Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, to the test: a noisy device to find keys, a backpack or the dog
Almost half of the Spanish lose something at least once a week, according to an Ikea study. The time it takes to find it ranges from one to 10 minutes. Although a priori These figures do not seem too alarming, Ikea has calculated that throughout their lives they spend six and a half months looking for their belongings. Or what is the same: almost 5,000 hours. In order to reduce this time and find personal items easily, there are different locating devices. This is the case of the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, presented by the South Korean company in January.
EL PAÍS has tested this device for a few days, which costs about 40 euros and intends to cope to appliances Tile Y to the rumored Apple AirTags. The appliance, which is black and has a square shape, is simple, smooth and small. Its sides do not reach four centimeters and it weighs 13 grams. It is designed to be used as a keychain and thus be able to locate unconnected objects: from a backpack or keys to the car or even a dog. It would be enough to place the device on the pet’s collar to know where it is.
The first step in using it is to connect it to smartphone. The main limitation of this device is that it is only compatible with Samsung smartphones. Unlike other similar trackers like Tile, the Galaxy SmartTag cannot be used with any other Android phone, let alone an iPhone. If you have a Samsung mobile, you just have to press on the back of the SmartTag. After doing so, a popup window suggests the user to add the device to the app SmartThings.
The appliance works with bluetooth and allows you to locate objects about 120 meters away, although it will depend on the obstacles along the way, according to Samsung. The user can consult in the app SmartThings the location of the device on a map. Although the results offered by the application are quite accurate, tests carried out by this newspaper sometimes indicated that the Galaxy SmartTag was in the building next door.
As if it were a treasure hunt, a function called “search nearby” informs the user as he moves whether he is moving away or getting closer to the device. It does this by measuring the intensity of the signal. There is another option called “navigate” that allows you to follow a path to the place where the Galaxy SmartTag is located. But probably the most useful function, especially if an object is lost in a confined space, is to ring the device, which is quite noisy. The user can choose between two volumes and 10 piercing metallic melodies to find their belongings. This function can be useful for example to find keys stored in a drawer or pocket or hidden under a pile of clothes.
In the event that the device is further away, Samsung does not track the location in real time. That is, the user will not be able to see a point on a map that moves precisely if, for example, the backpack is stolen. Even so, the manufacturer allows you to use the Galaxy Find network. “Show the location of your locator on a map so other Galaxy users can help you if you lose it,” the company says. The device emits a signal that can also be detected by other Samsung devices with the SmartThings application installed. The South Korean brand ensures that all SmartThings Find user data is encrypted and securely protected.
In addition to being located, the device is also designed to find a mobile or tablet. If this function is activated, by pressing twice on the locator, the mobile will begin to ring. The Galaxy SmartTag can also be used to remotely control smart home devices. Through the SmartThings app, users can configure the functions that will be executed when the button on the appliance is briefly pressed. For example, they can choose whether to turn on the light, change the temperature, or turn off the air purifier. Of course, the smart devices in the house have to be registered within the SmartThings application in order to be used.
The battery in this device is interchangeable and lasts up to 300 days, according to Samsung. However, its useful life may vary depending on the users’ use pattern. With this device, the South Korean brand intends to further expand its ecosystem of connected devices. And he has no intention of stopping. In fact, it plans to launch another more powerful device called SmartTag + that uses UWB (ultra-wideband) technology soon.