Last Updated on September, 2023
Imagine being able to know where your furry friend is whenever you want to; that’s the whole point of tracking collars.
Out of so many, I managed to filter out two of the best smart dog collars on the market right now.
The Fi Series 2 and the Halo 2+ collar.
Most dog lovers I know have chosen one of these two, including myself.
So, which smart collar is better? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
- The Two Smart Collars at a Glance
- Fi vs Halo Collar: Comparison of the Fundamental Features
- Standing Out Features
- Price Comparison
- Pros and Cons Comparison
- Customer Reviews
- Which Smart Tracker You Should Pick?
- In Conclusion
The Two Smart Collars at a Glance
Fi Series 2 collar
Fi was founded in 2017 in America. In its short history, the company has been chosen by thousands of dog owners all over the USA.
That’s because of the company’s dedication to quality. Their Fi collar is the perfect proof of that.
This is a GPS collar designed for dogs of all kinds. It’s filled with features that add a lot of value to your spending, including activity tracking.
Let’s talk about that in the next section.
Read the full Fi smart collar review here.
Halo 2+ collar
The Halo collar’s origin story is a bit sad. Its founder, Ken Ehrman, was motivated to design the Halo collar after his niece’s dog, Ruby, escaped from the yard and was hit by a car.
Like Fi, Halo collar has been in the game since 2017.
They have won the trust of countless dog owners because of the reliability of the halo collar.
The Halo collar is also designed for a wide range of dogs, and that’s a convenience unseen in most dog trackers.
Read the full Halo 2+ collar review here.
So, let’s compare and contrast the fundamental features of each collar.
Fi vs Halo Collar: Comparison of the Fundamental Features
Both the Halo collar and the Fi collar have high brand value. In an industry such as dog collars, that much brand value definitely brings one aspect to the table.
Superior design characteristics.
The Fi collar comes in three colors: pink, blue, gray, and yellow, and I went with gray.
The collar’s reinforced hardware can withstand over 300lbs of pull force. The secret is the end-to-end metal framing; the armored aluminum faceplate. It’s also chew proof.
Since there is no rigidity except for the tracker itself, the collar fits around the neck of your furry friend pretty nicely. Its dimensions are as follows:
- Small: 11.5 – 13.5 inches of neck
- Medium: 13.5 -16.5 inches
- Large: 16 – 22.5 inches
- Extra large: 22 – 34.5 inches
On the flip side, the Halo collar is 50% rigid by design. But it still fits my little buddy pretty well. The material and the locking mechanism are borderline foolproof. The tracker is also chew proof.
In terms of dimensions, there are 3 categories in the Halo collar. They are,
- Small: 11-15 inches
- Medium: 15 – 20.5 inches
- Large – 20 – 30.5 inches
So, it’s safe to say it fits almost all sizes and types of breeds.
WINNER: Fi Series 2
Resistance Capacities Against Dust and Moisture
Dogs are active creatures, making them run all over the place. Swimming and falling are more frequent than one would think.
If the GPS device didn’t have enough resistance properties, it wouldn’t last.
Fi has understood this requirement, and that’s why their smart collar is IP68 waterproof. This is a global standardization of waterproofness.
The number 6 in the IP rating means that the tracker is dust-tight for 2-8 hours. The last number, the number 8, means that the tracker is protected against the effects of permanent water submersion up to 13 feet.
Halo 2+ collar has the IP67 waterproof rating.
Winner: Fi Series 2
GPS Location Tracking Features
The Fi collar will find your dog wherever it goes as long as it is inside the USA.
The secret behind the Fi collar’s superior GPS tracking is the mixed use of tracking technology.
The tracker uses Bluetooth, GPS, and LTE-M for comprehensive GPS location tracking.
With three constellations of satellites, GPS location tracking can achieve an accuracy of around 7 feet radius in the open sky.
On the other hand, the Halo collar’s tracking area is limited up to 10 square miles.
However, Halo collar also uses the same 3 types of tracking technology; GPS, Bluetooth, and LTE-M. It means you could find your dog on both long and short distances.
Both of the trackers have a real-time tracking feature.
