We’re so used to thinking about smartwatches as high-tech devices for tech-savvy adults that most of us don’t stop to think about how these gadgets can be used by kids. I know I was surprised when I found out that there are actually watches specifically designed for use by children, rather than adults or even teenagers.
At first, I was confused. Given that smartwatches are mostly used for fitness tracking, synching to smartphones and for keeping us up to date on alerts and app notifications, I wondered what smartwatches for kids could possibly provide in terms of value. Don’t kids already have enough gadgets to play with between tablets and smartphones?
But I investigated further. And I ended up discovering that smartwatches for kids do have some practical value, in part because of the different focuses that these gadgets have. For example, most kids’ smartwatches emphasize call connectivity, parental control features, and even educational games.
Plenty more have taken the original fitness-tracking focus and made it appropriate for kids’ use – such watches can track a kid’s physical activity to make sure they’re getting all the exercise they need.
All this is to say that there are such things as the best smartwatches for kids. So, naturally, I had to find them! What you see below is the final result of weeks of research, but it was well worth it if I can help even one parent find the perfect smartwatch for their child. Let’s dive in.
- Top 10 Smartwatches for Kids in 2022 – At a Glance
- Best Kids Smartwatches of 2022
- 1. Gizmo Watch 2 – Best Overall Smartwatch for Kids
- 2. Kurio 2.0 – Best Value Smartwatch for Kids
- 3. Amazfit Bip Smartwatch – Best Smartwatch for Teenagers
- 4. Leapfrog Leapband Activity Tracker – Best Smartwatch for Toddlers and Parental Control
- 5. Vtech Kidizoom DX2 – Best Kids Smartwatch for Games
- 6. Prograce Kids Smartwatch – Best Kids Smartwatch for Girls
- 7. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 – Best Battery Smartwatch for Kids
- 8. TickTalk 3 – Best Smartwatch for Kids Making Calls
- 9. Fitbit Ace 2 – Best Fitness Smartwatch for Kids
- 10. LG GizmoPal 2 – Best Kids Smartwatch with GPS
- Final Verdict
- Buyer’s Guide
- Top Rated Smartwatches for Kids
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Top 10 Smartwatches for Kids in 2022 – At a Glance
- Best Overall Smartwatch for Kids – GizmoWatch 2
- Best Value Smartwatch for Kids – Kurio 2.0
- Best Smartwatch for Teenagers – Amazfit Bip Smartwatch
- Best Smartwatch for Toddlers and Parental Control – Leapfrog Leapband Activity Tracker
- Best Kids Smartwatch for Games – Vtech Kidizoom DX2
- Best Kids Smartwatch for Girls – Prograce Kids Smartwatch
- Best Battery Smartwatch for Kids – Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
- Best Smartwatch for Kids Making Calls – TickTalk 3
- Best Fitness Smartwatch for Kids – Fitbit Ace 2
- Best Kids Smartwatch with GPS – LG Gizmo Pal 2
Best Kids Smartwatches of 2022
1. Gizmo Watch 2 – Best Overall Smartwatch for Kids
When it comes to smartwatches for kids, I have to start here. The Gizmo Watch 2 can be hard to find, but that’s only because it’s a unique watch specifically designed for use with Verizon phones. In addition to this emphasis, the watch’s creators designed it with kid safety in mind – I found lots of features that reinforced this fact as I checked it out.
For instance, this Verizon kids’ watch comes with some of the best GPS functions I’ve seen with a smartwatch, including real-time location tracking and so-called geo-fencing: this essentially helps the smartwatch remain accurate by pinpointing its signal using nearby geolocation fences or borders. It’s incredibly easy for parents to track the watch (and thus, the wearer) location using a smartphone. The proprietary GizmoHub app works like a charm with any Verizon-origin phone.
