Possession trackers like Ekster’s Tracker Card have been on the market for a long time but this last year has seen an uptick in this niche product category thanks in part to the new AirTag. This small tracking device is the newest addition to the Find My ecosystem that already exists for most new Apple products. And while the AirTag has garnered much attention thanks to the brand's huge audience, is it really leaps and bounds above other tracking tech? We suggest looking beyond the aesthetics to the tech inside before choosing the right tracker for you.
Tracker Card vs. AirTag
Both types of tracking devices are small, portable, and can be used for almost any item. Ekster’s Tracker Card is a thin, credit card-shaped tracker with a small square of solar panels that it uses for charging. The AirTag is a small disc that is almost the shape and size of the watch battery that powers it.
While the AirTag is smaller and can fit in more things this also makes it’s easier to lose. Luckily, you can find different wallets with special pockets designed to hold your AirTag securely. Ekster’s credit card-shaped device comes in handy for two reasons. First, it’s not immediately distinguishable as a tracker so it can blend in with the contents of your wallet. Second, it fits easily into any wallet, so you don’t have to buy a new one.
Tracking Devices for Android and iOS
The first major drawback of Apple’s AirTag is undoubtedly the fact that it only exists for iOS. Ekster’s Tracker Card is one of the only tracking devices for Android that offers the same coverage and reliability as Apple’s lost and found network.
That being said, other tracking devices do miss out on AirTag’s ultra-wideband technology that allows for extremely precise tracking. However, Ekster’s Tracker Card is precise enough to get you within the range that you can hear your tracker if you ring it from your phone.
Another drawback of AirTag
Another drawback of the AirTag is Apple’s bizarre choice to make the backing stainless steel. This metal is incredibly prone to scratching, especially considering this item will probably be rubbing against keys, phones, and the contents of bags for its entire life. While stainless steel is a hardy material, the plastic and metal body of Ekter’s Tracker Card seems to be much more durable.
Tracker Card vs. AirTag: Charging
Another main difference between these two trackers is how they charge. The AirTag uses a CR2032 battery that lasts from 6 months to 1 year and must be replaced. Unfortunately, this means having to buy and dispose of environmentally-toxic batteries, but you don’t need to buy a charger.
Ekster’s Tracker Card uses solar panels to charge, with 3 hours of sunlight giving 2 months of charge. Again this means you won’t need charging cables or plugs but you will have to place the device in the sun every couple of months. The upside is that this product is non-toxic and users renewable energy to run.
At the end of the day, these devices do the exact same thing with slight differences in appearance and software. Unless you’re an android user (in which case AirTag is already off-limits), which tracking device is best for you comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer a card-shaped tracker that fits in a wallet or bag pocket, or a disc? Are you environmentally conscious and prefer to avoid batteries? All these questions come into consideration before buying. But whichever you choose, the ease of being able to find your lost items is entirely worth it.