next to your iPhone, and it'll connect and pair to your Apple ID. However, since an AirTag does not have a hole to thread through your keyring, you'll need to purchase a separate accessory if you plan to hang it.

However, one thing to note is that Apple was never clear about the Bluetooth range of an AirTag. All they have said so far is "within Bluetooth range," which could be 800-feet with Bluetooth LE and a direct line-of-sight (no interference). If that's the case, then the Bluetooth range of AirTags is double the 400-foot range of the Tile Pro, which is even more impressive.

Apple Airtag Official Banner

Apple Airtag Official Banner (Image credit: Apple)

One of the biggest benefits of AirTags for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 owners is the Precision Finding feature with the U1 ultra-wideband chip. When paired with an iPhone 11 or 12 device, you can use the iPhone's camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide you to the AirTag through a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.

Lost or misplaced AirTags can be found through the vast Find My network, like Tile's user network. But since there are almost one billion Apple devices out in the wild, each one can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag. This data gets relayed back to the AirTag owner, but everything is done privately and anonymously.

If you are concerned about someone using an AirTag to track where you are, don't be. Apple has implemented safety measures to ensure that can't happen. iPhones will be able to detect unknown AirTags on your person as you go from place to place and over time and notify you that there is an unknown AirTag nearby. There are even rotating identifiers to prevent unwanted location tracking, and everything in Find My is end-to-end encrypted. And if an AirTag is separated from the owner for an extended amount of time, the AirTag will play a sound when moved, bringing attention to it. All of these features don't come with a Tile Pro, unfortunately.

Tile Pro Hero

Tile Pro Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Both the AirTags and Tile Pro use a user-replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery. Battery life for both item trackers is about one year, and they will both let you know when the battery is low through the app. And while Tile offers some Limited Edition Tile Pros with unique designs, they aren't actually customizable, and they even cost more. However, Apple AirTags can be personalized with free engraving when purchased online or through the Apple Store app, and there are going to plenty of accessories for it.

Apple AirTags vs Tile Pro: Which should you buy?

Overall, if you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem already, Apple AirTags are a much better investment for item tracking than Tile. Plus, Apple does not require a separate subscription fee for access to features like notifications, unlike Tile and its Tile Premium subscription with Smart Alerts.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.