Whistle Review

UPDATED Apr. 2021
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Whistle 3 is a 2-in-1 device that functions both as a GPS pet tracker and a pet activity monitor. It relies on GPS, WiFi, and cellular technologies and offers a virtually unlimited connection range and nationwide coverage. It is exclusively available in the US.

The device is the latest product of Whistle Labs, a San Francisco-based company founded in 2012 that specializes in smart pet technology. It is superior to its predecessors in terms of both connectivity and suitability for pets of different sizes and it is advertised as the most advanced pet tracker on the market. In this Whistle review, we will explore the key features, design, cost, and reliability of this pet tracker and determine whether it lives up to its quite impressive reputation.

Whistle 3 homepage

How Whistle Works

Whistle is a GPS tracking device for dogs and cats that consists of a tracking unit attached to the pet’s collar or harness. It uses GPS technology for active tracking and cellular technology for transferring location information from the tracking unit to the pet guardian’s smartphone. It further employs WiFi to establish safe zones and Bluetooth to aid the establishment of a connection between the tracking unit and the pet guardian’s smartphone.

Getting started, you need to download and install the Whistle smartphone app and bring the tracking unit and your smartphone within the range of your home WiFi network. With Bluetooth enabled, the tracking unit is paired with your smartphone and a safe zone is automatically created, with the boundaries corresponding to your WiFi network’s range. The safe zone within your home WiFi network’s range is the primary safe zone. You can create additional custom safe zones at any time.

Whistle does not actively monitor your pet’s location while he or she is within the range of your WiFi since your pet is considered to be safe in that area. Once your pet leaves the safe zone, you get a notification within minutes, so you can start actively tracking your pet via GPS, using the Whistle app.

Whistle is equipped with its own SIM card and exclusively operates on AT&T cellular network. However, you do not have to use AT&T as a service provider for your phone. As long as you have cellular data and reception on your phone and the tracking unit is within AT&T cellular coverage, the phone can communicate with the tracking unit, regardless of the service provider.

Whistle 3 how work

Whistle Design

Whistle tracking unit comes in 1 size and 3 versions: gray, green, and blue. The unit comes in the form of a rounded cuboid. It measures 1.82 inches in height by 1.45 inches in width by 0.61 inches in depth. It weighs just 0.92 ounces (1.25 ounces with the attachment piece), which makes it one of the lightest tracking units on the pet tracker market.

The device is attached to the pet’s collar or harness with the use of an attachment strap made of strong rubber. It can be easily attached and removed by pushing the side pin and rotating the piece by 90 degrees. The attachment system is designed to facilitate removal on the part of the pet guardian while making it virtually impossible for the pet to accidentally detach the device.

Whistle can fit any collar or harness up to 1 inch wide. It can be worn by both dogs and cats. The recommended pet size is 8 pounds and above.

Whistle Technical Specifications

As mentioned previously in this Whistle review, Whistle is the latest GPS pet tracker designed by Whistle Labs. According to the manufacturer, it boasts greater accuracy than the previous versions while also being more lightweight. However, with greater lightness normally comes a shorter battery life.

In this section, we will explore the main technical aspects of Whistle and see how well this new and improved pet tracker does in terms of water and impact resistance, battery life, communication range, accuracy, and other important technical characteristics.

Shockproof

The device is resistant to impact. It boasts IP67 rating for shock and dirt resistance and can thus endure rough play and a variety of unfavorable conditions, which makes it suitable for pets that enjoy virtually all forms and levels of activity.

Waterproof

Whistle is resistant to water. It boasts an IP67 waterproof rating, which guarantees that the device can withstand submersion in water of up to 3 feet for 30 minutes without suffering any damage.

Battery

The device comes with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 7 days on a single charge with minimum use and good WiFi and cellular coverage. With limited WiFi and cellular coverage, the battery normally lasts for 2-3 days. It takes 2 hours to fully recharge the battery.

