Smartwatches are not just for adults any more. But what would motivate a parent buy their child a smartwatch?
Well, today’s little ones have grown up surrounded by computers, tablets, Youtube… Technology has always been a part of their every-day life – quite different from 10 or 20 years ago. Also, some parents want to encourage their child to be more active so opt for a device that tracks fitness. While others want to know their children are safe, so opt for a wearable that tracks their GPS location at all times.
Essential reading: Wearable devices that keep your children safe
It is important to do some research before deciding on a smartwatch for your little one. There are a lot of different factors to take into account. To help, we provide you with our pick of the best devices on the market today.
Ages: 4 to 9
The Kidizoom DX is the new and improved version of the original first generation device. This is a great starter smartwatch for kids which features more activities and clock faces than the original.
Perfect for young photographers, this durable smartwatch also has more memory so kids can take tons of pictures and videos with the 0.3 megapixel camera. There is a voice recorder that lets your kids change their voice and give it cool effects as well as eight games which can be played via the touch screen.
The watch helps teach kids how to tell time by letting them choose between more than fifty 3D digital and analog displays. In addition to the alarm, timer and stopwatch, two new tools include a calendar feature and a calculator so your child can work out simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
Using the included micro USB cable your child can also upload photos and videos as well as recharge the battery. The smartwatch is very sturdy, and is a sort of a middle of the road solution. With this watch you get the advantages of some smartphone features without having to go the full distance to a smartphone.
Ages: 3 to 12
HereO is a real-time connected GPS tracking device, created specifically for children three years and up. The watch comes with a build-in SIM-Card, which automatically connects to a local carrier in more than 120 countries.
The watch’s dimensions are 32 x 30 x 14mm. This water resistant and durable device was engineered to fit a child’s wrist and comes in a variety of designs and colors. Battery life lasts up to 24-72 hours between each charge. Parents receive a notification when the battery is low.
The watch offers a number of features. It allows the parent to view the location of their child directly on their mobile, via the hereO smartphone app; you can set it up to send you alerts when you child enters or leaves frequent visit places; it has a ‘panic alert’ button which sends the child’s location to all family members using the app; when the watch is removed an emergency alert is sent to all family members; and finally, you can view the child’s historical locations.
While there are a number of child tracking products and services, the HereO GPS was designed with small children in mind, allowing it to fit properly and comfortably on tiny wrist and is more than 1/2 the size smaller than any other wearable tracking products in the market.
Ages: 4 to 11
This colorful smartwatch with voice recognition uses a unique blend of GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi to help you locate your child both indoors and out. You can set up to five SafeZones and receive a notification when your child enters or leaves the SafeZone. For multiple children, just set up a profile for each.
Kids can make two-way voice calls thanks to a built-in speakerphone. Using the smartphone app, a parent can create a contact list with up to 5 preprogrammed phone numbers. To make a call, your child can scroll though the list, select the name, and call with just a touch of a button.
The tracker is controlled by an iOS or Android App which allows you to view location maps, create and manage SafeZones, manage and set contacts, and send text messages to your child. This is the only device of its kind that allows for two-way text messaging.
Essential reading: The best fitness trackers for kids
The wristband is worn securely closed or open and the size can be adjusted as your kids grow.
Those who live outside of the United States are out of luck – the device is currently only available in America.
Ages: 3 to 8
Introduce your child to the basics of timekeeping with Orbo’s kid-friendly, durable, touchscreen smartwatch. The device features both analog and digital clock faces, which, along with the alarm and stopwatch features, teach your child the fundamentals of reading time. With a simple tap, the penguin “Time Master” reads hours/minutes aloud.
Boasting a vivid display with a highly navigable menu, the Orbo kids Smartwatch offers up 16 different activities, a simple touch and swipe interface, and charming sounds effects. Inquisitive little minds will love the device’s instructive games, built-in camera, talking hippo, time master and other fun, stimulating activities that will keep them occupied for hours.
Included with your purchase is a micro USB cable that charges the smartwatch from your desktop/laptop computer. Alternatively, you can purchase an optional adapter to charge the smartwatch from your standard wall outlet. Ideal for use in the home or on the go, this multifunction gadget promises tons of educational interaction.
