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TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Launched as an Indiegogo project in the middle of last year, the TrackR Bravo is a follow up product to the StickR TrackR, a small coin-sized Bluetooth-enabled device designed to attach to valuable items so they can be located using the TrackR app.

As of today, the TrackR Bravo, which is smaller and lighter than the company's previous-generation products, has begun shipping out to customers. Like the original TrackR products, the TrackR Bravo attaches to items and gives out alerts via an iPhone app when an item is misplaced, preventing keys, cameras, and other small objects from being lost.


Ahead of the product's launch, TrackR sent MacRumors a TrackR Bravo to review, so read on to see how it works and what we thought of it.

Design

The TrackR Bravo is slightly larger than a quarter, and approximately as large as two quarters stacked on top of each other. It is circular in shape, with a small loop at the top that allows it to be attached to a keyring for fastening to keys, pet collars, and more.


It has a colorful anodized aluminum housing, and it's small enough to fit comfortably in a purse, wallet, or camera bag.

How it Works

The TrackR Bravo has built-in Bluetooth 4.0, with a 100 foot range. It works in conjunction with the TrackR app, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

After registering for a TrackR account within the app, the TrackR Bravo can be activated by choosing "Add a New Device" and pressing the Bluetooth activation button on the TrackR. The app supports 10 different TrackR Bravo devices, so multiple items can be tracked at the same time.


Click here to read more...

Article Link: TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items
 

richard4339

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
867
85
Illinois
How long is the battery life?

It says in the article one year.

My question is more of how this would compare to say a Tile? They do feature some upgrades to this such as the device itself making a sound. They're also cheaper, but don't have the user replaceable battery (meaning cheaper up front but more expensive long run).
 
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pdaholic

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2011
1,328
1,182
I have a Pauly Bluetooth tracker I bought off Amazon a year or so ago. They keep updating the app, and it's working well. Helped me find my wallet multiple times #
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,317
1,081
It says in the article one year.

My question is more of how this would compare to say a Tile? They do feature some upgrades to this such as the device itself making a sound. They're also cheaper, but don't have the user replaceable battery (meaning cheaper up front but more expensive long run).

It's hard to tell which one you're talking about: but both the Tile and Trackr Bravo can play sound out of the device.
 
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2bikes

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2012
420
4
It says in the article one year.

My question is more of how this would compare to say a Tile? They do feature some upgrades to this such as the device itself making a sound. They're also cheaper, but don't have the user replaceable battery (meaning cheaper up front but more expensive long run).

I think the replaceable battery in TrackR makes it more attractive. It beats the price difference of $5 compared to Tile.
 
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friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,317
1,081
I'm definitely going to buy some of these.

I have a Tile on my keyring and it works well enough. However, my wife loses her cell phone daily (yes, in our 600 sq. ft. studio apartment!) so she will love the "page your phone" feature on these. She will use Find My iPhone if she REALLY can't locate her phone... but it's a pain to use compared to just pressing a button on one of these...

It will be interesting to see which of these "community tracking" devices really takes hold (if any). To help things along I think I might buy a few for my coworkers and friends so they have some incentive to have the app on their phone and possibly locate my stuff that I leave at work or at their houses ;-)
 
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Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
7,000
3,316
Here
I need something like this for my stupid wallet! I lose it around my house all the time! :mad:

I even bought a cheap box to keep my keys, watch, and wallet in...didn't work. ;)
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,926
4,787
When using this feature, it often took several presses to get the sound to activate, but it did work reliably.

Your definition of "reliably" differs from mine... having to press the button more than once for it to activate means that it works "sometimes", or "occasionally", not "reliably", in my book.

I'm considering this... if I could buy a pack of 3 or something for $30, I'd do it, but 1 for $30 just seems too expensive.

Edit: Hm, they do offer discounts for bulk buying:

1 for $29
3 for $58 ($19.33 each)
5 for $87 ($17.40 each)
8 for $116 ($14.50 each)

Could split the 8 with someone... each person gets 4 for $58...
 
Last edited:
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,362
12,404
Europe
I don't really understand the utility of these. A range of up to 100ft only, and according to many reviews the range is actually far less than that, seems pretty useless.

I especially fail to see the value in using these over the standard "key finder" gizmos that are for sale in most knick-knack stores. Those are based on RF, get about the range of usefulness (or uselessness, if you will), but cost far less.

