Sprint is the latest US carrier to begin selling a personal tracking device that can be attached to or kept with something you can’t afford to lose. The new device, described by Sprint as “matchbook-sized,” is called the “Tracker + Safe & Found.” Customers can get it by paying $2.50 per month for 24 months (a total of $60), plus $5 more every month for service.
Like similar products from AT&T and more recently Verizon, Sprint is talking up the advantages of its own gadget when compared to a Tile tracker. The latter depends largely on Bluetooth to function, but it’s significantly cheaper than these carrier-sold devices and doesn’t require a monthly service fee. But if you need the more thorough and capable tracking that relies on Sprint’s LTE network and standalone GPS, the Tracker might be a better option. Sprint’s competitors give buyers a free year of service for buying their respective tracking gadgets outright, but that’s not the case here. Instead, Sprint is offering a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As for what you might do with the Tracker, Sprint has some ideas:
- Attach it to your kid’s backpack
- Put it on your dog’s collar
- Keep it inside your suitcase
- Stick it to a car
There’s a light sensor on the Tracker, so if you stick it in a bag, you’ll be able to tell if someone else opened it without your knowledge. Like a Tile, there’s a speaker that can emit a tone to make it easier to find when you’re nearby. And an SOS function will automatically message your chosen contacts that you need help if you press the button three times in succession.
Sprint says that most customers can expect a battery life of three to 10 days, which is quite a wide range. But you’ll get a warning in the companion Safe & Found mobile app when the Tracker drops to 15 percent.
Aside from taking on Tile, the carriers also seem to be doing their best to get out ahead of a rumored tracking device from Apple. The “Tag” product is referenced in iOS 13 code and is expected to integrate with the company’s Find My app.
I guess it’s your turn next, T-Mobile.