I used to think that ‘baby brain’ not only was a terrible misogynistic stereotypical word that would never cross my lips but also a complete myth.
It’s still a term I dislike, but unfortunately I’m one of its victims. I got pregnant and started to leave my phone on trains and lose my keys in the house, which had NEVER happened before, and I have never been more embarrassed. Five years on, my brain still isn’t what it used to be. I mislay things a lot more than I used to, which is not helped by mischievous kids who like nothing more than to play hide and seek with the TV remote.
In late June I was approached by a company called Beets BLU to review their PagerTag. I can honestly say it has helped with this brain problem in the last month, and even more so on holiday right now.
PagerTag is a digital key fob that basically tracks your valuables using Bluetooth Smart. It works with most smartphones (some Android don’t have Bluetooth Smart so best check before you order), and you just attach the small slim pager to the item you don’t want to lose and link it with your phone, and you’re off. In terms of size and weight, it attaches to things with a thin string and weighs nothing so it’s really easy to carry around. You can slip it into luggage or wallet or attach it to your keys very easily. You could also, I guess, put it on your kids and pets so as not to lose them either, which feels a bit wrong but might actually be a really good thing if your kid is one of those that runs off, especially in a crowded place.
You can do all manners of other things with it too:
- It sounds an alarm on the key fob and the smartphone when the Bluetooth link is lost (around 33 feet/10 meters in line of sight, less in some conditions)
- It has a remote control (accessible on the key fob button) which allows you to do certain actions on your smartphone, like: play/pause music, talking clock, voice memo, fake text or phone sound and more.
- Proximity detection with automatic sound alert : there is a radar function which sounds an alert within a designated proximity. The app also detects and stores the last known location of a key fob at the moment of disconnection.
I’ve not figured out all these things yet, because I really only need the alarm but it’s a handy little thing.
I tested it throughout July and will definitely carry on using it in future, but here’s my little Pros and Cons list to give you an idea of what it’s been like:
PROS: small, lightweight and it does exactly what it says and it does it well, so you really do not need to lose your keys ever again! It looks like I’m not listing a lot of pros against the longer cons list below, but ‘does what it says on the tin’ is as good an endorsement as you could hope for imo.
CONS: I’m going to play devil’s advocate and mention the few frustrations I’ve had with the product. They’re not big things and are purely a matter of preference rather than anything wrong per se but:
- I wish that I could turn off notifications. I don’t like that it is always live on my phone. I get a static notification on my phone that tells me whether or not the pager is connected to the app at all times. It winds me up purely because I don’t want a constant reminder that I have this app on my phone, if you see what I mean. It’s like having an annoying thought scratching the surface of your brain that you just want to switch off thinking about but can’t.
- I don’t need to know where my keys/luggage are all the time. 99% of the time, they are not lost. What I do want, is that when I can’t find them, I can activate the alarm. I do not want the alarm to activate itself automatically when I get further than a hundred metres from my keys. Especially when I’m popping to the loo at a work conference (for a quick email check on my phone), my phone starts to vibrate and I have no idea whether the alarm activated itself in the other room, disturbing 50 university professors and the head of school. This happened the first week I tested it and I got so paranoid that I turned Bluetooth off so as not to risk a repeat.
As it turns out you can configure the alarms to not ring, or to only sound on the fob or the phone or both, or, I guess, you can just use the proximity tool when you’re out of range. So all of this can be sorted out easily HOWEVER I wish it was easier to figure out other than by trial and error, and this leads me to my main ‘bug bear’:
- The instructions aren’t super clear. It took me the longest time to figure out exactly what steps were needed to make it work and actually stopped me from setting it up straight away, mostly because I’m an idiot and my eyes totally skipped over the bit about downloading the free app onto your phone. That’s because it’s all written in ridiculously small letters that look like T&C small print, with unhelpful headings like Configuration and Usage, as opposed to a clear first you do this, then this, then this, and a separate section for resets. I thought that once the Bluetooth link was on, it would just work but no, you do need the app (of course). I’m not a complete luddite but yeah, that was not my finest moment and was totally stupid. Still, I can’t help but think it would be great if the instructions were a little bit better designed. They could do with better labelling, with clearer 1, 2, 3 steps and some actions capitalised.
- I wish there was an alternative way to attach the PagerTag to things other than the string. I don’t have a better idea (I’m so not an ‘ideas’ person) and I’m sure magnets on electrical devices are a really stupid idea. But keys and luggage are not the items I lose the most. My keys are in my bag most of the time so it is rare that I need to find them. So what do I need this great product for? My phone and the TV remotes. Mostly because KIDS. They play on my phone and drop the remotes down the sofa and leave them in obscure places. My TV remotes don’t have anything on which to hook the string to, so I can’t use it with them. And then of course, there is the irony that I need to connect the pager to my phone so it makes no sense to keep them together as I can’t use one to find the other, or I need to use a different phone to find this other one. Complicated stuff.
Finally, I also left the Bluetooth unconnected to the pager for too long and received a red notification on my phone asking me to reconnect the two. I waited too long to do this and by the time I’d done this, well, Bluetooth couldn’t reconnect. Ironically, in the meantime, I’d lost my keys so I couldn’t use the PagerTag to locate them. I found them again a minute ago and had to reset the devices but that was easy to do by following the settings instructions on the phone app. The moral of the story is: keep the link alive!
NOTE from the author: I was given a BeetsBLU pager in exchange for an honest and fair review. I did not pay for it and only accept to undertake sponsored reviews for products that are relevant to this blog or of particular personal interest. I wasn’t asked to give a good review, just an honest one. I also told them I’d post this in July and it’s August now, yeah me!
In addition, please note that this site uses associate links. if you choose to purchase products via the links provided, I receive a small percentage which goes towards the upkeep of this site at no extra cost to you.