In short, the Fi Dog Collar is a smart dog GPS collar, but in reality, it’s so much more than that. You may find other FI Dog Collar Reviews online leaning heavily to either end of the spectrum, but we’re here to give you an unbiased and honest review so you can decide for yourself.
A dog collar is one of the first and most important accessories you purchase when you get a new fur baby. What used to be an accessory for identifying your pet has later become a fashion statement and is now both of the above and an indispensable part of training and safety.
But do you really need something as high tech as this like it came out of an Inspector Gadget movie? To help you make sure your dog is safe, we’ll break down the collar in detail.
How Does the Fi Collar Work?
Before we get into the details about this pet tracker, we’re going to look at how it works. What can this collar with exceptional battery life and accuracy offer you that other activity tracking devices can’t?
Basically, the Fi utilizes all the technology we have today for communication to its advantage to pinppoint your dog’s location using the Fi GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features.
When you pooch is home, the collar will be automatically connected to the home WiFi system. Once he has left the safety perimeter, the Bluetooth feature will activate and tether to your phone.
The safety zone is basically the perimeter of free movement for your canine that you set up in rage of the Fi Base. You can customize this zone as you please and add the phones of people in the family and other trusted individuals to the database.
Sophisticated Technology – What Does It Do?
The future of dog collars is here with the Fi Dog Collar. It’s technologically advanced enough to accommodate dogs with the most active lifestyles. It was designed for the outdoors, as they advertise on their site and has an IP68 waterproof rating.
The first digit is for solids and the second is for liquids. The higher the number is on the scale, the more impenetrable the device is. The first digit is out of 6 and the second is out of 9. So as you can see, an IP rating of 68 is near indestructible.
They tested for this IP rating by submerging the device in water for 30 min in water about 1.5m deep and the dog Fi collar came out fine. Since the solid rating is the highest it can be, the Fi Dog Collar is also heavily resistant to dirt, dust and mud so your dog can have the adventure of his lifetime without worrying about damaging the collar.
As for the construction of the Fi Dog Smart Collar, is has an aluminum faceplate to protect it from abrasions and impact and is reinforced with internal metal armor to make it immune to your dog’s powerful jaws. So from here we can deduce that this smart collar is robust, tough and well constructed. Let’s give it a 9-10 out of 10 for the construction.
We mentioned that this dog collar can keep your poor dog safe, but how does it propose to do that? Well, it has it’s own LED light of course! You can take your pick of the LED color and control the lighting options via the Fi app, but more on that later.
It also has GPS tracking to make sure your dog is never a lost dog. Just thinking about your precious fur baby wandering the streets alone and scared is enough to get you to read on. But the Fi collar isn’t just any old dog collar with GPS, the dog tracking GPS in this smart dog collar is much more advanced and accurate. That’s because it uses three different clusters of satellites to monitor and pinpoint your dog’s location.
The accuracy is also attributed to the LTE-M cellular network. Your dog’s location will be relayed back to you over great distances. The LTE-M is a new technology that takes low power and communicates over greater distances. With the LTE-M working with the Fi Collar, it will surpass all other internet networks.
Then we have the escape detection and safety perimeter penetration. Dogs are faster than humans, as many four-legged animals are. The point of having a safety perimeter up and a GPS collar is to know where your dog is at all times even in your absence. But that will provide a greater risk if an escape does occur. Because you aren’t physically close to your dog, their escape will take place faster than you can run to their aid.
Factor in the incredible speed of certain breeds and you have yourself a sticky situation. As Fi Dog Collar mentioned on their website, the most important factor in the recovery of your dog is how quickly you were notified so you can spring into action. The Fi Collar can notify you of your dog’s escape within seconds with the help of its proprietary algorithms.
The battery life of the Fi Dog Collar is another one of its impressive features. It’s a smart dog collar that can actually detect weather conditions and environmental factors to save battery life. Why is battery life important if you plan to charge your Fi collar every day? Well, in the off-chance that your dog does escape, you want the battery life to last as long as possible to increase your chances of recovery.
