In this Fi vs Halo collar comparison review, I covered GPS tracking, battery performance, training tools, activity monitoring, app functionality, and pricing. Get the inside scoop directly from a user—this review shares what the specs don’t tell you.
Halo boasts of being a “GPS wireless dog fence,” while Fi labels itself as a “Smart Dog Collar, GPS Dog Tracker, and Activity Monitor.” At the most basic level, they both rock GPS tech, so either could help you keep tabs on your pup, but which one should you pick?
By the way, I snag killer deals on these collars from time to time. Check the links below for the hottest offer happening right now.
Overview of Fi vs Halo
Alright, let’s break it down, folks.
The purpose of these high-tech GPS dog fences like Halo is to do the job of a classic white picket fence, minus the fence. They can be used to train your pup to understand and, more importantly, respect the boundaries.
When your dog’s about to make a break for it, they get a little “Hey, don’t do that!” warning sound from the collar. Cross that line, and yikes! They get a buzz or even a little jolt by default if you’re using Halo.
If your pup decides, “Oops, better not,” the buzzing stops, and in comes a treat sound in the form of an encouraging whistle. With Halo, it’s the voice of Cesar Millan himself saying, “You’re going home.”
There are also safe spots, no-go zones, activity monitoring, and of course—GPS location tracking.
Fi Smart Collar
Now, Fi dog collar? Fi’s like a Fitbit for Fido. Like regular smart dog collars, all it cares about is, “Is he moving?” and “Where’s he at?” So, right away, if you want your dog to know the yard ends at the rose bush, not the road, Fi’s not your guy. It’s neither a GPS fence nor a training collar.
If that’s what you’re looking for, Halo is the one for you. But from experience, I’d say try SpotOn. Trust me, it’s the LeBron James of dog collars.
Setting Up the Collars
For Halo, first things first: you need to download the app and pick a plan. Basic, Medium, or “I’m rich.” I went Basic, and it works like a charm. The Halo collar app will grill you about your dog—breed, size, and more. Connect to Wi-Fi, get the GPS handshake going, and you’re golden. Took me about 10 minutes.
Next, it’s fence-drawing time. Grab your app or walk the perimeter with the collar. Set your corners, tweak if needed, and you got yourself a virtual fence.
Fi Smart Collar
Fi? Same deal, but you need to scan the QR code to start. Then it’s all about entering your dog’s resume. “Name? Breed?” Connect the base to a plug near where your dog hangs out, like his bed or food bowl. It’s your home base and needs Wi-Fi to keep tabs on your dog’s home status.
Heads up: the Fi base needs to be on and connected to Wi-Fi, like, always. It’s how the collar knows where it is and when to chill or hustle on battery life.
Fi plays it smart with battery. If your dog’s home, the battery’s coasting. If she’s off on an adventure, it works harder. The collar knows if it’s a couch day or a park day.
Last thing, your safe zone. This is where your dog can roam free. If he sneaks out, you’ll know. Just pick a spot on the map, name it, and you’re set.
Fi wants to be your walk buddy digitally. That’s why it asks for your “Motion and Fitness” stuff like many smart collars. It makes the tracking sharper. Finally, Fi lets you add the fam, even the dog walker, to the app. ‘Cause it takes a village to raise a Golden Retriever, and Fi gets that.
Fi is tracking-ready, fresh out of the box. Just drop it on the base, and you’re live. Halo is, uh, let’s call it “ready-adjacent.” Out of the box, its tracking was sketchy at best. But hey, I tinkered around, and yeah, it got better.
For Halo, there’s a dance you gotta do—calibrating, tweaking, and even making your dog do laps within your yard to make the accurate GPS tracking. Now, Halo’s latest update is talking big game with something called “PrecisionGPS.” It is supposedly better, and coming to older models too. I haven’t tested it yet, but I will.
Fi is more precise but updates your dog’s location only like every 30 seconds—but hey, since it’s not guiding or correcting your dog, the precision level isn’t a biggie.
Now, Halo lets you design up to 20 different virtual fences. Heading to the beach? Create a fence. Camping trip? Fence that too. All GPS-based wherever there’s no Wi-Fi or cell service.
You can set up safe zones on the go with Fi, and taking along the Fi Base means you’re covered indoors, battery life lasts longer, and the collar stays charged. And if you need more bases, about $40 gets you an extra one at the time of writing.
As for globe-trotting with your dog, the latest Halo update gives you worldwide coverage without extra costs (I haven’t tested it yet). Fi, on the other hand, is AT&T only, so internationally, you’re stuck with just activity tracking.
In the worst-case scenario, when your dog escapes as he decides to chase a squirrel beyond the fence, both Fi and Halo have a Lost Dog Mode that’ll alert you.
Fi gives you real-time location updates and even turns on an LED light on the collar if it’s dark out. Halo, being all about boundaries, hits your dog with a “return home” whistle while also giving you real-time location info.
Fi is the undisputed champ in the activity department. Set step goals, track sleep, and even receive a “Strain Score” that gauges your pup’s activity level. Fi knows if your dog is in a car, running, or just snoozing.
Halo? Meh. It tracks distance, but only for walks that break the fence barrier. Want to know how much running your dog does in the yard? You’re out of luck. It does give you the amount of time your pup spent resting and being active. If tracking activity is your goal, Fi is your pick.
For those with energetic breeds, Fi could be your secret weapon to make sure they get the playtime they need.
Both apps are okayish, not winning any UX awards soon. Fi, however, is slightly better rated and I found it more user-friendly. Halo is bogged down with training stuff, and Fi is a bit heavy on the social media stuff. Less is more, people.
Halo says 20 hours; reality says a bit less. Fi boasts 3 months, but that’s best-case scenario. If your dog’s an adventurer, expect that battery to plummet. Yet, even then, it outlasts Halo, hands down. If your pup goes MIA, Fi’s longer battery life gives you more time for the search party.
Let’s talk fashion or lack thereof. The new Halo 3 comes in 4 colors: charcoal, yellow, pink, and white. Take it or leave it; those are your options.
Fi? Not only do they have 4 color choices, but they also give you a world of third-party accessories via Fi Makers. So, customization? Fi’s the clear winner.
Halo 2+ will set you back $699 as I’m writing. Plus, there’s a subscription that ranges from about $6-$30 per month. Honestly, the basic plan is solid for most users.
Fi, on the other hand, is subscription-centric. You’re paying about $24 a month as of writing, but in return, you get the collar and any upgrades. And you get a better deal with longer commitments. No upfront cost, but if you’re allergic to kinda big, ongoing monthly fees, it might not be your cup of tea.
Alright, let’s land this plane. I’m not here to tell you which one is the Holy Grail of dog collars because, honestly, what works for you and your pup is a personal thing. But let me break it down a bit:
You might vibe with Fi if:
- You want to keep tabs on your pup’s physical health.
- Knowing your pup’s whereabouts is not optional.
- You and your pup are cozy in an apartment or have a modest yard.
On the flip side, Halo might be your jam if:
- You want your pup to have the freedom of a wild stallion, minus the physical fences.
- You’re living that big suburban yard or country life.
- There are areas on your property you’d like to make a no-dog zone.
- Boundary training is on your pup’s curriculum.
But, listen, if you nodded along with the Halo points, maybe aim higher? In my book, SpotOn is the most robust GPS dog fence. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Don’t forget to scope out any deals I’ve got on these collars while you’re at it.
That’s all, folks! Until next time, keep those tails wagging!