Smartwatches are not just for adults. But does your child really need one?
Today’s little ones are growing up surrounded by computers, tablets and Youtube. Technology has always been a part of their life – quite different from just a couple of decades ago.
Smartwatches for kids are becoming more and more popular these days. Some parents want to encourage their child to be more active so opt for a smartwatch that tracks fitness. Others want to know their children are safe, so opt for a wearable that allows them to track their GPS location at all times. Purchasing a device with a built-in SIM card allows parents to stay in touch even if their kids don’t have a smartphone.
This article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t discuss privacy concerns. A number of GPS smartwatches for kids have been discovered to have security flaws which make them vulnerable to hackers. Similar concerns have been raised about kids’ connected toys in the past.
A number of these devices have been revealed to transmit and store data without encryption. This means that in a few simple steps, a stranger could track, eavesdrop or communicate with the kids, or even make it appear a child is at a different location. Furthermore, some devices sent personal information to servers, lacked proper terms and conditions and an option for users to delete their accounts.
Many of these smartwatches seem to originate from and/or be produced in China, and are imported to different European and North American markets through specialized websites run by startups or enterprising individuals, in addition to traditional retailers. This is why it’s important to opt for a well recognized brand.
In Germany, the regulator has gone as far as to ban children’s smartwatches with listening capabilities as they go against the country’s surveillance laws. This seems a bit extreme and has attracted controversy. In addition to hacking, the reason for the ban was that some parents had used the devices to secretly monitor teachers!
Enthusiasm for kids smartwatches nevertheless remains. We are not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to quality smartwatches for kids so its important to do some research before deciding on a purchase. What follows is our selection of devices that are worth considering.
Best smartwatches for kids
Ages: 4 to 12
The Kidizoom DX2 is the new and improved version of the company’s original watch. Now better than ever, this is one of the most popular devices for kids on Amazon. It lets young ones take pictures, videos, play games, tell time and more.
The previous generation DX allows little ones to take pictures and videos via a 0.3 megapixel camera. There is a voice recorder that lets them change their voice and give it cool effects, a pedometer, and games which can be played via the touch screen.
The second generation brings all of 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.
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.
Ages: 5 to 12
A recent addition to this list, TickTalk 3 is the third generation of the kid’s wrist phone with locator.
This touch-screen device tries to cover all the bases. It combines 2-way video calling (in 800×480 dpi resolution), voice calling, Wi-Fi calling, smart messaging, and location-tracking capabilities into one simple device. The company says this is the first and only kids’ watch phone that can make video calls smoothly in the US.
Because of the newly added 4G reception, the TickTalk 3 is 50% faster than the previous model at providing the accurate location of your child. It also, allows parents to locate multiple devices on the same map.
In essence, the watch works like a standalone cellphone. TickTalk is offering a $10 prepaid monthly plan with RedPocketor, but you can add a new line to your own GSM carrier, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Metro PCS, and Cricket.
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 at all times.
The durable form factor uses safe and sturdy materials for your child’s active lifestyle. The thing 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 their location at pre-set times.
Furthermore, 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.
GizmoPal 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: 6 to 15 years
This is a great option if you’re looking for a fun and entertaining smartwatch for your little one. Users can choose from 20 pre-loaded single and two-player games on one watch, or connect two watches together via Bluetooth. To get your kids moving, there are few motion-sensitive games, too.
The watch has a plethora of other features. It functions as an activity tracker, music player, calculator, calendar, alarm, stopwatch and more. The front-facing camera allows for selfies and recording of videos with photo filters and frames, with 256MB on-device storage.
Kurio can also be setup to communicate with the parents smartphone via Bluetooth. This serves as a hands-free way to text, and make and take free voice and video calls. No phone or contract required.
In case of emergency, there’s an app on the thing where you can enter your child’s vital information such as blood type and allergies. Contact information is there as well, so you can be contacted quickly.
The watch comes with a 1.54” touchscreen, along with a scratch resistant and splash proof design. In the box there are two interchangeable bands to match your kid’s style!
Ages: 6 to 10
This vibrant smart wearable, is the first 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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