Last Updated on December, 2022
The worst thing you can do to yourself isn’t buying the wrong product.
It’s not knowing the product’s inside out.
Especially with dog tracking collars and dog tags.
You’re already on the right track if you’re considering Fi Series 2 smart dog collars — just like I was a few months ago.
But after using the Fi collar for a while on my Labrador, Rex, I managed to gather all the real-life performance stats. That’s why this Fi dog collar review has everything you need to know.
For your convenience, this FI dog collar review has fixed the misleading info that other Fi users encountered.
So, let’s begin, shall we?
Hey, Hang On! Fi has released the next iteration of their GPS Smart Collars which costs less than the Series 2 with some worthy upgrades. Notable ones being that it’s 50% smaller along with improve build quality and durability plus 40% more GPS satellites coverage and 200% LTE signal all of which lead to better location tracking, escape detection and instant alerts.
So why not check that out?
Table of Contents
- Company Behind the Fi GPS Dog Collar
- An Introduction to the Fi Smart Dog Collar
- How Does the Fi Collar Work?
- What’s in the Package?
- Impressive Features of the Fi GPS Dog Collar
- Dog-Friendly Design & Fitting Features
- Resistance Against Dust and Moisture
- The Smartphone App
- GPS Location Tracking Capacity
- Comprehensive Activity & Sleep Tracking
- Fi Collar Users’ Community (Ranking System)
- Fi Discover’s News
- Virtual Fences
- Lost Dog Mode
- Long Battery Life
- Shareable Access to the Fi Account
- Restricted Access Mode (For Dog Walkers)
- Working Without the Subscription
- How Much Does the Fi Collar Cost?
- Pros and Cons
- Customer Reviews
- Is the Fi Collar Worth the Money?
- What Makes the Fi Better Than it’s Competitors?
- In Conclusion
Company Behind the Fi GPS Dog Collar
The company behind the Fi Smart dog collars impressed me.
Fi collar was an invention by Jonathan Bensamoun to track his dog, Thor, better.
Since 2017, their smart dog collars have been crushing sales numbers in the USA.
Check out this interview here, where Jonathan gives an interview about the company’s history and the emergence of the Fi smart dog collar.
An Introduction to the Fi Smart Dog Collar
The Fi smart dog collar is the ONLY product handled by the company, and that’s a good thing.
This smart collar is (mainly) a GPS tracker designed for all sizes and breeds of dogs with several unique features such as activity tracking, geofencing, and so on.
The only operational condition is that you need to have cell coverage; that’s it.
Next, let’s talk about how the collar works.
How Does the Fi Collar Work?
From the technical perspective, the Fi smart collar uses a combination of GPS, LTE-M, AND Bluetooth, 3 of the most fundamental tracking technologies in pet GPS trackers.
The collected data is then transmitted to a mobile app as the collar works based on the app. It makes tracking so much easier than traditional handheld locators.
All you need to do is sync with your account details shared by Fi with you.
After that, it’s just as simple as using your favorite social media app.
What’s in the Package?
- The Fi dog collar
- A mini USB cable
- A based station
- A charger block
Impressive Features of the Fi GPS Dog Collar
Dog-Friendly Design & Fitting Features
Some GPS trackers only come with the tracker but no collar.
The Fi smart dog collar is not the same — the collar comes with the dog tracker attached to it.
The collar’s material is a mixture of polyester and synthetic fabric; that increases durability — you can feel the material’s quality by merely touching it. The faceplate is made of armor aluminum too.
After all, you don’t want a too smooth surface or a too rough surface on the collar.
The tracker’s durability is even increased because of its end-to-end durable metal hardware framing.
It can withstand a pull force of over 300lbs.
I tried to pull it apart after locking, and you feel how the resistance is concentrated on the lock; it did not come off.
I’ve always disliked the belt buckle locking mechanism in my past collars. They tend to come off faster and tear off quickly.
Luckily, Fi GPS collar figured it out before I did.
The locking mechanism is similar to a clip and does NOT come off. Not unless you take it off, of course.
