I’m not really a fan of naming these things with words like “spy” in the title. To be honest it takes away from the cool and less creepy things that you can do with the device.
This is a very clever GPS tracker. Small, simple to use and it’ll report it’s position to your phone in seconds. The device is just £49.99 from ReWire Security. As you can see, there’s not a great deal to it. This is less than 4cm thick, a little over 2cm wide and almost 7cm tall. Inside is a 1,300mAh battery and it’s got really good sensitivity – between 1-2 metres via the GPS and GLONASS connections.
Weighing in at 60 g it’s really not that noticeable if you put it in a bag or pocket, and inside a SIM card will communicate back with the app on your phone. Battery life is around 10 days if you set it to 30 second updates. That’s very good.
Now, as is usual with these things, you can’t just pay a one-off fee. You need the clever gadget to talk to you, and it does that by sending data via a mobile SIM. That has to be paid for, and you can either subscribe to a £10 monthly tariff or pay up-front for multiple months and save yourself some money. It’s £25 for 3 months, £45 for 6 months and £85 for the year. For that there’s no restriction on how many position updates you can ask for – it’s all in. They cover 100 countries and you can receive unlimited push notifications, quick and regular updates plus unlimited tracking to your app.
I’m going to come back to my original comment about perhaps not liking the “spy” connotations. At the end of the day, you can throw this in your child’s school bag and have the peace of mind that they’re home safe, or they’ve got to school / college safe.
When they’re older and have their first car, you can perhaps hide it in the boot somewhere and then you’ll know that they’re not gunning it up the motorway at crazy speeds – there’s a speeding alarm to let you know that. I wouldn’t call that “spying”, it’s knowing that your loved ones are safe and not being careless.
Give it to an elderly relative, to someone you care for or worry about and you’ll know that they’re OK. However, let’s also not hide from the fact that you can easily put this into a car, bag, backpack, handbag or coat and track someone without their knowledge too.
Here’s my video review …
The device itself doesn’t have a great deal for you to worry about. In fact, I didn’t get any instructions in the box (typically review units tend to lose the instructions) so I just powered the thing on and that seemed to be all I needed to do. It’s charged via a miniUSB cable and there’s flaps over the relevant ports to protect it from the wet.
The app is really good, believe me, but SpyTrack have put a swishy intro video on which plays when you load the app and it can get a little grating. Sometimes when you just background the app it’ll pop up before you go back into the app, and it was a bit of a pain. The app, and the website if you log in there, will let you set “geo-fence” zones. These are areas which you’d perhaps class as “safe”. When the tracker goes out of these areas you’ll get a notification on your phone or you can check later.
The app will let you see where the tracker is but, even if you set the updates to be quite far apart, you get a map containing very granular historical data. The device records position regularly and – as you saw in the video – you can adjust the this and get lovely detailed information and you can see which roads a car has driven down etc etc. Good that.
Now of course, I should have covered this bit right at the start of the review. Setting up the thing. It’s all very simple. You basically grab the app then scan the IMEI off the back of the SpyTrack Nano or the box itself. It’ll then go through the setup process but it’s all very simple indeed.
Here’s where you tweak the tracking frequency and it can down down as low as every 15 seconds. You can also turn off the LED lights that flash on the front of the device – good for hiding the fact that the device is there at all. You can also deactivate the power button and the flashing heartbeat LED light too.
Meanwhile, in the settings, you can adjust the way that the app works – you can turn off the instant notifications that’ll pop up to let you know what’s happening and you can show the geo-fencing zones too. You set these up via the website and, once setup, you get notified if the person or vehicle that has the SpyTrack Nano goes in or out of that zone. On the website you can setup a stack more alerts too. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Here’s some of the historical information – it’s basically telling you here that the device was off, then it was powered on and began charging – all whilst it wasn’t moving.
Here’s some of the alerts you can set. There’s a stack more on the website but you can flick these on or off easily. Dead simple this. Straightforward.
Here’s the main map. You can switch the background as you saw in the video. The simple map here works better for quick updates and you can use Google Maps to find your way from wherever you and your phone is to the SpyTrack Nano is. The screen below hows you where you are and where the clever tracker is.
There’s also a website where you get to login to a portal with your RealWire credentials. It’s here that you setup the geo-fencing and you can have more control over the alerts. You also get reports and you can label up each tracker for easier identification..
Overall, for £49.99, and then a very reasonable monthly charge (£10 for one month, £25 for three months, £45 for six months or £85 for a year), it’s really very easy to use, to setup and use. I especially liked the battery life, which was between a week an ten days, and that fact that it was much better than giving my son a phone so that I know where he is. Let’s face it, buying kids a smartphone just so you know where they are is one way of doing it, but it also means that you’re giving them a device which will access the internet. It’s expensive and it means that they’re carrying around probably a very expensive phone too. Here, it’s a little black box that you can literally just plonk into their pocket and see where they are and whether they’re safe. It’s a great little gadget and cheaper than a smartphone.