One of the most useful gadgets I’ve discovered through working for OxGadgets is bluetooth tracking devices. I’ve tried a few of them now, including the MYNT Smart Item Tracker and when I got the chance to sample the MYNT ES, I was delighted. This was a sample gifted to me for review purposes but all views are my own.
Firstly, I will explain exactly what the MYNT ES is. It’s a small plastic device, which is about the size of two £1 coins laid together, which can be attached to almost anything, like a wallet, a bag, a suitcase, a jacket or a pet, to name but a few. It pairs with a special MYNT app on your smartphone and then if the item in question is lost, the device will be detected by others using the MYNT app, with Bluetooth technology, and you will be alerted to the item’s location. It’s also handy if you lose your phone because depressing the button on the app will make your phone ring so you can locate it easily, even if your phone is on silent. It sounds like a very useful gadget, so the question is, is it as good as it sounds?
It comes packed in a small white box, housed in foam. There is also a product warranty and a quick start guide in the box and it comes with a CR 2032 3V lithium battery included. It was easy to download the app from the app store. I have an iPhone SE so had no compatibility problems. It works with iOS 8.0 and above and iPhone 4S or newer models. It also works with iPod touch 5, iPad 3 gen, iPad mini and later devices. As for Android it works with Android 4.4.4 and above with Bluetooth 4.0 and later. The app is pretty basic. Other Bluetooth trackers I’ve used have apps that advise you when the battery needs to be replaced and that would be a really good addition to this app. It’s easy to navigate, mainly because it’s so basic, and paired promptly with no issues. Another thing that was lacking in this app was a working FAQ section. Currently, there’s a list of questions that when clicked doesn’t take you anywhere. The screen goes white as if it’s about to answer your question, but then it returns to the questions. The app needs some work, but it’s something I am willing to live with because otherwise the tracker is good.
If you’ve never used one of these devices before you might be wondering how the lost item (with tracker attached) can be located. For example, if you left your wallet in an airport in Paris and then you flew to London, what are the chances of finding it? The way this works is by sharing location information with a unique global network. When someone reports a lost item using the MYNT app, all MYNT users around the world can help find it. If someone with a MYNT app on their phone was to walk past that lost wallet in the airport in Paris, it would alert you no matter where you are in the world and you could view the item’s location on a map. It’s a really great idea and it does work. Since I started using tracker apps last summer, I’ve helped four users find their lost items, just by going about my business and having the apps on my phone. It’s worth noting though, that these notifications came through on a competitor’s app, not MYNT. I actually don’t know if I’ve helped anyone find a lost item with MYNT. Does that mean less people are using MYNT or does it mean that the app doesn’t alert you the way the competitor’s does? I’m not sure.
If you press the M button on the tracker, it does indeed call your phone, even when on silent. Your phone has to have Bluetooth switched on all the time for this to work, otherwise it won’t be able to find your phone. I’ve never been in the habit of having Bluetooth switched on until I started using these trackers because I had security fears but to operate a lot of the features of this device and the app, Bluetooth is essential.
Something else that is worth mentioning is the battery and how to change it. The back of the device has to be removed completely, and while that’s not difficult, the plastic is very thin so you would have to be careful when removing it. When it’s opened, I had major anxiety because I could see all the inner workings of the device and they could easily be damaged. This is different from other trackers. One of the ones I use regularly has a little groove that houses the battery and it can be slipped in and out, without having to expose the guts of the tracker. Perhaps in future generations of this device, they could adapt the design so that battery changing only exposes the battery and not the electrical elements. What’s good though is that the battery will last for up to a year. I guess the life of the battery depends on how many times you lose it or have to ring your mislaid phone.
Overall, I think this is a decent tracker. Having used MYNT and a competitor with a similar item, I can say that although it does its job well, there are a lot of improvements that could be made. However, MYNT trackers are considerably cheaper so if you just want a tracker and aren’t too concerned about monitoring battery life or having a sophisticated design that makes battery changing less risky, this is an excellent choice.
The MYNT ES is currently priced at £12.99 on Amazon for one. They’re available in two colours, black and white and you can buy multipacks for £44.99 for four.