Taking on AirTag, T-Mobile's SyncUp Tracker has LTE, seven days of battery

Posted:
in General Discussion
Hot on the heels of Apple's AirTag announcement, T-Mobile is launching the SyncUp Tracker, which uses LTE and GPS instead of Bluetooth or ultra-wideband (UWB) for locating lost items.

T-Mobile's SyncUp tracker uses LTE instead of Bluetooth or UWB
T-Mobile's SyncUp tracker uses LTE instead of Bluetooth or UWB


Like AirTag and Tile, customers can attach the SyncUp Tracker to items such as luggage, keys, bikes, wallets, or pets' collars. If users lose the item, they can attempt to locate it through a corresponding iOS app.

T-Mobile's $60 lost-item tracker works with the SyncUp app, which will be available for free on the App Store.

While Apple's AirTag doesn't have a built-in cellular connection, it can tap into Apple's Find My network when the tracker is out of reach of the user's iPhone. This method calls upon any nearby Apple devices to transmit the AirTag's location data.

Apple's approach temporarily employs strangers' devices when out of reach. However, the method doesn't use detectable amounts of mobile data, and it encrypts user data fully.

SyncUp's built-in LTE may not provide any significant advantages over AirTag's approach for people who would only misplace their items in populated areas. However, for those who visit remote spots unlikely to have any nearby iPhone users, an LTE-enabled tracker could prove beneficial.

One significant downside to T-Mobile's tracker is that its cellular capabilities mean it requires regular charging. The carrier says the tracker's battery can last "up to seven days on a single charge." Apple says AirTag's replaceable battery can maintain power for more than a year, allowing owners to attach it to an item and forget about it.

Although T-Mobile hasn't provided a complete spec list, the SyncUp device also appears significantly thicker than non-cellular trackers like AirTag and Tile.

Both trackers have IP67 water and dust resistance.

T-Mobile's tracker costs $60 and launches on May 7
T-Mobile's tracker costs $60 and launches on May 7


SyncUp users can also set up virtual geofenced boundaries. If set up, the app will notify the user when the tracker leaves a designated area. The tracker can sound a ringtone to help users find it when nearby. It also has customizable profiles and a light sensor that can optionally notify the user's phone when moved out of dark storage areas like a locker or backpack.

"SyncUP TRACKER brings peace of mind to customer's most prized possessions and valuables, which is why we're putting the power of our network behind it," said Matt Staneff, T-Mobile's Marketing Officer. "From families to cars to now things, T-Mobile's network is connecting just about anything - because it has the power and reliability customers can depend on."

T-Mobile has previously used the SyncUp brand name with SyncUp Drive, an LTE hotspot for cars that can also display the connected automobile's data.

The SyncUp Tracker launches on May 7 at T-Mobile retail stores and online. Eligible customers will be able to purchase the SyncUp Tracker either at the full retail price or on a 24-month installment plan.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,419member
    Nice it’s not a knockoff and provides some innovative features. The light sensors and geofencing are nice. I wonder if AirTags allows geofence notifications?

    "up to seven days on a single charge."
    No thanks though. On a side note I thought AirTags would have wireless charging.

    I’m betting these will be more of a gag gift and given away to customers.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    Now this looks like the item you want for tracking your SO. Bravo, T-Mobile.
    /s
    edited April 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    maclin3maclin3 Posts: 16member
    My Apple car better have one of these built into it in a non-removable location and continuously charged by the car’s EV battery. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 789member
    I really like T-Mobile but let me be the first to say Holy Crap I hate this!  The price is too high, the need to charge weekly is crazy, the potential for harm is off the charts.

    I'm fine with Tile and Apple's thing - they seem to have a good balance of price, convenience, and privacy - but as of yet I am not biting on that either.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,814member
    Apple and Oranges, I think. T-Mobile's SyncUp seems to be targeted more for travelling than everyday use.

    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    neilmneilm Posts: 893member
    "However, for those who visit remote spots unlikely to have any nearby iPhone users, an LTE-enabled tracker could prove beneficial."

