PROS / It has powerful and highly customizable real-time tracking capabilities.
CONS / The Trax doesn’t have a panic button.
VERDICT / While it lacks an emergency panic button and a lengthy battery life, this device is a cinch to use. It performs live tracking with simplicity and its companion app is intuitive and powerful.
The Trax is a small, tough GPS tracker that works in 39 countries. It uses three satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to produce highly accurate readings. The device does real-time GPS tracking, which means that you can use the Android app or iPhone app to see its location on a map. Its small size makes the GPS tracker easy for your kids to carry in their pocket or bag, and the app is easy for you to use.
One of the best and most unique features is its motion-activated tracking ability. When the device is not moving, it doesn’t waste battery life tracking itself. However, the faster or more often the device moves, the more it updates the location – up to several times per minute. This leads to a highly accurate tracking experience.
The first thing we noticed when testing the Trax was its small size. It’s one of the smallest GPS tracking devices we reviewed, weighing a barely noticeable 1.5 ounces. It doesn’t have any noticeable markings that identify it as a tracker, so it’s fairly inconspicuous. It comes with a clip for attaching it to clothing and a lanyard that you can use to attach it to almost anything.
One of the downsides to the device is its lack of a panic button. This feature is found on all of the best GPS trackers in our comparison. Another downside is its relatively short battery life. While many devices last between five days and two weeks -- and a couple devices last several months – the Trax only lasts up to 72 hours with very minimal use. However, if you don't mind recharging it nightly, or at least every other night, this isn’t a real setback.
A unique feature of the tracker’s companion app is its Augmented Reality tracking ability. The feature can automatically turn on your phone’s camera, letting you move the phone around until you see a logo on your screen that represents the direction where the tracker is. The logo also tells you how far away the Trax is. This feature can be handy if you’re in a large crowd but may be a hassle if you’re just trying to get an update while in a business meeting.
The Trax has one of the most polished and intuitive app interfaces we’ve seen. Within it, you can set up geofence zones, view recent location history and manage multiple devices. It charges via the included mini-USB port, which is ubiquitous so you can easily find replacement chargers for it.
This is the only tracker we reviewed whose purchase price includes two years of prepaid service. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee unless you keep the tracker for more than two years. The device’s service runs through T-Mobile (in addition to GPS), and it ships with a one-year warranty.
The Trax lacks a panic button and decent battery life. However, its clever app and tiny size makes it a good choice for keeping track of your children.