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Apple AirTag Review

An easy-to-use and simple brand-name Bluetooth tracker that does what you expect, no more, no less
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Apple AirTag Review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $29 List
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Manufacturer:   Apple
By Whitney Clark ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 14, 2024
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Network - 40% 9.0
  • Features & Ease of Use - 25% 9.0
  • Noise - 15% 6.0
  • Range - 10% 3.0
  • Physical Attributes - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Apple AirTag has a massive network and is a great Bluetooth tracker for iPhone users. Once beyond Bluetooth range, it taps into a network of 1.5 billion iPhones (as well as any other Apple device equipped with the Find My app), and transmits an updated location to your phone. It is easy to use and seamlessly pairs with your iPhone. The AirTag is our favorite Bluetooth tracker for pet owners as it is lightweight, water-resistant, and can be fixed to collars.
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to setup
Large Find My app network
Anti-stalking notifications
REASONS TO AVOID
Only compatible with iOS
Disappointing range
Single tone
Not a lot of extra features

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Price $29 List
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Bottom Line A basic and easy-to-use Bluetooth tracker with a large network to help keep tabs on your itemsA tracker with a lot of useful features that aren't found in many other devicesA massive network and large range, this is our top choice for Samsung usersA super loud tracker with excellent range and a few other features that make it a stand outThis waterproof tracker is a marvelous all-around product and our pick for most people
Rating Categories Apple AirTag Chipolo ONE Samsung SmartTag2 Tile Pro Innway Tag
Network (40%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Features & Ease of Use (25%)
9.0
7.5
9.0
7.0
7.0
Noise (15%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
Range (10%)
3.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Physical Attributes (10%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Apple AirTag Chipolo ONE Samsung SmartTag2 Tile Pro Innway Tag
Measured Weight 11 g 8 g 14.0 g 17 g 11.36 g
Dimensions 31.9 mm diameter 37.9 mm diameter 52 mm L X 28 mm W x 8 mm H 59 mm L x 34 mm W x 7.7 mm H 40 mm L x 40 mm W x 5.8 mm H
Type Tag Tag Tag Tag Tag
Battery Replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery 2 year replaceable Up to 700 days with power save mode 1 year replaceable Replaceable battery
Measured Bluetooth Range 35 ft 200 ft 387 ft 400 ft 395 ft
Waterproof Water resistant IP67 Water resistant IPX5 Water resistant IP67 Yes Water resistant IP67
Camera Shutter No Yes Yes No Yes
Modes Lost mode Out of range alert, directions to device, share device Lost mode, Other modes subscription, anti-theft mode Seperation Alert
Computer App. Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Community Search Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Measured Noise 73.3 dB 79.9 dB 60.84 dB 83.0 dB 61.8 dB
Device Tones 1 tone 6 tones 10 tones and 3 volumes 10 tones 3 tones
Phone Tones 1 tone 1 tone 1 tone 1 tone 3 tones

Our Analysis and Test Results

You can't beat the sheer size of Apple's Find My Network. The AirTag is easy to set up, simple to use, and under certain circumstances, one of the best Bluetooth trackers on the market. Perfect for your pets, the AirTag can be fastened to a collar don't ever lose your furry friends.

Performance Comparison


apple airtag - with an inexpensive credit card holder for the airtag, it fits in...
With an inexpensive credit card holder for the Airtag, it fits in most wallets but is bulky. It takes up the width of about 4 credit cards.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Network


It's hard to compete with the network size of the Apple AirTag. The tag taps into a network of 1.5 billion iPhones (and any other Apple device equipped with the Find My app) and relays an updated location of the tag to your phone once it gets within range. This is all done anonymously and discreetly. Let's say you lose your luggage at the airport. The likelihood of someone having an iPhone, AirPods, or some other Apple device nearby is extremely high, and as long as your tag is within 35 feet of that person or device, it will show up on your Find My app. The approximate location of your tag will appear as a pinned point on the map. From there, you can use your phone to ring the tracker or use its Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip for precision tracking. The Precision Finding tool turns your phone into a compass where you can follow the arrows (think hot and cold) until the distance reaches zero, and you should be on top of the item.


If you're in a city or busy place, you're pretty much guaranteed to be in the vicinity of an Apple product. This is where the AirTag shines and is one of the main reasons this tag wins any sort of awards. As we will explain in further detail below, it is perhaps best to rely on the extensiveness of the Find My network rather than its Bluetooth range.

When searching for your missing AirTag, the Find My app leads you right to it.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Features & Ease of Use


Predictably, pairing it with your iPhone is incredibly simple — just having Bluetooth enabled prompts the phone to ask for a connection. The pairing is seamless, and the tag connects immediately to an iPhone. Folks with iPhones are most likely already familiar with the Find My feature and shouldn't have any trouble figuring the configuration out. AirTag batteries last for about a year, and when they eventually die, instead of having to throw your tracker in the trash, you can replace it with a CR2032 lithium 3V coin battery. It also has an IP67 ingress protection rating, making it water-resistant and able to withstand dust and dirt.


