AirTags’ battery life, water-resistance, and durability: Rest assured?

AirTags’ battery life, water-resistance, and long-term durability: Rest assured?
It’s been almost a week since Apple introduced the long-anticipated AirTag during the ‘Spring Loaded’ event on April 20. It’s safe to say that the tiny Bluetooth tracker has attracted a lot of attention. That’s not a surprise - the device is related to security, and nowadays, everyone is obsessed with that topic. From your data to your dog and car keys - there’s a lot to lose and, therefore, a lot to protect.

So, let’s assume you’ve decided to buy an AirTag. How durable is it going to be? How often do you need to charge it? Will it work with MagSafe? Some of these questions are debatable, but some are pretty simple.

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Battery life: Do you need a charger

Apple’s products are known for being reliable in the long term, and the AirTag is not an exception. There are two aspects of the AirTag durability we can discuss - battery life and physical stamina. Let’s talk about the first one.

Don't buy MagSafe. Bye MagSafe.

To absolutely everyone’s surprise, the battery in AirTags is user-replaceable! This is not very ‘Apple'. The company has never sold a device with a user-replaceable battery if we don’t count the MacBooks released before mid-2009 (pre-Retina display era).

The AirTag features a CR2032 coin cell battery, which is widely available around the world. These batteries are used to power small electronics devices such as calculators, wristwatches, various medical devices, fitness appliances, toys, and more. They are very inexpensive.

You can remove and replace the CR2032 battery of your AirTag with a simple turn and twist of the rear stainless steel cover.

One battery should last you for as long as a year, according to Apple. Bear in mind that battery life is based on a specific set of tests conducted by Apple. That is - an everyday use of four play sound events (used to locate your items by sound) and one Precision Finding event per day (only available on iPhone 11 & 12).

So, battery life varies with usage, environmental conditions, replacement battery manufacturer, and many other factors. For example, for users with iPhones which don’t support Precision Finding, the battery might last over a year. However, if you tend to misplace your keys six times a day, and then you trigger the AirTag sound six times, this will bring it back down to less than a year. You know - simple maths.

Durability: Is it water-proof and do you need a case


First of all, yes - AirTags are splash, water, and dust resistant. Apple has tested AirTags under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529 (simply, maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes).

Bear in mind that splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions. Therefore they might decrease as a result of normal wear. Apple also advises you to clean and dry your AirTag if it’s been in contact with dirt or dunked in water.

Don’t forget that the tiny tracker also has a built-in speaker. We know from smartphones that speakers don’t like water, so be careful not to get your AirTag wet while it’s taken apart (for a battery replacement).

Pleeeease, don’t step on your AirTag

So, what protects all of this tech that’s crammed into this tiny nugget of a tracker? We know that water-resistance is achieved with protective rubber seals, mesh, and adhesive.

However, on the outside the AirTag is a mix of plastic on the front and stainless steel on the back. Both materials will scratch easily, so you’ll definitely want to put your AirTag in a ‘case’. Not that you have a choice actually - AirTags don’t come with a built-in loop for attaching to a keyring. That’s controversial, but we know how much Apple loves to push accessories, so we aren’t shocked.

Apple offers a bunch of keyrings, ‘loops’ and holders. Belkin makes the cheapest one on, and it costs $12.95. That’s not too expensive, but we are sure third-party companies will soon flood the market with even cheaper options, so you might want to hold on. In fact, there already are dozens of affordable options on Amazon, although many of them aren’t in stock just yet, which is understandable.

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