The main focus of a Galaxy Unpacked event is always the launch of a new smartphone, in this case the Samsung Galaxy S21. But that’s not all Samsung had for us today, and as rumored it unveiled the Galaxy SmartTag — a Bluetooth key finder that helps you track things down when they go missing.
It’s not the first time Samsung has ventured into the world of tracking gadgets, that honor goes to the LTE-based SmartThings tracker. But with Apple’s AirTags on the way, and promises of an advanced UWB-powered Tile, all eyes were on what Samsung had in store.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag and Galaxy SmartTag Plus.
- Everything you need to about the Samsung Galaxy S21
- These are the best key finders you can buy right now
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag: How does it work?
If you’ve ever used a Tile, you’ll already be familiar with the basics of the SmartTag. In simple terms the standard SmartTag can be attached via a keyring, and uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to the Samsung SmartThings app. Should you ever lose something (like your keys) the SmartThings app can show its last known location on a map.
If you're out of Bluetooth range the SmartTag will send out Bluetooth signals that can be automatically detected by other SmartThings users, in effect utilizing the community to find your lost SmartTag when you're not close by.
Once you are in range, SmartThings app will show your proximity to the lost tag so you know whether you're looking in the right area. If you're struggling then you can activate the SmartTag's ringer from the app, and just follow your ears.
Unfortunately SmartTags only work with Galaxy devices, so anyone with a different Android device is out of luck. You're better off buying a Tile.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag vs Galaxy SmartTag Plus
Of course Bluetooth key finders are nothing new, and Samsung has a more advanced kind of tracker coming in the form of the Galaxy SmartTag Plus.
Rather than Bluetooth, which has plenty of limitations, SmartTag Plus instead relies on ultra wide-band connectivity like Apple's upcoming AirTags. The benefits here are that UWB has greater range than Bluetooth, and is able to transmit spatial information that significantly improves the location accuracy.
That means the signal is accurate down to a few inches, rather than the several feet you get with Bluetooth. So it’s more accurate and makes it much easier to find your lost stuff as a result.
If that wasn't enough, the SmartTag Plus is compatible with an AR finder. That utilizes UWB's spatial data to guide you to your lost SmartTag with the help of an AR interface on your phone.
You would obviously need a UWB-compatible Galaxy phone, however. So be aware that these won't work with the regular Galaxy S21.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Price and release date
Like the Galaxy S21 range, the Galaxy SmartTag will arrive on January 29, and each one will retail for $29.99. It will be available individually or in bundles of two ($50) or four ($85).
The SmartTag will also be available inn several colors, including black, "oatmeal", mint green, and pink.
Those of you picking up one of the three Galaxy S21 phones will also be able to get a SmartTag absolutely free. Provided you pre-order before January 28, you'll get a bundle that includes a SmartTag and a pair of Galaxy Buds. S21 and S21 Plus buyers get the Galaxy Buds Live, while S21 Ultra buyers get the shiny new Galaxy Buds Pro.
The SmartTag Plus is "coming soon" and will cost $39.99 each or $65 for two. They'll be available in blue grey and oatmeal.