Communication Range

Whistle does not have a limited communication range. It can work over any distance within AT&T and WiFi coverage.

Accuracy

Whistle boasts an excellent average accuracy of about 10 to 15 feet. However, the accuracy greatly depends on the conditions, primarily WiFi and cellular coverage, with limited coverage resulting in diminished precision.

Light

The tracking unit is equipped with a LED light that allows you to monitor the device’s battery status when charging. The light also allows for easier searching at night, as the light continuously blinks when the pet leaves the safe zone.

App Compatibility

Whistle smartphone app works on both Android and iOS phones. It is compatible with iOS 10.0 or later and Android 5.0 and above.

Whistle App

Whistle smartphone app is available free of charge for both Android and iOS smartphones. It is cleverly organized and allows you to easily adjust settings, view your pet’s current and past locations, gain insight into your pet’s activity history, and receive notifications.

When you first start using the app, you get to create a profile for your pet, including information on your pet’s breed (mixed breeds supported), age, and weight. You can use the app to track multiple pets, but you need to get a new device and subscription for each of the pets wearing Whistle.

Whistle-3 app

Within the app, you can track your pet’s location on a Google map, view 24-hour location history and 24-hour activity data including rest and active time, activity intensity, and distance walked, define activity goals, add and remove safe zones, and share your pet’s information with other users.

By default, the app provides safe zone, battery, and activity notifications, but you can adjust the settings to disable notifications you do not wish to receive. Reducing the number of notifications can help extend battery life.

Whistle Features

Being both a GPS pet tracker and a pet activity monitor, Whistle is a feature-rich device whose feature set includes more than just basic location tracking tools. In this section of our Whistle review, we will quickly describe all the key location and activity tracking features offered by Whistle.

GPS Location Tracking

The device uses GPS technology to track your pet’s location when outside the safe zone. The initial notification normally arrives within 2-3 minutes, although it may take up to 6 minutes for the notification to arrive.

The notification includes distance information as well as the nearest street address, allowing for easier tracking. Location information is updated every 60 seconds, which enables you to successfully locate your pet before he or she wanders off too far.

WiFi and Bluetooth

Whistle uses your home WiFi network instead of a base station and it can use multiple WiFi networks to set up safe zones. Furthermore, it is Bluetooth-enabled in order to allow for communication between the tracking unit and the pet guardian’s smartphone during the initial setup process. Keep in mind that WiFi and Bluetooth technologies are not used for tracking.

Multiple Safe Zones

Whistle offers excellent safe zone options, allowing you to define multiple safe zones and custom-define both the radius and the shape of the zone. You can enter the address for each safe zone, move the zone around on the map and drag its borders to perfectly fit the shape of the safe area. There are no major limitations to the size of the safe zones and they can be as small as 40 feet. However, it is important to keep in mind that if the zone is smaller than the reach of your WiFi, you may have to deal with false alerts.

Trips

The Trips feature allows you to view all the locations your pet visited during the day. In essence, it is a 24-hour location history that is deleted every day. Although a useful feature, it has one major downside. The data is deleted forever after 24 hours and there is no way to save the data for future use.

Notifications

Whistle offers notifications in the form of texts, emails, and push notifications. The tracker does not only notify you when your pet leaves the safe zone but also provides additional alerts, such as low battery alerts and activity notifications.

Activity & Rest Monitoring

The device uses a 3-axis accelerometer to identify your pet’s activity up to 50 times per second. It employs a handy 24-hour graph to provide information on the number of active minutes and hours, the amount of time spent resting, the distance traveled, as well as the number of calories burned. It further discriminates between different levels of activity, letting you know whether your pet has engaged in moderate or intense activity.

Custom Activity Goals

With Whistle, you can define custom daily activity goals for your pet. The goals can be fully customized and changed at any time or based on Whistle’s recommendations provided in accordance with the pet’s breed, weight, and age.

