myLupo Bluetooth Finder & Tracker Review
The myLupo device is a British made Bluetooth tracking device for your iOS or Android device, keys, wallet or whatever else you attach it to. By using a combination of Bluetooth to talk to your smartphone, and GPS for location tracking, you can easily keep tabs on whatever you attach the Lupo to.
Early last year I had a revision one unit for review and it was a fair product. It felt a little too bulbous and looked more like a child’s toy than a serious gadget Its successor has addressed these points and it’s a much sleeker and smarter looking tracker.
Construction-wise everything feels solid and less creaky than the version one and it weighs practically next to nothing at 6 grams. If you add this to a key ring you aren't going to notice the weight at all. Unlike some other device trackers the Lupo allows you to replace the battery. It is however the smaller 2016 battery rather than the more readily and commonly available CR2032 battery.
Getting to the internals of the Lupo is easy. On the side there’s a small notch in the plastic housing which allows you to prise apart the device. Although it takes a fair amount of force to do this, so it isn’t going to just come apart spontaneously. This exposes the Printed Circuit Board and the replaceable battery. Everything goes back together with notches on the inside of the case helping you place the workings back in correctly, and a satisfying click lets you know you have secured the two pieces back together properly.
I couldn't find an Ingress Protection Rating, but after being on my keyring for the last three months it has coped with the odd splash of rain, being dropped onto long wet grass and even one incident of being carried around in my labrador’s mouth. Given the lack of any rubber seals or grommets inside the device I severely doubt it would cope with being fully submerged, at least for more than a moment or two.
MyLupo Set up And Pairing.
Pairing is simple, launch the App, press and hold the button on the Lupo device for 3 seconds, wait for a beep and it’s added. Once paired you can customise the colour (really? Or do you mean select a name that matches the colour?) of the tracker and give it a name. If you have more than one you can, for example, call the one you’d leave in your car “Vehicle” so you’d never lose it when going shopping. It’s a helpful way of knowing what tracker is attached to what you want to keep tabs on.
Settings are sparse but functional. In the settings menu you can enable two-way communication between devices. This is handy for either finding your phone from the Lupo or finding the Lupo from the phone App if you have misplaced whatever it is attached to.
You can enable distance-based alerts so if your Lupo ever goes out of range it will alert you. Like all most tracking devices there is no granular setting for distance. It’s either in or out of range. If you have set up these alerts your device plays an audible alert and a pop-up on your phone. It can’t override your phone’s silent mode, but it will still vibrate your device.
Map tracking can be toggled in case you want to save your battery and just have it as a way to find whatever the Lupo is attached to by calling it. More on that later.
A quick look at the website didn’t reveal any range information. To give it the best possible shot I went to my local airfield to do some testing. An excellent location because there were no sources of interference and it gets a good GPS and cell phone signal.
To test the range I set the Lupo down on a fence pole and walked away from its in a straight line. I kept an eye on the App until it told me it was “out of range”. On average it was hitting the 15m mark before going out of range. Obviously these are near ideal conditions - in “real world” situations, such as indoors with incredibly thick Welsh stone walls, the range was anywhere from 5m to 10m.
There is no middle ground to let you know how far you are away from the device. It simply tells you “it’s close by” or “out of range”. Many of these devices suffer from this, it is not a criticism levelled just at the Lupo. There is a third status of “updating”. More on that in a moment because it will make sense after the responsiveness section.
In another simple test I placed a Lupo on the floor and walked away from it in a straight line. When the application told me it was out of range I continued for another 5m to make sure I was really out of range. I then did an about turn and walked back the direction I came, keeping an eye on the screen to see when it would tell that I was back in range. I did this 10 times.
Other similar devices I have tested in the past have suffered from being slow and unresponsive. Meaning it’s very easy to walk past the device you are trying to find and go back out of range. As with all the other devices I have tried it was quicker to let me know I had gone out of range than it was to let me know I was coming back into range.
However, response time is absolutely fine and not once did I walk past the device. The status would change to indicate it’s back in distance consistently but not always correctly.
Four times out of 10 coming back into range of the myLupo device it changed the status to “updating” instead of “it’s close by”. To force the status change I had to go back out of range and then back into range and eventually it sorted itself out.
I can only assume you see the status “updating” because in the background it’s pulling your location from GPS and updating the map, though this is pure speculation on my part.
Finding your Lupo.
Once you find you are “out of range” you can use the last location feature to try and locate your Lupo. Unfortunately this still has the same, somewhat basic, functionality as its predecessor. Only showing you the basic map view.
To me this is a huge omission because without the satellite view or hybrid view to show surrounding features on the landscape, as in my example on an airfield, it does make actually locating the device somewhat more difficult. Once myLupo is back within range you can press the "call me" button which will then activates the Lupo’s audible alarm. The beeping is officially loud enough, at least on a calm day, to be heard from up to 25m away, way beyond its “out of range” radius.
The Lupo, like practically every other similar device, allows you to use the Lupo’s button as a camera shutter. So if you want to take pictures of yourself without using a selfie stick, or you want to eliminate shaky hand shots, you can do so with the Lupo. There is also a Software Development Kit which the company is quite proud of that, amongst other things, will allow you to control PowerPoint presentations with the clicker.
There is a lot to like about myLupo. It's small, lightweight, and unobtrusive. The range is good and it's responsive enough to actually be useful but it's a shame that the software lets it down.
Granted it didn't take me long to work out that when the status was stuck on "updating" it meant that the device was actually in range but that is not completely obvious.
Maybe it's a limitation of the mapping service they are using, but the lack of satellite or hybrid views is utterly bewildering. Given this is supposed to help you locate missing items is this not a serious and obvious omission?
Overall I give the MyLupo Bluetooth Finder & Tracker a MyMac Rating 7/10. This could have been an easy 8 out of 10 if only it wasn't for the map being so basic.
You can purchase the myLupo Bluetooth Finder & Tracker from Amazon for £20