Smartwatches are not just for adults any more. But why should you consider buying your child a smartwatch?
Well, today’s little ones are growing up surrounded by computers, tablets and Youtube. Technology has always been a part of their every-day life – quite different from just a couple of decades ago. Some parents want to encourage their child to be more active so opt for a device that tracks fitness. Childhood obesity is a serious problem in many developed countries putting kids at risk for poor health. In the US, obesity now affects 1 in 6 children. Others, on the other hand, want to know their children are safe, so opt for a wearable that allows them to stay in touch and tracks their GPS location at all times.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers for kids
We are not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to smartwatches for kids, so its important to do some research before deciding on a purchase. There are a lot of different factors to take into account. To help, we provide you with our pick of some of the best devices on the market today.
Ages: 4 to 12
The Kidizoom DX2 is the new and improved version of the popular second generation watch. The smartwatch is very sturdy, and is a sort of a middle of the road solution. You get the advantages of some smartphone features without having to go the full distance to a smartphone.
The previous generation DX device allows kids to take pictures and videos via a 0.3 megapixel camera. There is a voice recorder that lets your little ones change their voice and give it cool effects, a pedometer, and games which can be played via the touch screen.
The watch helps teach kids how to tell time by letting them choose between a number of 3D digital and analog displays. In addition to the alarm, timer and stopwatch, there is a calendar feature and calculator so your child can work out simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
The new device brings all this and more. With a new sleek and stylish design the DX2 includes 55 digital and analog customizable watch faces. It features two cameras that allow children to capture everything from action videos to selfies and allows them to customize them into watch faces via the accompanying smartphone app. There is also an assortment of new games.
With a 4.5 out of 5 rating the watch is a #1 seller on Amazon.
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. 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.
Along with the vTech smartwatch, this is the only other device on this list that sports an Amazon rating above 4 stars (out of 5).
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. For added safety, the phone auto-answers calls after 10 seconds.
Ages: 3 to 12
HereO is a real-time connected GPS tracking device, created specifically for children three years and up. The gadget 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 dishes up 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 wrists. The company says, the device is less than 1/2 the size of any other wearable tracking product on the market.
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.
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
For parents who want something to track teens, their 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.
Kids can call three numbers right from the phone. Mom and Dad can set up safe numbers on their app so the watch only accepts calls and texts from people who Mom and Dad choose.
Caref GPS 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 an email alert.
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.
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