Does Samsung Galaxy SmartTag support UWB?

Galaxy Smarttag Lifestyle
Galaxy Smarttag Lifestyle (Image credit: Samsung)

Best answer: No. Samsung's Galaxy SmartTag does not support UltraWide Band (UWB). However, the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ is now available, which features UWB technology. The regular version of the SmartTag only supports Bluetooth LE.

Samsung SmartTags is Samsung's answer to Tile

At Samsung Unpacked, Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy SmartTags, which are small, battery-powered trackable tags similar to many other Bluetooth trackers out there. You attach them to clothes, personal items, or pet collars. You can use the Samsung SmartThings Find app to locate them.

Samsung offers two different versions of the Galaxy SmartTags. Regular SmartTags are available starting now and cost $30. Plus, In addition to bundling the Galaxy SmartTag with every Galaxy S21 pre-order, you can purchase the tracker separately from several different retailers. After waiting a few months, Samsung finally released the Galaxy SmartTag+, which sports the UltraWide Band (UWB) technology. This is also available from the likes of Samsung and other retailers if you have been holding out on getting the upgraded version.

What are the differences?

Aside from price and availability, the key difference is in the technology used to locate them. SmartTags will use Bluetooth LE; it's the same protocol that allows you to stream music to headphones. The Galaxy SmartTag Plus uses Ultrawide Band (UWB) for location. UWB uses a series of tiny pulses that can communicate with your compatible phone to determine its location within half an inch.

Over long ranges, both SmartTags will communicate with other Samsung Galaxy phones to anonymously broadcast their location. This will be done securely and automatically without a user's intervention. Once you get within range of Bluetooth LE (for SmartTag) or UWB (for SmartTag Plus, assuming you have a compatible phone), the app will help you get closer and narrow things down. In fact, SmartTag Plus can use an AR interface to pinpoint the exact location of the tag.

Not all Samsung phones will work with UWB. Only the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra have the hardware to make UWB work. We can only assume that more hardware will come out in the future, but for now, if you want a Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Plus, you'll need a Galaxy S21.

Adam has been writing and podcasting the mobile tech space for almost a decade. When he's not writing, he hosts the Benefit of the Doud podcast, spends way too much time on Twitter, and redesigns his office space over and over.