- The Aesthetic Design
The Fi smart dog collar has an aesthetic look with a nice pattern on the collar. It definitely feels quite nice too.
Being an indecisive person, it took me some time to pick the color of the collar — that’s right! The collar comes in 4 colors: pink, gray, yellow (the one I chose), and blue.
But Fi’s design superiority doesn’t stop there.
The Fi smart dog tracker can be detached from the collar whenever you want.
So, if the collar gets untidy, or if you want to change the collar, you can replace the collar easily on your own.
It’s as simple as that.
- The Change in Collar Sizes
The Fi dog tracker comes in 4 sizes. But the price is the same for all sizes.
Here is the sizing variation,
- Small: (11.5 – 13.5 inches of dog’s neck)
- Medium: (13 – 16.5 inches)
- Large: (16 – 22.5 inches)
- Extra Large: (22 – 34.5 inches)
Resistance Against Dust and Moisture
I own a labrador, Rex, and the breed itself is absolutely adventurous.
So, the three trackers that I’ve used in the past have let me down terribly.
But the Fi dog collar series has the IP68 waterproof rating, that’s the highest attainable for GPS dog collars. (1)
The first digit following IP is for resistance from solids. The scale range is between 1 and 6. In the highest level, level 6, the device is completely dustproof.
So, what about the number 8 in the IP68 rating? That is regarding resistance against water/moisture.
At the highest level, level 8, the tracker is completely waterproof for 1.5 meters depth for 30 minutes without any issues.
Because of that, I’ve been able to take my dog on several walks and swim sessions with no tension. The Fi smart dog collar still works as if I just bought it.
- What About Swimming in Oceans?
A common question is whether your dog can wear a waterproof collar for swimming in ocean water.
Your dog can also wear the Fi smart collar to swim in ocean waters.
However, this cannot be done in any tracker that doesn’t have the IP68 rating.
The reason is the fact that the Fi collar is completely waterproof while being dustproof.
Tip: Always look for a standardized rating in waterproof trackers.
The Smartphone App
The tracker I owned before was recommended by my dog trainer. So, I expected it to work like magic, and it did.
But the problem is, I had to carry a handheld locator even for a simple evening walk.
I ended up selling the tracker.
The Fi collar series 2 understands its target audience quite well. That’s why the whole process is based on the Fi collar app.
The app only works on your smartphone or tablet; You cannot use it on your PC or laptop.
I use an Android device, and the app is compatible with iOS (with iOS 13.0 or above) and Android devices (operating system 7.0 and above).
Here are the features of Fi’s app,
- The live mode
- Fi Discover mode (this is more likely a news center of Fi)
- The ranking mode
- The activity tracking mode
- The dog’s profile
This Fi dog collar review has all these features elaborated; keep reading.
The interface is extremely simple.
If my wife can manage it, everyone else can.
The secret is in the design. I noticed how there is a lot of white space. This is a UI and UX strategy used by top-end website and app developers.
They KNOW what increases convenience for an app.
How to Set Up Your Fi App?
Luckily, I got a brief from their customer service, but you don’t need that because I’ll explain how.
First, you should download the app and create a profile. If you have only one Fi collar, i.e., one dog, you’ll only need one dog profile.
Note: You can add multiple dogs to the account, but you should have a separate collar for each.
Afterward, you just have to enter the name and select the breed of the dog. For me, it was Rex and Labrador.
Then, you should connect the base station in the package to your home Wi Fi.
After that, you can access all the operational modes at the bottom of the screen of the Fi app.
GPS Location Tracking Capacity
There is no such thing as actual real-time GPS trackers with pets.
The closest you can get with a regular dog collar/ dog GPS unit is up to 2 seconds of location updating frequency.
That tracker cost me around $700. The lack of other features in the tracker and having to carry a handheld locator all the time made me sell it.
The location updating frequency is one side of the coin. The other side is the range.
When using the Fi series 2 collar, I experienced that the dog’s current location updates around every one minute to two minutes to 15 minutes; this is more than enough.
All these took place in a nice suburban area, so the cell service was rock solid. Remember, for the Fi collars to work, there MUST be cell phone service.
