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Nokia Treasure Tag review: Oversize, but keeps a handle on your hoard

The thick, square tracker uses NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy to track your valuable stuff, but the smaller Mini version (or other similar devices) are better sized to fit your lifestyle.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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An optional key ring mount help you keep track of both your keys and the phone, through two-way chimes. Josh Miller/CNET

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6.3

Nokia Treasure Tag

The Good

A perfect square, the Nokia Treasure Tag has a logical design and app. It works for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

The Bad

The tracker is a little chunky for my keychain, doesn't illuminate like some competitors, and had trouble reconnecting during my testing.

The Bottom Line

The Nokia Lumia Treasure Tag is about the right price for what it does, but people who are serious about keeping tags on their possessions should seek a smaller device that does more.

A flip of the stomach, a furrow of your brow. The moment you realize you've misplaced your key or wallet or phone or anything you really, really need is a moment you wish you had the Nokia Treasure Tag, or something like it.

The small, 1.2-inch square device (30mm) measures 0.4 inch thick (10mm) and weighs 0.46 ounces (13 grams). The 22omAh battery promises a maximum standby time of 180 days, or about 6 months. You're able to replace the battery on your own.

Globally sold in yellow, cyan, white, and black, the Treasure Tag is a simple tool that pairs to your smartphone through Bluetooth (low-energy) or NFC. Each package comes with two rubberized bands that snap into the tracker's grooved perimeter. One comes with a loop, for attaching to keys or perhaps your bike's handlebars. The other band is smooth and protrusion-free, creating a lower profile if you'd rather slip it into something.

You'll pair, set up, and manage your up to four Treasure Tags through a mobile app. Although it's branded as a Nokia product, the Treasure Tag will work with Android and iOS phones in addition to Windows Phones. Here, you're able to set your notifications and tones, and look up your Tag's last known whereabouts on a map.

How to set up and use Nokia Treasure Tag (pictures)

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Check out the gallery above for a full step-by-step setup.

Now, the Treasure Tag, like other similar devices, is bidirectional, which means that if you know where the tag is, but lost track of your phone, pressing the single button in the center of the tag will make your handset chirp, assuming you're within the approximately 130-foot Bluetooth range (roughly 40 meters).

How well does it work?

Most of the time, the Treasure Tag worked, alerting me whenever I fell out of Bluetooth range with the device. I'd probably turn that feature off if I used it full-time, and let the device run passively, only using it when I really needed it.

At one point, I disconnected the device (on purpose) and couldn't get it reconnected to the Lumia phone again. I'm still not sure what went wrong. I eventually got it all back up and running by reinstalling the app and pairing the device anew. That was fine for my single tag, but it would be annoying if I had to reset more than one.

Nokia does say that the system works better with Lumia phones using the Black OS version (which my Lumia 635 test device has).

Although the device on its own isn't very large, the Treasure Tag's dimensions made it too bulky for me to want to carry it around on my keychain or attach to my wallet, though it didn't affect my boat of a purse at all.

Pricing, availability, and should you buy it?

There are plenty of competing Bluetooth-tracking solutions out there, each which works with varying degrees of success. Some are smaller than this Treasure Tag, some have a sticker element, and some flash light in addition to buzzing and chiming.

Nokia Treasure Tag keeps tabs on your personal loot (pictures)

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In the US, you can find the Treasure Tag from Verizon for $30 and from other distributors, like Expansys, for closer to $40. In the UK, you can get it for about £19 from Amazon and £30 from Expansys. Expansys also sells it in Australia for $41.99.

I'm personally more interested in the smaller Nokia Treasure Tag Mini, which has the same height and width as the original, but is almost half the depth at 0.23 inch (5.8 mm) and a almost half as light, 0.21 ounce (6.2 grams). It doesn't have NFC pairing, battery life is a bit shorter at 120 days versus 180, and the optional loop knots through a notched window on the corner. None of these things scares me away.

The Mini will also sell for less; Nokia says it suggests the $17/€15 range, though I haven't seen official pricing from distributors yet.

Overall, I like the Treasure Tag just fine, including its aesthetic, but if you're really set on keeping an eye on your valuables, I'd shop around for other devices that are smaller, light up, and cost about the same.

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6.3

Nokia Treasure Tag

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 6