When Bluetooth trackers first hit the market, there were only a few major players making the good ones. As they've grown in popularity, however, it's actually become quite difficult to differentiate between them — most trackers tout the same features in varying shapes and sizes. Two well-known Bluetooth trackers, Tile and TrackR, have pretty much reached feature parity. So how do you choose between them? We've got your answer!

By the way, if you're looking for an all-encompassing breakdown of the best Bluetooth trackers, we've got a guide for that!

Best Bluetooth Trackers

Let's get down to business

There's no point in drawing this out — here's a comparison chart to give you the nitty gritty on the differences between the Tile Style (Tile's newest, more powerful tracker) and the TrackR Pixel (TrackR's newest, more powerful tracker).

  Tile Style TrackR Pixel
Bluetooth Range Up to 200 ft. Up to 100 ft.
Water & Dust Resistance IP68 IP57 (waterproof with accessory)
Phone finder Yes Yes
Alert Volume Up to 98 dB Up to 90 dB
Size 1.48" x 1.48" square 1.03" diameter circle
Weight 11g 4g
Replaceable battery No (40% discount with reTile program Yes (with free replacements)
Crowdsourced Tracking Yes Yes
Price $35 $25

Break it down now …

A keychain with a Tile bluetooth tracker

As you can see, it really comes down to a few differences between the products. Both offer the all-too-necessary phone-finding feature, giving you the option to press a button on the tracker itself to trigger a sound on your missing device. They also boast gigantic crowdsourced tracking, meaning you can rely on other TrackR or Tile users to find your lost items — you're essentially looking at a Bluetooth mesh network that stretches across much of North America. Depending on your exact needs, you may find the square style of the Tile tracker works better for you. Alternatively, you may find the lighter, less expensive TrackR Pixel is your best bet.

Let's take a closer look at the differences between the two to help you decide!

Bluetooth range

The Tile Style is no slouch when it comes to Bluetooth range — the device vastly outperforms the TrackR Pixel, giving you a full 100 extra feet of sweet, sweet Bluetooth range. If you've got a large house with thick walls or find yourself losing your stuff while you're out and about, the Tile Style may be a better choice.

Water and dust resistance

You can't beat that built-in IP68 rating from the Tile Style … unless you opt for the $9.99 sleeve for the TrackR Pixel. For that extra 10 bucks, you get a waterproof Bluetooth tracker perfect for any number of outdoor belongings.

Alert volume

Technically speaking the Tile Style has an eight-decibel advantage on the TrackR Pixel. In practice, however, you're not likely to notice too much of a difference. If you frequently find your lost keys under a mountain of dirty laundry, opt for that extra eight decibels.

Size and weight

Here's where things do start to differentiate between the two products in a very important way: You may find the larger, thicker, heavier Tile Style to be a bit too much for your keychain, umbrella, dog, headphones, secret government briefcase with national secrets, etc. The slimmer, less-pronounced look of the TrackR Pixel coupled with the pleasing circular case definitely makes for a more minimalist addition to your frequently lost items. If you don't mind trading in the understated fashion, though, you do get that improved range and louder alert with the Tile Style.

Replaceable battery

Here's where the TrackR Pixel wins hands-down. Not only is the battery user replaceable, you'll also get an in-app alert when the battery starts to reach the danger zone. What's more, TrackR will send you a free replacement battery! You'll never have to worry about your TrackR Pixel running dead just when you need it.

Tile says its trackers are designed to run for one full year before they need to be replaced. The company offers a discount program where you can trade in your Tile and get a 40% discount on a brand new one. If you'd like to change the look and feel of your tracker at least once a year, Tile offers several models of tracker so this program may be a better solution for you.


This one speaks for itself: The TrackR Pixel weighs less, costs less, is smaller, and offers free batter replacements. It's also less expensive than the Tile Style. For the extra 10 bucks, however, you're going to get better Bluetooth range, better built-in dust and water resistance, and a louder alert with the Tile Style. Depending on your needs, this category can make all the difference.

Which would we choose? TrackR, but...

As a work-from-home editor, I spend a lot of time in my house which means I'm more apt to lose things well within the TrackR's 100-foot range. The smaller size, free battery replacements (can you tell I really love this?), and waterproof accessory make all the difference for me. If I was in the market for a Bluetooth tracker, I'd purchase the TrackR Pixel. Your needs — and mileage — may vary.


What do you think of these two Bluetooth trackers and their comparable feature sets? Do you use a different tracker that you like more? Give us a shout in the comments or over on Twitter!

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