However, I also noticed that the frequency could fluctuate slightly when the sky is unclear.
But that’s how all GPS tracking works; why do you think there’s a GPS antenna?
Not all GPS trackers have 3 constellation satellites. That’s why the location accuracy comes up to 7 feet with open skies.
The battery life and accuracy can be improved with the integration of Bluetooth range and LTE-M to GPS technology. When you add LTE-M networks, the accuracy exponentially rises.
In fact, LTE-M networks are used for low-power and long-distance communications.
Your dog’s Fi collar switches between LTE-M/ Wi Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS as needed to provide the most accurate dog’s location.
According to my testing, the dog’s location accuracy came close to 4-5 feet — that’s as good as GPS tracking can get in a GPS dog collar.
- What About the Map?
My $700 GPS dog collar had such a complex map. A complex map makes tracking more difficult.
Fi GPS collar has such a simple and clear satellite map. Because of that, you can easily stop the location since you might have already seen the whereabouts.
Added benefit: Fi also has an LED light integrated into the collar, which the smartphone app can turn on.
What’s even amazing is that you can change the light of the collar to a color of your choice by the app. These colors are pink, green, blue, yellow, ocean blue, and purple.
This LED light comes in handy when finding your dog in darker areas, or in the night, without using the app.
Comprehensive Activity & Sleep Tracking
Prevention is the BEST medicine.
Words can’t express how lucky I’d have been if the Fi smart dog collar was invented back in 2015.
It would have saved her.
Lucy was a beautiful Beagle who apparently started sleeping too much suddenly.
My parents didn’t seem to notice it.
It was a brain tumor — a tumor that could have been operable if it had been discovered early enough.
Guess what? Fi collar Series has a new sleep tracking feature.
- Sleep Tracking Feature Explained
The interface is so simple and detailed. Here, take a look at this image.
This is how one night’s sleep tracking details are shown. The interruptions come to the timeline whenever their location is being changed.
But is the tracking limited to one night?
No, you can have MONTHS of tracking history. Typical dog tracking collars do not have ANYTHING remotely close.
Here’s how the interface looks when considering the weekly sleep tracking updates.
I love how the Fi tracker is smart enough to understand the difference between napping and sleeping.
The lighter shade of each column is the napping time, and the darker one is the sleeping time.
You can VISUALLY see the difference each day.
When you switch to weekly and monthly records, you’ll be able to see whether or not you should be alarmed.
Ultimately, it’s your furry friend whose life will be saved.
- What About Activity Tracking?
You just won’t find a tracker this simple yet so informative.
For example, look at the image above. Like sleep tracking, you see the number of miles and the number of dog’s steps.
I loved how this app’s number of steps almost tallied with my fitness watch’s count. It’s added reassurance of accuracy.
On top of that, I could set a goal for the number of steps just like in my fitness watch. That way, you can set specific goals for your dog that could be based on your vet’s recommendation.
It’s admirable how the Fi series collar, by design, lets you improve your dog’s activity and health tremendously.
But for how long can you store the data?
You can view and store data hours daily, weekly, and even monthly, as shown in the image below.
Or you can consider the following dog activity trackers here. But you know what? Fi Smart Collar is the #1 device in this guide too.
Fi Collar Users’ Community (Ranking System)
What about the other dogs in your neighborhood? Could they be Fi dogs?
Fi has delivered beyond our expectations with a community AND a ranking system.
You’ll find several other Fi dogs in the ranking system.
Remember, this is done in a background where some GPS trackers don’t have ANY online communities, to begin with.
And believe me, when you see how active the other Fi users are, you’ll feel pretty motivated to care more about your dog’s activity.
- How Does the Fi Community and Ranking Work?
When you make your account and log in, you’re a part of the community. Because your dog hasn’t covered any distance, you’ll be at the bottom of the ranking as I was.
What I did was check out the activity statistics of each dog on the list. As I did, I clearly felt the need to take Rex for a walk.
THAT’S the kind of peer pressure we need in life, Not to watch a mediocre TV show.
- Trust Benefit of the Community Ranking
As I said, the ranking system lets you see the name, breed, number of steps, and miles covered by each dog.
