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SmartTags: 8 must-know suggestions for utilizing Samsung’s reply to AirTag and Tile




The SmartTag is sufficiently small it will not get in the way in which. 


Tiny devices that enable you to observe down misplaced objects are all the rage this year. Along with Samsung announcing SmartTag and SmartTag Plus trackers in January. Apple not too long ago introduced and launched its personal Tile-like machine, the AirTag. Each gadgets are related in that they depend on Bluetooth that will help you maintain tabs in your keys, a backpack, baggage or perhaps a pet. However there’s extra to it than that. 

There are a number of issues to learn about Samsung’s SmartTag. For a begin, SmartTags hook up with SmartThings Find, a service that is already constructed immediately into Samsung Galaxy phones — SmartThings is Samsung’s app and hub for compatible smart home devices. Moreover, not all SmartTags are created equal. There are literally two completely different fashions. The usual SmartTag launched earlier this yr, whereas the SmartTag Plus was solely not too long ago made out there to buy. Don’t be concerned, I will clarify every thing beneath. 

Here is every thing we learn about Samsung’s SmartTag up to now (and, admittedly, what we do not), from the worth and method it really works, to how to determine which SmartTag to purchase.

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How much do SmartTags cost? 

The SmartTag is $30 for one, $50 for two and $85 for a four-pack. The UWB version is $40 for one and $65 for a two-pack (however, I cannot find the two-pack available for purchase anywhere).

For comparison, a Tile Pro is $35 and an Apple AirTag is $30

Samsung SmartTag: What is it?

Samsung’s SmartTag is a small, battery-powered device that you can attach to things like a wallet, backpack or even your pet. Each SmartTag is powered by the very common and affordable CR2032 battery and is user-replaceable. 

Once it’s set up and linked to your Samsung account, the tag can be found using the SmartThings Find app on your phone 


SmartTag’s are small enough to fit in your keyring. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

How do you use a SmartTag to find a lost item?

After you realize you’ve lost an item, open the SmartThings app on your smartphone. Next, tap the Menu button, then All Devices. Select the SmartTag or SmartTag Plus you’re looking for, followed by View Map. A map will open, showing you the current location of your tag. 

If you’re close to the lost item, you use the gauge on the screen to show how far away the item is. The fuller the gauge gets, the closer you are. To help you find the tag, you can make it play a sound.

If the tag isn’t close to you, don’t worry, it can still be found. Other Samsung devices near the tag will anonymously locate it for you, and then let you know where it is, all without the owner of the device doing a thing. It’s done in the background and is encrypted to ensure privacy. 


SmartThings Find is the app you’ll use to track down list items.

James Martin/CNET

Why are there two different types of SmartTags?

In a classic Samsung move, there are two different types of SmartTags. The standard SmartTag uses Bluetooth Low Energy as its connection standard. The other version, called SmartTag Plus, uses Bluetooth Low Energy along with ultrawideband connectivity. Not all Samsung phones are equipped with the necessary hardware to connect to UWB devices, which is potentially one reason for Samsung is offering two different tags. Currently, only the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra support UWB. 


Samsung’s Galaxy S21 is a good-looking phone, right? 

James Martin/CNET

What’s the difference between the two SmartTags?

Using the SmartThings Find app to locate tags that are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy, you won’t be able to see a tag’s exact location, but an estimate of how far away or close it is. It’s the same kind of tech that’s used to stream music from your phone to your wireless earbuds or allow your phone to act as a key with a smart lock. 

With ultrawideband, your phone and the tag are able to talk to each other and estimate a more precise location, within a few inches. Using a series of short pulses, a UWB device can communicate measuring how long it takes for one of the pulses to be received and answered by another UWB device. In short, UWB is far more precise than BLE. 

We have a far more detailed explanation here of what exactly UWB is, how it works and other ways it can be used. 


All the color options for your Bluetooth Samsung SmartTag.

Samsung/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

When can I buy both versions?

Right now. Samsung launched the standard SmartTag first, and you can currently find them in all the normal places you’d find electronics, such as Amazon. The UWB version SmartTag Plus launched at the end of April and are available directly from Samsung


Samsung revealed two new SmartTags and their pricing.

Samsung/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Will both tags work with every Galaxy phone?

No. You can use the base SmartTag with any Galaxy phone, but only the Galaxy S21 Plus, S21 Ultra and last year’s Note 20 Ultra support the UWB technology found in the SmartTag Plus.


It’s too bad you can’t use a SmartTag to track down the new S Pen for the S21 Ultra. 

James Martin/CNET

What else should I know?

