Cobra Tag: Stop Searching. Tag Your Essentials

Cobra Tag: Stop Searching. Tag Your Essentials

Jason Yang
Oct 21, 2011

Product: Cobra Tag Bluetooth Tag Alarm
Price: $59.99 ($37.99 at Amazon)
Rating: Strong Recommend*

Confessions of a frequent key/phone misplacer. Raise your hand if this conversation sounds familiar: "I can't find my cellphone, can you call my phone?" Alternatively, you're rushing out your door and realize you can't find your keys, desperately running around pouring through your house like crooked cops looking for something fast. The Cobra Tag works in conjunction with your smartphone to ensure you never lose one or the other ever again!

When the opportunity came up to review the Cobra Tag we jumped at the chance. Countless times we're asking friends, coworkers, loved ones, and any random stranger we can grab that's nearby to call our cell phone to figure out where we last put it. There have been numerous occasions we're late for an appointment and scrambling around the house looking for our keys. Well fear no more, as Cobra Tag promises that you'll stop searching with its innovative 2-way tagging device and app.

Pairing with your smartphone, the idea is to place up to 7 Cobra Tags on your keychains or any other device you want to hook it to, be it your keys, camera, or the family pet. Can't find your phone? Press the button on any one of your Cobra Tags and it uses its Bluetooth connection to ring your cellphone. Can't find your keys? Using the smartphone app you can selectively ring any of your Cobra Tags to locate your misplaced valuables.

Sounds great you say - so how's it work? Let's start from the beginning.

Unboxing and Installation

The Cobra Tag comes in one of those confounding plastic and cardboard sealed packages that always cut your fingers no matter how you struggle to open it. We tore at it with scissors and managed to escape bloodshed, but it was difficult not to nick the device itself with the tight packaging. No matter, the less packaging the better (for the environment) we say. The kit comes with one Cobra Tag, a Micro-USB to USB charger, and a small set of instructions (in the now popular global style packaging where we exercised our multi-lingual capabilities and followed in French and Spanish as a special challenge). All kidding aside, it's a straight-forward set of instructions and minimal as it should be.

The Cobra Tag comes out of the box with a very small amount of juice, so be sure to plug it in and charge up before installation and testing. The include Micro-USB charger is *extremely short so either use an existing one, buy a new one, or be prepared to charge on a short leash. Our impatience in the way, we skipped our own advice and had to charge up half-way through. We've been using the device for about half a week and it's holding a charge fine. The instructions say the battery will hold a charge for a week so we wonder how soon before we lose our keys and try to use the app and find the battery is dead.

Installing the Cobra Tag app on your Android is as easy as going to the Marketplace and searching for "Cobra Tag'. On first launch there's a straightforward guide to pairing your phone with the Cobra Tag and we were up and running within minutes. There's a Blackberry version as well and the manufacturer says an iOS version is coming in the next few months. Cobra Electronics confirmed that the same device was compatible with Android and Blackberry, but couldn't comment on whether the same hardware would work with their upcoming iOS app.

How It Works

The app itself has quite a few options, mostly to adjust notification settings. You can set the app to send you an e-mail or SMS. It can even push to your Twitter or Facebook account for those who want to show the world how forgetful you are.

If you walk out of Bluetooth range (in our case about 50 feet or so) both your phone and the Cobra Tag start ringing as a reminder that you've left something behind. It even records the last known GPS coordinates so that you can intelligently retrace your steps.

The most commonly used feature will undoubtedly be the ability to select the specific Cobra Tag of your missing keys and press the "Start Ringing Device" button. The device on your key ring will start yelling like mad, giving you a homing beacon to key in on its location. While the volume isn't terribly loud, it's definitely enough - not to mention a fantastically horrific wailing tone. There's a status display in the app that shows if you're "very close", "close", or "far" away from each other, reminding us of a game of Marco Polo. On the flip side, holding down the Cobra Tag's button will cause your phone to start ringing and vibrating. How fantastic!

In Summary
At $37.99 shipped from Amazon, the price tag is a little steep as just a toy. If you commonly misplace your keys, phone, or other gear though this could be a lifesaver. A cinch to setup and use, Cobra Tag is a great little device that works well and will keep you from frantically searching for your phone or keys. Unless you misplace both at the same time, that is. Not that we've ever done that before, honest.

Our Ratings:
Strong Recommend*
Weak Recommend
Don't Recommend

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

(Images from Cobra Electronics, Jason Yang)

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