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Tile Sticker (2022): A big leap forward for Tile's smallest key finder

This year's Tile Sticker is a dramatic improvement over the previous version

Tile Sticker 2022 review
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

The Tile Sticker (2022) is a definite improvement over its predecessor with improved range and more consistent performance. Other key finders are more fully featured, but they can't attach to the surfaces that the Tile Sticker can stick to.

For

  • Better range and performance than previous Tile Sticker
  • Sticks to surfaces that other key finders can't attach to
  • Compact design
  • Two-way find feature for locating misplaced phones

Against

  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Button for activating two-way find feature is hard to press

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Tile Sticker (2022) is a definite improvement over its predecessor with improved range and more consistent performance. Other key finders are more fully featured, but they can't attach to the surfaces that the Tile Sticker can stick to.

Pros

  • + Better range and performance than previous Tile Sticker
  • + Sticks to surfaces that other key finders can't attach to
  • + Compact design
  • + Two-way find feature for locating misplaced phones

Cons

  • - Non-replaceable battery
  • - Button for activating two-way find feature is hard to press
Tile Sticker 2022 specs

Size: 1.1 x 0.3 inches
Listed range: Up to 250 feet
Tested range: 150 to 170 feet
Water resistance? IP67
Battery: Non-replaceable/3 years
Colors: Black

Even though the Tile Sticker (2022) is a near dopplegänger to its predecessor, you'd barely recognize this version of Tile's smallest key tracker. The original Tile Sticker, released two years prior, was an interesting concept with disappointing execution and inconsistent range. "Lacks polish," I concluded in my original Tile Sticker review.

Tile's done plenty of polishing since then. The new Tile Sticker retains its predecessor's compact design and adds better performance to the mix. This is still a key finder that serves a very specific purpose — a Tile tracker that can stick to surfaces instead of attach to a key ring like the Tile Pro or Tile Mate — but it's one we can more enthusiastically recommend to people looking for something to attach to luggage, laptops and other flat surfaces. The Tile Sticker certainly deserves a place among the best key finders.

Tile Sticker review: Price and availability

The Tile Sticker costs $30, placing it between the $25 Tile Mate and Tile’s two $35 trackers — the Tile Pro and Tile Slim — in Tile's key finder lineup. 

You'll pay the same amount for an Apple AirTag as you would a Tile Sticker, though Apple's key finder lacks the Sticker's adhesive back. Of course, the Tile Sticker only connects to your phone via Bluetooth, whereas trackers like the AirTag and Samsung's SmartTag Plus use Ultra Wideband to give more precise locations of your valuables.

Tile Sticker review: Design and features

The Tile Sticker (2022) has the same circular shape as its predecessor, though this new version is fractionally taller — 0.31 inches compared to 0.28 inches. That would seem to compound an issue I had with the original sticker — because it's designed to stick on smooth surfaces, it can interfere with sleek designs of devices like laptops and tablets. I've attached the Tile Sticker to my passport, for example, and it's like I've added a little knob to the cover. That complicates sliding my passport in and out of my pants pocket.

Tile Sticker 2022 stuck on passport

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Tile has gone with a more stylized design this time around, as it looks to unify the appearance of all of its key finders. The Tile logo remains in the center of the Sticker, but the button for activating the tracker's very valuable two-way finding feature for sounding an alarm to locate your misplaced phone. Now there's a button on the side for that, which streamlines the look of the Sticker, even if I found the button a little hard to depress.

As before, you can't fit a replaceable battery into a tracker this small. Instead, the Tile Sticker relies on a non-replaceable battery that's supposed to last for three years — the same time the tracker's adhesive is rated to last, conveniently. (In my experience, the Sticker remains reliably stuck on most surfaces. It certainly takes some effort to yank off, which you won't want to do, as that can weaken the adhesive grip. This is a tracker that's meant to remain in place until it's time to swap in a new one.)

Tile Sticker 2022 next to stack of quarters

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Tile Sticker's compact size also means it misses out on a feature found on other Tiles in the current lineup: there's no QR code embossed on the device that people can scan to help you retrieve your lost item. Instead, you're at the mercy of Tile's old system where other nearby Tile users passing by can detect a missing Tile tracker and beam its last known location to you.

Tile Sticker review: Performance

As before, you pair the Tile Sticker to your smartphone using either the Android or iOS version of the Tile app. From that app, you can tap a button to sound an alarm that will help you pinpoint the location of whatever misplaced item you've attached the Tile Sticker to.

Tile says that this version of the Sticker has a range of up to 250 feet, the same listed range for the Tile Mate and Tile Slim. In my testing, the Sticker didn't reach quite that far, but I was able to get a signal from up to 150 feet away when testing the tracker in a public park. The Sticker usually dropped out of range anywhere between 150 and 170 feet in this testing area. 

Tile Sticker app

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That's definitely an improvement on the old Tile Sticker, which was reliable for up to 40 feet at best and rarely stayed connected past 70 feet. You can definitely expect more reliable performance from this year's Sticker.

The Tile Pro continues to boast the loudest alarm in the Tile lineup, but the alarm on this year's Sticker is loud enough to hear from 120 feet away. That's about equal to the Tile Mate's performance.

Tile Pro, Tile Mate, Tile Slim, Tile Sticker

Tile's current key finder lineup — the Sticker is in the lower left corner. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Tile offers a $2.99/month Tile Premium service that adds extra features like alerts when you leave your home without whatever item is stuck to the Tile Sticker, plus the ability to share your Tile with an unlimited number of users. I haven't found Tile Premium to be so essential that it's a must-have, but of all the Tile key finders, it's the one most suited for Tile Premium's smart alerts feature.

Tile Sticker review: Verdict

The tile Sticker serves a very specific purpose — it can attach to valuables with smooth surfaces that aren't particularly accommodating to conventional key finders. While the first Tile Sticker felt like a work in progress, this 2022 edition is a more polished product that delivers what Tile promises.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.