Samsung moved up ahead sometime in January by announcing their take on smart tracker devices, namely the Galaxy SmartTag and the yet to be released Galaxy SmartTag+. With the announcement of these two new smart tracker devices, Samsung users is in for a big additional advantage – never lose your things again.
I received the Galaxy SmartTag about two weeks ago and after reviewing the SmartTag, I find that it is very useful in few occasions. The idea of having a Galaxy SmartTag is to attach it to any of your things such as house/car keychain, bags, purse/wallet, laptop, tablets, cats/dogs – basically anything you want to track so that you don’t lose those things. It is a nifty little device you can rely on. And Samsung is setting the bar up high in the tracking device segment.
This is Galaxy SmartTag
The Galaxy SmartTag came in a small, lightweight box. I was worried that all I received was an empty box. But that’s a good thing I guess, it being light means the SmartTag itself is light and portable. It is a square pebble shaped little device. Very light and easy to attach to any of your belongings. In the box, you can only find the SmartTag and some paper works, that’s about it.
Looking at the Galaxy SmartTag itself, it is made of plastic. There is the SmartTag logo on one side, and Samsung branding on the other. On the SmartTag logo side, there is a small bump right on the logo. This bump is actually a button which you can press to activate the SmartTag. This can be used for three things. First, the initial press is to activate the device in order to pair with your phone, in this case, with the SmartThings app on your Galaxy phone.
Another function for the button is to locate your phone. You not only be able to locate your things with your phone, but when you have the SmartTag with you but lost your phone, you can double press the button to make your phone ring. So it goes both ways, you can locate your things or you can locate your phone. Cool eh?
And the third function of the button is to control your connected home devices. With the SmartThings connection, you can actually use the SmartTag to, let’s say, turn on your home light or switch on the air-conditioner with simple press commands. This is where Samsung has the edge when it comes to smart device connectivity. Even this small Galaxy SmartTag can do so many things.
The Galaxy SmartTag uses a low powered Bluetooth connectivity, also known as Bluetooth LE (low energy). The device can last for a very long time, estimated to be more than 6 months. It comes with a standard replaceable CR2032 button battery, which you can buy at a very cheap price at any hardware or DIY stores. To replace the battery, there is a slot big enough to insert a coin and pry it open. Just take out the old battery and put in the new one. It’s that simple.
How does it actually work?
Ok. Say you don’t want to lose your small bag. Although you will always have the bag with you, you still want to make sure it is safe and trackable. Just attach the Galaxy SmartTag to the bag’s zipper or simply put the SmartTag inside the bag and you’re good to go.
On paper, Samsung mentioned that it can track the device from up to 118 meters away. That is quite far if you really think about it. Keep in mind that this is a Bluetooth device, and Bluetooth range is not usually far. I’ve only managed to go up to 20 meters or so as a test. I opened up the SmartThings app on my phone and hit the search button. It immediately triggers the SmartTag to “ring” from afar. It is good to note that you can set the tone on the SmartTag to your liking. There are 10 different tones to choose from. So you have plenty of choices right there.
When I test the device vice versa, which is using the Galaxy SmartTag to find my phone, I can also go up to 20 meters in my house to trigger my phone to ring. I just go as far as I can and double press the button on the SmartTag. True enough, my phone started ringing and I’m able to find it easily. So if you lose your phone while being at your friend’s house or in a restaurant, just double press the SmartTag button. If you lose both devices, well….
You can actually use another Galaxy phone with SmartThings installed to locate the SmartTag. And when you’ve located the SmartTag, you can then use it to locate your phone. That’s another cool feature that you can use with the Galaxy SmartTag.
Is it worth it?
If you’re an avid Samsung fan and Galaxy user, the Galaxy SmartTag has an edge over its competitions. I would like to note that the Galaxy SmartTag works only with Samsung Galaxy phones with SmartThings app installed. And the upcoming SmartTag+ will likely be compatible with Galaxy S21 Ultra and Note20 Ultra only.
During the early promotions, you can get a free Galaxy SmartTag when you purchase a new Samsung Galaxy S21 series phone. But if you’re not one of the lucky ones, you can purchase a brand new Galaxy SmartTag at only RM99 from Samsung’s official store or any other participating stores. The price is reasonable for what you will get. I find that the SmartTag is very useful to have, especially when you always misplace your things. I might get another one for my car keys.
If you’re deep inside the Samsung ecosystem (like me), then the Galaxy SmartTag is for you. If you’re not on Samsung ecosystem, you won’t be able to use the Galaxy SmartTag. That is the only drawback which to me, is unfortunate. Otherwise, this is a great addition for Samsung users.