Why it matters: Samsung's new LTE-M SmartThings Tracker isn't exactly cheap but if keeping tabs on must-have items or loved ones is a top priority, it'll do a far better job than cheaper Bluetooth-based alternatives.
Portable tracking devices like those offered by Tile and TrackR are incredibly handy for keeping tabs on valuables and oft misplaced items like keys but they’re not perfect. Bluetooth’s limited range means pinging a tracker can be hit or miss but that won’t be an issue with Samsung’s latest offering.
The new SmartThings Tracker is a GPS tracker that connects using LTE-M technology. It can be easily attached to keys, backpacks or even pet collars for improved tracking accuracy, like when indoors or below street level. Double-tapping the device’s power button will send a notification of its location to the SmartThings app, handy for letting kids check in without having to pick up a phone.
The SmartThings Tracker can also act as a geo-fencing device. For example, you can set up a virtual perimeter around your backyard that’ll trigger an alert if the dog jumps the fence. Or, use the tracker as a proximity sensor to trigger smart home automations like turning on the lights or adjusting the thermostat when you get close to home.
Samsung says its new tracker can last up to a week on a single charge and carries an IP68 water resistance rating.
The SmartThings Tracker launches on September 14 through AT&T and is coming to Verizon later this year. Expect to pay $99 for the opportunity which includes 12 months of LTE-M service. After that, it’ll cost you $5 per month or $50 a year to maintain the connection.