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GeoZilla Tracker hands-on: A relatively inexpensive GPS tracker that provides peace of mind

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Written by Jason Cipriani on
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GeoZilla Tracker

Think of the GeoZilla Tracker as an accessory that will help you find your keys, suitcase, dog, or kid anywhere in the world. Unlike similar trackers, GeoZilla relies on GPS and GSM networks 

GeoZill's mobile app is a cross-platform version of Apple's Find My app. After installing and setting up the app on your Android or iOS device, you can view the location of your kids or spouse, and receive alerts when a person has left or arrived at a specific location. For example, you can receive an alert when your child leaves school, so you can time when to pick them up from the bus. 

But what about tracking personal items, your dog, or even a kid who isn't old enough to have a phone? That's where the GeoZilla Tracker shines. The $50 Tracker connects to GPS and GSM networks worldwide and reports its location at an interval of your choosing. You do need to pay for a data plan for the tracker, but you pay $5 for a month, $50 for a year, or $99 for three-years of coverage. 

The Tracker shows up in the GeoZilla app, plotted on the map so you can see its location at any time. It also works with alerts, and in my experience, even if I set the tracker to update its location every 30 minutes, I still get alerted as soon as the tracker arrives or leaves a geofenced area. 

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The Tracker is about the size of your car's key fob, making it easy to put inside a backpack or purse or throw inside a suitcase. There's a spot to connect a keyring or the included lanyard to the tracker. Also included is a small holster for placing the tracker on your pet's collar, as well as a hard case and a MicroUSB charging cable. 

On top of the tracker are three buttons. The SOS button can be set up to send an alert to specific contacts, including the device's location and let the contact know there's an issue. There are two other buttons on the Tracker -- a left button and right button -- that the manual says will also send a message stating "left button pressed" or "right button pressed." I guess that's helpful if you've set up some sort of understanding with the person who has the tracker regarding what each button press means? Although, I wasn't able to get those messages to send. 

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You can control how often the Tracker's location is updated in the app, ranging from every 5 minutes to every 30 minutes, with each refresh cycle having a different impact on battery life. At the 30-minute refresh rate, the battery lasts a couple of days before I received an alert from the app that it needed to be charged. At the 5-minute rate, the battery lasts less than a day. 

Overall, the GeoZilla Tracker does exactly what it claims. You can keep tabs on your suitcase while you travel, or your child without having to give them an expensive phone and pay for monthly service. The combined cost of $100 for the tracker and a year's worth of service is worth it for the peace of mind that the Tracker adds, provided you can remember to keep the thing charged.

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