GPS Tracker vs Samsung SmartTag For Pets: What’s Best?
Can you track your dog with a SmartTag? Find out what this Bluetooth tracker can & cannot do. Plus learn how a GPS tracker can do everything it can - and more.
Losing your dog or cat is every pet parent’s worst nightmare. So you might’ve considered staying on top of where they’re off wandering – like with a tracking device. But in a crowded market, which one to pick? It’s where you might find yourself scrolling through Amazon and coming across Bluetooth item finders like the Samsung SmartTag. (And specifically, wondering if a SmartTag for pets is a good option for you.)
So here’s the million dollar question. Is the Samsung SmartTag built for tracking pets? And in the long run, can it actually help keep your furry friends safe?
Short answer: no and no. Samsung SmartTags are built for finding items, not animals. When it comes to tracking your wandering dog or cat, you’re best off using a GPS tracker specifically built for pets. Specifically, one which can help you track them live, across an unlimited range – and which has even saved the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats around the world.
So how does a Samsung SmartTag compare to a dedicated pet GPS tracker? Let’s find out.
Table of contents
- What is the Samsung SmartTag?
- How does the SmartTag work?
- SmartTag for pets: Can you put a Samsung Galaxy SmartTag on a dog or cat?
- Does SmartTag have GPS?
- Samsung SmartTag vs SmartTag Plus
- Samsung SmartTag vs Apple AirTag
- Samsung SmartTag: What to watch out for
- GPS pet trackers: What are they & how do they compare?
- Tractive GPS: Built for your peace of mind as a pet parent
- How a GPS tracker could help save your pet’s life
- Tractive GPS vs Samsung SmartTag for pets comparison
- So, is a Samsung SmartTag for pets the best choice?
What is the Samsung SmartTag?
Similar to the Tile tracker or Apple AirTag, the Samsung SmartTag is a small Bluetooth tracker and item finder. (It’s basically an AirTag for Android users.) You can attach it to your keys, car, handbag or other personal item and help you locate it when it’s lost. It has a 1-year battery life, and comes with some additional features like sound and augmented reality.
How does the SmartTag work?
The Samsung SmartTag uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to detect where your lost item is – provided it’s within range. (Aka, around 130 yards, or 120 meters.)
- Then, your device can pick up where your SmartTag is with its Bluetooth function.
- If your SmartTag is outside of that range, you can still locate it offline using SmartThings Find.1
Just like Apple AirTags rely on other iOS devices to locate the AirTag, Samsung SmartTag also uses a network of other Samsung devices nearby to determine its location.
This makes the SmartTag the ideal tool for finding your misplaced backpack on campus. (Where there are sure to be plenty of other Galaxy users around.) Or it could help you figure out where you left your bike, in a city full of Samsung users.
Learn more about how SmartTag works in the video below.
SmartTag for pets: Can you put a Samsung Galaxy SmartTag on a dog or cat?
You technically can hang a SmartTag off your pet’s collar. But should you? Here’s why we would strongly advise against it.
- SmartTags weren’t built keeping pets in mind. So you’ll miss out on a ton of pet parent-friendly features you might find with a dedicated pet GPS tracker instead. Like live real-time tracking, Virtual Fences, Location History, and more.
- SmartTags don’t come with a readymade collar. So they’ll dangle from your pet’s collar instead. Which can stress them out, create a swallow hazard, or even make them get stuck in places. Tractive GPS devices, on the other hand, come equipped with safety clips for dogs and a weight-adjustable Rogz safety collar for cats.
- Your SmartTag might overheat. Which, in at least a few cases, might burn your pet’s fur off. Or even cause them organ damage if it’s against their skin for long periods of time.
- SmartTags need other Samsung devices to work. So while it can help you find your dog or cat if they’re out wandering a city, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll find them anywhere outside of these areas.
SmartTags: Not the best choice for pets
Take for example this scenario: You’re in a rural, forested area when your dog catches a scent and runs after it. Suddenly, they’re out of sight, running deep into the forest, and you have no idea which way they went or how far they’ve gone. Chances are there will not be many Samsung users nearby, if any – so a SmartTag could be useless in this particular situation.
Again, SmartTags are designed for items – not animals. Your keys or handbag aren’t likely to…
- jump a fence,
- hide away when sick,
- dash out the door when your Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas guests arrive,
- bolt after woodland animals on a hike out together
- get into turf wars over their outdoor territory
- wander off somewhere and return with a pollen allergy (or something smelly, dangerous, or potentially infectious)
Because when it comes to dogs and cats, there’s really no limit to how far they’re capable of roaming. So here’s a quick distinction between GPS and Bluetooth trackers – and why it matters when it comes to keeping your pet safe.
