The South Korean tech giant Samsung announced the second generation of its tracker, the SmartTag2, at its Developer Conference. Compared to the original SmartTag, the successor offers many improvements, including better battery life, an IP67 water and dust resistance rating for improved durability, and improved tracking abilities. But how does the Samsung SmartTag2 stand against Apple’s AirTag?
Apple released the AirTag in 2021, and ever since, it has remained one of the most popular tagging and tracking devices. Back in the day, AirTag came out with some exceptional features that are equally useful today, including Precision Finding with a custom U1 chip, proximity tracking, and access to Apple’s Find My network, which uses an ocean of devices to locate the tracker and inform the owner about its position.
Although both the Samsung SmartTag2 and the Apple AirTag allow you to keep tabs on your personal belongings, such as a backpack, luggage bag, wallet, car/home keys, or even your vehicle. However, there are specific differences you need to consider before getting one.
Samsung SmartTag2 Vs. Apple AirTag: Design
The Samsung SmartTag2, available in Black and White, is a pill-shaped tracker with a larger cutout for keychains. While the outer casing is plastic, the cutout is lined with a metallic ring on the inside, increasing its structural strength.
The device weighs 13.75 grams and measures 28.8 x 52.44 x 8.0 millimeters. Due to its design, you won’t need an external case to connect it to a keychain or zip. Samsung also makes multicolor silicone cases for the SmartTag2. Interestingly, the tracker also has a hidden, programmable button for quick tasks like turning on a smart light.
In comparison, the AirTag has a stainless steel disc covered with a removable outer shell of plastic. However, it doesn’t have an in-built keychain hole or lanyard loop. You must get an AirTag case that holds the tracking device and provides a metallic ring to attach keys, an added expense that SmartTag2 owners won’t bear.
The AirTag measures 31.9 x 31.9 x 8 millimeters and weighs just 11 grams. Its compact design makes it easy to slide into a wallet, handbag, suitcase, etc. As far as external cases are concerned, you can select from hundreds of different products available online.
Both trackers have an IP67 rating for protection against dust and water (one meter up to 30 minutes).
Both trackers feature Ultra Wideband tracking technology
Thanks to the addition of an ultra-wideband (UWB) chip, the Samsung SmartThings Find app now shows directions to the precise location of the Galaxy SmartTag2 using augmented reality. However, to use this feature, you would need a UWB-supported Samsung smartphone, such as the Galaxy S23 Ultra or the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Further, the device has a maximum tracking range of 120 meters. Connecting a SmartTag2 with your Galaxy phone is quite easy, too. All you need to do is bring the device close to your smartphone. It is important to mention that the tracker relies on the SmartThings Find network when not in range.
The AirTag also uses UWB on supported iPhone models to enable Precision Finding, which leads you to the device with on-screen arrows. You should have an iPhone 11 or newer model to use this feature. Although Apple doesn’t specify the Bluetooth range, AirTag relies on a pretty massive Find My network, with close to two billion devices across the globe.
Although the SmartThings app provides a new user interface with intuitive tracking features, it is easier to track an AirTag using the Find My app. Nevertheless, both devices feature NFC connectivity, a tiny speaker, and Lost Mode.
Battery life, privacy, and price
Regarding battery life, Samsung claims the SmartTag2 can last 500 days in Normal Mode and 700 days with Power Saving Mode. The claimed numbers are much higher than Apple’s promises with an AirTag, which is just a year. However, the actual battery life depends on how often you track the device or use the speaker.
Both trackers feature a replaceable CR2023 coin battery, readily available in offline or online stores.
Samsung says the device’s location is only available with users’ permission. The SmartThings companion app encrypts user data for added privacy. Similarly, an AirTag’s location data is also encrypted from the tracker to another Apple device that relays the information to the Find My network. Both SmartTag2 and AirTag provide unwanted tracking alerts to prevent misuse.
The Samsung SmartTag2 is available at $29.99 per unit, Apple’s AirTag retails for $29, so there’s not much difference. Both trackers work exclusively with their brand’s ecosystem. However, the Galaxy SmartTag2 has a better battery life and a multipurpose button, which are missing from the AirTag, making it a better belongings tracker.