The extra features of UWB mean that you can use a dedicated augmented reality mode in the SmartThings Find app that will help you pinpoint a tag’s location in the real world, instead of using a gauge that fills in as you get closer to it. 

Using AR, you’ll be able to hold up your phone and view exactly where the tag is, using a combination of your phone’s camera and a graphic in the app to see the world around you. 

Battery life is expected to last months, but that can be shortened if you use the AR feature often with the Plus model, or leave a Tag alone for an extended amount of time.  

Curious how SmartTags compare to Apple’s AirTags and Tile? We were, too. If you’re considering getting the Galaxy S21, we have some thoughts about the different models

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Android Update

Greatest Android telephones to purchase for 2021



Telephone expertise strikes quick and at the moment’s prime cellphone producers are pushing out improvements faster than ever earlier than. Options comparable to Tremendous AMOLED shows and tremendous quick 5G connectivity are commonplace, with extra futuristic tech like foldable shows accessible for many who need cutting-edge telephones (and who’ve the deep pockets to pay for them). Samsung’s Galaxy line dominates the Android class and that is doubtless not going to finish anytime quickly. However different corporations are gunning for the distinction of being the very best Android cellphone — and also you, the potential buyer, profit from all this competitors.

Quite a lot of implausible Android smartphone choices can be found at quite a lot of costs, starting from budget Android phones to high-end flagship telephones. We took a have a look at the very best Android choices and rounded up our favorites, which we replace periodically. These telephones have usually nice battery life, cameras, screens or the entire above. We additionally took into consideration options comparable to wi-fi charging, fingerprint sensor and expandable storage. Learn on to see our prime picks for the very best Android phones and take a look at our tips about how to buy a new phone, too.

Learn extraBest phones of 2021

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As Samsung’s elite flagship phone for 2021, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a brilliant 6.8-inch AMOLED display with an ultrasmooth 120Hz refresh rate that also supports Samsung’s S-Pen stylus, an awesome rear camera with incredible zoom skills and 5G connectivity for super speedy data. This is the best in mobile technology that Samsung has to offer, and it’s the Android phone to go for if you’re keen to put cutting-edge tech in your pocket.

Read our Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review.


If you want a 5G phone that doesn’t cost too much, the Pixel 4A 5G is one of our top Android mobile phone picks. The handset has a solid battery life, fantastic dual rear cameras and robust software support from Google. There’s also the Pixel 5, which has a great 90Hz display, but it costs more at $699 (£599, AU$999).

Read our Google Pixel 4A 5G review.


Angela Lang/CNET

Pixel phones have a loyal following and with good reason. Without considering its price, Google’s Pixel 4A Android phone has top-notch camera performance that takes brilliant photos. But this Android device is an even better deal as the budget smartphone costs $349 (£349, AU$599). The 5.81-inch handset also features a headphone jack, 128GB of storage out of the box and better battery life than the previous year’s Pixel 4.

Read our Google Pixel 4A review.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

While OnePlus isn’t as well-known as Apple or Samsung, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro offer a premium experience at a relatively more affordable budget phone price than rivals. Both phones are 5G-enabled, run the most powerful Qualcomm processor and have multilens cameras. The OnePlus 9 is our favorite of the two, with all of the features we love from the series but at the more affordable price and with better battery life. It’s a solid option if the lofty prices of the Galaxy S21 Ultra are out of your reach.

Juan Garzon/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE packs much of what we’ve come to expect from its premium S range of phones, including multiple rear cameras, great performance and 5G connectivity, but wrapped it in cheaper materials and brought the price down to a more affordable phone. This Android phone won a coveted CNET Editors’ Choice award, and it’s the phone to go for if you want a great Samsung phone but don’t want to empty your bank account to get it.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition review.


Angela Lang/CNET

Foldable phones have yet to hit the mainstream, remaining instead only in the reach of those willing to spend top dollar on the latest in mobile innovation. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the best folding phone around, offering top-notch performance, a great camera setup and a variety of tweaks to its folding technology that make this Android handset more durable than its predecessor.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The Motorola Edge Plus has pretty much everything you’d hope for in a premium 5G phone: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, a giant battery, an OLED screen with a high refresh rate, and multiple rear cameras with heavy-duty specs. Motorola took features found on other top-of-the-line Android phones, put its own Moto spin on them and built them all into one of our favorite Android phones of the year.

Read our Motorola Edge Plus review.


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Android Update

Android vs. iPhone: 7 issues Apple cellphone house owners want they might do




Android telephones have some options that make iPhone house owners jealous.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

The argument between iPhone and Android house owners is as previous as each platforms, and one I can not see coming to an finish anytime quickly. With every announcement and launch of main updates, each side wish to level out copied options or updates that the opposite working system lacks. In a variety of methods, the talk feels much like politics, each side simply cannot discover frequent floor. 

