Last Updated on February, 2023
GPS pet trackers are making serious waves as pet owners all over are starting to use them. They’re simple devices that can act as a smart dog collar with location tracking features. Two of the leading brands duking it out when it comes to GPS tracking dog collars are fi smart dog collar and Whistle go explore.
What’s the difference between both? Well, that’s what we’re going to be looking at today! Every advanced pet tracker has many unique features to keep track of. There are things like activity tracking, battery life, GPS tracking, and much more to consider.
Let’s look at each GPS tracker and its capabilities in this Fi vs Whistle comparison, along with all the other essential details. If you’re interested in choosing between either of these as a dog tracker, here’s what you can expect from them in each aspect:
Table of Contents
- Short Reviews on Both Products
- Fi vs Whistle GO Explore; The Key Features
- Pros and Cons of Fi
- Pros and Cons of Whistle
- Customer Reviews for Both Products
- Who’s the Winner?
Short Reviews on Both Products
The Fi Smart Collar and the Whistle GO Explore are some of the best GPS trackers for your pet’s collar. They’ve very much earned their popularity with some fantastic features and specifications.
The Fi Smart Collar is an absolute powerhouse with a long battery life capable of lasting around three months. The Fi app also compliments it greatly, offering many insights through Wi-Fi and GPS tracking.
Besides its live location tracking ability, it provides information on how much time your dog spends sleeping, how many steps he walks daily, and some different things.
It is available in four sizes, which are: small (11.5-13.5 inches), medium (13-16.5 inches), large (16-22.5 inches), and XL (22-34.5 inches).
Whistle GO Explore
Next is the Whistle GO Explore, a popular GPS tracker that offers much more information than just your pet’s location. It can tell you about a dog’s health, safe zone escape detection, activity tracking, and more.
It’s a tremendous smart dog collar for health monitoring and locating a lost pet. Whistle devices don’t come in different sizes.
Instead, you can mount it on any dog collar more than an inch wide. That means it should easily fit around your pet’s neck or most collars for other dogs.
Fi vs Whistle GO Explore; The Key Features
The best way to compare two devices is to see how well they do in specific situations. So, we tested both trackers in different conditions to see which one came out on top in each of the most critical aspects. Here are our findings for each one:
Let’s discuss the most important thing first: the tracking features of these devices. Both devices use LTE-M network cell coverage from AT&T, giving them a vast range. They communicate with satellites and Wi-Fi to offer exact results regarding your dog’s location.
Despite being based around the same concept, though, we found that the Fi tracker is much better at this than the Whistle GO.
It’s more accurate, frequent, precise, and quicker too. While the difference isn’t huge, it’s just noticeable enough to give the Fi device an edge in terms of GPS technology.
They have an exceptional range that isn’t exactly comparable because they use similar technology. In the end, the range limit depends entirely on GPS signals and how good of an LTE-M cellular network connection you’re getting at your current location from AT&T.
Something else worth noting is that neither devices offer exact locations at all times. They’ll regularly update you with precise locations when you use lost dog mode. But, you’ll see information about a general area rather than a pinpoint mark.
They also come with geofencing. Using AT&T’s cellular network coverage, they both allow you to set up multiple safe zones. You can create safe zones to ensure that the smart collars tell you the second your pet exits a specified parameter that he’s not supposed to leave. It’s a great feature for pet sitters and owners that ensures safety.
Design and Durability
When it comes to design and size, there’s a gigantic difference between both devices, literally.
There are different size options for the Fi tracker: small (11.5-13.5 inches), medium (13-16.5 inches), large (16-22.5 inches), and XL (22-34.5 inches).
On the other hand, the Whistle GO Explore can simply be attached to any smart dog collar more than an inch wide.
Despite that, the Explore collar is much more intrusive in design and looks bigger. Still, it’s very lightweight since it weighs only 0.92 pounds. It’s perfect for any dog’s collar and should be comfortable for most of them.