If you plan to use the collar mostly at home with a Wi-Fi connection, you can expect the battery life to last up to 3 months! That is at least 2 months longer than other higher end models. If your dog often goes for walks, with Wi-Fi or GPS and cell connection, your Fi Collar will be able to last for up to 2 months, which still outperforms other collars by weeks.
For the really active dogs that love to explore and are often away from the house, battery life can last up to 3 weeks on GPS only. Then there is Lost Dog Mode. This mode is activated when your dog is lost. Lost Dog Mode will update your pup’s location in real-time and the LED light on the color will flash red to make them more visible. Lost Dog Mode will require more battery to operate so you’re looking at a battery life of up to 2 days, which is hours upon hours more than other dog collars can offer.
There is also a Safe Zone feature that you need to determine with your Fi Dog Collar. Safe zones are the perimeter around the home base station, which is the Fi Base. It comes with your purchase and is also used to charge the Fi Collar. If your dog leaves this safe zone perimeter, the app will notify you immediately. If you have designated people that you have added to the Fi App, it should be able to detect their phones, so if your dog leaves with one of your designated humans, the app will also let you know who your dog is with.
What kind of sucks is if the designated person doesn’t have their phone, the app will not be able to detect and alert you on who the dog is with. So even if they are “safe” with someone you trust outside of the safe zones, the GPS tracking could still trigger Lost Dog Mode.
We would suggest enlarging the safe zone perimeter from your home base station to minimize these false alerts. GPS dog trackers are only as useful as the settings. If you pup spends a lot of time at a neighbor’s house or in your yard, it may be a good idea to set up an additional Fi Collar Base that can share the same Wi-Fi network to prevent you from having to reconfigure the settings each time your dog spends time somewhere else for lengthy periods.
Using the Fi Dog Collar App
The Fi Dog Collar comes with its very own app you can download on your smartphone. Aside from location tracking, the app and collar together also work as fitness trackers much like an Apple Watch or FitBit for you and I. You can personally input the number of steps your dog is required to take to keep active and healthy. This will depend on his or her breed, age, and weight. A good way to gauge what your dog needs is to consult your vet. Many people like to go for 10,000 steps, but that is a bit ambitious if your dog isn’t an active one.
What we would suggest is more useful is not to set a goal to reach but a goal to not dip below. There is also a cute additional feature on the Fi Dog Collar app that allows you to compare your dog’s progress with other dogs of the same breed to see how he’s doing.
Many of us have more than one precious fur baby in the house. So for dog families that have more than one pet, the Fi Smart Dog Collar app is useful because you can invite the whole family! With one account you can track all the dogs in the house. If you hire dog walkers regularly, you can also add them to the account but only offer them restricted access to certain details.
The app also serves as a hub for everything you need dog-wise. Stay on top of all the last dog-related news and advice with access right at your fingertips. The app also has a Fi Pack feature where it allows you to connect with other Fi Dogs near your location. What’s more fun than impromptu doggy dates to tire out your fur babies?
Purchasing Details of the Fi Collar
If you are leaning towards purchasing the Fi Collar, then you would want to know the cost, shipping and buyer protection. The Fi Smart Dog Collar is pricier compared to regular collars, but it performs more tasks than any other collar we have seen. Aside from activity tracking, it also alerts you of your dog’s location, lights up for visibility and also has long battery life, which justifies the higher price.
You can take your pick of a few colors but they all come with the same sturdy and adjustable design. It’s worth it to note that the Fi Collar is heavier than what your dog may be used to, so it will take some time to adjust and we suggest not using this pet tracker until your dog is big enough.
Does the Fi Collar have a monthly fee? The Fi Collar will also require a subscription plan to gain access to the Fi GPS and LTE features such as Lost Dog Mode. The subscription isn’t pricey and you can decide to pay yearly or monthly. You don’t need to get the subscription for the collar to function, but it won’t be more than an average GPS collar without it. Once your dog leaves the safety zone, all activity tracking will cease because he is out of Wi-Fi range.
