Pros / The mobile app has a unique augmented reality function that tracks your pet through your smartphone’s camera.
Cons / The silicone collar clip gets dirty easily.
Verdict / As its name suggests, the Trax Play has extra tracking features that make it a fun pet tracker to play around with.
Editor’s Note: A newer version of the Trax Play, the Trax G+, is available for preorder. The following is our old review of the Trax Play.
This GPS tracker comes with a USB charging cord and silicone clip case for attaching the tag to your pet’s collar. To activate it, you download a free smartphone app, create an account and personalize the account with your pet’s name, breed and size. With the silicone case on the tag, it still only weighs 1.5 ounces, so it’s compact and light enough for smaller breeds like Jack Russell Terriers.
The coolest part of this tracker is its augmented reality function. You view your environment through your smartphone’s camera and the app places a pin in the direction of the tag, noting the distance to the tag. This feature is really fun, but it’s less practical than a satellite GPS view, which is also an option with the Trax Play. It’s not very instinctive to look around through your phone’s camera to view your surroundings. We did, however, have a lot of fun using the augmented reality on hiking trails because we could essentially see the dog through obstructions like hills and large boulders. We noticed this feature worked better the farther away the tag was from the tracking phone.
All the readings we got from the Trax Play were accurate, both in town and in a more rural area. One downside is we noticed the pinpoint range was a little bigger than the other trackers we tested. While other trackers brought us within roughly 75 feet of the tag, the Trax Play brought us within roughly 125 feet. Even so, you can then switch to the augmented reality mode and get an even more accurate location of where the tag is located.
The app has a live tracking feature you can turn on to watch where your pet is moving in real time, which has little to no lag. You can also use geofencing to set up boundaries on a map, and the app will notify you if your pet crosses those boundaries. The Pod 3 and Whistle 3 also have this feature. You do have to pay a monthly subscription to access all of these features from Trax, as is the case with most pet GPS pet trackers that don’t use a SIM card. If Spot has been looking a little hefty these days, the app also monitors your pet’s activity and tells you how much exercise they’ve been getting.
We squirted the tag with a spray bottle to make sure it was indeed water resistant like the packaging claimed, and it passed our test. It was durable in our tests and stayed on our dog’s collar securely, but we did notice the rubbery silicone case got pretty dirty. One full battery charge should give you two to three days during average use – 12 hours if you’re in live tracking mode. While you should take any pet tracking device off your pet when they go to bed for the night, the Trax Play goes into sleep mode if it isn’t moving for five minutes, which saves battery.