Chipolo Card Spot review: The best way to track your wallet with Apple's Find My

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2022
The Chipolo Card Spot integrates perfectly with Apple's Find My app and is the absolute best way to keep track of your wallet.

Chipolo Card Spot
Chipolo Card Spot


After being announced earlier this year at CES 2022, the Chipolo Card Spot is beginning to ship to customers. At the moment, it remains the only shipping wallet-style Bluetooth tracker to natively integrate with Apple's Find My app -- same as Apple AirTag.

Apple recently started allowing third-party accessories to integrate into the Find My app and we've seen bikes, headphones, and other accessories slowly trickle to market.





Chipolo was among the first partners, launching the Chipolo One Spot as a Bluetooth tracker with a keyring hole that fully integrated with Find My. Now the company is back with its second Find My-enabled product.

Chipolo Card Spot
Chipolo Card Spot


The Chipolo Card Spot is very thin, only measuring 2.4mm thick and the same footprint as a standard credit card. It's water-resistant enough to withstand some splashes though we wouldn't recommend submerging it.

Chipolo Card Spot is nearly credit card sized
Chipolo Card Spot is the size of a credit card


There's a small button on the lower-left corner of the card. This is used to activate the card before setup.

To help you locate your card and the wallet that encompasses it, Chipolo Card Spot has a small speaker.

The speaker on the Chipolo Card Spot
The speaker on the Chipolo Card Spot


This speaker is in the corner of the card itself. Chipolo says they paid a lot of attention to the placement of this speaker, positioning it so that as you place the card into your wallet, it naturally will face outwards.

They would ask people to hold the card and place it into their wallet, noting which corner was most likely to face out. The lower-right corner made the most sense since most people are right-handed.

Your wallet's new friend

You can use the Chipolo Card Spot anywhere, but the size is indicative of its intention. Its primary use is locating your wallet.

Chipolo Card Spot
Chipolo Card Spot in our wallet


While it is very thin, just a bit more than two credit cards, it doesn't mean it will work in every wallet. We first wanted to see if it would work in Apple's MagSafe wallet.

Chipolo Card Spot in Apple's MagSafe wallet
Chipolo Card Spot in Apple's MagSafe wallet


Unfortunately, it's just a bit too thick still. Chipolo Card Spot will fit in Apple's MagSafe wallet, but a second card is near-impossible. If you can't fit a card or two in alongside the Chipolo Card Spot, its presence is immaterial.

The good news is that it will fit in nearly any other wallet. We tried thin wallets such as the Ridge wallet and our go-to leather Nomad wallet. It fits perfectly with ample room for all our other cards or cash.

Chipolo Card Spot on top of wallet
Chipolo Card Spot on top of wallet


It doesn't create any unseemly bumps or lumps or prevent other cards from sliding in. While in the wallet, we never had issues hearing the sound either. We placed the wallet in our couch, in a coat pocket, and a pile of laundry -- the most common places we unintentionally leave our wallet -- and each time, it was easy to get close with the Find My app before finding it, thanks to the persistent chirp.

No third-party app required

Unlike most Bluetooth trackers, the Chipolo Card Spot works exclusively with the Find My app. There is no Chipolo app necessary or even supported. Its setup is similar to other Find My products.

To start, you press the button on the Chipolo Card Spot to wake it up and activate it.

Adding Chipolo Card Spot to the Find My app
Adding Chipolo Card Spot to the Find My app


Once it is active, you can press the + button in the Find My app. A modal will appear at the bottom of your screen as it searches for the new device. Once found, you can tap add.

Apple's new Find My warning
Apple's new Find My warning


Coming with iOS 15.4, Apple is adding new warnings to Find My devices, including the Chipolo Card Spot. In an attempt to curb the ongoing problem with criminal stalking, Apple informs users that these are not to be used to track individuals.

Apple goes on that if you track someone with the Chipolo card, it is designed to alert them. Beyond that, authorities will be able to identify you as the original owner of that device.

To underscore that point, Apple shows you your profile photo, verified email, and phone number.

Chipolo Card Spot features
Chipolo Card Spot features


Find My's features are then summarized as your card is successfully added. With the card in the Find My app, you'll be able to see its current battery life, where it was last located, and play a sound. The card's settings are here too.

Chipolo Card Spot in the Find My app
Chipolo Card Spot in the Find My app


From the Find My app, you can adjust notifications. Notifications are left behind alerts that signal you that you've left your current location without your card in tow. This is useful, but as it requires you to change locations, you need to go a decent distance away before the alert is triggered.

We attempted to leave our wallet and card on the tablet at a restaurant to test the notifications. We walked to our car, waiting for a notification to appear. It arrived just before we pulled out of the parking lot, letting us know our wallet was no longer with us.