    A spot remote enough to have no nearby iPhones isn't likely to have cell coverage either.
    chasmBeatsfred1maltzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,136member
    Same general idea but yet quite different from Tile and Airtags. The price and battery limitations pretty much kill them, though. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 764member
    Beats said:
    Nice it’s not a knockoff and provides some innovative features. The light sensors and geofencing are nice. I wonder if AirTags allows geofence notifications?

    "up to seven days on a single charge."
    No thanks though. On a side note I thought AirTags would have wireless charging.

    I’m betting these will be more of a gag gift and given away to customers.
    The wireless charging AirTag will be in AirTags 2!
    edited April 28 Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,419member
    JinTech said:
    Beats said:
    Nice it’s not a knockoff and provides some innovative features. The light sensors and geofencing are nice. I wonder if AirTags allows geofence notifications?

    "up to seven days on a single charge."
    No thanks though. On a side note I thought AirTags would have wireless charging.

    I’m betting these will be more of a gag gift and given away to customers.
    The wireless charging AirTag will be in AirTags 2!

    I’d hope so but it seemed like the obvious to me. Maybe internal batteries have short longevity? I don’t know.

    These would be killer if Apple ever released AirPower.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    I notice not mentioned, is the fact T-Mobile is going to charge $5 every month per tracker to connect to their network.
    fred1watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    hucom2000hucom2000 Posts: 102member
    Useless…

    I WILL forget to charge (all of!) my trackers regularly - and when I loose something it WILL have a dead battery.

    Apple’s take on this has a clear focus. And that focus is precisely where it needs to be: no need for charging.

    I’m sure they looked at all the options. It seems to me they made the right choice in relation to the technology and its capabilities.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    I don’t think these are meant for basic tracking. I think this would be good to toss in a kids backpack to make sure they get to and from school a safely. Another good use would be to have one on your kid when going out, especially in a crowded area. 

    Of course there are the malicious uses as well. Tracking someone unknowingly is the most obvious. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 608member
    neilm said:
    "However, for those who visit remote spots unlikely to have any nearby iPhone users, an LTE-enabled tracker could prove beneficial."

    A spot remote enough to have no nearby iPhones isn't likely to have cell coverage either.
    Nope.

    I would use one of these on my FPV quad copters to locate it in case it went down out of line of site.  Everywhere I've flown has good cellular service for Verizon, AT&T & T-Mobile.  However, I can fly over wooded areas, large fields, etc.  Not so easy to find an 8" x 8" quad in the woods or field, when you are not sure where it went down.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    neilmneilm Posts: 893member
    nicholfd said:
    I would use one of these on my FPV quad copters to locate it in case it went down out of line of site.  Everywhere I've flown has good cellular service for Verizon, AT&T & T-Mobile.  However, I can fly over wooded areas, large fields, etc.  Not so easy to find an 8" x 8" quad in the woods or field, when you are not sure where it went down.
    Given the cost of many drones, that's an excellent usage case.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    maltzmaltz Posts: 265member
    maclin3 said:
    My Apple car better have one of these built into it in a non-removable location and continuously charged by the car’s EV battery. 

    Many vehicles on the market already do have GPS tracking and LTE communication, and have for years, so I don't see why an Apple car wouldn't - and would probably do it way more securely.  lol  My 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee has this, and I can track it via an app.  I can also use the app to get telemetry (tire pressures, oil life, fuel level, odometer) and do things like lock/unlock and remote-start.  The tracking and remote functions were free for the first year, but I didn't bother to renew it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    Beats said:
    JinTech said:
    Beats said:
    Nice it’s not a knockoff and provides some innovative features. The light sensors and geofencing are nice. I wonder if AirTags allows geofence notifications?

    "up to seven days on a single charge."
    No thanks though. On a side note I thought AirTags would have wireless charging.

    I’m betting these will be more of a gag gift and given away to customers.
    The wireless charging AirTag will be in AirTags 2!

    I’d hope so but it seemed like the obvious to me. Maybe internal batteries have short longevity? I don’t know.

    These would be killer if Apple ever released AirPower.
    prefer the replaceable battery.  They're cheap, and I nearly always have spares around.
    watto_cobra
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