Should you buy Apple’s AirTag or Chipolo ONE?

Apple’s ecosystem

Apple AirTag

$29 at Apple

Pros

  • Seamless integration with Find My app
  • Accessories and personalization available
  • Uses Bluetooth LE, U1, and NFC
  • Privacy and security are top priority
  • Easily replaceable CR2032 battery
  • Water and dust-resistant with IP67 rating

Cons

  • U1 ultra-wideband chip works only with iPhone 11 and 12 devices
  • Apple-exclusive

Surprisingly affordable coming from Apple, AirTags integrate seamlessly with the Find My app to track your important items. Using Bluetooth Low Energy, the AirTag pairs with your iPhone. The U1 chip allows precision tracking with iPhone 11 and 12 devices. You get the full power of Apple’s vast network if your AirTag is lost outside of Bluetooth range. The battery lasts about a year and is user-replaceable. Apple makes your privacy and security a top priority.

Save a few bucks

Chipolo ONE

$25 at Amazon

Pros

  • Cheaper than AirTag
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Two-year battery life and replaceable CR2032 battery
  • “Ring to find” button
  • Free out-of-range alerts
  • Acts as shutter remote for phone camera
  • Cross-platform

Cons

  • Limited ecosystem
  • Must use Chipolo app

Chipolo ONE is a solid tracker that comes in a variety of colors and a pleasing price point. It’s a cross-platform device you can connect to any smartphone. Not only can you use your phone to find your Chipolo ONE, but you can also use your Chipolo ONE to find your phone. You can get an out-of-range alert if you leave your Chipolo ONE behind. But you have to use Chipolo’s app and rely on a limited network of Chipolo users to find a Chipolo tracker outside of the Bluetooth range.

If you are an iPhone user, Apple’s AirTag is a clear choice. The seamless integration with Apple’s Find My app makes the AirTag easy to use. If you do lose your AirTag outside of Bluetooth range, you have nearly a billion iPhone users that will help you find it (without even knowing it.) With the Chipolo ONE, you have a much smaller user base.

Apple AirTags vs. Chipolo ONE: Breaking it down

To clarify, this article is comparing Apple AirTag to the Chipolo ONE, not the newly announced Chipolo ONE Spot which connects to Apple’s Find My network. Let’s see how they compare.

Apple AirTagChipolo ONE
Price$29 each, $99 for 4-pack$25 each, $75 for 4-pack
ConnectivityBluetooth LE, U1, NFCBluetooth
AppFind MyChipolo
BatteryUser-replaceable CR2032User-replaceable CR2032
Expected battery lifeOne yearTwo years
NotificationsIncludedIncluded
Precision FindingYes (iPhone 11 and 12 models only)No
AccessoriesManyLimited
PersonalizationFree engravingNo
Water and dust-resistance ratingIP67IPX5
Works as camera remoteNoYes
Works with non-Apple smartphonesNoYes

There’s plenty of unpack here, so when it comes to selecting a tracker, let’s dig deeper to see which might be the best choice for you.

Apple AirTags vs. Chipolo ONE: Why AirTag?

If you’re an iPhone user and you’re wondering which tracker to buy, I’d recommend the AirTag. It’s just a few dollars more than the Chipolo ONE and fits so beautifully into the Apple ecosystem. Pairing is as easy as pairing with AirPods; simply bring your new AirTag near your iPhone, and the option to pair will pop up. Once paired, you can use the same Find My app that you’re already using to track your collection of Apple products to find your AirTags.

When you lose your AirTag (and the item it’s attached to) within Bluetooth range, the FindMy app does more than just ping your AirTag — it also gives you detailed directions on your phone. If it’s lost outside of Bluetooth range, the Find My app will give you its last known location. Plus, anytime an iPhone user comes within the Bluetooth range, you’ll be updated about your AirTag’s location.

Apple places a high priority on security and privacy. Though a user base of nearly one billion iPhone users will help you find your lost AirTag, neither they nor Apple will actually know your AirTag’s location. If someone finds your lost AirTag in the wild, NFC technology allows them to see your pre-set contact information so they can return it to you. This is true even if the other person has a non-Apple smartphone.

You can have your AirTag personalized with up to four characters or emoji for free when you order it. There are tons of AirTag accessories to personalize it further and attach it to whatever items you wish. You can have up to 16 AirTags on a single Apple ID.

Apple AirTags vs. Chipolo ONE: Why Chipolo ONE?

If you don’t have an iPhone, you’ll want to go with Chipolo ONE, the cross-platform choice with a huge list of supported devices. Even if you use an iPhone, you still may want to consider it for a few reasons. First of all, it is slightly cheaper. It does allow you to ping your phone, and it acts as a camera remote. These are both features of the Apple Watch, but if you don’t wear one, it’s handy to have. It does come in a bunch of different colors, although it’s plastic and not engravable.

You can ping your Chipolo ONE using just your voice. It’s compatible with Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa on smart speakers and mobile devices (with the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa app installed).

The biggest advantage the Chipolo ONE has over any other tracker on the market is free out-of-range notification. In other words, if you have a Chipolo ONE on your keys and you leave the house without them, your phone will notify you. Chipolo doesn’t charge for this feature (unlike Tile, which does).

Wondering about how Tile fits in? Read our AirTag vs Tile Mate and AirTag vs Tile Pro comparisons to find out.

Apple AirTags vs. Chipolo ONE: Which should you buy?

For most iPhone users, Apple’s AirTag is the clear winner. However, the AirTag isn’t compatible with other smartphones. So if you’ll be tracking your items with a non-Apple phone, go for the Chipolo ONE. AirTag’s ease of use, seamless integration, precision location, privacy/security features, huge user base (for lost item tracking), and personalization options make it tough to beat. But even iPhone users may prefer Chipolo’s colorful selection, out-of-range alerts, and cross-platform possibilities.

Seamless

Apple AirTag

Fits right in

$29 at Apple

For the iPhone user, the AirTag experience is seamless and lets you track just about anything.

Across platforms

Chipolo ONE

Any smartphone

$25 at Amazon

Connect your Chipolo ONE to any smartphone and track your important stuff.

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