21 August 2018

REVIEW: Chipolo Card

What a card!

You've heard of Chipolo, right? We certainly have, reviewing most of their glorious Bluetooth tracker back-catalogue over the years. As with Tile, TrackR, and countless other brands, if you have a Chipolo attached to your keys you can use Bluetooth to find 'em. Bloody handy. However, the standard Chipolo tags are too chunky to slide neatly into your wallet - something else you don't want to lose. Enter the Chipolo Card.

The Chipolo Card is essentially the same thing as a normal Chipolo tag; fully enclosed and splash-proof, it uses low-energy Bluetooth to let itself be detected by the Chipolo app, also featuring a single button so you can tap it to find your phone. Like a reverse findy thing. Also bloody handy. However, the Chipolo Card is not a tag designed to be hung from a metal chain - this baby is super slim and flat.

Being about two-thirds the size of a credit card, and only about twice as thick, this plucky little tracker can slide comfortably into most wallets and make it trackable. The Card can be slid either into a vacant debit or credit card slot, or left to sit in the notes pocket - no matter where it goes, you'll have the peace of mind that should you ever drop your purse, you should be able to track it down. Hopefully before some tea-leaf pinches your cash.

Seriously guys, we were alarmed by how thin it was. We decided to slip it into the back, partially hidden pocket of a wallet, and once in there it was not detectable at all. It adds no extra weight or bulk to your wallet, and if you position it right, you can still feel and press the button - so no fiddling around when you need to find your phone.

The Chipolo Card is effective within a range of 200 feet. Basically, if your wallet is within that distance, you should be able to connect to it in the app and start it chirping. One thing to note is the volume: the Card can bleep at an impressive 95 decibels, which is only 5 decibels quieter than its bigger brother, the Chipolo Plus.

Should you be well out of range, the Chipolo Card uses the same Community Search function that all other trackers seem to enjoy. If you mark it as lost on the app, it can still be detected anywhere in the world, so long as there are other Chipolo uses in the area, with their apps running. If one detects it, it'll send a message to you - but not to the actual phone user - so you can make your way over to it and try to ring it yourself. The Chipolo Card does this as effectively as all Chipolos we've tested, with the added benefit of being massively thinner.

Another thing to note is that the battery cannot can replaced. Once dead - and Chipolo assure us all Cards will last for about a year following activation - the unit is essentially useless. We suppose building it with a replaceable battery would both increase the bulk, and nullify the splash-resistance, but still, it'd only one year per purchase.

But, even so, this could be more than worth it if it helps you find your cash-packed wallet just once. Plus, although the design intention is very much concerned with wallets and money, the thin shape means it could feasibly be attached to other important products that might go missing. We know from experience that it slips very easily under a bike seat, sticks well to a drone, and lives very happily in the glove compartment of a car. So no matter what you want to keep an eye one the Chipolo Card is a cost-effective solution.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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