So, although my vet just asked me to take Rex out for a walk, I didn’t have an idea about the distance to be covered.
The answer was right in front of my face.
I looked for Labradors and the average distance and number of steps covered per day. I cross-checked with my vet and consulted about the average distance to be covered In a week.
Ultimately, Rex now walks the most optimal distance in the ideal time frame.
On top of all that, I constantly get reminded that I must make time. Rex only has my wife and me, and the ranking system is the best reminder of our due responsibilities.
None of this would have been possible if not for the Fi community and the ranking system.
Fi Discover’s News
I was excited when I heard that Fi had a newsfeed of its own. It influenced me to buy the tracker.
This is because I’m not the kind to LOOK for additional knowledge unless presented to me or unless it involves a purchase.
I know, a bit lazy of me.
But Fi app’s discover feed has EVERYTHING a dog parent wants to read once in a while.
For example, that’s where I learned that some people here in the US don’t really microchip their dogs — it’s a legal requirement.
That’s also where I learned that forced and non-rewarding-based dog training is the worst type.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
So, what else did I find in the Fi discover feed? Here’s a glimpse of the categories I found.
- Tons of dog health advice (including dietary plans, Dos and Don’ts, etc.)
- Info about modern-day dog ownership (microchipping, microchip details updating, etc.)
- All sorts of dog training tips and methods
- News about future developments of the Fi collar
That’s definitely not all and limited to these categories.
What’s so Special About the Content?
I tried looking for articles and pictures online.
I searched for the keywords.
I reverse searched from the images.
There isn’t a single trail of content on the internet.
I’m not the kind to gatekeep knowledge, but after all, I’m paying for the service. I know the value would drop if this content were found ANYWHERE on the internet.
But I can assure you; Fi Discover’s content is found ONLY in the App and App only.
That’s how you bring value to anything informative.
I had never tied up or caged dogs when I was growing up. But every time my dog escaped, I felt helpless.
Unfortunately, my wife thought otherwise.
After all, having a dog as big as Rex running all over the neighborhood isn’t the best idea.
Even if I could view his location all the time, it’s not like I can’t be looking at the phone all the time at the office.
So, it would be a cage or something as good as a cage.
Luckily, the Fi series 2 collar comes with a geofence — it’s better than even the best and the biggest cage you’d find.
- How Does Fi Series 2 Geofencing Work?
My dog spends his day in my house. So, ideally, the fence should be drawn around my house.
I know there are devices with multiple geofences and virtual fences, but I think just one geofence is more than almost enough all the time.
That’s it — you’re set to use the geofence.
When your dog wanders past the perimeter, the escape detection technology of the Fi series 2 collar will be activated. With the activation, you will get a notification on your phone.
Because of that, you don’t have to be paranoid looking at the phone — the notification will be sent only if the dog escapes the fence.
This brings us to another question.
- How Fast Will You Get the Notification?
My last tracker needed a minimum of 5 minutes to notify if the dog crossed the fence. That’s 300 seconds. That’s mostly because the geofencing feature was a secondary-level feature.
A lot can happen in 300 seconds.
I was genuinely surprised when I checked how fast the notification was. I received the notification in under one minute.
Let me remind you once again real-time live tracking is a borderline myth of GPS pet trackers. The same theory applies here.
All things considered, I can assure you that Fi Series 2 collar’s geofencing meets and exceeds expectations.
Lost Dog Mode
No matter how careful you are, there are ALWAYS going to be instances when things go out of control.
If a pet GPS tracker says that your pet will NEVER be lost under all circumstances, that’s misleading.
But admitting that a pet CAN be lost is never enough — there MUST be a solution for that. If there isn’t, it’s simply because the inventors aren’t smart enough or just don’t care enough.
Fi smart dog collar understands that there can be such situations.
They have a specific operational mode to handle situations where your dog is lost — “Lost dog mode.”
- How I Tested the Lost Dog Mode?
Rex wasn’t lost, but I wanted to recreate such a moment. I asked my wife to take him a couple of blocks away.
Then I went to the live tab and tapped on Rex’s profile picture at the top left to reveal the location map to enable live location tracking.