There are plenty of other features to make it worth your while, including call-focused options such as quick dial and automatic answer. This can help parents keep in touch with their children without requiring them to memorize how to use a complex digital watch’s controls. The included automatic answering feature, for another example, makes it so that calls will automatically go through. Quick dial helps kids make phone calls quickly and easily by pressing a hard key button for five seconds.
In total, the GizmoWatch 2 is a perfect child’s device. Kids can stay in contact with up to 10 trusted contacts at once. This does, of course, tie in perfectly with Verizon mobile networks – but this also means that it might be a great choice if you already use Verizon for your cellular needs.
There are other mobile aspects as well, like a full fitness tracker to help kids count their steps and remain active. Parents can take a more active role in their child’s fitness as well by setting reminders and setting scheduled alerts to keep their kids up and in motion. Additional scheduling features, like task reminders or alarms to brush teeth or go to bed, make this a perfect companion device in many ways.
All in all, the GizmoWatch is a very “hands-on” smartwatch for kids. It’s waterproof and features a rubber wristband that comes in blue by default, but you can also get it in pink. The only real downside is the lack of playful features (even though you can download some games). Still, it’s a great Verizon smartwatch for kids whose parents want to keep track of them as accurately as possible.
- It’s arguably the best smartwatch for kids’ safety due to the hands-on features relating to parental controls and GPS tracking
- Built to last with waterproof functionality and a durable rubber wristband
- Allows easy calls without the child needing to press multiple buttons at a time
- Offers fantastic real-time GPS tracking
- The watch functions as an alarm clock where parents and kids can set reminders and alarms for daily tasks or meetups
- Not the best kids’ gaming watch – kids may find this watch to be less than entertaining
2. Kurio 2.0 – Best Value Smartwatch for Kids
The Kurio 2.0 is another fantastic smartwatch for kids, and it’s quite affordable when you consider the sheer value and number of features packed into its software and hardware. I personally found this watch to have the largest variety of features, compared to competing smartwatches, so parents who want to give their kids something functional and fun at the same time may find a lot to like here.
For instance, the Kurio 2.0 comes with camera, video, and voice recorder functionality. Kids can easily use the watch to take pictures and record video, as well as enjoy a simplified customization software suite to change the pictures before sending them to their friends or family. This does make the watch a little more advanced for younger kids – those in the 8-12 age range will probably get the most use out of this compared to younger kids.
Other features boost the watch’s value even further. For instance, wearers can message other Kurio-brand watches using Bluetooth technology. But the watch can also send messages to any Android device. This is actually something of a limitation since you won’t be able to send texts or other messages to iOS devices.
But the Kurio 2.0 comes with other interesting features as well, including tons of fun apps and games. Some of these are two-player games, though the small screen realistically makes these a little janky to play in practice. However, parents interested in providing their kids with an entertaining smartwatch will be pleased that their kids can play with others instead of by themselves. There are also several motion detection games – these can be helpful for getting your kid up and moving instead of sitting on the couch staring at yet another screen.
Of course, the Kurio 2.0 features all the staple stuff you’d expect in an adult smartwatch, like phone calls, step tracking, music playing, and a calendar. All of these work well on the Android OS, which is intuitive and relatively simplistic to use: a perfect fit for kids.
Speaking of fit, the watch comes with tons of interchangeable straps that come in different colors. This gives you the chance to let your kid customize the watch according to their personality. Or you can choose the special thermal strap which changes color based on the heat of the wearer’s wrist.
All in all, the Kurio 2.0 offers a ton of value for the money, in exchange for a few limitations regarding messaging compatibility. In my opinion, kids and parents alike will find this to be a good pick if they want a watch that does it all without a particularly narrow focus.
