Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Kieran Beckles
Are you looking for a smart dog collar and you’ve shortlisted the Fi Series 3 collar but you want to learn about the pros and cons before investing in your hard-earned cash?
There’s no shortage of smart dog collar options available to dog owners who are looking for a gps dog collar but few offer live gps tracking, lost dog mode, provides sleep tracking, has a long battery life and sits comfortably on your dog’s neck.
I started to research the best smart dog collar in the summer of 2023 after I had a frightening and traumatizing experience on my morning walk with my Alaskan Klee Kai Skye and Copper before we encountered a coyote.
With a high prey drive, Copper went into a frenzy and managed to slip out of his regular dog collar and chase the coyote up a hill and out of my line of vision. I experienced the longest five minutes of my life as I tried to call Copper back.
Fortunately, Copper did return unscathed but I vowed to invest in a reliable smart dog collar that offered gps tracking along with other features such as having a lost dog mode to be prepared for any future freak occurrences.
After I researched all the top smart dog collar options, I opted to invest in the latest offering from the Fi dog collar series in order to keep Copper and Skye safe whether we’re walking our neighborhood or exploring a new hiking spot.
In this article, I’m sharing to take a look at the Fi Series 3 collar, sharing some of the advantages and the disadvantages of the Fi smart dog collar, my pros and cons based upon using the Fi collar for six months and give my overall verdict on the Fi smart collar.
Cut To The Chase: We recommend the Fi Series 3 Collar based upon our experience and you can get $20 off your Fi collar when you click here.
Fi Smart Dog Collar Pros and Cons
Before we get started, I want to share that we bought the Fi smart dog collar before we invested in a second one for Skye.
We’re going to share our Fi gps dog collar pros and cons based upon our experience using the Fi collar on our Alaskan Klee Kai.
Fi Collar Pros
• Live gps tracking
The Fi collar uses live gps tracking through wi fi and cellular service to allow pet parents to get their dog’s location through the Fi app.
If you live on a property with a lot of land where your dog has ample space to roam, you have your dog’s location at your finger tips through the app.
Of course, if you’re familiar with a gps dog collar, you’ll know that live gps tracking isn’t a particularly unique feature.
Any good smart dog collar should offer live gps tracking but I was impressed with the accuracy and reliability of the Fi smart dog collar.
• Lost dog mode
As I touched upon in my Fi dog collar introduction, I wanted a smart dog collar that could provide support if the situation of a lost dog arose.
If your dog is lost, Fi advise activating Live Tracking/Lost Dog Mode which will prompt the Fi collar to look for either a live signal for Live Tracking or will attempt to look for a signal every minute for Original Lost Dog Mode.
Fi recommend testing the lost dog mode once you get your collar because GPS & LTE coverage can vary depending on the location of every pet parent.
By using the lost dog mode before disaster strikes, you can familiarize yourself with what lost dog mode looks like on the Fi app in the event that you do need to use it.
• Safe zones
If you’re familiar with smart collars, you’ll probably heard the term ”safe zones”. These allow dog parents to set up areas of their home, their yard or their property that their dog can safely roam.
If your dog’s location changes and they leave the safe zone, you’ll get a notification. You’ll need to make sure you’ve got escape alerts toggled on.
You can check the Fi app to see where your dog has gone or activate lost dog mode if required.
• Longer battery life
Fi write on their website that the Fi smart dog collar can last up to three months on a single charge.
I’ve been using the Fi dog collar for the six months and I went through my emails to see how many times the Fi app has sent me a notification that Skye’s Fi dog collar is at 5% or less.
Fi app had messaged me three times about battery life so I’ve been charging Skye’s Fi dog collar once every two months. I consider that impressive battery life compared to the battery life of other smart collars that we’ve previously used.
• Sleep tracking
The Fi smart dog collar allows pet owners to track their dog’s sleeping patterns. The Fi collar keeps close tabs on how much your dog is sleeping, the quality of their sleep and much more.
