Top positive review
Tractive vs Dog Tracker Nano vs Findster Duo+
2 June 2018
Before I start my review, I feel it's important to say i've had three different dog trackers (Dog Tracker Nano, Findster Duo+ and Tractive) and they all have their limitations but Tractive seems to be the best one. So in this review i'm going to look at the Tractive, side by side with the other two.
The first one I used was Dog Tracker Nano. Despite it's name it's a lot thicker than the Tractive and the smartphone app and mapping is nowhere near as good. If you compare Tractive in live mode with Dog Tracker Nano which is supposed to be always live it's not as accurate and doesn't update the location as often as Tractive. The other thing about Dog Tracker Nano is there server seemed to be always going down. So you could check it one day at weekend and it wouldn't be working. Then all of a sudden come Monday, it would be working again with your dog in the same location. So not much use if you happened to have lost your dog on the day the server went down. Their is one benefit to Dog Tracker Nano that both the others don't have. With Findster and Tractive if someone were to steal your dog, they could just remove the tracker, throw it away and you wouldn't be able to locate them. With Dog Tracker Nano you can purchase a special lockable dog collar separately which would be difficult to remove.
The other one i've used is Findster Duo+. The benefit to this one is their are no service fees involved. With Tractive (and Dog Tracker Nano) you pay a monthly or yearly fee to keep it online. This pays for the sim inside the tracker to be connected to the mobile phone network. The Findster Duo+ doesn't work like that. The tracker on your dog picks up the gps signal and uses MAZE technology to send a signal to a second unit that you carry with you. That in turn sends the GPS signal directly to tha app on your phone. Using this technology also brings another benefit, it's not using a phone signal so it should work anywhere, you are not limited to only be able to track where there is mobile phone coverage.The MAZE technology only works for up to 3 miles, so if there is more than 3 miles between you and your dog it won't work. This 3 mile limit obviously reduces in hilly, mountainous or built up areas. So in theory all this sounds brilliant. But not so in practice. When I used the Findster Duo+, even though it had been fully charged, the dog tracker part always seemed to be always switching itself off. Also the app and the speed of updating the location seemed to be the worse of the three. Also with my test when you were more than half a mile away it was out of range.
So overall out of the 3, Tractive is the best at what it's basically designed to do and that's tracking. If you go in live mode and you have a 4G signal you can actually see your dog coming towards you in virtually real time on the map. It's fairly easy to take it on or off the collar for charging and the battery normally last 2 days unless you are going a really long walk, in which case you will need to charge it overnight. The only thing I don't like are the colours. I have a black lab, so I don't want a big white thing on his collar with everyone asking "Ooh whats that?"
I think improvements can be made to these dog trackers in the future. A combination of the MAZE technology from the Findster and a sim card would be a good idea. Because if you buy a dog tracker you do really want it to work anywhere. It could work on the sim and default back to MAZE technology when it went out of range. As more dogs are getting stolen, some sort of lockable collar is a good idea too. So there you go, the Tractive isn't perfect, but it's the best of the bunch, for now.