Bottom line: Tile Slim slips neatly into your wallet, or it can be stuck onto larger items to ensure you never lose them again.
Slim and lightweight
Tracks your wallet or other valuables
Three-year battery life
Has a range of 200 feet
Tile community helps you find it outside of Bluetooth range
Battery isn't replaceable
Need a paid subscription for some features
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We are still hopeful that Apple will announce AirTags soon, but until such time, we have important valuables to keep track of! Tile Slim is not a large investment, so I think it's worth considering regardless of whether AirTags are released soon or not.
Tile Slim is part of the Tile line of tracking devices, which includes the Tile Mate and Tile Pro. It works two ways: use your smartphone to ping it so you can find the item you've stashed it in, or press the button on the Tile Slim to ping your smartphone. Tile Slim is about the size of two credit cards stacked together, so it is indeed as slim as its name implies. I keep mine in a credit card slot in my wallet, where it fits perfectly. It looks like a credit card, with a single button and speaker holes. You could also attach it to your MacBook or other larger devices using one of Tile's slim adhesives.
One thing to be aware of is that while you can certainly use your Tile Slim and its core features for free, premium features such as Smart Alerts are only available with a subscription to Tile Premium. You can purchase further protection with Premium Protect, which reimburses you for your lost item up to $1000 if Tile can't find it.
Tile Slim: Price and availability
Tile Slim, as well as the other Tile trackers, are easy to find online and in big box stores everywhere. Tile Slim is just about $30 everywhere I've seen it. You can buy it alone, or buy it as a two-pack, which also comes with a year of the Tile Premium subscription. You can also purchase the Essentials Bundle, which includes a Tile Slim, Tile Mate, and two Tile Stickers, plus a year of the Tile Premium subscription. The Tile Slim is just plain black, but on Tile's website you can find fun, colorful limited edition designs, but they do cost a few dollars more. Tile Premium, the optional subscription, is $30 per year after a free 30-day trial. Tile Premium Protect insures your valuables up to $1000 and costs $100 per year.
Tile Slim: Why it's worthwhile
Tile Slim does just what you expect it to do. It's easy to set up: just download the Tile App and follow the prompts. I slipped the slender Tile Slim into the credit card slot of my wallet, where it fits perfectly. It's about the size of two credit cards stuck together, and it measures 86-by-54-by-2.4 millimeters. The Tile Slim weighs very little, so it's not cumbersome. I tested it around my house by tapping a button in the Tile app on my iPhone, I was able to find it easily and without fail. The Tile Slim works two ways: use your iPhone to find your Tile Slim, or press the button on your Tile Slim to find your iPhone. It works great as long as you're within Bluetooth range, which is about 200 feet.
So what happens if you lose your item outside of Bluetooth range? The Tile app will tell you the Tile Slim's last known location. Further, the Tile community in your area will help you find your lost Tile without even knowing it. Using users' data anonymously, the Tile app pings you when anyone with the Tile app is within Bluetooth range of your Tile Slim. Of course, this feature works better in more populated areas, but it did indeed work for me in my sleepy little suburb.
Just in case you lose your valuables while on some kind of watery adventure, the Tile Slim is waterproof. The Tile Slim's battery isn't replaceable, but it does last for three years.
Tile Slim: What might give you pause
I'm not a huge fan of the subscription model. Luckily, you can access all of the Tile Slim's core features without paying for a subscription. But if you want to set up Smart Alerts (which let you know if you leave your Tile Slim behind), you'll have to pay the monthly fee for a Premium subscription.
Frankly, I don't mind not having the advanced subscription features. What does bug me, however, is the constant advertising for it in the Tile App.
Tile Slim: Competition
Chipolo One is another popular tracker that you might consider. It fits nicely onto a keychain (which the Tile Slim doesn't) or slips into a bag. Similarly, the Tile Mate is Tile's own keychain device that works the same way as the Tile Slim. Both of these trackers have replaceable batteries while the Tile Slim does not.
The elephant in the room is, of course, the mythical AirTags. Some people will want to wait for AirTags instead of buying a Tile. But if you want to start tracking something important now, you're not going to wait for Apple to announce AirTags (or not.)
Tile Slim: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want to track your valuables now
- You need a slim, lightweight, inexpensive tracker
- You want to be able to find both your valuables and your iPhone
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're holding out for AirTags
- You need to attach your tracker to a keychain
- You dislike being pitched the subscription upgrade
- You want a replaceable battery
If you're not absolutely stuck on waiting for AirTags, you should consider the Tile Slim. It's great if you want a tracker that slips easily into a wallet or can be stuck onto the back of a tablet, laptop, or other valuables. The Tile Slim is for you if you want a tracker that works both ways: ping your tracker with your iPhone or ping your iPhone with your tracker. It's not for you if you want a tracker with a replaceable battery or if you need to attach it to a keychain. If you dislike being pitched the subscription upgrade, you might not enjoy the Tile Slim.
The Tile Slim is a terrific tracker that does exactly what a tracker should. With its slim form factor, it slips easily into a wallet or it can be attached with adhesive to a larger device. It's waterproof, so you don't have to worry if it gets wet. Using the Tile app, you can ping your Tile Slim. If it's within 200 feet, it will make an audible sound so you can find it. If it's farther than that, the Tile app will give you the last known location. Even better, if anyone with the Tile app on their smartphone gets near your lost Tile Slim, you'll be notified of your Tile Slim's current location. You can also press the button on your Tile Slim to ping your iPhone if it's within Bluetooth range. If you want further functionality such as Smart Alerts when you leave your Tile Slim behind, you'll have to pay for a subscription. Note that the three-year battery isn't replaceable.
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.