Product Use case Rating
Tile Mate Best Wireless Key Finder 8
TrackR Bravo Best Tracker with Replaceable Battery 7
Chipolo Plus Loudest Tracker 7

We’ve tested more than a dozen key finders for weeks at a time -- indoors and outdoors --and Tile's $25 Tile Mate stands out from a crowded field, thanks to its good range and a helpful two-way finding feature that can also locate your smartphone.

The Tile Mate does not have a replaceable battery, requiring you to update every year through Tile's battery replacement program, which sells you a new key tracker at a reduced cost.

If you'd prefer that your key tracker has a replaceable battery, your best option is the $29 TrackR Bravo, which offers a compact size and frequent software updates that add welcome features like Alexa compatibility.

Latest News and Updates (Updated Nov. 14)

Both Tile and TrackR have new key finders in time for the holiday season. The Tile Pro Series includes the satin-white Tile Style and the rugged Tile Sport, which both cost $35. They promise louder alarms and double the range of the Tile Mate.

Meanwhile, the $25 TrackR Pixel costs $5 less than the Bravo while adding an LED light to make it easier to find in the dark. We're wrapping up testing on these new key finders and will post the reviews shortly.

Other recent additions to the key finder market include:

  • Chipolo Card: Chipolo has introduced a 2.7 x 1.5 x 0.08-inch tracker that's meant to slip inside your wallet. Like the Chipolo Plus, the $35 Chipolo Card runs on a non-replaceable battery, so you'll have to upgrade to a new tracker after a year. Chipolo Card is currently on sale, though quantities are limited.
  • Updated Pixie Point: We've previously reviewed the $50 Pixie Point, which uses augmented reality to help you track down missing objects like your keys. The arrival of iOS 11 and its improved support for augmented reality has sparked an overall to Pixie's iOS app, which an upgraded interface. We'll revisit our Pixie Point review shortly to test this new experience.

4 Quick Key Finder Buying Tips

Range: How far away can you be from your keys while still keeping connected to your phone? Always count on the actual range being less than what key finder makers advertise as walls, doors and other structures can interfere with signals.

Alarm Sound: Check the decibel rating for the key finder. You'll want a good loud signal of at least 80 to 85 decibels so that you can hear your key finder over any ambient noise.

Other Features: Consider key finders that have two-way finding features, where you can press a button on the key finder to track down your phone. Some key finders also offer digital leash features, where your phone will get an alert if your keys are ever out of range.

Battery Life: Look up how long the battery will last on your key finder. If it's a replaceable battery, count on about six months. Non-replaceable batteries should promise a year of battery life and offer a clearly defined replacement program for when your device is running low on juice.

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  • syl4
    Thank you for the advice on the keyfinders! Now I need one small enough to attach to my glasses so I can find them in order to read all your advice!!! ;)
  • bodkan101
    I'm using Finderator on Android, it's not tracking or fancy stuff but using Bayesian search theory to optimize the "classic" search by walking and looking
  • syl4
    Anonymous said:
    I'm using Finderator on Android, it's not tracking or fancy stuff but using Bayesian search theory to optimize the "classic" search by walking and looking

    My husband found my glasses in the freezer in the garage--now what was the probability of that!!?
  • realmadmartian
    The one feature I most want is the croudsource feature for tracking lost luggage. Which finder has the largest network of users? And how close is second place?
  • harmonyhearsey
    Anonymous said:

    Hey PhilipMichaels would you be able to do a review on the Orbit Bluetooth range? They have Bluetooth trackers for your Keys, Wallet and even one for your glasses!
  • metesting001
    Thanks for the product feature explanation. Tile Mate is very good product. Many of like to use .
  • ablang
    I need one of these too. My family keeps misplacing at least 1 of the iPad Minis in the house every now and then.
  • realmadmartian
    So, I tried the following four methods and here are my comments:

    1. throw an extra phone in the suitcase and use "find my phone"
    2. Trackr Pixel
    3. Pebblebee Finder
    4. Tile Pro (Style & Sport)

    The "extra phone" theory did not work. The extra phone needs access to both LTE and GPS at the same time while it's buried in your suitcase. Also your main phone has to have access to LTE. It's rare during travel that all three occur at the same time. Also, I found the extra phone needed to be rebooted occasionally to be found - not sure why.

    The Trackr Pixel clearly has the best Android app - the only one that tells you how close you are to the device. It is also the smallest and lightest of the devices and it lights up - which none of the others do. Were it not for the fact that the Trackr only works in the same room as your phone (even with doors open - nowhere near the advertised range) it would be my device of choice. That said, I decided not to return it as it will be useful for finding things in the home.

    The Pebblebee Finder easily had the weakest Android app of the bunch. It is also the largest and heaviest of the devices. However, it does look cool - nice design, though too heavy. It has the same range problem as the Trackr Pixel - same room only, won't detect it until you're through the doorway. Due to having three things I didn't like about it - the app being the biggest issue - I returned it. They REALLY need to work on their Android app.

    And lastly, the Tile Pro. Easily worked across three rooms in the house, which the other two did not. Tile Pro wins range by so much that it's really the only choice for travel. It also has the largest network for crowdfinding. The app is ok - doesn't show distance like the Trackr app. You can't change the battery - which really stinks. The Style is slightly smaller and lighter than the Sport. Only get the Sport if you like the looks and it will be visible - otherwise the Style is more practical.

    In conclusion, I recommend Tile Pro for travel and Trackr Pixel for finding things in the house (keys, remotes, etc)

    Note that I sometimes couldn't find ANY device when right next to it - I had to reboot the phone and all was well. This was the phone's fault, not the device, but be aware of that if it happens. I think my phone was conserving battery by turning off bluetooth when not in use. I suspect this is the cause of a lot of 1-star reviews for all devices. Since I had three different manufacturer's devices "failing" at once, I knew it had to be the phone.