Samsung is beating Apple to the punch by launching a new smart tag that can help you find lost items with your smartphone

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  • Samsung just announced a new Bluetooth tracker called Galaxy SmartTags alongside its new Galaxy S21 lineup during CES 2021.
  • The tracker can be placed on items like key rings and wallets so that you can monitor their location in Samsung’s SmartThings app.
  • This product is quite similar to the current household name in Bluetooth trackers: Tile and its many variations.
  • Apple is also rumored to be working on a similar product called AirTags that would integrate with the company’s Find My app.

Apple is rumored to have been developing a Tile-like Bluetooth tracker called AirTags for months, but it looks like Samsung has gotten there first.

Samsung quietly announced the Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth tracker alongside its lineup of Galaxy S21 smartphones this week, a small Bluetooth-enabled tracker that can help you find lost items using a smartphone app.

The launch also comes after multiple leaks had suggested that Samsung was working on a tracking accessory to accompany its newest smartphone lineup. 

Samsung Galaxy SmartTags price and release date

The SmartTag tracker will launch on January 29 for $29.99, the same date as Samsung’s new smartphones. That makes them about the same price as the $24.99 Tile Mate and slightly cheaper than the $34.99 Tile Pro, which is more durable and has a longer range than the cheaper model.

Samsung is also throwing in a free SmartTag with preorders of the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. Otherwise, the Galaxy SmartTag will be sold individually, unlike Tile which offers some of its trackers in packs of one, two, or four. 

Samsung Galaxy SmartTags features

The tracker is designed to work with Samsung’s SmartThings Find platform, which the company launched in October and enables users to locate their Galaxy devices through the SmartThings app. It’s essentially Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Find My service.

Samsung didn’t say much about the new tracker at launch. But it describes the gadget as a tag that can be used to pinpoint the location of devices that aren’t connected to the Internet, like wallets, TV remotes, and keys using your phone. 

Samsung’s tracker uses Bluetooth low energy to communicate with your phone, not ultra wideband technology, or UWB. That’s a separate wireless communication protocol that’s more precise than Bluetooth and has been showing up in new smartphones over the past year. 

The competition

If the Galaxy SmartTag sounds familiar, it’s because accessory maker Tile sells a very similar product of the same name that comes in various versions and styles.

There’s the $24.99 Tile Mate, which has a 200-foot Bluetooth range, the $34.99 Tile Pro, which has a 400-foot Bluetooth range, and the $29.99 Tile Slim, a sleek card-sized tracker designed to stick onto flat surfaces. The company also sells smaller sticker-sized trackers.

Apple, meanwhile, is rumored to be working on a tracker of its own called AirTags, which were expected to launch in 2020 but are now rumored to be coming in 2021.

The tags would integrate with Apple’s Find My app so that you can see the location of misplaced items through Apple’s app, much like Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTags. Reports from 9to5Mac and MacRumors have suggested that AirTags might come with a “Lost mode” that notifies you if the product is found. 

It’s too soon to tell whether the Galaxy SmartTags excel over rivals like Tile. But the introduction of Samsung’s new Galaxy SmartTags, as well as continuing rumors about AirTags, suggest that two of the world’s largest smartphone makers are increasingly relying on building a strong ecosystem of accessories to make their devices stand out.

We’ll update this article accordingly as more information about Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTags becomes available. 

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