Tile Mate vs Tile Pro vs Tile Slim: Which One Should You Buy?

“Where the heck did I leave my keys?”

That’s the question that the Tile ring-attached Bluetooth tracker set out to help you solve when it first launched more than five years ago. But Tile has grown since then, with its current lineup consisting of three models — the Tile Pro, Tile Mate and Tile Slim — making “What the heck Tile should I buy?” the more pressing question these days.

Here’s a closer look at Tile’s different trackers, and which one is best for your needs.

Shape, size and color

The first difference you’re likely to spot among the three Tiles is the basic build of each. The different shapes tell you a lot about what each Tile is meant to do.

The smallest of the three models is the Tile Mate, which measures 1.4 x 1.4 x 0.24 inches. That’s a square about the length of the long side of an SD card and the same thickness as maybe three SD cards stacked together. The Tile Pro isn’t a huge amount bigger and thicker at 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.26 inches, but it is more than twice the weight -- 0.5 ounces to the Mate’s 0.2.

Model
Tile Mate
Tile Slim
Tile Pro
Price
$24.99Amazon $30Amazon $34.99Amazon
Size
1.4 x 1.4 x 0.24 inches2.1 x 2.1 x 0.09 inches
1.6 x 1.6 x 0.26 inches
Weight
0.2 ounces
0.3 ounces
0.5 ounces
Listed Range
Up to 150 feet
Up to 100 feet
Up to 300 feet
Alarm Volume
119 db
82 db
128 db
Water Resistance Rating
IP55
IP57
IP55
Replaceable Battery
Yes (CR1632)
No
Yes (CR20
Colors
White
White
Black, White

Coming from a whole different shape and size is the Mate Slim. It’s a taller and wider 2.1-inchsquare body with a tradeoff in thickness compared to other Tiles, coming in at only 0.09 inches — just a bit thicker than most credit cards. The idea here is that the Slim is meant to slide into your wallet or stick onto your phone, tablet or laptop without bulking things up too much. It also lacks the keyring hole found on the Tile Mate and Tile Pro.

MORE: Best Key Finders

The last piece of aesthetic difference to mull over when it comes to the Tile models is color. Don’t worry, there aren’t too many options here: Tile Pro comes in black or white, while Mate and Slim come only in white.

Ring volume, wireless range and other features

All of the Tiles generally work about the same: You pair them with the Tile app on your smartphone, and when you realize what it was that you’ve chosen to attach your Tile to is missing, you can use the app, available for both Android and iOS, to remotely trigger the Tile to ring and audibly lead you to it.

It's important to note is that each of the three Tile models have different ring volumes. The Pro is the loudest (128db), the Mate is just below it (119db) and the Slim is by far the quietest (82db). Our testing showed that the Pro and Mate are both plenty loud, but in order to get any Tile to ring, it needs to be within Bluetooth wireless range of your phone.

Bluetooth range is another important difference between the trio of trackers. Mate Pro brings largest listed range at 300 feet. Mate is half of that, 150 feet, while Slim promises only 100 feet.

As we’ve found when testing these trackers, real-world range tends to fall short of what’s listed, thanks to physical obstacles like walls or doors and interference from other wireless devices. Still, our testing bares out that the Tile Pro has a much longer range than the Mate.

If your missing Tile is completely out of Bluetooth range, the Tile app has a community feature that allows the device’s location to be anonymously detected and sent to you after coming into range with another Tile user’s smartphone. Though the feature is available on all Tile models, the Pro’s larger wireless range makes it the device with the best odds of being found by random passersby.

Something else the two main Tile designs differ in are water resistance ratings. Tile Slim is IP57, basically meaning it can withstand strong splashes or jets of water, while Mate and Pro, at IP55, are rated only for normal splashes.

Battery

All three Tile models are guaranteed under warranty for one year of battery life. But when that window of time passes, you’ll find out that the Pro and Mate run on standard, replaceable CR2032 and CR1632 batteries — the kind you can buy for a few bucks and replace yourself.

Thanks to its thin design, the Slim has a built-in, non-swappable battery, requiring you to buy a new tracker when the old one runs out of juice. Tile does try to make that a little easier with its reTile program, where customers, a year after any Tile purchase, are given the option to buy a new Tile (Pro excluded) at a 40 percent discount.

Value

If the lowest-priced Tile Bluetooth finder you can get to stick on your keyring is all you’re looking for here, the Tile Mate is your pick; it’s $25 compared to the Tile Slim’s and Tile Pro’s respective $30 and $35 price tags.

For $5 more than the Mate, you can pay for the thinner and more wallet-friendly Slim, but you’ll be missing out on Bluetooth range and, considering its low speaker volume, potentially missing out ever finding it even when you ring it.

The Tile Pro has all the same characteristics of the Mate but just does everything better. Enough better to warrant an extra $10? If you’ve got a big house and a tendency to leave your keys behind, the answer could be yes.

Bottom Line: Get the Tile Pro

Some good news if you’re trying to decide which Tile to buy: having tested most key finders, we think Tile makes the best trackers overall. Whatever you pick, you’re likely to end up with a dependable device.

That said, anyone looking to keep tabs on their wallet would do well with the Tile Slim, provided they don’t mind the limited range and lack of replaceable battery. The best value overall is the Tile Mate, thanks to its low price tag. But if you want the loudest key finder with the best range, pay the extra $10 for the Tile Pro.

Credits: Tom's Guide

1 comment
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  • Billy The Kidd
    I would recommend to not go with Tile, I like their products but found out once I started to have a problem they fail miserably.

    Since I "upgraded" to the Premium app its been a total disaster. I started the one month trial but there was no difference to the app's features and no personal help as they advertised. So I contacted them through the website and nothing, no reply.

    I waited a few weeks and wrote them again explaining its not working, explained its my second time writing, cancel my trial. I'm guessing the cancel part got their attention as they replied in three days. They gave me a solution to try but the the month trial was now over and I told them I had no trial so I want to cancel the "Premium" service.

    After two times contacting them you would have thought that they would be able to get a handle on such a simple requests - Nope!! Its now required a thirst time contacting them in a month, and Tile still has not resolved this! I wish I was kidding!!

    The reason I had to contact Tile a third time was due to that Tile charged my credit card $29.99 weeks for the "Premium" app that I already told them twice in writing does not work, that the trial does not work and I wanted it cancelled! They last replied that they tried to contact me (on Easter Sunday - I'm guessing it was an overseas call center) and since they couldn't get in touch with me (I was eating with my family) it is considered closed. I have kept all my correspondence, stuff this bad is hard to believe!

    So I now have had to contacted my credit card company and they are sending me a paper to report Tile as doing unauthorized charges and will then get the charge removed.

    Wow what an absolutely terrible, terrible experience and the craziest think is this all happened when I was doing the Premium App Trial that says it will provide "Premium Customer Care". If that is "Premium" what is their normal customer care like?