The Samsung SmartThings Tracker takes all the work and technology that's grown over the years to get us compact yet powerful trackers, and it offers that in a minimal and easy to use package.
Thanks to the Samsung name it means you get a good looking tracker that works with lots of devices and offers plenty of helpful features. Crucially though, it does this while remaining rugged enough to withstand most conditions.
Samsung throws in the first year of cellular connectivity for free, which is a big draw here. That means you get full GPS and LTE connectivity so you can track, live, from a smartphone as and when you need. That makes this ideal for placing on children, cars, pets and more. It's one of the best personal GPS trackers (opens in new tab) you can get.
Samsung SmartThings Tracker: Design and features
The Samsung SmartThings Tracker is very good looking, as trackers go, thanks to its minimalist appearance. This all white and matte finished unit has smoothly rounded edges and is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. This weighs in at less than an ounce, making it barely noticeable.
This features a loop attachment that makes it easy to hook onto a bag or clothes without any extra clips needed. This means it's easy to move about and use on different things as and when it's needed.
The unit is built to work with GPS but also LTE-M, the low-power cellular network made specifically for these sorts of devices. That means the ability to track, nationwide in real-time from a device that runs the dedicated app.
Everything is IP68 rated, meaning this is water resistant to five feet depth in freshwater for up to half an hour. That means you don't need to worry about sand, dust and rain at all. Ideal if you want to strap this to the outside of a bag for the best possible LTE connection. That said, it isn't the top-dog for outside performance, and if you're looking for a GPS unit to support you in wilderness areas, the Spot Gen4 (opens in new tab) is far better suited to this task.
Samsung SmartThings Tracker: Performance
Powering up and installing the dedicated app is relatively straight forward. Once the cellular services are up and running you're good to go, with a date given to show when your free year is up. After that it's $50 per year for the cellular connection subscription, or paid monthly, it's $5 per month.
Notification zones can then be setup which work to send you alerts when the device leaves those locations. Ideal for a parent setting this up for their child where the school can't be left as a zone during the day. Two zones can be used with the smallest radius at 700 feet.
In real world use there is a lag between the movement of the tracker outside of the zone and the notification arriving. Expect this to be as fast as four minutes but as long as nine minutes. It's not amazing but it is better than nothing.
That's not to say it isn't quick if you ask to see where the device is from within the app – this works instantly with results shown on a map.
Power saving modes are a useful option, saving battery by not pinging when immobile. The ability to set when these modes kick in is also useful. With this turned on expect to get a week out of the device on a charge. With it off you're more likely to need to recharge after about five days.
Automations are a nice touch if you have other Samsung SmartThings devices. This can be setup to activate those devices when the presence is detected. So it can have your lights turn on when it detects you come in the front door, for example.
This is very much an everyday GPS device, so if you need something more sensitive for tracking kids or elderly people, you should opt for the AngelSense Guardian (opens in new tab) instead.
Should you buy the Samsung SmartThings Tracker?
This is a very good option for anyone that wants GPS and LTE tracking, on demand, for long-range tracking. The free year of connectivity make it a great way to try a service like this. The addition of IP68 water resistance, SmartThings device compatibility and the helpful app with map based information make this very appealing for the price.
If you want more accuracy and specific uses there are dedicated devices for elderly and child tracking, like the AngelSense. But for a general use device this offers a very impressive performance.