Apple AirTag review: high precision and an immense network of “helpers” in what occupies a button

This Apple AirTag review is based on our one of the member at Technoeager. Despite being one of the smallest products that the brand has presented, perhaps the most, and not by far the first of its kind, the Apple AirTag captured a lot of attention from the first moment. In Technoeager we have thoroughly dedicated ourselves to something that someone with little memory does with amazing ease: losing objects. Of course, with this product hooked, and after that we bring you the Apple AirTag review.

It is a locator device that serves precisely the same purpose: having valuable objects located that we do not want to lose and that there is a better chance of being able to recover them if this happens. Its strengths: ultra-broadband and pulling the user community so that there is a global location network without compromising their privacy.

Apple AirTag Specifications

DIMENSIONS31.9mm diameter
8.0mm thick
WEIGHT11 grams
ENDURANCEIP67 certified (up to 1 meter for 30 min)
Apple U1 (UWB)
SOUNDBuilt-in loudspeaker
DRUMSReplaceable CR2032 battery (included)
COMPATIBILITYiPhone with iOS 14.5 or higher
iPad with iPadOS 14.5 or higher
PRICE35 dollars

The way to pair devices and manage Bluetooth in Apple is like the backyard of my house, private. The advantage of this is that the AirTags enjoy the very simple pairing system that we saw in AirPods Pro, HomePod and other Apple devices: they approach the iPhone or iPad and the link notification automatically appears.

The AirTag zooms to the iPhone or iPad and the link notification automatically appears

In the case of AirTags, we can select which object we are going to attach them to (or write it), something that we can change later. It is automatically associated with our Apple ID and in total the pairing is a very fast and easy process.

The AirTag can only be associated with one user. That is, we will not be able to share it, in fact it is not shared with another member of the Apple “Families”, and it will be associated with our ID even if the battery is removed.

Apple AirTag

The app we need to finish configuring and using them is “Search”. In it, they are presented in the Objects tab, so that they appear according to the object or name that we have established and the location (if we have them at home or next to us, “With you” will also appear).

Each AirTag / object has its own menu of actions, from which we can execute the main functions of the AirTag :

  • Let the AirTag play a sound.
  • Precision search: to guide us through indications and vibrations (these as a kind of traditional hot-cold to indicate a location). It works if we are close.
  • Activate notifications when found (if we activate Lost Mode).
  • Rename object: we can choose the drawing (an emoji) and the name if we do not want anything from the selectable.
  • Delete object: what in practice is to reset an AirTag. It is ready to re-link (with whatever ID).

After this we leave it to our liking, taking into account that given the product and the use there is not much mystery either. In the tab of each AirTag we can also see the approximate autonomy that the battery has left.

To clarify that from the beginning we will surely need an accessory to hook them anywhere (unlike others. Comment in this regard that we have tried leather rings and AirTag Loop and that they seem quality, but you have to be careful with the metal part of the “click” button, since with the corner it is not difficult to touch the back of the AirTag and scratch it.

Use experience

Apple AirTag

The AirTags come with an unused battery (type CR2032) thanks to the fact that the plastic that surrounds them ends up as a mixture of a sandwich between the contact of the circuit and it, so that when we pull the plastic we turn it on. In theory it should last us about a year (an estimate based on the sound alarm being emitted four times a day and using the nearby search once a day), so as you might think, there has not been time to exhaust it in this analysis (for much that we made them beep and activated the search with precision).

AirTags are very light, they resemble a badge due to their size and their weight is that of any other key ring. They are 3.19 millimeters in diameter with a thickness of 0.8 millimeters.

With the battery the weight is 11 grams. And unlike the Samsung SmartTags, they do not have any physical button, since it does not require it due to its operation and functions.

Finding something with them is very simple (when possible) and the location is quite precise when we pull the nearby search when possible

Finding something with them is very simple (when possible) and the location is quite accurate when we pull the nearby search when possible. Of course, the acoustic signal is quite discreet, perhaps it could be something more striking in order to be found in louder environments.

