During Samsung’s Unpacked event just now, besides the new Galaxy S21 trio, the company also introduced a very special hardware: SmartTag. It is a direct competitor to the Tile, a small Bluetooth transmitter that helps users locate lost items like keys, phones, pets, and anything it is attached to. Galaxy S21 buyers will receive a free SmartTag from Samsung.
There is a lot to know about this junk finder. First, SmartTage will connect to SmartThings Find, which is integrated directly into Galaxy phones – in which SmartThings is also the hub for Samsung smart home devices. There will also be 2 versions of SmartTag, not just one.
While it’s a battery-powered device, the company doesn’t disclose the type of battery it uses or its battery life. Moreover, it is not clear whether it is possible to replace a new battery for the device when the old battery is bottled or can no longer be used?
How does SmartTag find lost objects?
When you need to find something, open the SmartThings Find app on your phone and select the Find tab, locate the device you want to locate and wait for it to download information.
If you are close enough to the lost device, you can use the on-screen ruler to see the distance to the object. The denser the signal, the closer we are to it. To help find this tracker, you can make it make a sound.
Why are there 2 types of SmartTag?
There are 2 different types of SmartTags. The first is the one included with the Galaxy S21 series, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy as a connection standard. The other version, called SmartTag Plus, uses an ultrawideband (UWB) connection to work.
There are 2 versions of SmartTag because not all Samsung phones use UWB, while they all support BLE. Currently only Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra support this connection. But what is the difference between them?
Using SmartTag BLE-connected version, you will not be able to see the exact location of the item, only the estimated distance to the object. The technology is similar to transferring music from your phone to wireless headphones or letting your phone act as an unlocking device.
Meanwhile, with UWB connection, phones and trackers can communicate directly with each other to estimate distances more accurately, up to several centimeters. Using a series of shortwave pulses, a UWB device can measure distances by calculating the time from when it transmits a pulse until it receives a response from other UWB transmitters. Therefore, it is much more accurate than conventional BLE connection.
An extra feature for UWB connectivity is that you can use the augmented reality mode in the SmartThings Find app to mark your device’s location in the real world, instead of just a measure of where you are. How far is the item looking for? This will help you find the lost item more quickly and conveniently.
Release date and price
However, both versions are not released together at this time. Currently, the company has only released the version that uses the BLE connection first, and then the version with the UWB connection – but the company has not said when. Therefore, it is possible that the SmartTag version offered to those who pre-order the Galaxy S21 is a BLE version.
If purchased separately, SmartTag BLE version will cost 30 USD per unit, 50 USD for 2 units and 85 USD for a set of 4. The UWB version will cost $ 40 each at launch and $ 65 when you buy two.