When it comes to gadgets, the smaller the better. These mini gadgets are carryable, unobtrusive, and work splendidly no matter where you place them. That is why it is no wonder that people look for small or mini GPS trackers as well.
Mini GPS trackers are amongst the best applications of small-size efficient technology. They have all the features of a basic GPS tracking device but are just small in size. They are easy to use and user-friendly devices.
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How Does Mini GPS Trackers Work?
Mini GPS trackers work like any other GPS tracker. It connects to a series of satellites for detecting locations. A GPS tracker determines the locations through the positions and distance of satellites from the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) network.
Mostly, a GPS tracker is powered through the OBDII port of the vehicle or an internal battery. It collects the data and sends it to the dedicated application or software from which the user can access the data and monitor the device.
Tracking is categorized into two types. It’s either active tracking or passive tracking. While active GPS trackers provide real-time locations any time you want, passive GPS trackers store the data that can be viewed later.
Types Of Mini GPS Trackers
Portable Or Wearable GPS Trackers
The portable GPS trackers are the most popular trackers used these days. They are small in size and are designed for personal use. As these devices have long-lasting chargeable batteries, they are best for hiking, adventure sports, vehicle tracking, and personal tracking. Like their bigger counterparts, mini GPS devices also have dedicated apps for users.
Mini GPS trackers are also available as wearables like wristwatches, bands, pet collars, and pendants, and are especially popular among kids and elderlies. Their fun and comfortable design make them attractive for kids and older family members.
OBDII GPS Trackers
The OBDII trackers are plugged into the OBDII port of your vehicle to track them. Easy to install, these devices draw the power and data through the port. The one benefit of these GPS devices over the portable ones is that as they are connected to the engine of the vehicle, they tend to gather useful data.
Apart from tracking the location of your car, they can collect information regarding your engine, fuel, battery, etc.
Hardwired GPS Trackers
As the name suggests, hardwired mini GPS trackers are directly wired into your vehicle. Although not popular these days, people still choose them for vehicles without an OBD II port.
They offer almost all the benefits provided by OBDII GPS trackers and are best for those looking for a completely hidden tracker.
Advantages Of Having Mini GPS Trackers
It is a common misunderstanding that the real-time tracking feature of a mini portable GPS is not useful for personal tracking. Apart from knowing where your loved ones are, the real-time location data allows you to schedule family activities efficiently. On a busy day, when you want to have a good family dinner, you can easily check their location and decide what to cook based on the time you have.
If you need to pick up your kid on the way back from work, simply look up their location and take the fastest route. Also, in case of an emergency, if your family member is unable to inform you of their location, you can still reach them through the location data from the tracking device.
Families prefer mini or small trackers over others as they are handy. You can place them anywhere, and carry them in your handbag or pocket discreetly. More importantly, there is no installation required.
You can switch a tracker between multiple things, as and when required. From keeping a tab on the tiniest of stuff such as a ring box to safeguarding your large vehicles, the mini GPS trackers can work for all sizes of valuables.
Good battery life
These days every renowned GPS manufacturer focuses on offering long battery backup. These tracking devices can work for more than a week on a single charge. A mini GPS tracker with a long-lasting battery is a trustful resource to keep your family and valuables safe. If you ask around, some people would suggest the easy way out. They would advise you to go for a smartphone for tracking purposes.
Getting an app on your smartphone can help you track the locations of your family members. However, smartphones are built to perform multiple functions, which can easily drain the battery. Phone apps are a good option if you need to track once in a while. But for continual tracking, a mini GPS tracking device is the best.
Nowadays, most portable GPS trackers are waterproof. They can significantly work for the following:
- People who commute on a bicycle, motorbike, or any other two-wheeler, especially during the rainy season.
- People are interested in watersports like scuba diving, rowing, river rafting, swimming, etc.
- Boats and yachts.
- There could be many other scenarios where your GPS tracker might come in contact with water, thus it’s advantageous to buy a waterproof mini GPS tracker.
Best For Hidden Tracking
What would be the best qualities of a discreet GPS tracker? Yes, you guessed it right. It should be small in size, lightweight, and can fit anywhere you desire. A mini GPS tracker possesses all these qualities to let you track someone without letting them know. Although, if you need a hidden GPS tracker specifically for personal purposes, we got you covered.
A mini GPS tracker can fit into a car seat cover, glovebox, suitcase, handbag, etc. However, you should know all the rules and regulations of your area before choosing the option of discreet tracking. You don’t want to be in trouble just to find some information and invade someone’s privacy.
Recover Your Stolen Vehicle
As we know, a mini GPS tracker can help you with hidden tracking. Apparently, you can use it to recover your stolen car, bike, or any other vehicle. A mini GPS tracker is a tiny and unobtrusive device. Due to this design, you can place it somewhere in your vehicle that would be out of reach to an offender.
If your vehicle ever gets stolen, you can track its location and provide the information to a law enforcement officer. The powerful battery of the tracking device would give you enough time to reach your vehicle and get it back.
Use It For Adventure Sports
If you love adventure sports, a mini GPS tracker could increase the utility in many ways. You can use it for sports like cycling, trekking, mountain climbing, treasure hunting, etc. Many of these sports require you to go through unknown paths. Some adventure sports will require setting a virtual boundary.
You can use the Geofencing feature to set the virtual boundaries in these cases. Using a mini GPS tracker will let you take your game to the next level. You will never lose track and your fellow teammates if you have an efficient tracking device.
