We here at MobileTechTalk love all things tech, and as the old saying goes (old is used very loosely here) “Everything is better with Bluetooth” so we have a few Bluetooth trackers from our friends over at Chipolo. Craig checked out the Chipolo Card, and I’ve got the Chipolo Plus, let’s check it out.
- Nice app
- Seamless setup
- Great recycling programme
- Bit thick and heavy
- Alarm could be louder
Disclaimer: Chipolo provided us with these trackers on the basis that we would check them out and give an unbiased opinion on them. I have been using the Chipolo Plus on my younger brothers’ house keys since I have gotten back from MWC on February 28th.
UPDATE: This review has been amended on March 30th to fix inaccuracies in pricing, colour name and connectivity issues, Apologies for the original errors.
At around 37mm in Diameter, the Chipolo Plus on the larger side for a Bluetooth/GPS tracker, sure, it’ll fit on your keys, but no one is going to believe that it is just a slightly oversized key ornament, especially in this obnoxious red colour. The Plus also comes in at 5.9mm thick, which, once again is slightly thick for a key fob, but I’ll let it slide as it is positively featherweight.
Let’s quickly get the one thing I’m not too fond of out of the way, the alarm. Chipolo claims that the Plus has an alarm around 100 decibels, and if that is the case, then my hearing is deteriorating faster than I thought. Whilst it is loud enough for the most part, if the keys were under a heavy blanket or deep in a handbag, I don’t think it’d be too far of a stretch to struggle to hear the Chipolo. The alarm comes on quick and deactivates quick (once you’ve dismissed it) and the tone is different enough that you’d be able to identify it, I just wish it was louder, maybe at 110 decibels.
What the Chipolo Plus (and all their products) do really well though, is the setup process, it was an absolute breeze! Open up the Chipolo app and give it the permissions it requires, choose what Chipolo device you have and give it a name, then have the Chipolo next to your device, and double tap the internal button, and everything else sets itself up! That was incredibly simple, and I wish every tracker used this method of setting up, it really was great.
Speaking of the Chipolo app, it’s really quite nice, it’s lightweight and well designed. In order to accurately and reliably track the devices, it needs to be able to run nearly all the time, and one of the things that Chipolo asks you to do, is disable the battery optimisations that android does to stop apps consuming battery. Whilst I haven’t noticed an outrageous change in battery life (likely due to my BlackBerry KEYone having ridiculously good battery life anyway) there has definitely been a hit, a good 5% lower than usual, and sometimes more depending on what i’ve been doing and where I’ve been going through the day.
Lastly for the Chipolo Plus, we have to talk about price. At £23 this is somewhat pricey, especially when you can get something like a Tile Mate, the comparable Tile device in size and use cases for £17, and the Tile userbase is much larger, meaning that the “hive mind” location and Bluetooth locating a lost device is going to be better with Tile. But just like Tile, Chipolo offer a recycling service, whilst the Chipolo products last round about a year (they state up to 15 months) when you recycle your device with Chipolo, they’ll give you 50% off a new one, now that makes re-upping your Chipolo devices cheaper than Tiles, and it is all up to you.
So, would I recommend the Chipolo Plus? Honestly, probably not, it is bigger and thicker than the Tile Mate and has smaller user base for hive mind tracking, and it also costs more. But the Chipolo ecosystem is more than the Plus, Craig tested out the Chipolo Card, and I’ve much rather have the Chipolo Card than the Tile Slim, so it all depends on your use case.
If you do like the look of the Chipolo Plus and the Chipolo Card, head on over to their site at https://uk.chipolo.net/ to check their products out, and thanks once again to Chipolo for sending these units out.