For instance, Google not too long ago introduced the Android 12 developer beta. It is accessible for under the very courageous to try out right now, and whereas there’s not a variety of consumer-facing options activated in it fairly but, we do know that Google is borrowing the iPhone’s microphone and camera use indicators to reinforce privateness. And extra not too long ago, Google introduced it’ll begin requiring Android app builders to record all of the different types of personal data an app collects about customers in its Play Retailer itemizing, similar to Apple added in iOS 14.

Conversely, when Apple launched iOS 14 the iPhone gained new home screen widgets and the option to create custom app icons. Yea, Android customers had enjoyable with that oldie however goody.

Though Apple retains including Android-like options to iOS, Android customers nonetheless have loads of bragging rights over iPhone customers. From with the ability to use two apps on the similar time to Google Assistant and extra customization choices are, for now not less than, among the options Android house owners can declare as their very own. Under are seven issues Android nonetheless does higher than the iPhone. Details.

 Don’t fret, although. I’ve given Android the identical therapy by highlighting what the iPhone does better. Additionally info.

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Use the apps you want, not the apps Google wants you to 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Apple added the ability to set your default app for email or web browsing in iOS 14, but that’s it. 

Google has always given Android users the ability to set their default apps for a number of different tasks. Want to use a different app for text messaging than what came preinstalled? Do it. In fact, you should use Google Messages as your default app for its sweet chat features that are getting closer to being an iMessage equivalent. 


Finding the setting for default apps can take a little digging, but at least it’s there. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

It isn’t hard to see which apps have been labeled as default on your Android device: Open the Settings app and go to Apps & notifications > Default apps. To change the defaults, select the app category, such as Phone app or Browser app and choose from the options.

Google Assistant is always ready for you. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google Assistant for the all the wins

iPhone users have Siri, but Android gives you Google Assistant. Google Assistant is a much more sophisticated tool than Apple’s Siri for a slew of reasons, but the most important one is that it makes use of Google’s impressive database. 

Google Assistant can understand common requests for businesses and names, plus it gets requests right more often than wrong. It also returns high-quality responses, drawing from Google Search, a tool that Siri doesn’t have access to.

Google Assistant also tightly integrates with the phone’s other functions, to tell you when it’s time to leave for your next meeting and warn you that traffic will be heavy on the way home. If you have any Google Home or Nest Home smart speakers or other compatible devices, you can also use Assistant on your phone to control smart devices around your house like lights, outlets or your thermostat — even from afar.


Split Screen is easy to use on an Android phone and increases the versatility of a phone. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

And it’s built right into your Android device. “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google” are the two wake phrases. If you need help knowing what to ask, you can ask Google Assistant for a list of commands: “OK, Google, What can you do?” iPhone owners can also install the Google app to use Assistant, but it’s not built in and it’s not the default personal assistant. 

Split-screen mode gives you two apps at the same time

Even though iPadOS supports using multiple apps at the same time, iOS 14 and the iPhone do not. Android users, however, have had split-screen apps since 2016 with the release of Android 7.0 Nougat.

Using two apps is helpful if you’re trying to look up a contact’s phone number to send to someone on Facebook Messenger, or if you need to reference information in a document when composing an email. It’s unclear why Apple hasn’t added this feature to the iPhone yet, but perhaps it has something to do with the size of the app windows on the iPhone’s display as compared with the larger iPad. 


Move icons around to arrange them, or delete them and only use the app drawer. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The easiest way to use split-screen mode is to open the multitasking view and tap on the app’s icon at the top of its multitasking card — it’s the same icon you use to launch the app from your home screen. Select Split screen from the list of options, then select the second app you want to have open at the same time. (These steps might vary depending on which Android phone you use. For example, Samsung phones have their own version of the interface.)

You can adjust the size of each app by dragging the small handle between the two apps to expand or decrease how much space each app takes up.


Support at the OS-level for a stylus is a killer feature. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The stylus is mightier than an Apple Pencil 

Not every Android device supports a stylus, but Android owners at least have the option to buy a phone like the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy S21 Ultra or even Motorola’s Moto G Stylus

Having built-in stylus support means you can write notes, create sketches and edit photos with precision. It’s a tool that many users like, and on Android, it’s definitely an option. With Samsung expanding its S Pen to more devices like the S21 Ultra, one has to assume other Android-makers will follow. Samsung has led the way for years on bringing new features to Android, often beating out Google. Either way, Android fans already have some worthy options if they want a stylus. 