As for doing a reverse lookup, using the tracker to find the phone, findmyiphone does this already and does it better and for free, imo.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,159
15,116
Central U.S.
I wonder if the Apple Watch will have a setting to make it beep if you leave your iPhone behind? That's the only reason I would want something like this, but if the Apple Watch can do it then that's another +1 in the Apple Watch column for me. Seems like a natural feature since it needs an iPhone to work most of the time. Would be even better if it only alerted you when you're at your work zone or home zone, or even during specific times of the day. If I know I'll be home most evenings, I don't want it to freak out when I leave my iPhone on the couch and run upstairs.
 
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VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
I don't really understand the utility of these. A range of up to 100ft only, and according to many reviews the range is actually far less than that, seems pretty useless.

I especially fail to see the value in using these over the standard "key finder" gizmos that are for sale in most knick-knack stores. Those are based on RF, get about the range of usefulness (or uselessness, if you will), but cost far less.

As for doing a reverse lookup, using the tracker to find the phone, findmyiphone does this already and does it better and for free, imo.

I couldn't find my wallet the other day... wasn't sure if I put in the house somewhere, left it in the car, or at the restaurant. I had to hunt all over the place and it was in the car... between the console and seat. Would have been nice to know that.

I ordered a 3-pack. I'm getting one for my wallet, one for my passport wallet, and I'll try another in my camera bag, although I suspect that will be less useful.

As for finding your phone, I agree, there are better ways to do that... call it or use find my iPhone.

I wonder if the Apple Watch will have a setting to make it beep if you leave your iPhone behind? That's the only reason I would want something like this, but if the Apple Watch can do it then that's another +1 in the Apple Watch column for me. Seems like a natural feature since it needs an iPhone to work most of the time. Would be even better if it only alerted you when you're at your work zone or home zone, or even during specific times of the day. If I know I'll be home most evenings, I don't want it to freak out when I leave my iPhone on the couch and run upstairs.

Great idea. Would be nice to see the TrackR folks also do a watch app.
 
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manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
6,880
2,784
I don't really understand the utility of these. A range of up to 100ft only, and according to many reviews the range is actually far less than that, seems pretty useless.

I especially fail to see the value in using these over the standard "key finder" gizmos that are for sale in most knick-knack stores. Those are based on RF, get about the range of usefulness (or uselessness, if you will), but cost far less.
I am not sure whether TrackR offers this as well but Tile will show you where your phone last saw it. Doesn't help to find something in your house/apartment but if you loose something outside it can tell you where to start looking for it which is what the RF based ones can't.
 
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VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
I am not sure whether TrackR offers this as well but Tile will show you where your phone last saw it. Doesn't help to find something in your house/apartment but if you loose something outside it can tell you where to start looking for it which is what the RF based ones can't.

Apparently it does show this, which is a killer feature for a device like this.
 
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hagar

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2008
862
1,708
I have the previous generation Trackr, and it's completely useless. It almost never reconnects after the Bluetooth connection has been lost. I have now requested a replacement unit, and the same problems continue to exist. For me this was good idea but a bad execution.
 
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manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
6,880
2,784
I have the previous generation Trackr, and it's completely useless. It almost never reconnects after the Bluetooth connection has been lost. I have now requested a replacement unit, and the same problems continue to exist. For me this was good idea but a bad execution.

For what it is worth, I have never had any such problems with my Tiles.
 
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PJL500

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
264
165
The Tile was never a starter for me with it's non-replaceable one-year battery.

This I like but it seems like it's not ready yet. :confused:
 
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Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,661
63
Near London, UK.
I have the previous generation Trackr, and it's completely useless. It almost never reconnects after the Bluetooth connection has been lost. I have now requested a replacement unit, and the same problems continue to exist. For me this was good idea but a bad execution.

Same here, I had three of the originals but they all went wrong.
This seems to have fixed one of the issues, the almost impossible to connect loop of cord, but the original also had a flaky internal battery connection that caused bluetooth loss and issues, much shorter range bluetooth reception than 100ft that caused the alarm to continually sound in my house (though I think thats fixed with wifi geofencing now), and a general host of bluetooth connectivity issues.

I wouldn't buy another set unless I found the new model had fixed these issues also.
 
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HowEver

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
784
256
Toronto
I got a refund for most of my Tiles well before the one year battery fail because they simply stopped working, and never reconnected. If TrackR bravo works better, great.

Tile stopped offering replacements for Canada, btw; no idea why but they said they stopped shipping here. Given the importance of a crowd-find feature, I can't imagine why anyone would continue to use Tile in Canada now.
 
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