Ages: 3 years and up
The GBD-GPS smartwatch comes from a Chinese manufacturer. It functions as a watch, alarm clock, GPS locator, cell phone and SOS/location tracker. It also tracks steps, sleep and calories in essence functioning like a basic fitness tracker.
Coming from a foreign manufacturer, users have reported difficulties in setup and it may take some Googling/Youtube videos before you figure everything out. But once these potential initial difficulties are out of the way, the watch functions pretty well, particularly when you take the low price into consideration.
The device facilitates two-way conversation. You can load up 10 phone contacts into the app and your child will only be able to toggle through those numbers to make calls. A simple long touch is all that is needed to to dial. It also has a do not disturb function where it will send all calls to voicemail.
The GPS functions fairly well. Pressing the SOS button sends a text message with a precise link of the child’s location on Google maps. You can also perform real time location tracking. Geofence sets a virtual boundaries area and alerts you if your child goes outside of this area.
Finally, you do need a Micro sim card (bought separately) to operate the phone.
Ages: 12 months and up
The QQ Watch is a wearable phone and locator for kids, designed for parents – giving them the peace of mind, while providing kids the freedom they need.
The device can make and receive calls easily. Add up to 5 family members and 16 friends via the app. The QQ watch automatically syncs contacts. With Wechat mode, a child can make friends via “People Nearby”. You can send voice chat or messages as well, without calling. It also has group chat mode.
The QQ Watch uses a unique blend of GPS, GSM, WiFi, G-sensor and Camera to allow parents to locate their child, both indoor and out. By opening the app, you can see your child’s location on a map at anytime. For multiple children using multiple devices, simply create a separate profile for each child and you can keep an eye on everyone on a single map.
In case of an emergency, your child can press the SOS button to initiate Emergency Mode. You can also set up safety zones or virtual radius around a location, such as home, school or a friend’s house. Families members will receive notifications when your child steps are outside these designated areas.
There are two separate version of the watch – an EU Version and a US Version. The EU version works in most countries in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Oceania and Asia (apart from Japan, South Korea). The US Version works in USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and some American countries.
Ages: around 10 or under
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to trackers for small children. However, if you want something to track teens your options are fairly slim. This is where the Caref GPS Phone watch comes in – a GPS enabled watch that allows parents to track the location of their teens.
Caref can call three numbers right from the phone. Mom and Dad can set up safe numbers on their app that tells their child’s Caref Watch to accept calls and texts only from people who Mom and Dad choose.
Its device features geofencing so you can be notified if the child leaves a designated area and 3 hour location breadcrumbs so you can see where they have been in case of emergency. If your child ever needs help, he/she simply presses the SOS button and it will place a call to three preset numbers (in order). A push notification alert is also sent to those three numbers as well as a email alert.
The Caref GPS Phone Watch is waterproof with a 24 hour battery life. It comes in green, pink, yellow, purple or black.
Ages: 6 to 10
This vibrant smart wearable, is the first one in its class to be powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop. You’ve got a 3G smartwatch onboard, a GPS, pedometer and a SOS button in case of emergency. There’s a mic and speaker for hands-free calls, and because the watch has 3G, kids don’t need to carry a phone with them in order for it to work.
The tracker has a polycarbonate case, uses removable standard straps, features a 1.54-inch color capacitive touch screen display, 3G SIM card slot, microphone, and a loudspeaker. It also includes preinstalled apps for kids such as games, calculator, stopwatch, and more. And there is a step counter to ease the little one into the world of fitness tracking.
Ages: 4 and up
The kid-friendly GizmoPal provides easy, reliable ways to keep track of your children, and offers simple two-way calling so you can stay in touch.
The durable form factor uses safe and sturdy materials for your child’s active lifestyle. The GizmoPal is IPX3 water resistant rated for everyday use (e.g., hand washing).
At any time parents can open the smartphone apps and view their child’s location. You can also receive alerts of child’s location at pre-set times.
After setting boundaries, the watch will send notifications if it detects the child crossing them. This is great if they’re outside playing, or if someone is home watching them.
The device works as a phone, too. Your child can make calls to two caregivers and receive calls from up to four preregistered numbers. Press the button twice to go into calling mode
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