Within the Fi app, you can see how dog’s sleep tracking stats based upon hours, days, weeks and months. If you’ve got multiple dogs, you can see their individual sleep tracking stats.
When I had to the sleep tab on the Fi app, I can see the sleep tracking for Copper and Skye. Copper sleeps on average 10.8hrs a night and 7hrs a day. Skye, on the other hand, sleeps 13hrs a night and 6.5hrs a day. So sleep tracking shows Skye sleeps more per day!
• Activity tracking
You’d expect dog trackers to offer activity tracking – and Fi dog tracker is no different. The Fi collar offers stats based upon your dog’s daily steps, miles walked and how your dog’s stats compare to similar dogs and all dogs.
I really liked how Fi dog collar offer this feature – it made me realise I need to find more time for longer walks!
You can head to the activity tab of the Fi app and see your dog’s activity tracking. I could see Skye averages 231,000 steps a week and 10 miles a week. Copper racked up 373,000 steps and 9.4 miles a week.
• Integrated design
In the UK, we previously used Tractive but Copper and Skye always looked a little uncomfortable wearing the GPS tracker. The GPS tracker had a clunky design that look to be weighing down my little dogs. Not only that, but the GPS tracker was an eye sore.
The Fi Series 3 collar has an integrated design that really caught my eye. The Fi collar band comes in four colors and you attach the Fi device to your dog’s collar to offer a streamlined GPS collar unlike some of their competitors.
Copper and Skye looked much more comfortable wearing the Fi smart dog collar. Once we had Fi device attached, we never took the Fi smart collar off. That’s different to the Tractive that we were constantly removing.
Seeing as we lived in the UK a long time, we always check to see whether a dog tracker is waterproof.
The Fi dog collar is waterproof so if you’ve got a dog who likes to go for a dip, or you live in a location that rains a lot or if you’ve got a toddler who likes to throw things down the loo, you don’t have to worry about your Fi collar getting wet.
• Fi Dog Community
There’s a social element to Fi dogs that allows you to connect with other Fi dogs in a social setting.
Once we got our Fi dog collar series 3, we could see how Copper and Skye’s activity compares to other dogs in our area, in our state and in the county as a whole.
Within the Fi app, you can easily see how your dog ranks by hitting the Rank tab.
Fi Collar Cons
• Fi subscription
The Fi Series 3 only works with an active Fi subscription within the Fi app. This is different to previous Fi Series 2 that does allow users to access basic features without an active Fi subscription.
If you’re looking for a new collar, and you’ve decide the Fi dog collar is for you, you’ll need to keep in mind that you’ll require a Fi subscription.
There are lots of options – monthly memberships, semi-annual plan, annual subscription and bi-annual option. You can check out the costings below or in this Fi dog collar review here.
You’ll need to commit to a minimum six-month Fi subscription service before you can cancel.
• Multiple dogs
If you do decide to get a Fi collar and you’ve got multiple dogs, you’ll need a Fi collar series subscription for both dogs. As far as I’m aware, there’s no discount for multiple dogs, which is slightly disappointing.
For current Fi users who add another dog, I’d like to see Fi offer a discount for being an existing member of their community.
• Fi Dog Collar Cost
There’s little doubt that the Fi dog collar is a premium smart collar that requires a significant upfront investment from dog parents.
If you’re looking for a smart dog collar, you’re paying for lost dog mode, long lasting battery life, gps function, sleep tracker and more.
But there are more affordable options if you want a gps collar.
• Just four colors
The Fi dog tracker comes in four colors if you’re looking at the Fi series 3 – yellow, blue, gray and pink. It’s a limited range and I’d like to see more options for the Fi collar.
My Personal Experience – A Brief, Honest Fi Collar Review
Now that I’ve shared my pros and cons of the Fi Smart dog collar, I wanted to share my experience using the Fi collar over the past six months or so.
We had used a Tractive tracker in the UK but we stopped using the device in early 2023 before we moved back to California.
Recklessly, I didn’t consider investing in new dog trackers for Skye and Copper despite living on my family’s property that has a half acre of space in an area where there’s a lot of wildlife.