Rumors have circulated for years that Apple would bring Apple Pencil Support to the iPhone, but we’ve yet to see it happen.

Customize your home screen just how you like it

Apple’s approach to the home screen is still locked to placing all installed apps in a rigid grid, although you can now add widgets to the home screen and use custom app icons to mix up the overall look. However, the home screen on Android devices don’t follow a grid layout, allowing you to place apps anywhere you’d like. Both platforms let you make folders containing groups of apps.

The benefit of Android’s approach is that you can customize the home screen by arranging app icons in any pattern of your choosing. 


The way your Android phone’s home screen looks is because of its launcher. But you’re not stuck with what comes preinstalled. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Use launchers to fully customize your phone

Launchers are the epitome of Android customization. These apps let you completely change how you interact with the home screen, the app drawer and even the app icons on your phone. Using a launcher on your Android phone allows you to customize almost every aspect of how your phone looks and behaves, making your phone even more personal than it already is. 

Launchers like Nova Launcher, Microsoft’s Launcher, Apex Launcher and Action Launcher all add their own twists and features to your Android phone. For example, another popular Android launcher, Evie, emphasizes using a search bar to quickly find and open apps, or anything else on your Android phone for that matter. It’s minimalism at its finest. 

I recommend taking some time to research the various launchers, trying a couple of them and really customizing the look and feel of your phone. Just be forewarned: The deeper you dive into the world of launchers, the more time and energy you’re going to spend on tweaking your setup.

It’s hard to imagine a world where Apple ever lets something like this happen for the iPhone, although it appears it is loosening its grip on how much iPhone users can change the look of their home screen


The Wallpapers app is a must for any Android user. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Never get bored with automatically changing wallpapers

If taking the time to find and customize a launcher feels like a lot of work, there’s another way to make your Android phone constantly feel fresh and it’s yet another thing your iPhone friends can’t do — use Google’s Wallpapers app

The Wallpapers app refreshes the wallpaper on your home screen and lock screen daily, without you having to do a thing. 

There are several different categories of wallpaper styles to choose from. Pick your favorite and let the app take care of the rest. Personally, I like to use the geometric shapes category. The wallpapers are unique and colorful. 

Granted, the iPhone now has wallpapers you can pick from that change based on whether or not dark mode is activated, and if you take the time to find or build a Shortcut, you can automate changing your wallpaper on a schedule — but it’s not as easy to use as the Wallpapers app. 

If you’re ready to switch to Android, or are looking to get more from the Android phone you already own, check out our list of the best Android phones of 2021. If you’re new to Android, make sure to change these Android settings right away. Then after that, we have some helpful tips for using Android 11

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Android Update

Which Samsung Galaxy cellphone must you purchase? We examine all of them



Samsung has all the time had one thing of a scattergun strategy to its cellphone launches, providing all kinds of handsets with various specs and ranging costs. That is nonetheless very a lot the case at present, with its top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra main the pack, telephones just like the S20 FE providing nice specs at extra cheap costs, and fashions such because the Z Fold 2 utilizing progressive folding screens to tempt the money out of your pockets. 

On the one hand, meaning there’s doubtless one thing for everybody, it doesn’t matter what your tastes or finances. Nonetheless, it does make it troublesome to sift by way of all the pieces the corporate provides to see what’s truly price contemplating. 

We have achieved the arduous work and have rounded up all of Samsung’s present principal smartphones so you’ll be able to work out precisely which could go well with you greatest. Unsure you even desire a Samsung? Then try our information to the best Android phones, or head over to our roundup of all of the best phones you can currently buy in 2021

Sarah Tew/CNET

With its supercharged processor, 5G connectivity, S Pen stylus assist and superb digicam expertise, the Galaxy S21 Extremely 5G represents the head of what Samsung at present provides in its telephones. It is the one to go for when you actually worth taking superb images together with your cellphone, or just if you wish to know you have bought the newest, biggest know-how stuffed into your denims.

Read our Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Final 12 months’s Galaxy S20 sequence was good, however the entire vary got here with a excessive worth that meant they have been out of attain for a lot of. The S20 FE (which stands for “Fan Version”) was Samsung’s try to deal with this with a cellphone that packs a lot of the identical prime tech — together with an excellent processor and strong digicam — however at a extra midrange worth. We liked the end result sufficient to award it a coveted CNET Editors’ Alternative award and it is nonetheless an excellent cellphone to contemplate in case your finances would not stretch to the newest flagships.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition review.