Better safe than sorry: Instead of relying on a limited range Bluetooth item finder to track your pet, it is recommended to use a GPS tracker specifically designed for pets like the Tractive GPS for Cats and Dogs.
“Much like the AirTag, your Tractive GPS tracker can use a short range radio to help determine your pet’s location. But unlike the AirTag, Tractive also uses mobile connectivity and GPS. So even if your tracker is nowhere near another mobile device, it’ll still be able to send data to the Tractive servers. So you can quickly and easily see your pet’s location in the app.”– Ivelin Nenkov, Embedded Systems Engineer at Tractive since 2016
Does SmartTag have GPS?
Like the Apple AirTag, the Samsung SmartTag by itself doesn’t have any GPS functionalities. It’s a Bluetooth tracker, so you’re limited by its range. Plus, you’re also limited to a network of other devices and users in case your dog or cat goes missing. However, you can use it’s Navigate features to pick up your SmartTag’s location via Google Maps on your device instead.
Which, if you ask us, is a pretty cumbersome way to locate a moving pet. Rather, it makes way more sense to use one device that both runs on GPS, helps you track your dog or cat in real-time, and works across an unlimited range. Like, for example, the Tractive GPS dog or cat tracker which includes both a GPS unit and 4G technology – and connects your device to mobile networks across 175 countries via it’s built-in SIM card.
So you can track your dog or cat in real-time worldwide, anywhere there is cell coverage, and over any range.
Always know where your pets are
Follow every step in real-time with unlimited range. Get alerts if they wander too far. Keep them happy & healthy with Wellness Monitoring. And let others – like walkers or sitters – keep an eye on your pet too.
💡Besides real-time GPS tracking, Tractive also helps you track via Bluetooth. So you can get the best of both worlds – all in one device. Here’s how you can use Tractive’s innovative Radar Mode to locate your dog or cat indoors.
Samsung SmartTag vs SmartTag Plus
In addition to the SmartTag ($29.99), Samsung also offers the SmartTag Plus ($39.99).
- The main difference is that the SmartTag Plus also features ultra-wideband connectivity, besides Bluetooth.
- It can also use your phone’s rear-facing camera to help point you to the SmartTag – as long as you have one of the latest Samsung Galaxy phones.
Samsung SmartTag vs Apple AirTag
The Samsung SmartTag and Apple AirTag were built for the same purpose: to keep track of personal items that you might lose easily, like keys or a bike. Additionally, they function in the same way, each relying on other devices in the same network (Apple or Samsung) to locate your own device.
The two item finders are essentially the same – with the main difference being that AirTag is only compatible with Apple devices and SmartTag is only compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices. So you won’t be able to use the Samsung tag if you have an iPhone and vice versa.
On the other hand, Tractive GPS, a popular brand of GPS trackers for pets, is compatible with Android and iOS devices – making the tracker suitable for everyone. You can even track your dog or cat in any web browser. And these trackers don’t rely on any specific network of users to function – but rather on universal technologies like GPS and the cellular network.
Samsung SmartTag: What to watch out for
It’s also worthwhile to consider the potential risks of using Samsung SmartTag. Given its similarity to the AirTag, it’s worth noting that AirTags were recently in the news given their use as the “perfect tool” for stalking.2 Despite Apple’s commitment to data security, there’s growing evidence that these kinds of tracking devices are being used for criminal activity across the US.
So be extra careful and look out for possible security threats that might affect you or your loved ones.
Another potential downside of Samsung SmartTag for pets? Much like Tile tags or the AirTag, its small size means that your dog or cat could easily swallow it. So it’s a good idea to supervise your pet if they come into close contact with a SmartTag. Besides, we’ve also come across some SmartTag users who reported that their cat’s fur got burnt off from close contact with it.3
GPS pet trackers: What are they & how do they compare?
Now that we’ve considered the use of SmartTag for dogs, let’s consider GPS pet trackers and how they compare.
A GPS tracker for pets is a small device that attaches to their collar. It allows you to see where they are – and follow every step – with help of GPS.
In addition to worldwide location tracking in real-time, modern GPS pet trackers like Tractive GPS also allow you to keep track of your pet’s activity. So you can see how much exercise and sleep your furry friend is getting – and keep track of their overall fitness.
Most importantly: With a GPS pet tracker, gone are the days of lost dogs and missing cats. You’ll know where your pet is anytime.
See how the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker works in the video below:
Tractive GPS: Built for your peace of mind as a pet parent
Besides that, the Tractive GPS tracker for pets comes with a whole bunch of pawsome features, since it was built specifically for our favorite four-legged friends. These include:
- LIVE Mode: Find your pet in no time with real-time location updates.