The close search is a hoot for that first profile that we mentioned as “generic clueless” (I have a friend who is), but we will always have to remember that it is a function that is possible if the object is close. The iPhone or iPad is directed quite precisely as soon as we are about two meters away, until that moment the direction indications do not appear.

Apple AirTag
iphone AirTag

The app will tell us that we are close to about seven meters from the AirTag, and as we get closer it responds with both a haptic response (a soft vibration) and an acoustic warning, which intensify as we get closer. It is like the game of finding something with “cold” and “hot”, so that these notices are the final “hot, you’re burning” (but in discreet and with the advantage that it is not only visual or sound signals).

Those seven meters also normally already allow us to hear the acoustic signal, which helps a lot because the direction that the app indicates a priori does not usually hit the first target if the object is very hidden. Thus, as we get closer, the direction is correct and the AirTag is soon reached, and the acoustic signal will be the definitive remedy. Tested with children who hide things very well.

Of course, it should be noted that the nearby search pulls augmented reality. A function that is very demanding at the performance level and this will cause the temperature of the mobile to rise, which in the iPhone 12 mini is noticeable considerably.

Lost Mode

What happens when, in the worst case, we have lost an object associated with an AirTag? Then the convenient thing is to activate the Lost Mode. In this way, we can configure a warning so that someone contacts us if the AirTag is found, or that we directly skip a Search notification if we are the ones who are nearby.

Apple AirTag

The notification appears when it is actually in our range, so that it tells us the location and we can go there if we want by pulling Apple Maps (or if we want to manually add the address in another app, although this will make less sense as the real-time AirTag location). Of course, we will have to activate this in the AirTag configuration (there is a switch to activate the notification).

In Lost Mode we configure a notice with our phone so that they can contact us. It is what will appear to another user with an iOS device automatically, or if an Android mobile user finds the AirTag and scans it. Testing with a OnePlus 8T we had a little trouble getting the notification to jump, but we finally succeeded.

Here we see that the possibility appears to deactivate the tracker so that the location is not shared, basically indicating how to dismount and remove the battery. It is also recommended that if there is concern about being located, you contact the authorities, something that is part of the “anti-harassment mode” that Apple has introduced for now.

This mode allows, in the case of a user of an iOS device (with version 14.5), to notify him with a notification that he is carrying a foreign AirTag, also emitting the acoustic signal (according to Apple, both alerts when is outside the range of the AirTag owner). In the case of carrying an Android mobile, the AirTag will sound after three days. Hence, it is still a somewhat limited function.

In our case, trying to find something “stolen” or “trying to harass someone”, we have obtained the location of the AirTag very punctually, so in this case the carrier (with Android mobile) has not moved in an environment of much Apple device. In addition, when the object marked as lost has been in our reach, it has not always warned us (the notification is activated).

Apple AirTag review

In any case, it is quite useful as an extra possibility of finding something lost or stolen, except in the case that the possible thief is skilled and ends up deactivating or removing it. With the advantage of pulling a network that covers iOS and macOS devices thanks to “Find My” we have been able to find out about the lost object after a while, being able to go to the place indicated in the notification (at the moment when it has been close).

As we said when talking about “Find My”, this function pulls Bluetooth Low Energy, whose support in the AirTag comes thanks to its white cover. This allows users of an iPhone, iPad or Mac to act as a beacon and we can have a location relatively frequently if the object is moving or if it is a passage area and it will depend on the site (more likely in cities with a lot of pedestrian traffic than in parks, towns with lower population density, rural or less technical areas, etc.).

Apple AirTag Specifications

In theory, the range of an AirTag for a device of the aforementioned to be “involuntary warning” is up to 100 meters. Working with this technology allows this to happen quickly (it is a 2.4 GHz signal), so if we are lucky enough not to be very far, as we have said, we can have a run and with the help of the nearby search and the beep will try to retrieve the object.

The Apple AirTag, in addition, is certified for resistance to water and dust IP67. Hence, it resists the rain without problem (something that we have been able to test these gray days in this area) or even if we submerge it (no more than half an hour or more than a meter).

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