Samsung has redesigned the SmartTag to make it more versatile, more durable and have a longer battery life. But how does the Samsung SmartTag 2 stack up against the Apple Air Tag? And do you need one? These were the questions I set out to answer in my review.
What is the Samsung SmartTag 2?
I’m so glad you asked. It’s a small tag you can attach to your keys/dog/suitcase to track its location. It’s like the Tile or Apple Air Tag devices, but for Samsung, and unusually (but usefully) shaped.
What’s new in this SmartTag 2 is that the hole has been made larger and been reenforced, so it is less likely to break once you attach it to your keys (and it’s easier to slide on). There’s also a new longer-life battery mode which can extend the battery life to 700-ish days. The standard is 500-ish days, which is still a decent amount more than the Apple Air Tag, which I find I only get roughly a year out of. Like the Air Tag, it uses user-replaceable button batteries, which is something parents of small children should keep in mind.
It’s also got an IP67 rating now, instead of just IP53. So you can feel confident leaving it in your dusty house and accidentally submerging it in up to a metre of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. This might make it more useful for attaching to pet collars, because the device is more likely to survive the experience.
What is good about the Samsung SmartTag 2?
The SmartTag 2 is pretty easy to set up, but not as intuitive as I’d like. I had to hold down the button longer than expected to pair, and it took me a couple of goes to get it to connect. If you have trouble, though, there is a QR code in the box that you can scan, which I appreciate for people who might have trouble holding down the button.
The screen that comes up saying you shouldn’t use it to stalk people because it’s illegal. I always wonder how many people that little pop up stops, like how many people would tick “I am a terrorist” on immigration forms. But I guess there are some people who might not have through the implications of their actions and that might be a wakeup call, and what else is Samsung to do?
From there it does all the things you think one of these devices would do. You can track the SmartTag 2 on a map, get it to make a sound, and track the Tag with your camera to find it in your room. Oddly, you can’t get it to make sound while you use the camera, but that’s fine.
One thing that I really like is the range of accessories. They’re smart and practical, and also just look good. I also appreciate the shape of the SmartTag 2; they’re a little larger than I would like, but having the ring built in means you can attach it to stuff without having to buy an accessory. I love Apple AirTags, but you really have to put them in a case to attach them to anything.
What is not good about the Samsung SmartTag 2?
For some reason, Samsung has made the speaker on this newer model a bit quieter than before. It’s now barely louder than a conversation, which is fine if you’ve left your keys on a surface of your apartment, but less helpful if you’ve left them in a busier area or under a couch cushion. That said, given you can now put it around the collar of your pet, you probably don’t want it to be too loud anyway.
It’s also not compatible with Google’s Find My Device network, so it will only work with Samsung Galaxy devices. That’s fine when you put it in lost mode, because the pop up saying the tag is lost will come up on any phone with NFC. But not connecting to the Google Find My Device network does limit the usefulness a bit. The Apple AirTag is also only compatible with Apple devices (though, there is an Android app to find any AirTags or Find My Device items that have been hidden near you), but people tend not to criticise Apple’s walled-garden as much as when Samsung tries to do it. However, because more people in Australia have iPhones than Samsung Galaxy devices, it will slightly limit visibility of your SmartTag 2 device on the map if you lose it far from home.
Samsung SmartTag 2 verdict
Samsung SmartTag 2 is a really good way to find your lost keys/ cat/ bag/ whatever. It’s not perfect, I think there’s still a fair bit of room for improvement in the gen 3 model. But if you have a Samsung Galaxy device, and want a device to help you find stuff, and you don’t ever want to use it with any other kind of phone, this is your best option.
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