Who says that tech has to be rugged and manly? Tile provides tech with style!
It is often difficult to get my wife to buy into a new technology. Usually, she thinks that it is dumb, or ugly or both. In the ten years that we have been married, I have heard nearly every excuse imaginable, as to why she does not want some ugly thing cluttering her home, purse, keys, etc. Luckily, or rather unluckily, this idea changed when she left her Samsung Galaxy on the bathroom sink, at our local mall. She went back for her phone roughly 5 minutes later but it was gone. We had backed up her phone relatively recently and thus did not lose much. However, we were now out the price of a new device. We checked the cell phone kiosk in the mall, the surrounding area and we checked the trash cans. She had no apps to help find the phone and she had no gadgets either. That day she was sold on the Tile; she knew that if she had a Tile on her keychain, she may have found her phone.
The Tile style arrives packaged inside of a very appealing retail box. The front of the packaging has a small clear window, located at the bottom right of the box. This is one of my favorite forms of product packaging, as it allows the user to see the product directly. The style is beautiful. The textured white background and the gold surrounding accent, with the central gold disk, screams fashion. The Tile Style is nestled in gray foam and can be easily removed by pressing on the back of the sheet. Once you remove the device, it is essentially ready to use and requires no charging. Besides the “pretty” shell, my wife absolutely loves the idea that she does no need to do anything to make this thing work. I was able to set this up for her completely, in just under a few minutes. Download the app, add the Tile Style and then minimize the app. You will likely not need the multilingual 20-page instruction manual (English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, French) to set up this device. If the fashion statement is not enough to sway you to buy a Tile Style, the packaging promises twice the range, waterproof status and that the device is twice as loud.
When evaluating the various types of Tile, the website provides a very useful chart to categorize them into a few groups. The previous generations of Tiles include the Tile mate (keyring) and tile slim (wallet/purse). Each device will allow for roughly a 100 ft detection range, a reasonable volume (1x volume used for comparison), reasonable water and dust resistance IP57 (1 m for 30 min), and white/silver accented color. The Tile Mate measures 34mm by 34 mm by 4.65mm and the tile slim measures 54mm by 54mm by 2.4mm thick. The devices weigh 6.1 grams and 9.3 grams. The new Tile Style enjoys double the range, with a 200-foot detection distance. Additionally, the device is listed as being twice as loud and has improved dust/water resistance, with an IP68 rating (1.5m for 1 hour). The current Tile Style is only available champagne and satin white. This color is more fashionista than techie or tactical and fits wonderfully on the zipper pull of a bag/purse or on a keyring. Similar to the Tile Sport, the Tile Style provides all of these new features but only adds a small amount to the size and heft. For double the volume and double the detection range, my wife and I would happily accept the 37.5 mm by 37.5 mm x 5.9mm thick dimensions. Weighing in at 11 grams, the Tile Style only weighs 1.7 grams more than the Tile slim and 4.9 grams more than the Tile mate. The style weighs 4 grams less than the sport.
I really like that the volume of the new Tile Pro Series (Style and Sport) was improved. I did a comparison between the Tile mate/slim and the Tile style and found that the style was, in fact, louder and was easier to find in a room. I had my wife hide her keys and I tried to find them. I also had her hide my keys with the Tile mate and tried to find them. The sound was louder with the Tile Style. I added the new Tile Style to the side of her purse and she could not be more pleased with the appearance. To test the range, we set her purse at 100 feet and activated each one. There was really no difference between the tile options. Using my driveway, we backed up to 125 feet and then 150 feet. In this scenario, the Tile mate and slip stopped working by the 125-foot mark. Using my iPhone 7 plus, I was able to activate the Tile Style about 75% of the time at 190 feet but dropped to <50% at 200 feet and <10% any further than that. We found that indoors this range was not accurate. Adding a single indoor wall, in between the device and the phone, essentially cut this distance in half. Adding two interior walls, meant I had to walk around pushing the button to get the phone to jingle. The new pro series provides a drastic enhancement upon the previous models of Tile and is well worth the upgrade.
If you have already used a previous version of Tile, you can attest to the easy utility of this app. My wife is very anti-tech and requires either an incredibly simple setup or that I do it for her. To download this App, go to the iOS App Store or to the Google Play store and download “Tile.” Once the app is open, all you need to do is to select the “+” icon in the top left and select “Add Tile.” Then you will press the logo once and it will make a jingle. Place the device by your phone and the Tile will activate. Scroll through the list until you find the Tile style and then select it. Choose the “find” option and the Tile will play a jingle. If you double press the central tile disk, you can make your phone jingle, even if in silent mode. Remember if you close the app, this step will not work. If you select options, you can view the Tile on the map, you can also select details and change the category, change the photo, and change the ringtone (my favorite is Bionic Birdie but my wife preferred Jumping Beans). The device uses Bluetooth low energy and the Tile App is regularly enhanced and the latest update was released on 8/21/17. Additionally, keep checking back for updated ringtones (holiday music). If you lose your device, you can rely on the network of Tile users to relay this information to you. There is one piece of information that is really important. To enjoy the find the phone feature, the Tile app will need to be open in the background. Otherwise, the phone will do nothing when the Tile is pressed.
The strength of the Tile is not based solely on the one device, but in the collective users of the device. If you lose your device, you can rely on the network of Tile users to relay the location information to you. Each Tile only has a lifespan of one year and you cannot change the battery. Some may love this feature and yet others may hate this. If you are nearing the end of your current Tile, you will get an email alert requesting that you consider using the re-tile option. They will send you a paid envelope and you can return your device for recycling. You will then get a discount on a new device, up to 40% off of the base price. I personally love the idea of upgrading technology, as it advances. I hate having to get stuck with old tech, with old features. This setup allows you to have the latest and greatest technology, at a discounted rate. I appreciate that the company allows you a discount and that they recycle the used tech.
My wife has been very pleased with her Tile style and really does not even know that it is there. Perhaps this is the best way to get her involved with tech. This does not happen often, she actually rated this device at 5/5 stars for peace of mind.
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