Cube is a company that makes one Bluetooth tracker — the Cube Tracker. It’s also known as the Cube Key Finder (or Cube Phone Finder). Unlike other companies which offer a number of tracker models, Cube has remained loyal to its lone tracker, which retails for $25.
Cube Tracker is a 1.5″ square, and it’s a bit thicker than a lot of the newer Bluetooth trackers on the market. It’s black, with a matte soft touch feel, but the tracker is mostly made of plastic. It comes with a built-in hole to slide the tracker onto a key ring. A small button is located on the front of the tracker.
How It Works
Bluetooth trackers are gradually becoming more popular as a way to keep track of your keys, wallet, and other personal items. But how do they work?
A Bluetooth tracker — or key finder — is essentially a small accessory that attaches to an item of your choice and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The tracker’s phone app tells you where the tracker is — or was last seen. If you’re in Bluetooth range, you can direct the tracker to beep, right from your phone. Lots of trackers, including Cube, also offer “reverse finding,” as it were — press the tracker itself and your phone will ring. So while your tracker may be a key finder, it will also work as a phone finder.
As useful as all of this is for tracking down missing keys around the house, it may not be as helpful if you leave your tracked item away from home, far out of Bluetooth range. Bluetooth trackers can still help in a few ways in this situation, though. Your phone should always be linked to the tracker, so your tracker’s app should be able to tell you the tracker’s last location before leaving Bluetooth range.
Some Bluetooth trackers offer crowd locating networks. These networks enable other users to find your item through normal use of the app. Cube doesn’t offer any such network, which is a big drawback.
It’s important to note that while many people refer to Bluetooth trackers as key finders, there are a number of other uses. Outside of your keys or wallet, some users may want to attach a tracker to their pet’s collar, a piece of luggage, a backpack, a bike, or much more. The possibilities are vast, and you can always get multiple trackers.
Cube offers device separation alerts, as well. These alerts give users the option of immediately ringing their tracker and phone when the two become separated, if one or the other gets left behind.
Cube’s app — we tested the iOS version — is fairly sparse and straightforward. It does the trick. Users can see the connected Cube Tracker(s) in a list (multiple Cube trackers can connect to the app), or on a map of where they’re currently located or were last located.
Tapping a connected Cube will show you the proximity of the tracker. It also gives you an option to find your tracker, and an address of where the tracker was last located. A map can also be pulled up from the bottom of the screen.
A settings menu lets users check tracker battery levels, set up separation alerts, set up quiet zones when on trusted Wi-Fi networks, and even set up a quiet time to turn off tracker alerts during a set period of the day. Alert tones can be changed in the settings menu, as well.
One of Cube’s more interesting features is its camera option. Cube allows users to open their smartphone camera from within the Cube app. When the camera section of the app is open, the tracker’s small button can be used as a photo shutter, enabling the smartphone’s camera to be controlled remotely. Photos are saved to your phone as normal.
Bluetooth Range And Battery Life
Bluetooth range (the distance from which your phone will be able to connect with the tracker via Bluetooth) is said to be 150 feet for Cube Tracker. We don’t think it quite hits that mark in real world use — with a lot of trackers, walls can have an effect. The range also seems to differ when it comes to the difference between being connected and searching for a connection. We’ll get to that in our testing notes.
Cube claims that its tracker’s battery can last for one year when connected to a phone, which is pretty typical. It also claims the tracker can last up to two years when disconnected (but can still be located by your phone when in range). Some other trackers don’t give such detail on disconnected battery life — perhaps Cube is ahead of the pack here.
The Cube Tracker comes with a battery removal tool. Users can swap out the battery using this tool. It’s a CR2032 button battery, which is widely available. Despite having a replaceable battery, Cube Tracker still has IP67 waterproofing — another plus.
Though Cube doesn’t have a user network for locating a lost tracker, the Cube Tracker does seem to reconnect to its app quickly when it hasn’t been used for a while. However, the way Cube notified us that we were again in range of a lost tracker was a major problem.
When you leave the range of a Cube Tracker, you can hit a button that pops up on the app: “Notify me when found it.” The awkward grammar hints at further problems. When we came back into range, we didn’t get any sort of notification right away. We had to get much closer than the normal Bluetooth range after becoming disconnected. When the app did reconnect with the tracker, all we got was a very brief ring of the smartphone. We didn’t even get a pop-up notification on our smartphone. That means you have to be actively looking for a Cube Tracker to find one. Without a user network, this is your only option.
Cube’s optional separation alerts are a bonus for those who want to be alerted when the tracker and phone are out of range. It seemed to work well in our testing. It’s also possible to silence the alerts when you’re on a selected Wi-Fi network, or even to silence the alerts at a certain set time of day.
When finding a smartphone — or when moving away from the phone during a separation alert — Cube doesn’t just cause the phone to ring. It also caused our testing phone (an iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 11) to blink its camera flash on and off. This could definitely help to find a phone in a dark area. Otherwise, it may feel more like an annoyance.
A few more quibbles: we found the tracker to scratch fairly easily, which may be a problem for some users. Also, while carrying the tracker around, the button was accidentally pushed a few times, causing our phone to unexpectedly start ringing in public. This may not be a problem for someone keeping the Cube Tracker in a purse or on some other item — but if it’s on a key ring in a pants pocket, it could be an issue at times.
On the other hand, the photo shutter feature works, and it’s a nice bonus. But we doubt anyone will buy the tracker solely based on such a feature.
Cube Tracker’s 80db volume alert isn’t the loudest we’ve heard. But it will likely do the trick in most situations.
Who It Might Be Good For
- Users who want a Bluetooth photo shutter.
- Users who want a waterproof tracker with a replaceable battery.
Who It Might Not Be Good For
- Users looking for a top-notch app.
- Users who want a crowdfinding network for locating a lost tracker.
- Users who want the newest tracker.
Cube Tracker is only a few years old, but it feels outdated in a number of ways — most notably, its physical design and its app. It also lacks a network of users to find a lost tracker. For many prospective customers, this missing feature will write off the product entirely.
For those who don’t care about a crowdfinding network, though, Cube still has some perks. It’s a waterproof tracker with a replaceable battery, and that’s a nice combination of features — a combo that bigger names like Tile and TrackR don’t offer.
Cube Tracker can be purchased on Amazon.
Editor’s Note: Some sections of this review explaining Bluetooth trackers were borrowed from other reviews on this site.