Activity Tracking Features
There used to be a time when GPS trackers were just about dogs’ location tracking. But both Fi and Halo have changed the game; you can monitor the dog’s activity levels in both collars.
When we look at the Fi collar, it lets you track the steps and the miles covered for a whole week with 24/7 accessible data storage, just like an advanced smartwatch that tracks your health.
But that’s not all.
Fi collar lets you set up daily activity tracking goals as well.
The changing parameter of your dog’s activity is the number of steps. You can change it whenever you want. You can decide how much exercise your dog needs.
There’s one more motivating factor.
Fi collar has a community of its own. So you’ll be able to see the ranking of your pup with the others. Isn’t that a little motivation to take your dog out often?
It also lets you track sleeping as well, which is as important as exercise.
The Halo collar offers almost similar features to monitor your dog’s activity levels.
You can quickly check the distance covered, the time spent active, resting (sleeping included), and also “on drive”. These features aren’t seen in the Fi collar.
However, the Halo collar doesn’t let you set goals and chase them like in the Fi collar.
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that both collars deliver value in tracking health and activity.
WINNER: Fi Series 2
The Smartphone App
The fundamental characteristic of all GPS tracking devices is the presence of a smartphone app. The theory applies to both of these collars.
The Fi app is relatively easy to use and well structured. The app lets you quickly check all the tracking features since the bottom bar is so simple.
There’s the live mode on the far left, then there’s Fi news, then the ranking, then the activity monitor, and finally the account.
The app sticks to a yellow color palette, the brand’s color.
The shareability is most beneficial; you can invite as many owners to your Fi account as you’d like. On the flip side, you can add as many dogs as you like.
Here’s how the app interface of the Fi Series 2 collar looks,
On the flip side, the halo collar app switches between yellow and blue. The bottom bar contains my map (where there is live tracking), training, notifications, and settings.
Unlike the Fi app, the halo collar app’s home screen has everything; stats of the day, tracking, safe or active status, etc.
Overall, both apps are simple and very efficient.
One of the most impressive features of the Fi Series 2 is its battery life.
My dog, Rex, is a bit of a runner and likes spending time outside when I’m home during the weekend.
In addition, I do hire a dog walker every now and then to ensure he gets enough exercise.
So, there’s a lot of activity happening daily. Guess when the last time I charged the Fi Series 2 was?
Two and half months ago.
That’s right! The collar’s battery life lasts close to three months in optimal operations. You can guess how resilient the battery life is.
Halo 2+ fell a little bit short on the battery life. It lasted around one whole day, and I had to recharge it the following morning.
It shows how Fi has invested in what matters the most. The type of battery for both the collars are the same; lithium-ion based battery life.
WINNER: Fi Series 2
There’s a whole segment of the smart collar market for small dogs. At the same time, it’s just one segment that limits potential sales.
That’s why both Fi and Halo collars fit all types of dogs. It’s the different sizes of the collar that enables it.
You should pay attention to the neck dimensions of each size to ensure the collar fits.
So far, both collars have lived up to expectations.
This method can be explained simply like this; you can draw a boundary, or an invisible fence, on the map. These are safe zones.
Technically, it’s a geofence that alerts the monitoring device (your phone through the smartphone app) when a boundary is crossed by the collar wearer (the dog).
A virtual fence typically will trigger a noise, a vibration, or a shock by the collar when the boundary is crossed.
Fi Series 2 has geofencing as it would send notifications.
The Halo collar on the other hand lets you use shock, sound, or vibration whenever the dog crosses a virtual fence.
This feature is available in both the collars but only in Halo you get to create up to 20 virtual boundaries.
Features of sound and vibrations are strictly for training only. However, you’ll have to train your dog to understand how that works.
Standing Out Features
Any product’s market value increases along with its unique features. Both Fi and Halo collars are doing a magnificent job in that arena.
Let’s look at the standout features of the Fi collar first.
- Combination of GPS/Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, And LTE
Bluetooth tracking is used for indoor or very short-distance tracking.
For example, for tracking devices used when walking your dog.
GPS/Wi-Fi, on the other hand, covers a lot of area, sometimes worldwide and sometimes limited to a country.
LTE lies in the middle of the range.
