When Samsung launched the Galaxy SmartTags alongside the S21 series, the company teased that they could be used for home automation via the SmartThings app. Now that the S21 and the SmartTags are arriving at people's doorsteps, it becomes clear how exactly this automation works. Our own Max Weinbach went hands-on with the tags' smart home routine capabilities.
As we wrote earlier, the SmartTags aren't only good for finding your keys or your phone. You can also assign smart home routines to the integrated button. Once you connect the SmartTags to the SmartThings app, you can map a total of three actions, utilizing a standard press, a long press, or a double press.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) January 27, 2021
Since the SmartTags can't connect to the SmartThings bridge or Wi-Fi connected smart devices by themselves, they have to rely on sending a Bluetooth Low Energy pulse to a nearby Samsung phone. That means once your battery is empty or your handset out of reach, you won't be able to use the tags for smart home automation (or anything, really). The range is pretty good, though. We tested by leaving the connected Samsung phone in another room and the tag was still able to send out commands with no hiccups. Another caveat is the SmartThings limitation — the tags only work with smart home devices compatible with Samsung's platform.
While there are many other manufacturers (most prominently Tile) that offer similar products, Samsung bundles a SmartTag with Galaxy S21 pre-orders, so the company might be able to introduce the concept to a significantly larger audience that might've otherwise never used a product like it. For the rest of us Galaxy SmartTags are available for $30 apiece on Samsung.com.