Samsung has revealed its first location tracker, with the Galaxy SmartTag joining the Galaxy S21 Series today. Priced at under $30, it’s designed to help hunt down misplaced items like keys, pets, or TV remote controls, integrating with the new SmartThings Find platform.
It’s a segment we’re expecting to heat up considerably in 2021, as new – and familiar – names weigh into the tracker space. Dominated until now by Tile, along with Samsung’s rival we’re also waiting to see Apple’s much-rumored AirTags throw their location-based hat into the ring.
As with Tile, the Galaxy SmartTag promise is straightforward. Attached to an item you want to keep track of, it reports its location to SmartThings Find, accessed through the SmartThings app. If it’s nearby, the app hunts it down using Bluetooth Low Energy, with a green circle filling in to show how close you are physically.
You can make it ring remotely, in case your keys are in a bag or the remote is down the back of the couch cushions. Or, you can use it in reverse, making the phone ring by triggering it from the Galaxy SmartTag instead.
Despite two out of Samsung’s three new Galaxy S21 Series smartphones supporting Ultra Wide Band, however, this first Galaxy SmartTag does not. Though the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy S21+ have a UWB chipset inside – leaving the most affordable S21 out – the Galaxy SmartTag uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) instead.
It’s not to say UWB tracking isn’t in the pipeline, mind. That will pave the way for more precise location, tapping into the directionality of the chipset. One possibility, for instance, is being able to look at an augmented reality display of the room on your UWB-equipped smartphone’s screen, with graphics that flash to point you in the exact direction of where an UWB-based tracker is.
Anybody who preorders the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, or Galaxy S21 Ultra between January 14 and its in-store date of January 19 will get a free Galaxy SmartTag too. Individual tags will be priced at $29.99, but Samsung says it will also have bundles available that include multiple tags for a lower per-unit price.