You needn’t look further than your favorite social media feed to see that plenty of folks received an Apple AirTag over the holiday season. But while the photogenic, $29 Apple item tracker has become synonymous with the never-lose-your-stuff technology, the far less ubiquitous $28 Chipolo One Spot offers similar functionality and features, including the integration of Apple’s Find My network.
When it comes to locating your misplaced items, both trackers easily get the job done while still sporting their own strengths and weaknesses.
Given their comparable tech and similar price tags, it can be understandably difficult to determine which one best suits your needs and lifestyle. Thankfully, we’ve spent the better part of the last year intentionally losing our valuables to put both the AirTag and One Spot through the paces. Read on to find out which item tracker is right for you.
Get the AirTag if you want a stylish item tracker — and don't mind investing in a holding accessory — that further builds on Apple's Find My network with step-by-step, Precision Finding directions.
Get the Chipolo One Spot if you want an aesthetically understated item tracker that'll connect to your keys right out of the box.
AirTag is for you if…
You want to show off Apple’s fashionable style
Like any Apple product, the AirTag is easy on the eyes. From its shiny, metallic finish to its ubiquitous logo, there’s no mistaking it for anything but an Apple product. Additionally, its aesthetically pleasing look can be personalized with a free engraving.
And if you’re the style-savvy type who changes your iPhone case as often as your socks, you’ll also appreciate shopping the growing market of AirTag accessories, from leather key rings and luggage tags to wallets specifically designed to carry the tracker. Of course, it’s difficult to use the AirTag without an accessory, so ponying up for some sort of holder is also more of a requirement than an option.
You want the most precise directions to your lost items
Both the AirTag and One Spot utilize Apple’s Find My network to lead you to your lost items. Whether your car keys are hidden under your living room couch or were accidentally left on a café counter across town, both trackers have got you covered.
The AirTag slightly edges out the competition, however, with its Precision Finding feature. Thanks to Apple’s U1 ultra-wideband chip, its tracker offers even more specific directions as you approach it. Rather than just following the sound of the AirTag’s ping once in range, you can utilize step-by-step, Siri-assisted help to bring you right to your lost item. If you’d rather not have to hunt around a bit once you’re close to your lost goods, the AirTag’s more precise directions are hard to beat.
One Spot is for you if…
You don’t want to draw attention to your tracker
Thanks to its understated design, the One Spot looks much less like an item tracker and more like a keyless ignition switch. Its poker chip-like size as well as its matte black finish further allow it to hide among other unremarkable items you might have on your key ring.
You don’t want to pay for the privilege of accessorizing your item tracker
The One Spot’s subtle, function-over-fashion design is further accentuated by its key ring hole. Rather than attaching it to the item you want to track with a flashy accessory, you simply use its built-in hole to connect it directly to your key ring. Of course, you’re not limited to using it only this way. With a little imagination and a length of string, you can utilize the hole to attach the tracker to just about anything, from a dog collar to a backpack.
In terms of tech, the AirTag and One Spot both leverage Apple’s Find My network to ensure your misplaced items won’t be lost for long. And while the former slightly edges out the latter with its Precision Finding feature, either choice will lead you to your keys, wallet or whatever other valuables you might have left behind. Both trackers give you a good year or so of power as well as the ability to survive a drop in a puddle or splash by the pool (both carry a water-resistant rating).
The differences are clearer when it comes to cosmetics. The AirTag, which can be engraved for some extra personalization, sports a more premium, stylish aesthetic, while the One Spot looks like any other piece of black plastic you might attach to your keychain. That’s not a knock against the Chipolo, as its reserved design allows it to blend in among any clutch of keys and trinkets. This no-frills design also ties directly to the cost-effective functionality of the built-in keyhole, which lets you attach the One Spot right out of the box.
If none of the aforementioned factors sway your buying decision, you can always let your wallet make the final choice. When purchased individually, the AirTag and One Spot come in at $29 and $28, respectively. But the divide’s a bit wider if buying in bulk, as four AirTags will run you $99 (or $96 at Amazon) versus $90 for a quartet of Chipolo trackers.