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Chipolo Card Review: A Sexy Sliver of Tech

If you’re anything like me, you tend to lose things that are important to you. When I say lose, I don’t mean lose them down a drain on some trip, I’m talking about a mountain of magazines sitting on top of something small, and me not being able to find it. That not only causes me stress as the item is usually important enough for me to worry about (wallets, keys, plastic bags of screws – yes I’m, special). I’ve used a number of Bluetooth trackers from those with watch batteries to those that are rechargeable, and they have all served me well, however, I don’t think I’ve ever come across something quite as slim and sexy as the Chipolo Card. We took it to MWC 2018 with us and these are my thoughts.

 

Chipolo Card

Chipolo Card
+ FOR
  • Slim & stylish
  • 12 months battery life
  • Great price
  • Cost effective renewal programme
- AGAINST
  • White is the only colour option currently

Buy from Chipolo UK – £31

The last Bluetooth trackers I purchased myself were specifically to fit on my keys and in my wallet, and whilst they both served me well, they did add some bulk to a minimalist wallet which was far from my desired outcome. The idea of slipping something into my wallet to ensure that if I lose my wallet I can track it was obviously the intended use case, however with the Chipolo Card I found a couple of other uses too.

If you’re reading this waiting for me to explain what a Bluetooth tracker is, I’ll be brief. Essentially the whole reason for Bluetooth trackers’ existence is to ensure that if something gets lost that is attached to said Bluetooth tracker, one can find it via an app on their smartphone or other device. That’s about it. They come in all shapes and sizes, and this Chipolo Card is just tiny!

Starting with that, as it is clearly the biggest selling point from my perspective, the slimline footprint, I honestly can’t believe that this is a Bluetooth tracker. Measuring just less than 7cm x 4cm and with a positively envious 2.15mm thickness (thinness?), the Chipolo Card scratches my particular itch for minimalism. It’s not credit card sized by any means. In fact, it’s around two or three times the thickness of a credit card, but the Chipolo Card does have a few additional internals such as a battery within in order to service the functionality of the included Bluetooth tech on board. That’s not too shabby, is it? I don’t think so at all. It slips quite nicely into any of the card inserts in any of my smaller wallets whilst in larger wallets you can put it alongside a few other cards without noticing any added bulk.

It’s not just the size that the Chipolo Card has going for it. There’s a speaker, a battery which will last around a year, as well as an IPX5 which means it can deal with splashes as well as more focused water jets aimed at it. It’s not going to do well with submersion, but a quick dip in a puddle might well be fine even though the rating doesn’t call this out.

Setup is instant really. Put your Chipolo Card wherever you want to track it (i.e. in your wallet, purse, or another carry case for example), then fire up the App which is available from both App Store and Google Play. The app will walk you through the connection process and give you a brief tutorial on what functionality you can expect.

In terms of the functions, it’s very simple again. The app will update as to the connectivity it has with the Chipolo Card and will display it in a list format in app. The Chipolo Card, and any other Chipolo product you may have in use can have a relevant icon assigned to it (i.e. a set of keys, a wallet, etc) so you can quickly see which devices have what statuses. You can also easily see a map view of your devices to see where they were last seen.

The Bluetooth tracker only really comes into its own when a device gets lost, so it’s very nice that the Chipolo products have a use case day-to-day also. When you lose your wallet down the back of the sofa, you can use the app to ring it and find it. However, you can also use the button on the Chipolo Card (and other Chipolo products) to find your smartphone also. Double clicking the button will start the phone ringing if it’s within Bluetooth range of course. The phone will continue to ring until it’s dismissed and will work even if the phone is in silent mode. A nice feature!

The battery is said to last for around 12 months, and Chipolo do have a renewal programme similar to many other trackers. Chipolo will send you out another device at a 50% discount once your original product runs out of juice and they will take care of the recycling of your old product to boot.

Overall the Chipolo Card is an amazing piece of technology. The reason I have such a passion for technology is that products like this, those that are simple yet deliver a resolution to a real-world problem, exist and provide value-added functionality. The Chipolo Card does this and keeps it simple, stylish and frankly sexy as it does. This helps me not only find my smartphone or my wallet if I misplace them, but also gives me peace of mind when I’m out and about. At an event like MWC 2018 where possessions have a habit of sprouting legs and going walkabout, the tracker doesn’t stop this from happening but allows me to be assured I’ve mitigated it as much as possible.

The Chipolo Card is available from Chipolo.net for £31, and is currently only available in white, with a half price discount for replacements after 12 months.

About Craig Bradshaw

Tech enthusiast and Editor-in-Chief of MobileTechTalk

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