- Comes with tons of features and functions despite being relatively affordable
- Allows kids to play single-player or two-player games
- Has all the main features of a smartwatch, like phone call functionality, step tracking, and more
- Can be bought with interchangeable wristbands so that kids can customize the watch
- Has a special messaging app for other Kurio-brand smartwatches
- Also comes with camera and video recording functionality, as well as limited picture customization on the watch
- Only messages and connects to Android devices
3. Amazfit Bip Smartwatch – Best Smartwatch for Teenagers
There are smartwatches for smaller children, and then there are smartwatches for older kids on the cusp of their teenage years or who want something a little more mature without being quite as advanced or complex as an “adult” smartwatch. That’s where the Amazfit Bip comes in. This simple but effective smartwatch blurs the line between being kid-friendly and relatively simplistic, versus being suitable for adult use.
For instance, it comes in black by default, offering a minimalist aesthetic in exchange for extra features and a relatively durable synth-rubber wristband that can last for quite a long time. Other colors are offered as well, like teal and pink.
But the real focus of this watch reveals itself when you dive into the details. For instance, it includes features like a heart rate monitor and built-in GPS. This allows the wearer to track their steps in real-time, see how many calories they burn, and even monitor their sleep. Additional sports tracking features are available as well, marking this as more of a fitness-focused smartwatch for kids and teenagers than most of the others on this list.
The watch comes with additional cornerstone features as well, like the ability to make or receive calls, make or receive messages and even receive app notifications when paired to an appropriate smart device or phone. Notably, this watch can link with social media apps – no doubt this is a key concern for teenagers looking to stay in their social loops.
The watch overall is relatively lightweight and comfortable, as it only weighs about 32 g. Even with this light weight, the watch boasts a 45-day battery life due to the lithium polymer battery. Charge it for up to 2.5 hours and you’ll be able to enjoy the watch for over a month. In my view, this is another big point toward this being a great smartwatch for teenagers, who are likely to leave the devices lying around and forget to charge them frequently.
The downsides? The watch is relatively cheap, which rears its ugly head in terms of durability. While the watch is waterproof to some extent, it’s not nearly as tough as many of the other adult smartwatches you can find on the market. The screen also isn’t very customizable, which could be a downside for your teenager depending on their personality.
But there’s still no denying that this is one of the best smartwatches for teens due to its affordability, flexibility, and focus on more mature functions and features compared to games and colorful displays.
- A perfect choice for teenagers due to its more mature and fitness-focused features
- Includes the ability to link to social media apps
- Can make phone calls and send messages
- Very affordable, even compared to other top smartwatches on the market
- Has a fantastic battery life even after only charging for a few hours
- The interface can’t be customized very much
- Not as durable as many other smartwatches on the market
4. Leapfrog Leapband Activity Tracker – Best Smartwatch for Toddlers and Parental Control
Allow me to bring us back to something much more distinctly kid-focused, especially for younger kids. The LeapFrog LeapBand is a distinctly “kiddie” smartwatch, and that’s easy to tell right from the get-go due to the colorful and childish aesthetic. But this focus is also reflected in the price – I don’t honestly know if you can find a cheaper smartwatch.
Then again, calling this a smartwatch at all is a bit of a stretch. Even the official name for the watch mentions “activity tracker” and that’s the best way to think of the LeapBand – as an activity tracking device. It doesn’t come with many of the staple smartwatch features or functions that you would expect, like the ability to make phone calls or send messages.
Instead, this kids activity watch is almost exclusively designed for getting your kids up and moving. It can track their activities in a game-like interface. Kids can pick between 8 different pets that can be animated on the colorful screen. These range from things like dragons to robots to unicorns, and kids can even name and colorize the digital animals if they like.
Parents can then use the built-in Connect function and set up to 36 distinct challenges. These are named according to the animals that demonstrate the activity – for instance, one of the challenges is called “Jump like a frog,” and it’s designed to get your kids jumping up and down to burn calories and keep them moving so they aren’t still awake at bedtime.
Once you check out the available exercises, you’ll notice that’s the end of the LeapBand’s features. It’s an extremely simplistic device and comes with a plastic wristband that only kids would find acceptable. I’d definitely only recommend this toddler smartwatch for kids young enough to enjoy using the device as they run around and roughhouse. Any kids older than 5 or so are likely to leave it lying around or deem it too kiddie for their liking.