- Unlimited Range: Track your dog or cat from anywhere, no matter how far away they roam.
- Virtual Fence: Set up a safe area – and get an alert if your pet leaves the area.
- Location History: See where your furbaby has been in the last 365 days (on a Premium subscription.) Tractive’s Location History is a favorite among Search and Rescue (SAR) teams – and it’s even saved the lives of dogs and cats around the world. Like Imogen, a Borzoi who crashed through the ice in a nearby frozen lake – or a family of sick kittens in Los Angeles.
- Radar Mode: Pinpoint your dog or cat’s location in close range, like inside the house.
- Activity Monitoring: Set daily goals, see how other pets are doing, and keep your four-legged friend in shape.
- Power Saving Zones: Save on battery life in places where your buddy spends lots of time.
How a GPS tracker could help save your pet’s life
To see how a Tractive GPS tracker could help save your pet’s life, check out the video below. One man shares the story of how his dog got stuck in a freezing, snowy crevice in rural Norway, and how the Tractive GPS led to his rescue and safety. Warning: language advisory 😅
Tractive has also saved the lives of curious cats around the world. Here’s the story of Nala, an adventurous outdoors cat who went missing one evening. With a little help from Tractive’s LIVE mode, her parents Michel and Anja were able to track her down in an abandoned house:
“We went into LIVE Mode and…ran towards the location Tractive GPS had pinpointed. We came to an empty house that was still under construction.”
At that point, we had already given up hope and thought that we were never going to be able to find her. So, out of desperation, I shouted out her name.“
“And she responded! Nala started screaming as soon as she heard our voices...our little furball managed to pull it together and we finally took her home. After a little comfort food and some cuddling, her world had been restored to normal.“
“We are both so very thankful that this day – after a few hiccups – had such a happy ending. The fact that Tractive GPS even worked inside that empty house completely saved us and really turned this thing around. I love Tractive for keeping our cats safe.“
Now, let’s look at how the Tractive GPS Tracker compares to the Samsung SmartTag.
Tractive GPS vs Samsung SmartTag for pets comparison
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Tractive GPS Pet Tracker
|Type of tracker
|Bluetooth Tracker & Item Locator
|Dog & Cat GPS Tracker
|Tag and find lost items like keys and bags when they are nearby.
|Follow your dog or cat’s every step in real-time; never lose your pet again.
|$49.99 + subscription
|Only compatible with Samsung devices
|Works on most Android and iOS devices
|40.9 x 40.9 x 9.9 mm
|17.5 x 71.4 x 28 mm
|1 year, replaceable
|Up to 7 days on one charge
|Water resistant (IP53)
|100% Waterproof (IPX7)
|Yes – share with other users in the SmartThings app
|Yes – share with anyone by link or in the Tractive GPS app
|Virtual Fence w/ alerts
“Tractive is the #1 cat GPS tracker in the industry. And it’s the highest quality cat tracker you can find. I was able to set the safe zone as my house area and once my cat gets outside I get an alert right away.
In fact, it probably saved my cat’s life that time she chased a bird and got lost. She was scared and I was able to find her with the help of the GPS tracker. Tractive’s chip frequently calculates your cat’s location and is updated on the map every 2-3 seconds. Furthermore, the LED will help you guard your furry friend at night..”
– Clair Chesterman, Owner of CFA and CCA-registered cattery and fostering company, FluffyMeowPaws3
So, is a Samsung SmartTag for pets the best choice?
No. When it comes to keeping your pet safe, you’re always in the right hands with a dedicated pet GPS tracker.
- Limited range. SmartTags limit your dog or cat to a range of 130 yards (or 120 meters) – while the Tractive GPS works across an unlimited range. Meaning you just need to glance at your phone to know where your pet is.
- Limited network. You’ll only be able to track your SmartTag if you’re surrounded by fellow Samsung users. On the other hand, the Tractive GPS connects with mobile networks across 175 countries – and is compatible with iOS and Android devices alike. So you can track your pet even while on vacation.
- Limited safety. SmartTags aren’t built for pet safety. Their small size and tendency to overheat can seriously harm your pets if left unattended.
Bottom line: the SmartTag is a Bluetooth item finder that was made for finding lost keys and other personal items.
On the other hand, GPS pet trackers are built to help you keep your canine or feline family member safe – they are literally life saving tracking devices for pets.
So no matter how far you or your pet roams, consider investing in a GPS pet tracker for complete peace of mind and the freedom to enjoy your adventures together.
Strapped for time? Here’s everything you need to know about the Tractive GPS – in just 2 minutes:
And if you’ve got a tech-savvy friend or loved one, share this article with them – and help keep their furry friends safe.