This makes it helpful if you leave the wallet behind -- but it isn't as useful if someone picks your pocket. The thief would likely be out of sight before you get the alert your wallet has been stolen.

Some locations can be white-listed in the Find My app too. We white-listed our home so that if we go downstairs, we don't get constant alerts that we left our wallet behind.

If you lose your wallet, you can put it into lost mode. When in lost mode, you'll be able to leverage the larger Find My community of iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Should another user come within range of your wallet, you'll get notified of its new location.

When someone finds your wallet, assuming they want to do the right thing, they'll be able to use the Find My app themselves to identify your wallet. The app will then present your contact information so they can get in touch.

Chipolo versus AirTag

There are some distinct differences between Apple's AirTag and the Chipolo Card Spot, with the shape most apparent.

AirTag is notably bulbous, making it ill-suited for slipping into a wallet. One option to help AirTag is by using something like Nomad's Card for AirTag.

AirTag in the Nomad card
Nomad's Card for AirTag versus Chipolo Card Spot


This card helps smooth out the AirTag's bump and fits more easily into wallets. But it still can't make the tracker thinner. This is what we'll be ditching for the Chipolo Card Spot.

Another difference is support for ultrawideband. Apple's AirTag uses the U1 chip in your iPhone to facilitate Precision Finding. This helps find your object by giving you the exact distance and direction from the object. But, Apple does not allow third-party Find My devices to utilize the U1 or Precision Finding.

Plus, its absence is irrelevant in our experience. AirTag has a tiny speaker. We've found that Chipolo's speaker is much louder, making it easier to find.

It takes longer to open Precision Finding, wait for the iPhone to pinpoint itself in 3D space and its relation to your AirTag. It was quicker and more reliable to open and use the Find My app to get close, then find it with the audio.

Chipolo Card Spot in wallet
Chipolo Card Spot in wallet


The lack of U1 support in no way lessened the Chipolo Card Spot experience. It is still a much better wallet solution than AirTag for our wallet.

Should you buy the Chipolo Card Spot?

The Chipolo Card Spot is a niche device -- by design. Apple developed AirTag to be as broad as possible, while it also opened the Find My app to third parties to fill the need for specific uses. A wallet tracker is one of those particular use cases.

With only one other card-style tracker announced to support the Find My app (which has yet to ship), Chipolo remains the only viable solution.

Chipolo Card Spot box
Chipolo Card Spot box


Apple's Find My app is an excellent solution for tracking your objects and utilizes millions of devices to surface lost items. Wallets are one of the most oft-lost devices, and Chipolo has the best solution for keeping track of them.

Pros
  • Ultra-thin design

  • Long, two-year battery life with recycling and 50-percent discount on a replacement

  • Loud noise to aid locating

  • Direct and exclusive support of the Find My app

  • Leveral Find My community to locate missing device

  • Left behind alerts prevent you losing it in the first place

  • First Apple-certified card-style tracker
Cons
  • No ultrawideband support

  • Needs to be replaced when battery dies

  • Won't fit in Apple's MagSafe wallet

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Where to buy

The Chipolo Card Spot is available for preorder from Chipolo directly, with the single pack costing $35 and a double pack selling for $60.

Those looking for an alternative that's available for shipment at press time can find Apple's AirTag at Amazon for $29 (compare AirTag prices). The Chipolo One Spot, which works with the Apple Find My app and sells for $28, is also in stock.

Tile's 2022 Slim model works with iOS and is currently on sale at Amazon as well.

Read on AppleInsider
gregoriusm

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,120member
    I’ve been wanting something like this ever since my card wallet fell out of my bag on an airplane without my knowing it (thankfully I got it back, but I was traumatized by it all). The non-replaceability of the battery though makes me hesitate. I guess it’s a matter of cost vs. benefit. 
    Xedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Thanks.  I just ordered one.  They are out of stock an delivery is scheduled for April 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 9
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 825member
    Great product, and would have been incredibly useful even only three years ago, but COVID means that everyone accepts Contactless or Apple Pay now. I never take my wallet anywhere anymore, unless I am travelling - rental car companies need the drivers license and often need to swipe. I would expect that many Apple users do the same.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 9
    XedXed Posts: 2,677member
    fred1 said:
    I’ve been wanting something like this ever since my card wallet fell out of my bag on an airplane without my knowing it (thankfully I got it back, but I was traumatized by it all). The non-replaceability of the battery though makes me hesitate. I guess it’s a matter of cost vs. benefit. 
    The lack of UWB made me hesitate a bit but I guess knowing if it's in the house v car v other is good enough for narrowing down where I may have lost/misplaced it. But the lack of a replaceable battery is really making me wonder if I want to spend the money on something I assume will last a year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    XedXed Posts: 2,677member
    sflagel said:
    Great product, and would have been incredibly useful even only three years ago, but COVID means that everyone accepts Contactless or Apple Pay now. I never take my wallet anywhere anymore, unless I am travelling - rental car companies need the drivers license and often need to swipe. I would expect that many Apple users do the same.
    Not everywhere. This are the major holdouts but there are many others:

    • Walmart (You can use Walmart Pay)
    • Kroger (You can use Kroger Pay)
    • Dick's Sporting Goods
    • Home Depot
    • Kmart
    • Lowe's
    • Sam's Club

    Lowe's and Home Depot I deal with often.

    I remember people bitching about the number of places that accept ApplePay the it first came out but I had no problem with that since I knew it would take a few years to get a tipping point of acceptance, but this holdouts are just annoying at this point, especially if they're reason is to pimp their own crummy system.
    edited March 2022 scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 825member
    Xed said:
    sflagel said:
    Great product, and would have been incredibly useful even only three years ago, but COVID means that everyone accepts Contactless or Apple Pay now. I never take my wallet anywhere anymore, unless I am travelling - rental car companies need the drivers license and often need to swipe. I would expect that many Apple users do the same.
    Not everywhere. This are the major holdouts but there are many others:

    • Walmart (You can use Walmart Pay)
    • Kroger (You can use Kroger Pay)
    • Dick's Sporting Goods
    • Home Depot
    • Kmart
    • Lowe's
    • Sam's Club

    Lowe's and Home Depot I deal with often.

    I remember people bitching about the number of places that accept ApplePay the it first came out but I had no problem with that since I knew it would take a few years to get a tipping point of acceptance, but this holdouts are just annoying at this point, especially if they're reason is to pimp their own crummy system.
    What does this mean? These shops accept credit cards but not Contactless payment with those same credit cards? If they accept Contactless, this would automatically enable contactless payment by iPhone or Apple Watch.

    I live in the UK. Only place I had to pay cash or physical card in Europe in the last two years were two privately run taxis and a horse-drawn "ski lift" in a ski resort in Italy, for obvious reasons. Oh, and a parking garage in Germany, Germans notoriously like to pay in cash so all retail POS have moved to Contactless but administrators of large automated machines don't upgrade. In the UK on the other hand, most vending machines and all parking garages now accept Contactless. Even some cash machines ("ATM") now accept Contactless. Just saying that this product is aimed at Apple clients (pretty sophisticated ones, probably), and they will move to payment by phone already; or watch - still quite a novelty.
    edited March 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,384member
    I understand the dangers of someone being stalked using this or similar devices. That said any beeping of this particular device may alert a thief and reduce the chance of catching the thief before he discards the wallet. They're often discarded immediately, but not always. So a potential benefit is lost. Just sayin.

    The concept is a good one. I have AirTags, but no way are they appropriate for a wallet. And a not replaceable battery? A deal breaker for a lot of people. I'd pass on the lack of a UWB chip. AirTags adorn three sets of keys that I use daily. They've helped me find one set dropped on the way out the door, and twice around the house. Once in holders they don't beep very loud so getting their precise location is a huge help.

    AirTags have a huge missed opportunity though with the Notify When Left Behind setting. When leaving the house, there won't be a notification that I left something behind until I'm a couple blocks away. Depending on the circumstance a U-turn may be required or I may just do without the item. Yet the UWB chip will lead me directly to the item. So why can't I pick a distance of maybe 50' before getting out the door. Or maybe alerting me when BT connectivity is lost, not because I went outside of a GPS rldius.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Well, it’s a late comment on this, but I bought a Card Spot back in May. As of today, it’s dead (no power, can’t reset it, etc). The whole time I had it, it lost contact with FindMy multiple times a week, reporting that I’d left my wallet behind even though it was a couple feet from my phone.
    I bought two and just activated the second, but so far not impressed.
    kiehtan
  • Reply 9 of 9
    I bought one in June of 2022. By October, it was no longer connecting to the find my network and I had to have a replacement issued under warranty. I've had the replacement for four months and I noticed yesterday it's dead; and I don't know for how long it hasn't been working. Supposedly the battery lasts for "up to two years." I don't know if the battery died or the device failed, but I've had two fail now in less than 8 months. This hasn't been a reliable product for me and I don't feel I can trust it to be working when I actually need it. I'm looking for an alternative. I wish Apple would make an AirTag in this form factor. My AirTags have been rock solid, and they let me know in advance when the battery needs replacement. 
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