- The smartwatch is super easy to use and enjoy for both parents and adults, in part because it only has a few buttons
- Parents can set up to 36 different exercise challenges using the interface
- The tracker can check on kids’ activity levels and show them how to do different exercises through the colorful screen
- Kids will be entertained by coloring and naming the animals included with the LeapBand
- Very kiddie – it’s basically a kids’ interactive watch more than anything else. The included features are extremely limited and kids will quickly grow out of appreciating this device
- The wristband is made of plastic, so it’s not very comfortable on a child’s wrist and they may take it off relatively frequently
5. Vtech Kidizoom DX2 – Best Kids Smartwatch for Games
The Kidizoom DX2 comes in pink by default, but don’t let that fool you – it also comes in colors like blue and black and it’s a perfect choice for both boys and girls interested in playing games on a smartwatch device. The watch is, in fact, designed to be taken anywhere and keep your kids entertained while you do shopping or handle adult business. For instance, it’s made with a splash-proof rubber wristband that’s easy to adjust and that can grow with your kids.
The Vtech Kidizoom smartwatch is also waterproof and durable by default. The battery is easy to recharge using a micro USB cable, and the screen is relatively large compared to many other smartwatches (which is a good thing for kids that don’t have the dexterity to handle smaller screens).
But the DX2 really shows its value in the plethora of games included in its software – it’s honestly one of the best watches that you can play games on, bar none (and that includes for adults!).
For instance, it includes an augmented reality game that allows kids to try to capture monsters in the real world, like in the popular smartphone game Pokemon Go. There are other, more educational games included as well, making this a potentially good choice for kids about to enter school.
For example, one game teaches kids about time management, helping them to design custom watch faces with timed challenges. Additional learning games and brainteasers are included so your kids will be entertained and educated while on a long car ride. Since most of the games involve outdoor play or activity instead of sitting around, parents concerned about their kids’ fitness will be pleased here as well.
But that’s not all. The DX2 Kidizoom watch also includes dual cameras. Kids can easily capture videos or pictures using the smartwatch, then add creative effects right from the same screen. It’s actually a decent watch for this factor alone, in my eyes, though kids are more likely to enjoy the games than the cameras on average.
Also interesting is the fact that this kids’ game watch includes parental game controls and even time limits. Plus, it can’t connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth so all the watch’s content is totally secure. This does limit the watch’s functionality to some extent, as it can’t be used to send messages or call your child. But that only reinforces the watch’s focus on activity and outdoor play. Definitely give it a shot if your kid (or you) wants a smartwatch with that emphasis above all else.
- Designed for games and activity above other factors, and it includes plenty of outdoor-focused games to get your child moving
- Includes two cameras to let kids take pictures and video, plus software to add FX afterward
- Many of the games are educational in nature
- The watch is relatively durable and suitable for outdoor play
- No Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity to distract your kids
- The watch is definitely more limited because of the lack of connectivity to wireless devices
6. Prograce Kids Smartwatch – Best Kids Smartwatch for Girls
So far, all of the kids’ smartwatches I’ve looked at have been either good for both boys and girls, and some of them have even had a slight lean toward the masculine side of things with colors like blue and black for the watch face borders and wristbands. With the pink and light blue bands, they might be closing themselves off from a broader market – but this watch does have some great features, and might be the perfect match for your kid!
For starters, the watch features a 90° rotatable camera and it‘s actually a pretty good camera overall in terms of quality and ease-of-use. The only downside is that you have to insert a 1 GB to 32 GB microSD card if you want to use the camera and such a card isn’t included by default.
But this kids’ camera watch has other beneficial aspects and features your kids are likely to love, including four built-in games that can entertain them while on the road or while you do some shopping. These are all played with an intuitive touchscreen interface. The watch overall is mostly targeted toward younger children, in part because the watch is durable and has a wide screen for their relatively clumsy finger presses.