Following Copper’s coyote encounter, I decided it was time to invest in a reliable gps dog collar.
The Fi smart collar was my top choice because I really liked how the Fi collar series offers an integrated design that was easy to use, hassle free, simple to charge and has a streamline appearance.
As I mentioned above, I’ve only charged Skye’s Fi gps dog collar three times in six months. That’s the longest battery life of any gps dog tracker that I’ve tried and tested.
It’s simple to charge – just attach the Fi Series 3 to the Fi base. I love having the Fi base rather than having to fuss around with cables. It’s a small thing but the Fi base is convenient.
Copper and Skye appear to enjoy wearing the Fi collar much more than other trackers we’ve used. It’s relatively lightweight and barely noticeable on their neck.
Although we live in an area with patchy cellular network, I’ve used the Fi app to find my dog’s location during practice runs in the event Copper or Skye left a safe zone.
In my experience, the Fi collar offers accurate and reliable tracking so I feel good knowing that it’ll find either of my pup’s location.
While I invested a lot of money in two Fi Series 3 dog collars, I believe it’s worth the price considering the peace of mind their service provides – which I can’t put a price on!
Is The Fi Collar Cost Worth It?
Continuing on from my previous point, it’s not until you have an experience like I had with Copper and his pursuit of the coyote, that you appreciate the importance of having a reliable gps tracker on your dog.
In those hellish five minutes, I was already bracing myself to tell my wife that I lost Copper and our Alaskan Klee Kai pack had been reduced to one. When Copper returned, I swore I would take more precautions.
The Fi Series 3 collar and subscription is expensive. However, we signed up to their bi-annual plan to make the biggest saving possible. We paid $350 for the Fi Series 3 collar and a two-year membership. That works out at $3.20 a week.
You can read my Fi dog collar review that places an emphasis on the pricing, but I’ll give a quick breakdown of the cost here.
You can go for the monthly plan that works out at $4.40 a week or $19 a month. There’s a six-month plan that costs $3.90 a week or $102 every six months. Next we’ve got the annual subscription which is priced at $3.70 a week or $192 annually. Finally, you can opt for the two-year plan that costs $3.20 a week or $336 every two years.
It’s important to remember every Fi collar requires a $20 activation fee.
In my experience, the Fi Series 3 was worth the price but I acknowledge it’s a pricy smart dog collar.
Where To Buy The Fi Collar
If you’re ready to invest in a Fi collar, you can click this link or the button below to get your hands on a Fi dog collar for your furry friend.
Do We Have A Fi Collar Coupon Code Or Discount?
We reached out to Fi and managed to secure a helpful discount for our Life With Klee Kai community.
You can save $20 on your Fi Series 3 collar by clicking here or the button below and using coupon code “KleeKai20” at the discount.
Is There Anything Else To Consider?
If you’ve got any questions about the Fi Series 3, you could always search out some other Fi users to get their verdict.
Alternatively, Fi have a good customer service team that we’ve contacted in the past when we’ve had questions.
The Fi collar is not a shock collar so there’s no static force to stop your dog barking unlike some other dog collars on the market.
The cell phone service is provided by AT&T – you get unlimited AT&T LTE-M connectivity.
Wrapping Things Up – Final Thoughts
We’ve reached the end of our Fi Series 3 smart dog collar pros and cons.
Having bought two dog collars and used the Fi Series 3 over the past six months, I’ve discovered some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Fi Series.
Overall, I believe the Fi Series 3 smart dog collar is worth the investment considering the peace of mind it’s provided my wife and I that our dogs are safe.
With an incredibly long lasting battery life, activity tracking, lost dog mode, sleep tracking and more, the Fi Series is a versatile smart dog collar with more pros then cons.
Kieran runs Life With Klee Kai on social media and other online platforms alongside his wife Yasmin. With over 10 years of experience as a journalist and a passionate dog owner, Kieran loves to combine his passion for pets and writing to share useful insights and product reviews to help other dog owners.