Tile Mate 1 vs. Tile Mate 2: What's the difference?
Tile Mate 1 and Tile Mate 2 are very similar tracking devices, but the newer one has a replaceable battery plus some added features if you subscribe to Tile Premium. Plus, the $5 price difference is negligible.
- Same great tracking functionality.
- Replaceable battery.
- Can subscribe to Tile Premium service.
- More expensive than the original.
Tile Mate 1, or, simply the original Tile Mate, does what it's supposed to do. You attach it to your important items, such as your keys, and it will track them from your smartphone. If you lose your phone, you can track it by pressing a button on your Tile Mate.
- It just works.
- Save some money up front if you don't need newer features.
- Cannot replace the battery.
- Cannot subscribe to Tile Premium service.
Because the original Tile Mate 1 doesn't have a replaceable battery, it will last just about a year and then it's garbage. The new Tile Mate 2 does have a replaceable battery, so after a year when the battery runs out, you can just put a new one in. Since it's only $5 more, there's little reason to get the Tile Mate 1.
Spend $5 more now, save money in the long run
Tile Mate 1, sold simply as Tile Mate, can be purchased for a little bit less money up front but must be thrown away when the battery runs out. For this reason alone, it's worthwhile for most people to buy the Tile Mate 2, listed on their site as "new Tile Mate."
|Header Cell - Column 0||Tile Mate 1||Tile Mate 2|
|Bluetooth range||100 ft||150 ft|
|Size||34mm x 34mm x 4.65mm||34.7mm x 34.7mm x 6.2 mm|
|Battery life||1 year||1 year|
|Battery type||Lithium metal - built-in||Replaceable coin-cell (CR1632)|
|Tile Premium available?||no||yes|
Both Tile Mates use Bluetooth technology to track your phone and the Tile Mate itself (and whatever valuable you've attached it to). As long as you're in Bluetooth range, which is 100 feet for the orginal Tile Mate and 150 feet for the new one, you tap a button on the Tile Mate or the Tile app on your phone to cause the other item to make a loud sound so you can find it. If you are outside of Bluetooth range, you can check the app on your phone to see the last known location of your Tile Mate. Plus you have the Tile Community to lean on. The way that works is everyone who owns a Tile product will automatically and anonymously update the location of your Tile Mate anytime they come into Bluetooth range of it.
Tile Mate 1 is a throwaway product. Use it until the battery runs out, about one year, and then toss it out. If you're not sure this is a product you'll want to use long term, then Tile Mate 1 might be the way to go since it's cheaper.
Tile Mate 2 has a replaceable battery so you can use it indefinitely. Additionally, you can subscribe to Tile Premium only with the new Tile Mate, not the original. Tile Premium, which costs $3/month after a free trial month, has a number of features. Tile Premium members get a new battery sent to them automatically each year. Tile Premium also includes Smart Alerts (in Beta), to let you know if you're leaving the house without your important items. Members also get unlimited sharing so your friends and family can help you find your lost items. A 30-day location history, extended warranty, and in-app customer support chat are other Premium features. Learn more about Tile Premium here.
If you already own a original Tile Mate and you're trying to decide if you should replace it with an All New Mate, I would recommend doing so after the battery runs out. There's no real reason to do so before then. Othewrise, there's no reason to not spend money on the Tile Mate 2.
Smaller initial investment
This is the pick for someone who isn't sure they really want or need a Tile Mate but want to try it out for a year. It's disposable since once the battery runs out it cannot be replaced.
Has a replaceable battery and optional Tile Premium subscription
Unless you plan to use Tile Mate for no more than a year, this newer model is a better investment. The slightly higher purchase price gets you a replaceable battery and the ability to sign up for extra features with Tile Premium.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.