As for overall durability, there’s not a massive difference between both devices. The Fi smart collar has an IP68 dirt-proof and waterproof rating. It’s also biting and chew-proof, thanks to the aluminum and metal reinforcements. Overall, it’s a secure device that considers dogs’ curious (and very bite-happy) nature.
Then we have the Whistle, which comes with an IP67 dirt-proof, shock-proof, and waterproof rating. As for the strap around it, that’s made with durable rubber capable of withstanding chewing. Because of the rating, the Fi Smart Dog Collar barely edges this category as well.
Notifications don’t seem like an essential thing in the grand scheme of things, right? Wrong. This is exactly what helps you find the distinction between both of these devices.
The primary purpose of both collars in the first place is to track your pet and notify you about certain things. What things that both these devices notify you about are where the difference in them lies. For starters, there are general things that we’ll get out of the way first.
Both the Fi Collar and the Whistle GO come with settings that allow you to avoid any unnecessary push notifications. Instead, you can opt to get notices about only the most essential things, such as the summary of your dog’s day, when they reach a particular dog training goal, and more.
But Whistle also offers so much more than that. Instead of just counting down steps and little goals, it provides much more detailed health tracking. It offers health insights, detailed activity tracking, and much more, making it a complete pet tracker that keeps tabs on every important detail.
This is where the difference between each smart collar lies. Whistle is intended to be your dog’s health and security monitor with tracking features. In contrast, the Fi Tracker is meant to track and simply has some additional health features included.
Choosing one becomes much easier when you know which of the two you need more based on this. But of course, there are other things to keep track of too. So, let’s take a look at those next.
There’s no comparison between both regarding battery life, as the Fi tracker is miles clear in this regard.
The Whistle collar has a very good battery life, but the Fi takes that and multiplies it tenfold.
While GO Explore offers up to 3 weeks of battery life on average after typical use, this differs depending on your dog’s activity.
Then you have the Fi tracker, which offers up to three months’ worth of runtime on typical use, giving it easily the longest battery life of the two. Both devices are rechargeable.
For a pet tracker, both are very good. They last more than long enough to withstand dog training, visits to public places, outings with dog walkers, and other situations. So while the Whistle has more than decent enough timings, comparing the two shows that the Fi has better battery life.
Activity and Fitness Tracker
Now, this is a very subjective aspect that depends entirely on your usage. Both the Fi and Whistle collars have some outstanding tracking options, but the latter is much more diverse in its variety.
The Whistle dog tracker has many more options regarding tracking health and fitness. From total steps to sleep, diet, calories burnt, and much more, the plethora of information is terrific for anyone that wants to be on top of their dog’s daily activities.
You also can set reminders for trips to the vet, giving medicine, and other essential details related to your dog.
On the flip side, we have the Fi Tracker, which is much less diverse but simpler. It only accounts for a few things, like daily steps, specific daily goals, sleep tracking, etc., which is much less than Whistle’s variety. But that doesn’t necessarily make one better or worse than the other.
We loved the simplicity that Fi offered, as it was much easier to manage than the sometimes overwhelming details of Whistle. However, there’s no denying that all of these details and the extra data are very useful. So, depending on just how much you want to know about your dog’s daily habits and routine, the Whistle collar is arguably better in this aspect.
we share our top activity & fitness tracker for dog picks in this guide.
The Mobile App
There are considerable differences between the Fi and Whistle apps. Both have many good features that make usage much easier for their respective devices, so we don’t have anything negative to note about either option.
The Fi app is available on all devices running Android 6.0 and iOS 12.0 or above. It’s straightforward, allowing you to check your dog’s position on the main page through a maps menu while displaying your coordinates.
This is something that makes keeping the little guy in check much easier.
This Fi Smart Dog Collar application lets you make the most of its features, such as the lost dog mode, walk and sleep tracking, and more. It even offers live chat support, which allows you to communicate with Fi’s experts regarding the app or the device. While we never needed to use the feature, some complained about poor customer service.