The watch also includes a fitness tracker that you can use to make sure your kids don’t spend all day sitting down. It also includes a plethora of other enjoyable features, like a flashlight and earphone support, so your kid can listen to music (installed on the microSD card you’ll, which unfortunately isn’t included).
And yes, there’s no getting around that the watch comes in pink by default. Even the alternative blue color is relatively light and feminine compared to a darker shade. The battery, unfortunately, usually only lasts for up to a day or so, so you’ll need to be sure to constantly recharge the device if you want your kids to enjoy it as often as I expect they’ll like.
All in all, the Prograce offers a lot of value and is a particularly good choice for young girls who want an intuitive device that focuses on taking pictures and playing games over other features and functions.
- Comes in two colors ideal for girls
- Comes with an adjustable camera that can be used to take photos and videos, and the camera quality is decent
- Also includes a selection of games designed to get your kids up and running
- Has some other features, like a flashlight and a fitness tracker, so you can see how your kid is doing in terms of daily activity
- The battery life could be a little better as it’s usually only around one day from full to empty
- The watch doesn’t have any monitoring or GPS related features, so it’s relatively limited
- Need to supply microSD cards to take advantage of some features
7. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 – Best Battery Smartwatch for Kids
Earlier, I pointed out a smartwatch that had a battery life of over a month. But the Garmin Vivofit Jr blows that out of the water. In total, the smartwatch can last for up to one year without any recharging whatsoever. Of course, this is mostly because it has a simplistic black and white screen and it’s not a very versatile device whatsoever. But the long battery life and simplicity could be attractive depending on your goals and what you want your kid to wear when you’re away.
This basic smartwatch is really easy for kids to put on. It only comes in a single size, but that size is designed to fit most kids’ wrists. The one-piece band also makes sure that the watch is difficult to damage, even with heavy use. Add to that a relatively small screen, and you get an overall tough smartwatch, even if your kid wears it all day while roughhousing. It’s also swim-friendly and offers decent water resistance.
The watch comes with a compatible parent mobile app. This allows you to activate different educational mobile games and small digital shows on the watch. Many of these activities are derivatives of standard smartwatch features like a step tracker, a sleep tracker, and recommendations for daily activities. Other games are a little more unique, including a chore management tool and a mobile adventure trail that kids can follow to get them moving outside.
I found one game in particular that was interesting – it had the “kid” (in this case, I was playing the kid) earn coins for doing certain chores that could then be redeemed for certain rewards agreed upon by the parent. The digital display that all these activities are showcased on is super small and only in black and white, however, so some kids may get a little bored with the watch compared to the more colorful devices you can find elsewhere on the market.
Still, I think this is a decent choice overall for parents who want to get their kid a smartwatch device of some flexibility without splurging or getting them another colorful screen for them to feast their eyes upon for hours on end. Plus, it’s a good transitioning smartwatch that can potentially teach your child some responsibility. If your kid uses this, they might be ready and excited to switch to a more advanced watch when they get older.
- Has a single small screen in black and white, and thus benefits from a one-year battery life on average
- Made with a durable silicone wristband that fits most wrists pretty easily
- Can be programmed with chore-related games and activities
- Includes some fitness-focused functions as well to keep your kid active and moving
- Relatively affordable overall
- Doesn’t have as many complex features or games as other smartwatches on the market, so your kid might become bored over time
8. TickTalk 3 – Best Smartwatch for Kids Making Calls
Some parents will undoubtedly want a smartwatch that allows them to stay in contact with their kids as much as possible. If that’s you, then I’d recommend the TickTalk 3. As the name of the smartwatch suggests, this device emphasizes messaging and phone calls above other features, although it has many of those as well. It’s one of the more advanced kids’ smartwatches you can find and it’s ultimately pretty close to the more modern and mature smartwatch that you’d see on the wrists of adults and teenagers.
