What is it?
Out of Tile’s complete range of Bluetooth tracking devices, the Mate is the least expensive. Is it worth the cash or do you need a more expensive option?
What's it like?
Priced at £20 direct from Tile’s website, the basic Tile Mate package gets you a single Tile and nothing else, although the only other thing you need to get started is the companion app which is a free download for iOS and Android.
Once you’ve got that on your smartphone, link the two via Bluetooth and you can find one with the other; lose whatever your Tile is attached to and you can make it bleep so you can find it by sound, or use the map function to search out its last known location.
Conversely, if you lose your phone you can double press the Tile’s button to make your phone ring, even if it’s on silent. You can also run the Tile with Apple iPad from 2012 onwards, iPad Mini, iPod Touch and Apple Watch, and most Android devices running 4.4 or later and Bluetooth 4.0 or later.
Tile Mate, alongside Tile Slim, are in the ‘non-Pro’ range of Tile products and so have the more basic specification. That means their Bluetooth range is 45m (which was upgraded from 30m in 2018) compared to 90m for the Pro tiles (also upgraded from 60m), and their volume is half that of the more expensive options.
They are dust and water resistant to IP55 standards too. Basically, this means that your Tile is splash-proof, but it’s not currently set for underwater use.
Other than specification, the key difference between Tile Mate, Slim and the fancier Pro versions is size. Mate is actually the smallest of the lot, being 3.5mm shorter and narrower than the next-smallest Tile Style and is comfortably the lightest too by 3.2g.
Obviously not as slim as the Slim, it is nonetheless slimmer than both the Pro Tiles, making it comfortably the most discreet option of the lot.
Better yet, its thickness means it has a hole in the corner allowing it to be attached via a strap or a keychain, unlike the Slim which has to be inserted in a pocket or stuck on with optional mounts instead.
In 2018, the battery system was upgraded to give the Mate, as well as the Pro, replaceable batteries. The replacement battery, which can be changed via a sliding door, means the reTile programme - which lets you return your old Tile and get a 40 per cent discount on a new one - is no more.
Should I buy one?
If losing things is a regular occurrence in your life then the Tile might make a great deal of sense as a purchase. In particular, the Tile Mate has a lot going for it even compared to the other products in the range, being the smallest and lightest version as well as the cheapest.
Depending on how you plan to use it the more expensive Pro versions might be better suited, particularly if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, but as a means of keeping track of your stuff within the home or office it is arguably the pick of the bunch.