At the top right, there’s the “lost” icon, and I tapped it.
- My Experience From Start to the End
My wife video called me to show how the LED light in the Fi collar is blinking in Red. The light was bright enough to be noticed from a few hundred feet away, in my opinion.
GPS/LTE location tracking attempts changes to once per minute when the lost mode is activated.
The Fi App will send your dog’s location data via notifications, and you can see the dog’s location on the map. Since it’s a satellite map, you can easily find locations.
The app also showed MY location with respect to Rex’s location, with the last known location at the top of the screen.
So, when I went to my wife and Rex, I tapped on the “X” on the map to disable the mode.
That’s when I received a notification. The screen had two buttons; Keep trying to locate Rex and I found Rex, disable lost dog mode.
Fi dog’s collar wants confirmation from us that we found our dog.
That was a pleasant gesture since I did not expect that much accountability from a tracking company.
Here are a few things you should remember when using the lost dog mode.
- Avoid toggling between the mode as it affects the battery life
- The battery will last for around up to two days in the lost mode
- Keep an eye on the battery level as the LED speeds up the draining of power
My conclusion: Fi collar’s lost mode is a sigh of relief and helps preserve battery life tremendously.
Long Battery Life
The longest my phone has been up with one single charge is around 10-12 hours. I understand that’s how smartphones work but would it hurt to have at least one full day of operation?
All the GPS trackers I have previously owned couldn’t exceed one day. How did I feel about it?
Frustrated. Disappointed. Annoyed.
The least they could do is give me at least a few days of battery life with one charge.
Fi smart dog collar, on the other hand, changed my life.
How long do you think its maximum battery life is?
Twelve weeks — 3 whole months.
Even at the maximum operational mode, the Fi collar runs for 2 whole weeks.
The battery life draining speed can be divided into 4 major situations.
- Dog at home only
In this mode, only Wi-Fi is used, and you can use the battery life for 3 whole months WITH all-day activity and sleep tracking.
- Walks outside home
You can use the Fi smart dog collar in this mode for around 2 months as it uses both WiFi & GPS and cell coverage for tracking.
- Active dogs
Active dogs mode only uses GPS, and the battery lasts for 2-3 weeks comfortably with active cellular coverage.
- Lost Dog Mode
I already told you about this mode — you get 2 whole days of battery with a 1-minute location refresh rate (required cellular network).
To this day, I haven’t seen a GPS tracker that lasts for 3 months with this many features.
While I love Rex from the bottom of my heart, even I can get super busy.
So, if my wife wants to know what happens with him, it’s a bit of trouble.
I’m being realistically human here. It’s a bit impractical to send her screenshots of the location every few seconds.
I’m sure the Fi GPS dog collar 2 design team predicted all of these questions.
That’s exactly why you can grant access to several people to your account.
All you need to do is ask the person to download the app with whom you wish to share access and grant them access.
After that, they can see what you see on the screen, everything from Live location updates to sleep and activity tracking to Fi discover feed as well.
Because of that, I can peacefully work when I really am busy while ensuring Rex is well taken care of.
Connect With Your Vet Better
Most of the dog owners from my city use the Fi collar. So, most vets here have the Fi app installed.
So, even right now, my vet has access to my Fi account, and she’ll notice if anything is off.
Restricted Access Mode (For Dog Walkers)
Fi collar lets you give access to any number of people of your choice. But the problem is that, sometimes, you might have to let a person access the system temporarily.
A dog walker is a good example.
I’m sure the collar’s design team predicted this need. That’s why the Fi collar lets you give restricted access to the account. The idea is the read-only situation — you can see, but you cannot edit anything.
Even with all the motivation from Fi’s ranking, there are some days I still can’t take Rex out for a walk.
But should NOT be an excuse for the poor health of your dog.
In the past, I have hired several dog walkers, and I was paranoid about whether or not they were doing honest work.
Whether they really ARE taking Rex on that long walk.
So, when I hired a dog walker, I initially noticed how she wasn’t quite covering the entire distance. But the problem was fixed the next day when I implied that I knew what was happening.