Improve The Efficiency Of Your Business
Apart from helping you with the safety of your family and friends, a mini GPS tracker can be a great assistance for your business. It helps in increasing the speed and productivity of your business if used appropriately.
Knowing the real-time location of drivers will prevent unnecessary phone calls by the employer as well as customers. “Ubereats” is one of the examples that use tracking deliveries in the best way. Their process of delivery works very well as the supplier, delivery man, and the customer can coordinate and know the real-time location of the delivery. You can also use the tracking device to safeguard your employees and valuable assets.
What are the best Mini GPS Trackers Available in the Market?
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to LIST the best products in the market, and not to review or rank them. All the products listed here have several unique features catering to a wide range of customer requirements.
While compiling this list, we evaluated the devices based on their cost, subscription plans, battery life, size, and installation process. We considered factors like the countries they offer coverage in, ease of use of their application, security, or other unique features they offer. We also looked into add-on services these vendors provide – lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support, installation help, and more.
The intention is to inform and educate the reader on the variety of options available in the market.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Mini GPS Tracker
Size and weight of the Tracker
The most vital factor before choosing a mini GPS tracker is to check its size. You know the exact reasons for buying a mini GPS tracker and be aware of the places where you want to use it. It could be a trousers’ pocket, a kid’s school bag, a teen’s car, or the jacket of an elderly, a mini GPS tracker would fit well in all these spots. Some companies provide you with all the exciting features but they lack when it comes to providing a compact tracking device. Choose wisely keeping in mind if the tracker would fit well in your desired places.
Just like the size, the weight of the GPS tracker also matters. The mini GPS tracker should be lightweight and portable. A heavy GPS tracker can make you uncomfortable and you might end up avoiding that device eventually. You don’t want to feel like carrying a heavy pebble when you keep a GPS tracker in your pocket. Moreover, the lightweight GPS trackers are best for traveling, cycling, running, or any activity.
Functions And Controls
Mini GPS trackers have many options that you can use to monitor the functioning and settings. The device should offer an intuitive user interface with controls that are easy to understand. It should provide you quick access to change the settings. An efficient GPS tracker allows you to change the settings through the hardware buttons as well as the mobile app. Also, look if the mobile app has enough options that are suitable to your needs and comforts.
Choose a tracker that supports a faster connectivity option. It’s a smart choice if you use a tracker with a 4G cellular connection or higher technology. Good connectivity will allow you to track in the areas where most trackers will lag or fail to send you updates.
You should check the user interface of the mapping provided by the company. A good quality mapping will allow you to zoom in and check the area with different views. It’s best if they are providing different views as per your comfort. The most common options are a street map view, bird-eye view, and satellite view. They could also partner with a good-quality map provider such as google maps. Either way, the user should be able to track the device with a proper view and in real-time.
Mini GPS trackers come with the option of smart alerts and notifications. You should go for a tracker that offers you all types of alerts that assist you in safety and increase your productivity. The best GPS tracker alerts are speeding, idling, Geofencing, SOS, driving behavior, fuel refill, etc.
Advanced mini GPS trackers come with a proximity sensor that identifies if someone or something is near the GPS tracker. The tracker will sense it immediately if someone tries to enter your car and send you a notification. Through this feature, you can prevent your car from getting stolen. Choosing a GPS tracker with this feature will help you stay alert and save your vehicles or any other valuables from theft.
Every tracking device has different areas of coverage. Some of them are limited to a few countries and some can work worldwide. Get yourself a tracker that can at least work in the areas/countries where you travel a lot.
A good company satisfies its customers by providing extra accessories. Mini GPS tracker accessories may include a wall charger, case, extra battery, vehicle mounting brackets, etc. Check out the company’s website and look for the section where it mentions what’s included in the box.
Value for Money
Getting a GPS tracker is an investment. And to choose the one that offers you the best value for your money, you need to evaluate your expenses and the returns. List down the features you need, and look for a customizable tracking solution. You don’t need to shell out money for unnecessary features.
The subscription fees of mini GPS trackers may vary according to their plans and services. There are several companies in the market that will charge you a low monthly subscription and offer you a budget plan. Choose a company that offers you the best features at a minimum subscription fee.
The mini GPS trackers are mostly easy-to-setup devices. But still, at times the users may find it challenging to understand the device or their companion app. This is why the company you are choosing should provide you with good tech support. Choose a vendor that offers 24×7 customer support through various mediums including phone calls, live chat, and emails.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Where can I use the mini GPS tracker?
Answer: You can use the mini GPS trackers to track your cars, motorbikes, bicycles, fleets, delivery men, kids, teens, elderly, pets, boats, and any object that moves.
Question: What is the average weight of mini GPS trackers?
Answer: Mini GPS trackers can weigh from 50 grams to 100 grams.
Question: How often do we need to charge the battery?
Answer: Generally, a decent battery tracking device requires charging after two weeks.
Question: How often does the best mini GPS tracker update its data?
Answer: A mini GPS tracker refresh rate can be (10, 30, or 60) seconds. This refresh rate is determined by the subscription plan you choose for the device.
Carson Rogers is a technology writer and reviewer. With over 5 years of experience in the industry, he has established himself as an expert in the technology niche. His passion for all things tech and his keen eye for detail enable him to provide thorough and insightful product reviews that help readers make informed decisions. Carson enjoys hiking in his free time when he's not busy reviewing the latest gadgets. His love for the outdoors also inspires him to write about tech gadgets that are useful and make life convenient.