One thing worth noting is Apple recently integrated an additional safety feature to prevent people from being tracked without their knowledge. For starters, AirTags beep when separated from your iPhone for more than 8 to 12 hours. In addition, when an AirTag not registered to you is detected moving alongside your Apple device, it emits a sound automatically to alert individuals nearby of its presence. The AirTag is pretty rudimentary. There are no frills and no extras, but one thing is for sure: the product is easy to use and gives you the basic features needed to successfully track and find your belongings.

apple airtag - the apple airtag is able to withstand water and dirt thanks to its...
The Apple AirTag is able to withstand water and dirt thanks to its IP67 ingress protection rating.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

If you're hoping to keep up with your pet, the AirTag is the best option available. It is lightweight and resistant to mud and water. However, an additional holder needs to be purchased to fix it to the collar.

apple airtag - measuring the apple airtag.
Measuring the Apple Airtag.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Noise


When you're searching for the tracker in the Find My app, it only has one tone to choose from that is too soft and pleasant for our liking. So far, Apple has not created an option to customize ringtones or add different sounds that might better suit your liking.


There are, however, a few different sounds that you'll hear from the AirTag that are important to differentiate. For instance, during the initial setup, you'll hear a nice quiet tone to know it's complete. A different beeping noise is emitted when using the Find My App to search for your item. If the tag gets separated from its owner's iPhone or iPad, it will uniquely notify individuals in proximity of its presence. Also, when the battery is running low, the device emits a sequence of beeps to indicate that the battery needs replacement. The noise level is about average, measuring in at 73.3 decibels.

The Apple AirTag isn't as loud as we would hope, especially when shoved between couch cushions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Range


The range on the AirTag is rather disappointing. Clocking in at around 35 feet, it has one of the smallest ranges out of the Bluetooth trackers that we tested. This is where the AirTag falls short. If you're someone who is predominately looking for things inside your house or a set of keys, then the limited range shouldn't be a problem. Beyond this, you will be relying on the large Find My network to reconnect you with your belongings.


Apple's tracker is rather obsolete if you live in a more rural area. If you lose your keys while on a hike in the forest, unfortunately, the AirTag won't be much help unless you or someone else who happens to have an iPhone comes within 35 feet. On the other hand, if your luggage gets lost in a busy airport thousands of miles away, you're likely to locate it due to the proximity of so many people with iPhones. So the moral of the story is the tag works great in crowded, busy places and is rather useless in remote places.

The Airtag has an arrow and green screen to guide you into your...
The Airtag has an arrow and green screen to guide you into your missing tag. When you move in the wrong direction the screen turns back to black.
View from the Find My app on the iPhone when looking at an Apple...
View from the Find My app on the iPhone when looking at an Apple AirTag.

Physical Attributes


Small and sleek would be a good way to describe the AirTag. We like its slim design and how it goes practically unnoticed, slipped into our luggage or in a wallet. If it went out of range or lost battery power (if its tracking powers couldn't be summoned), it would be pretty easy to misplace. You can only get the tag in one color, but you can opt for a free engraving and add emojis, your name, or whatever you want when you purchase the device.


The circular AirTag weighs 11 grams and has a diameter is 1.26 inches. All in all, it's slightly larger than a quarter. The tag doesn't have any sort of built-in loop or any other way to attach to your keys. Apple conveniently solves that problem by making a variety of different accessories and keychains to do so, with an additional purchase.

apple airtag - the air tag is super easy to use and has an absolutely massive...
The Air Tag is super easy to use and has an absolutely massive network of Apple devices to help you locate lost items through the Find My network.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Should You Buy the AirTag?


The Apple AirTag is a simple Bluetooth tracker that is exceptional under certain circumstances. With its vast network, the device works great in crowded places or if you live in a large city or town. For iPhone users, it's easy to set up and links seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem. It is also our top choice for pet owners. If you live in a rural area or want to track your adventurous pet that wanders off into the woods, this device is probably not for you due to its limited range.

apple airtag - the apple airtag is great for keeping up with your pets as long as...
The Apple AirTag is great for keeping up with your pets as long as you purchase a collar holder.
Credit: Ross Patton

What Other Bluetooth Trackers Should You Consider?


The Chipolo One Spot would be another great option as not only can it tap into Apple's Find My network, but it has a larger range, making it a more versatile product. Tile trackers such as the Tile Pro, Tile Slim Card, Tile Mate, and the Tile Sticker would also be great options as the Tile App is compatible with iOS. It's important to note that Tile uses its own network so you wouldn't be operating within the Find My network.

apple airtag - the samsung smarttag2 (left) and apple airtag (right). while the...
The Samsung SmartTag2 (left) and Apple AirTag (right). While the AirTag is a little smaller and lighter, it also requires a keychain adapter if you want to attach it to anything.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Whitney Clark