Review: Chipolo ONE Spot is the only real alternative to AirTag | AppleInsider

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Chipolo One Spot is a Bluetooth tracker with Find My certification, making it the only comparable alternative to Apple AirTag, and one that’s also slightly cheaper.

Bluetooth item trackers have ramped up in popularity in recent years, and it came as no surprise when Apple released a version of its own in the form of AirTag. But, since Apple also opened up the Find My app to third-party vendors, other devices are starting to come to market with this integration.

Design

If you’ve seen any other Chipolo tracker, be it the ONE or the Ocean Edition, you’ve basically seen the One Spot. It looks identical with a round shape, a keyhole for attaching to bags or keychains, and a logo stamped on the front.

Chipolo ONE Ocean Edition and Chipolo ONE Spot

The battery is replaceable, so that when it eventually dies, you’re able to swap it out rather than trash the tracker as a whole. It sports IPX5 water resistance, which is enough to hold back the rain but prevents the tracker from being submerged.

The center is a button used for the first-time configuration. It’s also a chime, to audibly assist you as you get near your device.

Find My support

Chipolo has a range of other Bluetooth item trackers, but the One Spot stands out by being the only other tracker than AirTag to support the Find My app and take advantage of the Find My network.

Pairing Chipolo ONE Spot with iPhone

Pairing Chipolo ONE Spot with iPhone

By tapping into the massive army of iPhones, iPads, and Macs, there are countless millions of devices around the world that are able to report back your tracker’s location. For example, if you leave your keys in the cushion of a cafe, the location will be sent back to the tracker’s owner entirely in the background, whenever a supporting Apple device passes by..

Chipolo ONE Spot in Find My

Chipolo ONE Spot in Find My

Instead of relying on a third-party Chipolo app, everything is managed in Find My — from setup to tracking.

To pair the Chipolo One Spot:

  • Open the Find My app and head to the new Items tab
  • Tap on “Add New Item”
  • Choose “Other Support Item” on the popup card
  • Then press the center of the One Spot after which you’ll hear a chime
  • Tap “connect” once it appears
  • Assign a name and emoji to your tracker

Once added to the Find My app, your Chipolo One Spot will show along any AirTags you have, or any other Find My-enabled products. You can see its location on the map where it was last seen, as well as when that was.

Chipolo ONE Spot settings in Find My

Chipolo ONE Spot settings in Find My

If you tap on the item in the list, it shows all the necessary information for your tracker. You can view the battery life, see when it was last online, can get directions to where it is, enable notifications and lost mode, or play a sound.

On the occasion you want to reattach a tracker used on a keychain to your bicycle, you can rename the tracker to more easily recognize what is being tracked. There’s also an option to remove the tracker entirely.

Outside of Find My, you’re able to ask Siri to assist you too. When you ask Siri to find your tracker it will immediately start playing the chime if nearby.

During our testing, it was always reliable. We were even able to invoke the chime using our HomePod which was very handy while around the house.

One Spot or AirTag?

The most common query that arises is how the Chipolo One Spot compares to Apple’s own AirTag. There are three primary ways that the devices differ.

For AirTag, Apple is using its own U1 ultra-wideband chip to enable precision tracking within the Find My app. It can provide an exact heading on your iPhone, as well as the distance to the device you are seeking.

Chipolo instead uses Bluetooth to give you a general idea of where your object is, and largely relies on the audible tone to help find your item.

That said, Chipolo does have a much louder speaker than AirTag so it is easier to find. Chipolo approaches 120dB, while AirTag was roughly 86dB in our tests.

Chipolo ONE Spot and AirTag

Chipolo ONE Spot and AirTag

Another major differentiator is the NFC chip found in AirTag. When in lost mode, any iPhone or Android user can tap on a found AirTag to see a message about the owner and how to return the item.

Chipolo lacks this feature entirely, though items can still be put into lost mode.

Finally, there’s the price. AirTag runs you $29 for a single tag whereas Chipolo One Spot costs $28 — a slight undercut. Furthermore, a four-pack of AirTag costs $99 and a four-pack of One Spot costs $90.

There’s additional savings in accessories as Chipolo’s built-in key ring reduces the need to buy a loop or holder if it’s being attached to your bag or keychain.

Available now

Both AirTag and Chipolo One Spot are solid device trackers. While Apple’s may still have the edge in the form of the U1, Chipolo’s lower price tag and rugged design make it a solid option for many users. It was easy to set up, reliable, and can be found by almost any Apple product worldwide.

If you want something other than AirTag, Chipolo One Spot is your best bet.

  • Support for Find My app
  • Just as likely to be found as AirTag when lost
  • Rugged plastic shell
  • Built-in keyhole
  • Replacable battery
  • Easy setup
  • Only comes in black
  • No NFC or ultra-wideband
  • Only slight savings over AirTag

Rating: 4 out of 5

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