What should you know before buying them?

Stars of the new ecosystem of Samsung and Apple accessories, the truth is that locator tags do not make as much sense as they seem.

Well no, Apple has not invented the wheel with its new AirTags once again, and it is that not only Samsung already had a few months before its own Galaxy SmartTags locator labels, but also other manufacturers with much cheaper alternatives and just as functional as the labels made by apple.

In any case, we have to praise the Cupertinos again with their ability to do perfect marketing exercises with any type of device or accessory, and it is certainly we don't find it much use either to the Samsung Galaxy SmartTags in our review, and what about the South Korean option advances a little more in its capacities and options.

Design of the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag in black color

The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, making way for Apple's AirTags.

In fact, it is that Apple AirTags start out limited by its own platform, they do not make much sense if you use Android, and it is also that they are extremely expensive, starting from 35 euros the label itself (without holes to hang it) to which we must add another 39 euros if we want the official Apple keychain ... It must be repeated, the marketing exercise in Cupertino has been perfect.

In any case, the high price is not something only reserved for the Apple model, since Samsung's SmartTag costs a not inconsiderable 39 euros also, even though at least it does have a hole for any keychain that we previously have and has better credentials with an IP52 certification, interchangeable CR2032 batteries, a speaker for beeping and a physical button to automate tasks in SmartThings or reverse lookup the linked smartphone.

I will not be a demagogue, because the idea of ​​locator tags that can be linked to mobile phones has always sounded good to us, but only until their limitations make them quite useless and their prices really prohibitive.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, analysis: useful, but limited

A locator tag, without GPS, doesn't make much sense

Well yes friends, this is the main disadvantage of both Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags, and is that neither of the two implementations from the two most popular manufacturers in the mobile industry, has a GPS chip that allows the label itself to position itself.

Instead they use connectivity ultra-wideband or UWB, for short, in addition to Bluetooth Low Energy to serve as permanent beacons that are dedicated to searching for nearby smartphones, to which connect silently by automatically asking where they are and asking them to send the location of the label to the location servers.

And it is not that it is a bad idea to use these collaborative networks, knowing above all that almost We all have a mobile phone and 90% of the people keep the location active for your connected services, although this implementation has a major problem that we now explain to you.

If the main utility of a locator tag is precisely that of locate things when we lose them, we cannot expect that our backpack or our keys are always within reach of a smartphone, because if we have lost them it is because they will be difficult to locate... Here's a graphic example: if you go out into the mountains and lose your keys there, it may be difficult for a smartphone to be nearby to tell you that it has found your keys.

A locator tag incapable of self-positioning is quite useless, because if you lose something, the logical thing is to lose it in places where there are not always people or a smartphone nearby.

Samsung SmartTag

The design of the Galaxy SmartTag, with a configurable side button and a hole for the key fob.

Collaborative networks but on proprietary and closed platforms?

And this last thing that I was commenting on reaches us to the other negative point of the SmartTag and AirTag, since if you need to trust that someone passes near your lost object with a smartphone, you should think that anyone can locate your tag, something that cannot it happens due to the limitations of the closed platforms.

In fact, if you have a SmartTag you will need a Galaxy device that passes by, and if you have an AirTag you will do the same with an iPhone, something that Apple has thought about alleviating by announcing its AirTag application for Android this morning that will arrive soon .


The Apple AirTag costs 35 euros, and the proprietary design keychain, another 39 euros.

If they want to become best-selling accessories, the logical thing is that locator tags are very cheap so that we can buy several and we can glue or hang them on all kinds of things, such as backpacks, sets of keys, wallets and a long etcetera. It is not the case.

In second place, the most normal thing is that they had GPS and depended on interchangeable batteries with long periods of autonomy (here point for Samsung, if we do not look at the GPS but at the button battery), but this is not the case either.

AirTags and SmartTags from Apple and Samsung have the three most important 'NOs': they are not cheap, they do not self-position and depend on a nearby mobile, which will also only work for now if it is from the same manufacturer and platform.

And thirdly, as Apple and Samsung labels are intended, the normal thing is that they had open platforms and compatible with all types of devices, which would make it easier to locate our objects if any smartphone passes by. Another not like a house.

So I can conclude that Neither Apple AirTags nor Samsung SmartTags are of much use, at least as they are raised for now, so for those of you looking for a locator tag here we leave you several alternatives that at least will not cost you an arm and a leg:

7 alternatives to Apple AirTag that you can use with Android phones

Related topics: Mobile, Technology

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