So, it’s safe to say that giving restricted access to your Fi series 2 collar is one of the best features of the collar. It allows you to ensure that you’re getting the value for what you spend.
But be sure to remove them from the list at the end of the walk.
Working Without the Subscription
Almost all the best GPS dog trackers in the market NEED GPS subscription plans to work.
After all, satellite location updating is done, and you’re only renting the tracking services.
Before I activated my 30-day trial period, I used the tracker without the subscription.
Fi collar doesn’t NEED a subscription plan to work. What are the included features when the tracker works WITHOUT a subscription?
- Today’s Health Activity
- Location When Connected to Base/ WiFi (Series 2 only)
- Location When Connected to Owner (Fi Mobile App)
- Walks with Owner
You can try using the tracker without the subscription for a while if you’d like to.
However, I soon realized I needed a subscription plan based on my needs (described below).
After all, we all get a 30-day trial period to check out the full set of features. That time is more than enough to see what works for you.
But what DO you get with the subscription?
Here’s a quick comparison of what you get with the subscription and what you don’t.
|Feature||GPS/LTE Subscription||No Subscription|
|Today’s Health Activity||✓||✓|
|Past Health Activity||✓||x|
|Location When Connected to Base/ WiFi (Series 2 only)||✓||✓|
|Location When Connected to Owner (Fi Mobile App)||✓||✓|
|Walks with Owner||✓||✓|
|Walks Without Owner||✓||x|
|Notification When Dog Exits Safe Zone||✓||x|
|Lost Dog Mode||✓||x|
How Much Does the Fi Collar Cost?
The Fi collar’s current retail price is $149. But I’ve guessed how much I really had to pay.
Just $79 — I happen to land one discount during the time from their official website itself. So, there’s a good chance of you getting a similar discount.
Although it works without the subscription, you see what you get when you have one.
So, here’s a quick glance at the 3 subscription fee plans you get — remember, you can try it free for 30 days.
The one I use is the middle one. I initially went with the 30-day trial, and I think it fulfills all my dog tracking needs.
In case you didn’t notice, the Fi company is very fair — the difference between each subscription plan is the time commitment only.
You get the same set of features for each plan.
How to Purchase?
- Go to this link here.
- Select the size of the collar and “add to cart”
- Select the cart and choose a GPS subscription plan (or skip it if you don’t want one)
- Add any accessories if needed
- Add any discount or referral code you may have
- Pay with the card or $25/mo for 6 months with PayPal Credit
Pros and Cons
Joshua’s Trustpilot is a good example of how multiple dogs can be tracked with no hassle.
Whereas Dean has been able to save his dog THRICE.
Is the Fi Collar Worth the Money?
Absolutely, 100%, YES.
The Fi collar is one of the best dog trackers on the market right now. That’s not because of any marketing strategy but solely due to the superior features.
All of the features collectively bring so much value for each cent you spend.
What Makes the Fi Better Than it’s Competitors?
To give a quick recap,
This GPS collar with real-time live tracking lets you also track your dog’s activity. That’s meeting and exceeding the expectations of smart dog collars.
To me, that’s like having two trackers integrated into one because there are health trackers for dogs on the market.
Virtual fences and safe zones made it extremely easy for me to keep Rex from trouble. You could say that it helped me tame him better as well.
Let’s not forget the fact that the tracker operates by a smartphone app, and you don’t NEED to have a monthly subscription plan to use it.
On the other hand, you get a community of fellow Fi collar users. Personally, it motivates and reminds me that I should take Rex out for a walk every now and then. He deserves fitness just as much as any other dog.
All these features and much more come with a maximum battery life of up to three months.
I’d like to see ANY other dog tracker in the market bring all these features to the table for $149.
Other Dog trackers we’ve compared with Fi:
It’s admirable when pet parents want to invest in GPS trackers; it shows that they care enough.
I’ve made it easier for you by bringing one of the best GPS trackers in the market — COMPLETELY based on its amazing features.
So, when you’re buying the Fi collar for your dog, you’re not buying just a collar.
You’re buying the protection and care your dog DESERVES.
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