So, when a tracker has all of these integrated into one, that means you’re getting the accuracy of each type in one tracker.
The Fi collar brings you that.
- Dog Walkers With Restricted Access
The Fi Series 2 collar lets you manage the degree of accessibility for the users you add. So, you can hire a dog walker and don’t have to worry about the data being manipulated since they don’t have any access.
Think of it as a read-only mode on a document. It doesn’t hinder the process at all.
- Multiple Dogs and Users
Some of us dog owners tend to have multiple dogs. My brother has four dogs of four different breeds, and the Fi collar was his choice.
One main reason was the fact that he could add all of his to his account. Because in almost every other smart collar system, you need to have a separate account for each device.
On top of that, the Fi collar lets you share all the monitoring and activity information. You can add multiple users, and it’s easier for all interested parties.
I love how the Fi community coexists peacefully. Being a busy person, I don’t get the time or space to make new friends with common hobbies.
The Fi app made me meet a lot of dog owners, and I have made a considerable number of fellow friends who are devoted dog parents.
- Training Content
There are 3 founding members of the Halo 2+ smart collar; Ken Ehrman (Founding & Managing Partner), Michael Ehrman (Founding Partner), and Cesar Millan (Founding Partner).
Cesar Millan is an internationally recognized dog psychologist in the community as the “Dog Whisperer.”
Cesar Millan has integrated several training courses into the Halo app. This training support, coupled with live chat support, makes customer satisfaction skyrocket. I can’t get enough of it.
- Bluetooth Beacons
Halo is one of the best collars for including Bluetooth beacons in the package. The purpose of these beacons is to train your dog for GPS tracking before actually wearing the tracker. My advice is to use these beacons well enough before switching to real GPS tracking.
- Customizable Feedback Types
I told you how the geofence or a virtual fence keeps your dogs safe in zones. And I also told you that the app would alert you.
How does this happen?
Here’s what’s included in both types:
- Encouragement includes boundary warnings and emergency feedback
- Preventions include two audible feedback; “Good dog, come home” and whistling
So, rest assured, the dog will almost always come back. I think it’s this feature that makes the Halo collar quite precious.
Both of these collars are GPS tracking collars. Without the use of Satellite triangulation, GPS tracking is not possible.
So, you need that continuous GPS tracking signal. That’s why all GPS tracking collars come with a subscription plan.
Let’s compare the prices of the products and the subscription plans.
The Fi smart collar is $149 and comes with a trial of a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, it’s not for the collar but ONLY for the subscription.
After the trial, the GPS subscription is $99 per year.
If you like the collar enough to extend the duration, there are two more plans. The two-year plan is $186, and the three-year plan is $248, which saves you a lot.
If you’re going with the monthly plan, it’s $8.25 right now.
On the other hand, the Halo collar with Cesar Millan’s training content is $649.
Halo has three plans that are billed monthly:
- The first one is the basic plan, which is just $0.15 per day, with a monthly charge of $4.49.
- The basic plan includes geo fencing features, backtracking, and training content.
- The Silver plan comes second with a monthly fee of $9.99; that’s 33 cents per day.
This plan has everything from the basic plan and has more customizable options. That includes dog activity tracking, historical data, and feedback response progress over time.
The last and the best one is $29.99 per month, which is $0.99 per day.
Halo’s ultimate experience includes everything from the silver plan to new premium learning lessons and live sessions with experts for more personalized training support.
Warranty of Both Products
All of these are electrical products; they have the highest tendency to malfunction.
So, I never recommend taking chances with a tracking device with no warranty. There should be at least 3 months of warranty.
Fi gives you an extended warranty of not three but a whole year.
If you’re buying from anywhere other than the official website, ensure you get the company warranty.
Halo also gives you a one-year warranty, which is clearly mentioned on the receipt.
Pros and Cons Comparison
So far, we’ve looked at the fundamental features, standing out features, price comparison, and warranty.
Now it’s time to look at the pros and cons of each product.
- No Location Guessing
The combination of Bluetooth, Wi Fi, and LTE is as good as it gets in the dog tracking industry. Because of this, you won’t ever have to guess the dog’s location.
As you get closer to the pet, the Fi series switches between the 3 technologies to give you the most accurate position every single time.