Google Maps

Unlike the previous version of Whistle Lab’s GPS pet tracker, Whistle uses Google Maps to provide a map view of your pet’s location. Considering the regularity of updates and reliability of Google Maps, this can be considered as a great advantage.

Multiple Caretakers

Whistle allows you to invite your friends and family to keep track of your pet’s location and activity at no extra cost. Your friends and family members simply need to accept the invitation and install the app to gain full access to all activity and location tracking features available in the app. You can add or remove contacts at any time.

Whistle Coverage

Being dependent on AT&T cellular network, Whistle GPS pet tracker can only be bought and used in the United States. Although AT&T has an impressive coverage, it does not cover every part of the country. Thus, the device can work in the majority of the US, but it may not be of use in the most remote areas with spotty or non-existent cellular coverage.

How Much Does Whistle Cost?

The standard price of Whistle GPS pet tracker is $99.95. However, the manufacturer frequently offers discounts, often allowing you to get the device for $59.95. In the package, you get 1 tracking unit, 1 USB charging cable, 1 collar attachment, and 1 quickstart guide. The device comes with free 2-day shipping.

Whistle 3 gps pet price

In terms of the service plans, you get to choose between the monthly, yearly, and 2-year subscriptions. The monthly subscription comes with a 12-month commitment, it is charged monthly, and costs $9.95 per month. The yearly subscription is charged annually and costs $7.95 per month. The 2-year subscription is charged biannually and costs $6.95 per month.

Whistle GPS pet tracker comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Whistle Pros & Cons

Knowing the biggest strenghts and weaknesses of Whistle can help you decide if it is the right pet tracker for your furry friend. Here is a quick overview of its pros and cons.

Pros
  • Accurate GPS tracking solution
  • Small and light tracking unit
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Multiple WiFi safe zones
  • Useful activity tracking features
  • Location history
  • Virtually unlimited communication range
  • Works anywhere within AT&T cellular coverage
  • Good battery life
  • Reasonable price
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only works in the US
  • Monthly subscription comes with a 12-month commitment
  • Safe zone notifications slightly delayed
  • Lacks some of the extra features available with the previous version of the tracker
  • Location history deleted forever after 24 hours

Bottom Line

Concluding this Whistle review, we can say that this GPS pet tracker certainly has a lot to offer both in terms of location tracking and activity monitoring. It works anywhere within AT&T network, throughout the US, with no major limitations in terms of communication range. It is highly accurate, updates location information every 60 seconds, uses Google Maps for tracking your pet’s location, and allows you to create multiple custom safe zones for your pet. Furthermore, it provides rest and activity monitoring as well as customizable daily activity goals.

However, there certainly is room for improvement when it comes to notifications, which may take up to 6 minutes to arrive. Furthermore, the device does not offer some of the neat features its predecessor offered, including medication reminders and meal logs. Finally, we do not like the fact that location history vanishes forever after just 24 hours, which prevents you from viewing your pet’s past walks at a later time.

Thus, we can say that Whistle is an attention-worthy pet tracker that is a few tweaks away from being indispensable. Still, even with the abovementioned shortcomings, it is one of the finest and most popular pet trackers currently available.


User Reviews (12)

Whistle customer rating based on 12 user reviews.

The Whistle reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the company reviewed here. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.

  1. Kurt | March 1, 2021

    Have had Whistles for awhile now for our two dogs. 6 or so I would say.

    They mostly work, but we have had endless nagging issues with them from intermittent error lights to low battery life to problems with the app.

    They at least appear to tell us when they have left their Safe Area. But even when they think they’ve “escaped” (in actuality never, though the app repeatedly drops us as family and so believes them to be alone) the updates are few. As such I’m pretty dubious as to how well they would work in an emergency.

    Customer support is pleasant, but rarely seems to be able to fix the issue. They also can’t seem to answer an email in less than a week. I’m currently on month 2/email 8/Whistle 2 in attempting to address our current app issue with no end in sight.

    It’s unfortunate. The Whistle ads all show glowing reviews and feature packed apps.

