Road Tested: Bravo TrackR: a cheap way to follow your luggage around the world

If we’re honest, you’ve no good excuse for losing your keys, pets, luggage, and rambunctious children. These days, there are plenty of trackers to choose from, but one in particular has become quite formidable of late. Bravo’s tracking devices have been around for years, and were predominantly recommended for keeping tabs on a pet at launch. Now, thanks to sophisticated competition from the likes of Tile, the outfit’s latest TrackR addresses many of the gripes early users had.

Gotta track ’em all

Bravo TrackR tracking device

Recently, we used a handful of TrackR discs to track anything and everything going with us on an international jaunt. It’s arguable that the TrackR’s most compelling use case is that of the frequent traveler. If you’re just looking to keep tabs on one or two sets of keys, pretty much any Bluetooth-enabled tracking product will do. If you have three suitcases, two backpacks, a couple of laptop cases, keys, a pet back home, and a super sexy fanny pack for those on-the-town essentials, you can come mighty close to going broke trying to track them all.

Bravo is currently hawking its newer, longer-lasting, thinner TrackR disc for around $12 USD (or £15 in the UK) each when you buy 10. We don’t typically recommend one buy gadgets in bulk – after all, who needs a dozen iPads? – but this is one instance where quantity counts.

You see, it’s much easier to keep tabs on everything you may lose with a single app. If you mix and match trackers, you’ll have to keep a few separate apps open to track them. If you buy a load of TrackR discs, however, a single Bravo app can find them all (up to 10, anyway).

Testing, testing

Bravo TrackR tracking device

In our testing, each TrackR disc took no longer than 30 seconds to pair with our smartphone, and labeling each was a cinch. Unlike competitors, TrackR also works in reverse so long as a disc is within 30 feet or so (Bluetooth range) of your phone. Just press any disc and it’ll ring your phone (iPhone or Android), even if it’s set to silent. We’ve all asked a friend to dial our iPhone after we’ve misplaced it; this is a far better (and less embarrassing) way of locating the most important digital asset we have.

Early TrackR devices had a tendency to lose touch with the app and drain batteries with haste, but the newer ones are rated for a year, and we didn’t experience any drop-outs. Too, you can replace the included CR1620 battery once it exhausts itself — some rivals require you to buy an entirely new homing device.

A little help from your friends…