It seems the location-tracking accessory/dongle/keyfob/whatever-you-want-to-call-it war is on.
We’ve just recently covered Samsung’s SmartTag+ and Apple’s AirTag location trackers, and now it seems that mobile carriers want in on the action. USA-based mobile provider T-Mobile has just announced its own Tile competitor in the way of the SyncUp Tracker.
Much like the Tile, Samsung SmartTag+, and Apple’s AirTag, the SyncUp is an accessory that helps you locate lost items. Slip it in a bag or attach it to a pair of keys, and in the event your item goes missing, it can be tracked via your smartphone.
But, T-Mobile’s offering has a distinct advantage. While other trackers rely on technologies like Bluetooth and UWB (and a network of other people’s smartphones) to track missing items, T-Mobile has an entire mobile network at its disposal. The SyncUp uses an LTE connection to pinpoint location, which (in theory) is a much more robust, reliable location tracking system. You’ll be able to find it, even if you’re outr of bluetooth range and no other smartphone users are around. This could be a massive benefit for people in rural or suburban areas.
The downside, of course, is battery life. The benefit of the low-energy bluetooth and passive location tracking technologies used by Apple’s Airtag, for example, is that they sip battery. The AirTag lasts a year on a single charge, for example. Constantly being connected to LTE, the SyncUp’s 900mAh battery is said to last “up to seven days.”