    But as a safety device to which you are entrusting your dogs life, it’s not particularly predictable or reliable. That’s pretty damning in my estimation.

  2. larry warner | January 31, 2021

    I live in a rural area. I have no trouble finding out where my dog was 2-3 hours ago, but if I had to go find him, I’d have no idea where he is right now. And, to make maters worse, now every so often, I have to sign in with my password. What a bunch of B.S. One time I put my phone and the dog collar next to each other, and the map location showed that they were at least 50 feet apart. I guess it’s great if you live in a city where your dog is always close by, but my dog logs about 7 miles a day, and I never really can tell where he is. The only part that seems to work is the tracker that says he travels 7 miles a day.

  3. Barry Bahrami | January 18, 2021

    We have had this tracker for little over a year. In that time, I had to have it replaced once because it died hard. So they sent a new one (good). Fast forward just a couple months, now the light will not turn off and it’s eating battery hard. I pinged them back but seems the warranty has just expired so I’m out of luck.

    Been through two trackers, neither lasted even 1 year, and they are not standing behind their product either. I’ll be exploring other products.

    Definitely a dog GPS tracker is a good thing. This one, I’m not convinced.

  4. Steven Willis | January 7, 2021

    The device is not dog proof. That makes it worthless if you have two dogs: they consistently break the small plastic lugs that hold it to the collar. If one breaks, it will stay in, but if two break, it falls off and is worthless. I’ve had six of them. Not one lasted more than a month. No refund possible on the monthly service — that was a waste of money. Three times Whistle has told me they would ship me replacements. It has been five months and I’ve received nothing. They said the employee who promised me quit. Then the shipment was lost. Whatever. I no longer believe them.

    I really did like the product when it worked. They need a re-design. To top it off, they told me if I twisted it incorrectly and broke the lugs, then they would replace it, but they would not honor the warranty if the damage was from a dog. But dogs pull on things worn by other dogs. I certainly did not pull on it with my mouth. What good is a product for dogs if it is not strong enough to stop damage from dogs?

  5. Whistle Review | December 16, 2020

    Haven’t gotten the product yet but poor customer service so far. Unresponsive to emails.

  6. jim campbell | December 5, 2020

    This is a terrible pet tracker. We have 2 huskies who are know to be escape artists. This device sends me several messages a day saying that one of my dogs has gotten out of their home zone. I panic and leave work to retrieve my dog and 2 minutes later it says the dog is back. It will send me messages that either one of my dogs has gotten out while I am staring at them sleeping. Before it was Whistle, it was Tagg and we never had any problems with them. I would not recommend this product to anyone. It is completely useless. We have called before and nothing gets done and nothing changes.

  7. Catherine Currier | November 12, 2020

    This company is so amazing!!! At first I was skeptical about it because the battery life seems to die and I was worried about it dying when we needed it to work. Anyway, my dog has had an issue with her eye. I knew they had the free vet chat on the app. I went ahead and emailed then and explained what was going on and explanation of if I needed to make an appointment with the vet or if I could do something at home.

    They wrote back very quickly and gave a lot of information as well as some at home treatments if I decided not to go to the vet (their answer was to make an appointment). I got some links to look into for saline solutions as well as some awesome recommendations. This company has done a fabulous job with caring about the pets as well as making sure to give enough care to the owners as well.

    I will continue to use this company and further ask questions if needed based on medical, physical, or other topics. I cannot wait to watch this company grow.

    I also want to mention that they have an awesome social media team as well. I posted a picture and tagged @whistlelabs in my photo and they posted the picture on their page and tagged me in it @lucyjackrufferx. This company cares about everyone and I definitely love supporting companies like this one!!

    Thank you.
    Catherine Currier

    • Davin Rude | December 8, 2020

      I really enjoyed my whistle, until it quit charging.
      I contacted them to see what we could do. I got the run around several times, without any real assistance. I have canceled my service, and am not satisfied at all!

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