Then you have the Whistle app, which is available for phones running Android 5.0 and iOS 10.0 or above. It offers a complete summary of all the device’s health and fitness tracking while providing the option to see your dog’s position through Google Maps.
It also provides a detailed location history for the last 24 hours and settings for safe zones, battery options, and settings to tweak the device’s performance.
Cost and Return Policies
The Fi Series 2 is currently available for purchase at $149. Do remember that neither of these applications is a one-time purchase, though. They both run on a monthly subscription and are relatively useless without it.
The subscription for the Fi Tracker will cost you $99 a year or $8.25 a month. The device comes with a trial period of 30 days. Furthermore, if you run into any issues, there’s a flexible one-year warranty on the Fi dog tracker. If customers get the wrong size or run into any other problem, they can easily contact the brand and get an exchange or refund.
As for the GO Explore, the current price sits at $149.95, meaning it’s very similar to its rival today. Of course, it runs on a subscription as well. These prices are $12.99/mo monthly, $8.25/mo* on yearly subscriptions, and $8.00/mo* on bi-yearly subscriptions. This is also very similar to the Fi if you buy yearly, which is what we’d recommend.
As for refunds and warranties, most people will be happy to hear that the investment is very risky. The GO Explore comes with a 90-day testing period. During this period, you can use the device as much as you’d like and return it at the total price (depending on certain conditions) if you run into any problems or don’t like what it offers.
Pros and Cons of Fi
Now that you know so much about the features of both devices and how they compare, let’s go through their main strengths and weaknesses real quick:
Pros and Cons of Whistle
Just like we went through the pros and cons for the Fi, let’s do the same for Whistle’s GO Explore tracker. Here’s what you need to know about its main advantages and disadvantages:
Customer Reviews for Both Products
Now, enough about what we have to say. Let’s take a look at what others have to say about these products and their experience with them:
Fi Collar’s Reviews:
According to this review, the owner may not be the best at keeping their dogs in check, but at least the Fi collar has been the best at helping this person find their pups.
This person wasn’t a big fan of it, though… They’re saying that they ran into specific issues that made using the device inconvenient.
Here’s a less critical and more mixed take on the Fi product. The experience has been pretty different for most, but most of the stuff you’ll find is positive.
Whistle GO Explore Reviews:
Moving on to the Whistle, looks like its tracking capabilities for lost dogs aren’t anything to look over, as you can see in this review.
Of course, the experience for this device wasn’t perfect for everyone either, as you can see in this review from a user complaining about various things.
Users have also complained about the weaker design, which you can see above.
Who’s the Winner?
All in all, you’ll find lots of people talking about these devices, and they’ll all say different things. That’s because their experiences are different, and yours will undoubtedly be different, too, in various ways. As for us, we loved working with both devices for many reasons. But, there can only be one winner.
For us, that winner is the Fi Smart Dog Collar, and it’s what we’ll recommend to most people reading this. Both of these devices have their strengths, but the Fi, in particular, is a good tracker option.
The tracking was highly accurate, reliable, and generally convenient for us. Plus, it being so much easier to use plays a huge role in the decision.
Unless you want a very detailed overview of every little detail of your pup’s day, such as their activities and health, the Fi collar is what we’d recommend. It’s simple, to the point, easy to use, and proved to be highly reliable for us. So, while it doesn’t win by a mile, Fi is our winner for this comparison.
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Both devices are excellent at what they do. One is a tracker with additional health features, while the other is a health device with a tracker in it. They’re exceptional in certain aspects, and we’ve shared every vital detail about each of those.
Now that you know the critical points of this comparison, it’s up to you to decide which device your dog will be wearing. Our winner between the two is Fi Collar, but which one you get is up to you. The decision is important since the tracker is responsible for keeping your pup safe. But, just keep everything we’ve said in mind, and you’ll make the right call for yourself and your dog!
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