Samsung jumped into the smart tracker fray back in 2021 with the Galaxy SmartTag. It was a good product but still had a lot of room for improvement. Two years on, Samsung has overhauled the smart tracker with its new Galaxy SmartTag 2. It has significantly elevated the Bluetooth-powered tracker’s capabilities, UWB is now onboard, and when coupled with the new design, it stands in a league of its own.
Let’s look at all of the new features and how the new design improves the user experience in this detailed Samsung Galaxy SmartTag 2 review. Spoiler alert: You may seriously want to buy one by the end of this review.
Samsung has completely redesigned the SmartTag 2. It now has an oblong shape with a bigger keyring which makes it very easy to slide the tracker inside your existing keychain without needing to buy a separate accessory. The larger opening also makes it easy to attach the tracker to a wider variety of objects. Samsung is particularly highlighting the tracker’s suitability for your pet’s collar.
There’s a button in the middle that offers some useful functionality that we’ll dive into later in this review. It’s great that this tracker as an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, making it more capable of withstanding the elements should you ever forget whatever it’s attached to outside.
Like its predecessor, the SmartTag 2 is only compatible with Samsung devices. You can’t use it with any other Android phone or an iPhone for that matter. Then again, given the nature of how these trackers work, similar gadgets from the likes of Apple work within their own ecosystem only as well.
Setting up the Galaxy SmartTag 2 with your Samsung device is extremely easy. Take it out of the box and place it next to your phone and it will automatically be detected. Follow the prompts and within seconds the tracker will be connected to your phones and added to SmartThings, Samsung’s IoT platform. This added seamlessness and simplicity is much appreciated!
It’s a very cool technology that works behind the scenes to help you find your SmartTag 2, as SmartThings Head Jaeyeon Jung explained to us during an exclusive talk at SDC 2023, where the SmartTag 2 was unveiled.
The SmartThings Find network consists of Scanner Nodes. These are your Galaxy phones, Samsung TVs, SmartThings Stations, etc, and findable devices like the SmartTags. The findable devices are always beaconing. They’re constantly sending out a signal waiting to be found. The Scanner Nodes are Samsung devices that have opted into the SmartThings Find network. Once they detect a signal from a findable device, they instantly relay that to the SmartThings platform, so you can see on the app an approximate location of where your lost SmartTag 2 last pinged from.
Simply put, someone with a Samsung device opted in for SmartThings Find needs to walk by your SmartTag 2 for it to update its location on the app. Since there are now over 300 million compatible devices on the platform, chances are you’re going to get updated pings of the approximate location every few minutes. That was my experience testing it extensively across different cities and countries. Like all other trackers, this is approximate location and not real-time tracking, so you won’t see the tracker moving around live.
Being able to see the location history of the last seven days is a neat little feature. You can see all of the locations where the SmartTag 2 was picked up over the previous week. However, I would have liked for the history to be provided for a longer duration to potentially be exported off the SmartThings app.
Despite these improvements, it’s great to see that the battery life has been increased as well. Samsung says that the SmartTag 2 can last for up to 500 days on a new battery and even up to 700 when the new Power Saving Mode is enabled. It obviously hasn’t been that long since this device was launched so we’ll wait and see, but for the couple of months we’ve had it, the battery life is still showing as sufficient in the app.
There’s a handy feature that lets you find the phone or tablet that the tracker is synced to by just a press of the center button. This button is programmable so you can select different actions for a single press and long press. The double press is reserved for finding your device, which will ring when you use this functionality. As someone who has a habit of often misplacing the phone, this feature has been a lifesaver for me.
The single press and long press can be mapped to SmartThings home automation functions. You can even add routines so that the key press initiates a whole sequence of automation tasks, such as dimming the lights, turning on the air-conditioner, etc. This is a very handy feature and makes the tag much more useful.
There’s a speaker inside the SmartTag 2 which sends out a high-pitched ringtone when you’re trying to find it. You can select the volume level from within the app and even choose different ringtones. There’s also a feature that notifies you when the tag is left behind. It’s useful if you have a habit of forgetting your keys, for example. As soon as your phones goes out of range, it’ll give you a notification that you’re leaving the SmartTag 2 behind so you don’t forget to take whatever it’s attached to along with you.
Lost mode is an optional feature you can enable from within the SmartThings app. You can provide contact information which will be displayed when another Samsung device picks up the tag’s location. That device owner will see the contact information you’ve provided so they can, hopefully, contact you and give you back whatever you lost.
The Search Nearby feature is a nifty addition. It’s powered by Ultra-Wideband technology that lets you more precisely locate the tracker with a UWB-equipped device like Samsung’s recent flagships when you’re close to it. The idea here is that once you get to the approximate location shown in the app, you can fire up Search Nearby to get the precise location.
This works really well and you can use your camera as well to get AR directions that literally point you in the right direction. I’ve particularly enjoyed using this feature at the baggage carousel at airports – finding my bags after a long flight has never been easier.
The SmartTag 2 is a massive improvement over its predecessor. It’s more capable, looks much better, has improved water resistance, better battery life, and with Samsung’s ever-expanding SmartThings ecosystem, it will almost always find itself in proximity to a device that pings its location.
This is now the must-have accessory for any Samsung device owner. I’ve gone from skipping the original SmartTag to having multiple SmartTag 2s, attaching one to my keys, leaving one in my car, having one in each of my travel bags, etc. It’s a no-brainer and I’d strongly recommend that you buy one (or more!) too.
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