- Easier to Keep Family Updated
Having all the family members on one device and one account is a relief. In case you get busy, all you need to do is notify someone.
- Share Stuff to Vet
The shareability of GPS tracking and the dog’s activity status helps your vet tremendously. You don’t have to take screenshots, record screens, or even note things down as you go.
- Stay Away From Fraudulent Dog Walkers
It can be a challenge to find time to walk your dog with the busy lives we live. But that’s not an excuse to cut off your dog’s exercise schedules.
But not all dog walkers are really honest. They could lie to you that they walked the dog all over when all they did was wait it out at the park.
At the same time, you cannot let a temporary person be permanently added to your account as well.
Thankfully, Fi figured out the complication at the design stage. That’s why there’s restricted access to dog walkers in the system. Everyone’s happy at the end of the day!
- No Need to Charge Your Battery All the Time
I personally find it annoying to charge my phone every single day. So, not having to charge the tracker for at least 2 months (up to 3 months) brings a lot of conveniences.
- Has Virtual Fences/ Smart Fences
Geo fencing enables escape detection, which is essential to keep dogs safe from unfortunate incidents.
Even with all the features, Fi has included smart fences. With the benefits smart fences deliver, it’s a considerable upgrade.
- Fi Collar is ideally not for dogs under 10 pounds
- Faster GPS Location Tracking
The Halo collar sure has a live location tracking system that updates faster.
As long as you have a Wi Fi connection, everything will run smoothly.
So, the collar fulfills the most essential service expected from a GPS dog collar in the best way.
- Save Money on Dog Training
When you pick a halo collar, you’re also getting free dog training. This is a service that’s not in the Fi Series 2 collar.
Dog training courses and institutes are pretty expensive by default.
So, the Halo smart dog collar saves you a little fortune you’d spend on dog training.
- Always Be Alerted When Your Dog Leaves Safe Zones
There’s no point in little pop-up notifications as alerts to an emergency situation. That’s why the Halo collar will alert you properly as the dog leaves the boundary.
I checked how fast the escape detection response time would be, and it was around 1 second — that’s smart technology.
- Train Slowly With Beacons
The Bluetooth beacon helps the dog, and you get accustomed to tracking. Think of it as a friendly gesture from Halo to the newbies of GPS tracking.
- Beacon is Not Waterproof
Make sure you don’t let the beacon come in contact with water since it’s more or less a secondary tracker you get for FREE.
Replacements don’t always get messy. But a 4 star review from a dog parent of 3 Pomskies is well-balanced.
The key to understanding the true worth of a product is comparison. Derek has understood it properly.
Sheila already knows the worth of the Halo collar. That’s why she would buy it in a smaller size if the chance is served.
The issue of battery is there as I mentioned. However, this review confirms how everything else is amazing.
Which Smart Tracker You Should Pick?
You Should Pick Fi Tracking Collar if…
You should pick the Fi smart dog collar if you have several people to update; for example, your family and the vet.
It’s also fantastic for busy people who want to track whether the hired dog walkers are doing the job right.
The tracker is also suitable for those who want the highest location accuracy, such as people living in highly congested areas.
Since it has geofences, escape alerts are present too.
The product is so simple; even a kid should be able to handle it. So, your parents and even your children can manage the collar on their own.
You Should Pick Halo Collar if…
Halo collar brings a lot of valuable features to the table. The collar is bespoke for the ones who want to keep a constant eye on their dogs.
The integrated training by Cesar Millan makes it suitable for the ones who own relatively younger dogs.
On top of all that, the activity settings make the product extremely valuable for dog owners with risky dogs. That way, you can constantly keep your eye on the location and the dog’s health.
- Fi Series 2 vs Whistle Go Explore
- Fi Series 2 vs PetFON
- Halo collar vs Wagz collar
- Halo vs SpotOn Collar
My conclusion is that both products are cost-effective, and one cannot be pointed to as the best collar.
But since there is a considerable gap between the prices, I’m going to let you decide to pick your new collar.
When you do, remember that the lower price product lacks a definite number of services provided by the higher price one.
After all, any responsible pet owner wants nothing but the best for our little buddies.
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