In the two-plus years since we reviewed the Pally Smart Finder, other devices have come along that have gotten more slender and feature-packed. Yet, the Pally Smart Finder remains a viable option, even if it is among the largest gadgets in its class at 1.5 x 0.9 x 0.52 inches.
How the Pally Smart Finder Performs
Using the Android and iOS versions of the app, you can use a Find feature to make your Smart Finder buzz and flash when it's out of sight; a Virtual Leash feature buzzes your phone when you leave the Smart Finder's range.
At its best, the Smart Finder turned in impressive test results, allowing me to walk up to 93 feet away in a public park while still maintaining a signal. Ranges of 55 to 70 feet were more typical. Regardless of how far I got, the extremely audible beep of the Pally Smart Finder could be heard over the ambient noise around me. (In fact, while testing the device, a parks employee approached me, thinking that beeping sound meant I was up to no good.)
In the lab we recorded 50 dB at five feet from the device, far from the 115 dB claimed by the company. But that matches up with the category average. We recorded at a 1-inch distance as well, where we got 93 dB. That makes the Pally the second-loudest finder we tested.
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The Smart Finder runs on two AAAA batteries, with Pally promising two-plus years of battery life for its device. Replacing the batteries is simply a matter of loosening a single screw to open up the case.
Unfortunately, the Smart Finder’s app is poorly designed: The Find button is placed too close to the button for adjusting the settings. The app has also gone a long time between updates, while other key finders continue to tweak and improve their product. And it took some effort to regain the signal of a Smart Finder once I had walked out of range.
In a world where Tile, TrackR and Chipolo continually refine their key finders, there wouldn't seem to be much of a reason to consider the Pally Smart Finder. Yet, its decent range and good sound make it a decent alternative, particularly if you can get the device for much less than its $30 list price.