Picture this: the waves are crashing, the sun is shining. You’re surfing with your best friends and life couldn’t be better…until you get out of the water. Just where did you put your keys again?
That’s the story of how TrackR got started. Launched in 2010, TrackR has since shipped over eight million devices. They were even ranked 45th on Inc 5000’s list of the fastest growing companies. Throw in some backing from the Amazon Alexa Fund, and you have a Bluetooth tracker company that I’m dying to know more about.
Today I’m comparing the TrackR bravo, an older model now discontinued by TrackR but available on Amazon, with the TrackR pixel, the company’s latest and greatest. I’ll go over key similarities, key differences, designs, features, and finally, the TrackR app. Surf’s up, bro!
Before we start pointing out how the trackers are different, I want to show you what they have in common.
- Large temperature ranges: both the pixel and the bravo work in temperatures from -40 to 221 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Not water-resistant: you’ll need to buy a separate water-resistant case for both trackers.
- 100-foot ranges: both trackers have ranges on the lower end for Bluetooth trackers.
Now, let’s talk about their differences, which are probably going to determine which one you choose.
- Sizes: the TrackR pixel is smaller than the TrackR bravo.
- Sirens: The pixel’s siren is five decibels louder than that of the TrackR bravo.
- Price: The TrackR bravo costs about three times as much as the TrackR pixel.
Design of the TrackR bravo vs. TrackR pixel
Design-wise, the TrackR bravo and the pixel are pretty similar, although the bravo is slightly larger. Both trackers have key ring holes, but the TrackR pixel also has double-sided adhesive so you can use it with more items. While the TrackR bravo’s siren is 85-decibels, about as loud as a snow blower, the TrackR pixel’s siren is five decibels louder, more like a lawn mower. While the TrackR bravo is only available in silver, the TrackR pixel comes in red, white, blue, and black— very patriotic. Another advantage of the pixel is that it includes three small LED lights to make finding your tracker in the dark a breeze.
Both TrackRs have a gigantic temperature range, from -40 to 221 degrees Fahrenheit— by far the biggest temperature range I’ve seen from any Bluetooth tracker. However, I’m disappointed that neither tracker is water-resistant. You can however buy a water-resistant sleeve for your trackers if you want, but I wish they were more durable on their own.
A negative of both TrackR trackers is that they only have ranges of 100 feet each. This is about as low as a Bluetooth tracker’s range can go, so neither the bravo nor the pixel is knocking it out of the park in this category.
Now let’s see what the TrackR bravo and the TrackR pixel can actually do.
Features of the TrackR bravo vs. TrackR pixel
Although the designs of the pixel and the bravo are different, their features are exactly the same.
Remember when I said that TrackR’s bravo and pixel trackers only have a range of 100 feet? That’s pretty limiting, unless you’re an agoraphobe. Fortunately, TrackR offers Crowd Locate. What is Crowd Locate, exactly? It means that everyone with a TrackR app can help you find your missing tracker. Just mark it as lost and all TrackR apps will automatically detect it if they’re in 100 feet of the bravo or pixel. They’ll have no idea they’re helping you out, and you’ll be notified when your tracker is found.
Keep in mind that TrackR is not one of the top three most popular Bluetooth tracker companies, so their network of app-users is going to be smaller than that of Cube or Tile, a definite drawback.
Smart Platform Integrations
Alexa, where are my keys? Now, you can ask Amazon Alexa to help you find your missing stuff! Unfortunately, TrackR doesn’t have a partnership with Google Assistant, so voice commands will only work within the Amazon ecosystem.
The TrackR— Lost Item Finder App
The TrackR app is primarily where you’ll find your missing trackers and help others find theirs. TrackR also offers two-way separation alerts, meaning that both your tracker and your phone will sound if you step outside of its range. You can also use the TrackR app to ring your phone (even if its on silent) or see your tracker’s last known location. It’s where you’ll set up Alexa, receive notifications, get alerted when your battery is low, and order battery replacements.
Although the TrackR app sounds great in theory, in practice, it is less than beloved by customers. The app only received a 2.1 from the Apple store and a 2.7 from the Google Play store, both really low ratings. Many people complained about the constant notifications from two-way separation alerts,
“False device separation alerts are far too common.. sometimes when my I’m just sitting at my desk with my tracker next to my phone the alert will go off. Having some degree of error certainly is acceptable; however, since this app doesn’t allow for silent notifications this is much more problematic,”
wrote an iPhone user in a two-star review. Yikes!
Recap of the TrackR bravo vs. TrackR pixel
Now, most Bluetooth trackers fall in between $25 and $30, so I was absolutely flabbergasted to see that the TrackR pixel only costs $9.99. That’s about a third of the cost of its competitors, which is almost suspiciously cheap. The TrackR bravo, only available from third-party sellers, costs around $27, a more standard price.
The TrackR bravo and the TrackR pixel are extremely similar, but the differences all land in favor of the pixel. With a louder siren, double-sided adhesives, LED lights, a smaller package, and a lower price, the choice is clear: the TrackR pixel is a much better Bluetooth tracker than the TrackR bravo. Looking at the items side by side, the TrackR bravo doesn’t exceed the pixel in any way.
Despite this, TrackR as a company has some not-so-great features, like poorly-reviewed apps and a smaller community network. Although I wouldn’t necessarily call these dealbreakers, it’s something to consider as you make your buying decision.
Want to learn about your other options? Check out our review of the best Bluetooth trackers of 2019.