Chipolo ONE Spot review: the only real alternative to AirTag

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
Chipolo One Spot is a Bluetooth tracker with Find My certification, making it the only comparable alternative to Apple AirTag, and one that's also slightly cheaper.

Chipolo ONE Spot
Chipolo ONE Spot


Bluetooth item trackers have ramped up in popularity in recent years, and it came as no surprise when Apple released a version of its own in the form of AirTag. But, since Apple also opened up the Find My app to third-party vendors, other devices are starting to come to market with this integration.



Design

If you've seen any other Chipolo tracker, be it the ONE or the Ocean Edition, you've basically seen the One Spot. It looks identical with a round shape, a keyhole for attaching to bags or keychains, and a logo stamped on the front.

Chipolo ONE Spo
Chipolo ONE Ocean Edition and Chipolo ONE Spot


The battery is replaceable, so that when it eventually dies, you're able to swap it out rather than trash the tracker as a whole. It sports IPX5 water resistance, which is enough to hold back the rain but prevents the tracker from being submerged.

The center is a button used for the first-time configuration. It's also a chime, to audibly assist you as you get near your device.

Find My support

Chipolo has a range of other Bluetooth item trackers, but the One Spot stands out by being the only other tracker than AirTag to support the Find My app and take advantage of the Find My network.

Pairing Chipolo ONE Spot with iPhone
Pairing Chipolo ONE Spot with iPhone


By tapping into the massive army of iPhones, iPads, and Macs, there are countless millions of devices around the world that are able to report back your tracker's location. For example, if you leave your keys in the cushion of a cafe, the location will be sent back to the tracker's owner entirely in the background, whenever a supporting Apple device passes by..

Chipolo ONE Spot in Find My
Chipolo ONE Spot in Find My


Instead of relying on a third-party Chipolo app, everything is managed in Find My -- from setup to tracking.

To pair the Chipolo One Spot:
  • Open the Find My app and head to the new Items tab
  • Tap on "Add New Item"
  • Choose "Other Support Item" on the popup card
  • Then press the center of the One Spot after which you'll hear a chime
  • Tap "connect" once it appears
  • Assign a name and emoji to your tracker
Once added to the Find My app, your Chipolo One Spot will show along any AirTags you have, or any other Find My-enabled products. You can see its location on the map where it was last seen, as well as when that was.

Chipolo ONE Spot settings in Find My
Chipolo ONE Spot settings in Find My


If you tap on the item in the list, it shows all the necessary information for your tracker. You can view the battery life, see when it was last online, can get directions to where it is, enable notifications and lost mode, or play a sound.

On the occasion you want to reattach a tracker used on a keychain to your bicycle, you can rename the tracker to more easily recognize what is being tracked. There's also an option to remove the tracker entirely.

Outside of Find My, you're able to ask Siri to assist you too. When you ask Siri to find your tracker it will immediately start playing the chime if nearby.

During our testing, it was always reliable. We were even able to invoke the chime using our HomePod which was very handy while around the house.

One Spot or AirTag?

The most common query that arises is how the Chipolo One Spot compares to Apple's own AirTag. There are three primary ways that the devices differ.

For AirTag, Apple is using its own U1 ultra-wideband chip to enable precision tracking within the Find My app. It can provide an exact heading on your iPhone, as well as the distance to the device you are seeking.

Chipolo instead uses Bluetooth to give you a general idea of where your object is, and largely relies on the audible tone to help find your item.

That said, Chipolo does have a much louder speaker than AirTag so it is easier to find. Chipolo approaches 120dB, while AirTag was roughly 86dB in our tests.

Chipolo ONE Spot and AirTag
Chipolo ONE Spot and AirTag


Another major differentiator is the NFC chip found in AirTag. When in lost mode, any iPhone or Android user can tap on a found AirTag to see a message about the owner and how to return the item.

Chipolo lacks this feature entirely, though items can still be put into lost mode.

Finally, there's the price. AirTag runs you $29 for a single tag whereas Chipolo One Spot costs $28 -- a slight undercut. Furthermore, a four-pack of AirTag costs $99 and a four-pack of One Spot costs $90.

There's additional savings in accessories as Chipolo's built-in key ring reduces the need to buy a loop or holder if it's being attached to your bag or keychain.

Available now

Both AirTag and Chipolo One Spot are solid device trackers. While Apple's may still have the edge in the form of the U1, Chipolo's lower price tag and rugged design make it a solid option for many users. It was easy to set up, reliable, and can be found by almost any Apple product worldwide.

If you want something other than AirTag, Chipolo One Spot is your best bet.

Pros
  • Support for Find My app
  • Just as likely to be found as AirTag when lost
  • Rugged plastic shell
  • Built-in keyhole
  • Replacable battery
  • Easy setup
Cons
  • Only comes in black
  • No NFC or ultra-wideband
  • Only slight savings over AirTag

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

The Chipolo One Spot is scheduled to begin shipping in June 2021, while AirTags are available now from Apple resellers.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,429member
    I like how all trackers are different and designed differently.

    Hopefully the industry doesn’t just copy Apple and things stay this way.
    igorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 681member
    And Tiles can complain of anti competitive to Apple??My tiles are still working, it will be a while before it will be replaced 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,224member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    And Tiles can complain of anti competitive to Apple??My tiles are still working, it will be a while before it will be replaced 
    Tile and the other large companies are doing what Amazon did in the ebook industry. They are protecting their dominant positions in their markets by attempting to limit Apple’s ability to not only compete, but also lower the cost of entry into their markets for other competitors. 