So if your purpose for the Fi Collar is to know your dog is safe at all times or you have a very active and curious fur baby who loves to explore, we would definitely suggest going for the subscription plan.
Don’t worry because Fi will put your mind at ease by including a 1-year warranty, a 30-day FREE GPS trial to see if it lives up to your expectations and a 1-year warranty if anything goes wrong.
Is the Fi Collar Only Meant for Dogs?
Unfortunately, the Fi Collar is only meant for dogs. Off the top of our heads we can’t really think of other domesticated animals that can benefit from these dog collars. Other animals such as a bunny will rarely need location tracking, and if you’re thinking about a cat, these collars are much too heavy and bulky for a feline pet. But never say never, if you have an exceptionally large cat that can take the weight of the collar, then by all means give it a try. We know that cats are independent animals that like to wander off as well.
Fi Dog Collar Review
For this section, we have compiled all the pros and cons after trying and testing out the Fi Dog Collar ourselves and with the reviews of other dog parents out there.
+ Fi collar allowed pet parents to take immediate action to initiate Lost Dog Mode when their dogs escaped the barrier.
+ The GPS tracking updates in real-time and is extremely precise and accurate.
+ Allows for dog parents to feel more at ease and safe to leave their fur babies.
+ Clear detail about where your dog is and who he’s with.
+ A big and heavy collar for some dogs
Fi Collar FAQ
What is the Fi Collar return policy?
Though Fi is confident you will love the collar, they do provide a return policy. Once you get your collar, the 14-day trial period starts. If during these two weeks you feel like the collar doesn’t live up to your expectations, you can feel free to return it no questions asked. The collars also come with a limited 1-year warranty, the details for which you can find on the website.
Is the Fi Collar safe?
Safety is a dog parent’s main concern for purchasing the Fi collar, which is why they do their best to address this issue. For concerns regarding radiation, the Fi collar complies with FCC standards. The Fi collar operates within safety parameters and will cause no harm to your pet or you.
Is the Fi Collar available in countries outside of the US?
Unfortunately, the Fi collar is not available anywhere outside of the US. For this reason, if your pup leaves the country, the Fi collar will not work. But no matter where he is within the USA you can track him as long as your phone as an internet connection.
My Pet has a microchip, why do I need Fi?
A microchip is more like an identity collar than an activity tracker. The microchip will not tell you the precise location of your pet or update you on his movements in real time. Unfortunately for a lost microchipped fur baby, the way to recover him is to do a blind search around the vicinity and to rely on the kind hearts of passing strangers. But having the Fi collar gives pet parents a proactive option to actually go after their pups and know their exact location.
Fi VS Other Smart Collars
The Fi smart collar uses LTE-M, which far surpasses the communication distance of other smart collars that rely on 3, 4, or 5G. Not only that, the battery life is a feature that no other smart collars can beat. Depending on the different modes, the Fi can outlast other smart collars for weeks and even months!
Fi VS Other GPS Trackers
Fi is in essence a smart GPS tracker, right? So what makes it better than other GPS trackers? It brings us back to the LTE-M network. Fi doesn’t drain battery life because it doesn’t require a constant connection. The antenna will only activate when the pup exits the safety zone or is without the owner. Due to faster communication, it’s also easier for the Fi tracker to be much more precise than other GPS trackers.
So what is our verdict for the Fi tracker? It’s a supremely built device that is tough to damage no matter how active and rambunctious your pup is. As for the features, we will say it offers a ton of versatility both being a safety tool and an activity monitor with long-lasting battery. It can be a bit heavy but once your pup is big enough, it serves as a peace of mind for pet owners everywhere, knowing that it’s got their backs if their beloved fur babies every escape. The bottom line is, the Fi advanced tracker definitely gets our vote!
Did You Know?
If the Fi is considered heavy for your canine, then we would suggest only using it in your absence or when tracking is needed. For all the other times his regular collar will do.
If you plan on using the Fi tracking device as an everyday accessory, then we would suggest attaching an ID tag. This way if your pooch does run off and someone gets to him before you do, they will know where to return him.