Drew Evans/CNET

Not like the Extremely, the S21 Plus would not assist the S Pen stylus, it has a barely smaller show and it lacks the unimaginable zoom expertise of the highest mannequin. Nonetheless, it makes use of the identical processor, has a meaty battery and nonetheless has that 5G connectivity. Its lower cost makes it a extra inexpensive choice than the Extremely, however you are still getting a premium flagship expertise with the Gorilla Glass Victus backing that additionally options on the S21 Extremely.

Read more.


Sarah Tew/CNET

With its extra modest worth, the bottom Galaxy S21 is a good mixture of efficiency and worth that CNET reviewer Patrick Holland known as “the no-brainer improve cellphone.” It would not have the zoom expertise of the Extremely’s digicam, however it will possibly take nice pictures nonetheless, has the identical highly effective processor and a giant, vibrant show. Plus, it is able to benefiting from tremendous quick 5G speeds.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Notice sequence has usually been the place Samsung packs its best possible know-how and that is definitely the case for the Notice 20 Extremely. Its show is wonderful, it is bought immense energy, 5G connectivity and a tremendous digicam that seriously impressed me on a photography road trip. The S-Pen stylus makes it nice for notice taking, which suggests it is a very strong choice for the extra skilled amongst you who desire a cellphone for each work and play.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.


Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung’s unique folding cellphone was a novel concept but it surely was the following technology — the Galaxy Z Fold 2 — that refined it. It is nonetheless primarily a pill that folds in half to grow to be a cellphone, but it surely’s bought an improved hinge, higher specs all spherical, 5G connectivity and a much bigger show on the skin that really makes it usable as a cellphone. Folding telephones might not be to everybody’s tastes and so they definitely come at a premium, however when you’re after a bit of this futuristic tech, the Z Fold 2 is the perfect one to purchase.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If the Galaxy Fold is a pill that folds in half to grow to be a cellphone, the Z Flip is a cellphone that folds in half to easily grow to be a smaller cellphone. When open, it has a giant 6.7-inch show, however fold it in half and it turns into a small sq. that is simple to slip right into a denims or jacket pocket. We like its neat design, together with its first rate all-round specs and 5G connectivity and it is a extra inexpensive folding choice than the powerhouse Galaxy Fold 2.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review.



Samsung’s new A52 5G replaces the A51 launched solely final 12 months and it sits on the prime of Samsung’s extra inexpensive A sequence of telephones. The A52 5G has a giant 6.5-inch show, 6GB of RAM, a a number of rear digicam setup (together with 64-megapixel principal lens, vast angle and macro cameras) and 5G connectivity. We’re but to totally take a look at the brand new A sequence, however on paper the A52 5G provides a strong all-round set of specs for a worth that is rather more approachable than the highest S21 fashions.


The A42 5G sits slightly below the A52, supplies barely much less RAM, loses the macro digicam and has a decrease decision front-facing digicam. It nonetheless has 5G connectivity although, together with a barely greater battery and a touch greater show, which may make it an excellent inexpensive choice for these of you who watch a whole lot of movies on the transfer. 


If 5G speeds are your prime precedence however you do not need to spend a lot cash, Samsung’s Galaxy A32 5G is the place try to be wanting. Its low worth makes it one of many least expensive 5G-enabled telephones it is potential to purchase proper now, but it surely additionally snags you a giant 6.5-inch show and a multi rear digicam setup. We’re but to totally evaluate this cellphone so we will not vouch for its general efficiency, but it surely’s troublesome to argue with that worth. 


The Galaxy A12 is the most cost effective cellphone Samsung sells and it is the one to contemplate for these of you who merely desire a cellphone for all of life’s necessities and need not waste cash on extravagant cameras or supercomputer-levels of processing energy. It would not have 5G, but it surely does have 4 rear cameras, a 6.5-inch show and a capacious 5,000-mAh battery which, given the commonly low calls for of the specs, I would count on to present simply a full day of energy. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Often you’ll be able to decide up final 12 months’s fashions for a giant saving over the present technology, however not so with the S20 and S21 sequence. Final 12 months’s Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Extremely are nonetheless obtainable by way of shops like Finest Purchase and so they’re nonetheless wonderful telephones. Nonetheless, Samsung made a specific push with this 12 months’s S21 sequence to be extra inexpensive and as such the entire S21 sequence of telephones are cheaper than their equivalents from final 12 months. 

Specs-wise there’s not truly an enormous quantity of distinction and arguably among the construct supplies on the S20 sequence is somewhat bit extra premium, however general we suggest shopping for the newest fashions, significantly on this case because it truly saves you cash.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 5G review.


Learn extraSamsung Galaxy A Series: New lineup starts at $110, two models have 5G

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