    Basically taking away their cash cows. Every time Apple moves into a market like streaming, trackers, Games, the create new technology that filters down to all developers. Apple ends up being the Guinea pig and if their solution works most of the underlying APIs becomes available for other developers to use. 
    Beatsdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    I was wondering if all the “anti-tracking” features Apple added to Airtags also work on Chipolo ? If not, then I am pretty sure the One Spot is going to sell very well !


    jbtuckrchemengin1watto_cobralikethesky
  • Reply 5 of 14
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    The hole is an amazing bit of technology that beats Apple like a drum!
    cornchipchemengin1dewmewatto_cobralikethesky
  • Reply 6 of 14
    danoxdanox Posts: 561member
    Beats said:
    I like how all trackers are different and designed differently.

    Hopefully the industry doesn’t just copy Apple and things stay this way.
    Samsung and Google will enter the market, and they will copy Apple without question, and Facebook and Amazon will also follow a tech party.
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,429member
    danox said:
    Beats said:
    I like how all trackers are different and designed differently.

    Hopefully the industry doesn’t just copy Apple and things stay this way.
    Samsung and Google will enter the market, and they will copy Apple without question, and Facebook and Amazon will also follow a tech party.

    I hope not. Those companies are already tracking us enough! Sammy shi*ted out a product to beat Apple but I see what you’re saying. They will make an AirTag lookalike on their Look For My network.

    As of now I love how they’re all different and Apple is developing their own tech in the field. Reminds me of the pre-iPhone era. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    DovalDoval Posts: 17member
    Air Tags has U1, that beats all
    others
    igorskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,852member
    Meh. Airtag 4pk on the way. I’ll probably get one for each car too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 527member
    cpsro said:
    The hole is an amazing bit of technology that beats Apple like a drum!
    "Sick burn", says Apple while cashing checks from their AirTag accessories.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 527member
    I don't know what their costs are, but I think Chipolo made a massive mistake with pricing.  They're not going to entice many away from AirTags for $1 in savings.  Even a $10 difference for the 4-pack isn't enough to overcome AirTags' advantages.
    edited May 24
  • Reply 12 of 14
    bdbismuth said:
    I was wondering if all the “anti-tracking” features Apple added to Airtags also work on Chipolo ? If not, then I am pretty sure the One Spot is going to sell very well !


    Yes - would be nice for the review to cover this.  My backpack was stolen a while back -- would like to put an anti-theft tracker in it without alerting thieves.
    watto_cobralikethesky
  • Reply 13 of 14
    xyzzy01xyzzy01 Posts: 87member
    genovelle said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    And Tiles can complain of anti competitive to Apple??My tiles are still working, it will be a while before it will be replaced 
    Tile and the other large companies are doing what Amazon did in the ebook industry. They are protecting their dominant positions in their markets by attempting to limit Apple’s ability to not only compete, but also lower the cost of entry into their markets for other competitors. 

    Basically taking away their cash cows. Every time Apple moves into a market like streaming, trackers, Games, the create new technology that filters down to all developers. Apple ends up being the Guinea pig and if their solution works most of the underlying APIs becomes available for other developers to use. 

    Tile, AFAIK, isn't complaining about Apple's ability to compete. They are complaining about Apple's ability to use a dominant position in one market to take over a separate one - one that Tile invented, or at least was an early innovator in.

    What Apple is doing is using every iDevice as part of a large network which can find the tags - whether or not you have an Airtag. An iPhone user doesn't have to do anything active, agree to anything - or know anything about it. They are all opted in, with no opt out. This makes Airtags superior to Tile for locating lost devices.

    Tile, obviously, can't do this. Tile can only rely on their own users to help tracking - and Apple is warning frequently about this app tracking your location, and asking "do you want to continue this?". Because, obviously, it is tracking your location.

    Thus, Tile has a lot of reason to be complaining... that said, it's obviously not a solution to let every company install background tracking apps, anonymised or not. Apple is using their dominance in mobile platforms to take over or make large entries into many markets established by others, so there will obviously be a lot of complaining. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 14
    XedXed Posts: 972member
    xyzzy01 said:
    genovelle said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    And Tiles can complain of anti competitive to Apple??My tiles are still working, it will be a while before it will be replaced 
    Tile and the other large companies are doing what Amazon did in the ebook industry. They are protecting their dominant positions in their markets by attempting to limit Apple’s ability to not only compete, but also lower the cost of entry into their markets for other competitors. 

    Basically taking away their cash cows. Every time Apple moves into a market like streaming, trackers, Games, the create new technology that filters down to all developers. Apple ends up being the Guinea pig and if their solution works most of the underlying APIs becomes available for other developers to use. 

    Tile, AFAIK, isn't complaining about Apple's ability to compete. They are complaining about Apple's ability to use a dominant position in one market to take over a separate one - one that Tile invented, or at least was an early innovator in.

    What Apple is doing is using every iDevice as part of a large network which can find the tags - whether or not you have an Airtag. An iPhone user doesn't have to do anything active, agree to anything - or know anything about it. They are all opted in, with no opt out. This makes Airtags superior to Tile for locating lost devices.

    Tile, obviously, can't do this. Tile can only rely on their own users to help tracking - and Apple is warning frequently about this app tracking your location, and asking "do you want to continue this?". Because, obviously, it is tracking your location.

    Thus, Tile has a lot of reason to be complaining... that said, it's obviously not a solution to let every company install background tracking apps, anonymised or not. Apple is using their dominance in mobile platforms to take over or make large entries into many markets established by others, so there will obviously be a lot of complaining. 
    If they wanted their tags in the Find My network they could do that just like Chipolo and others.

    Tile didn't invent the tracker and they only exist because of the iPhone so to claim that Apple can't create a tracker is ridiculous.
    watto_cobra
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