The $59.95 Cobra Tag is a combination of a traditional wireless key finder and a phone leash. It comes with a free application for use with Blackberry and Android smartphones. The application is easy to set up and automatically runs whenever your phone is on. Our phone would vibrate and ring whenever we left the house without the transmitter and forgot to turn off the application. Pressing a button on the phone or pressing the button on the transmitter easily turned it off.
Like a cell phone, this device needs to be charged often. The battery lasts about a day but you can charge it in a USB port using the included cable. If you forget to turn it off after using it (like us), it will most likely be dead when you go to use it again the next day. A day-long battery life is a weakness indeed. To be clear, if you always keep your phone near the Cobra Tag, the battery will not drain as fast, but most users will not always remember to do this (and it will not always be possible to do it).
The transmitter is very compact—slim and rectangular, with a ring built in to attach to a keychain (you’ll need to attach it to your keychain if you want the app to help you find your keys if they go missing.). Like the Zomm, there’s a transmitter (the Cobra Tag) and a receiver—your phone. At least there’s not extra receiver to lose track of! The transmitter is made from relatively durable plastic and withstood a few drops.
Though the app, Cobra Tag, is easy to install and operate, iPhone and Windows phone users are out of luck. The company says an app will be available soon via iTunes, but it isn’t here yet. While this is a downside, for Android and Blackberry owners, the ability to use the phone to locate keys, and the keys to locate a phone will be very useful. Even better: we really liked that the app estimates the distance of your keys (or, just the transmitter) on screen: very close, close, and far. Okay, so that’s not GPS-worthy accuracy, but it helps.
For scatterbrained Android and Blackberry owners, we think this device is a very smart investment. However, we wonder if people who often lose their keys and their phone will be able to remember to charge the Cobra Tab every day.
Battery Life: 2
Ease of Use: 5