Let me break it down. The TickTalk 3 features a face talk, or two-way video calling, feature that allows you to video call your kid anytime and anywhere. The video footage is displayed in 800 x 480 dpi resolution, which is pretty good considering the size of the screen. You can either use cellular data or Wi-Fi connectivity to save on your monthly bill – parents concerned with their budget will appreciate this aspect.
The Wi-Fi watch also comes with an instant message app that allows you to send two-way text or voice messages, along with photos and emojis. Plus, kids can program preset text messages – this allows even younger kids to make use of the smartwatch if they aren’t quite good enough with spelling to write complicated messages by themselves.
Even better, parents will appreciate that the smartwatch is compatible with 4G reception and features a GPS tracker. Parents can track the watch in real-time so they can make sure that their kid gets to school on time or doesn’t go anywhere they aren’t supposed to.
This GPS smartwatch is durable, too, featuring a water-resistant design and a replaceable band so that kids and parents can customize the watch a little bit depending on their preferences.
One big thing I’ll point out is the need to choose the watch specifically for the network you plan to utilize. That’s because the SIM card loaded into the smartwatch has to be determined beforehand. The TickTalk 3 comes with SIM cards for AT&T, T-Mobile, or a custom option (called “use your own carrier”).
All in all, it’s a fantastic watch for parent to child connectivity and making calls, while boasting additional features and flexibility as well.
- Offers two-way voice calls and text messaging with decent connectivity all around
- The video calls benefit from decent resolution despite the small screen
- The watch is easy to use for kids, especially since they can send premade text messages instead of having to write their own
- Made to be fairly durable overall
- Features interchangeable wristbands
- It’s easy to accidentally choose the wrong watch and SIM card for your needs
9. Fitbit Ace 2 – Best Fitness Smartwatch for Kids
Many adult-oriented smartwatches are focused on fitness features above all else. This kids’ smartwatch also prioritizes fitness functionality, so it’s a potentially good choice if you have an older kid and they want to start working out or tracking things like calories and steps walked on their own. But you might also seriously consider this watch if your kid is younger and you want to make sure they get enough activity every day.
As I examined the Fitbit Ace 2, I found that it tracks things like steps and active minutes, which also tracks things like skipping, jumping, and other roughhousing that kids are more likely to do than adults. You can easily tell that this is a kids’ watch due to the colorful screen and included rewards. As they move and meet activity goals, kids will earn virtual badges and receive fun on-screen messages to keep them motivated and competing with their friends.
Plus, it’s a fairly durable watch through and through. It’s waterproof down to 50 m or so and it comes with up to five days of battery life, so it’s good for kids who don’t remember to plug in their mobile devices very frequently. I also found that you can link this smartwatch to a special “child’s” account to limit their access to certain features – this may be a good choice if you want to make sure that your kid isn’t exposed to too many digital risks.
There are other fitness-focused features and apps as well, like a sleep tracking function and a bedtime and sedentary reminder as well as silent alarms. All of this is packaged into a silicone watch face and wristband that can be chosen in either blue or watermelon colors. The aesthetic alone marks this as a kind of pre-adult Fitbit variant. In other words, if you already have a Fitbit for your own fitness goals, this is a great pick for a kid that looks up to you and wants to emulate your lifestyle and activity levels.
- A good kids’ fit watch since it has a great motion sensor that tracks child movements and activities, and even more complicated motions like skipping and jumping
- Has a handful of fitness-related apps, such as a sleep tracker, to help kids take charge of their own health
- Made with a durable silicone watch face and band that’s also waterproof
- Parents can “pair” to the Fitbit Ace and make sure their kid can’t access things that they shouldn’t
- Has decent battery life overall
- Limited connectivity, and sync range for some tracking features is only 6 m: far too low for many kids’ activity habits/li>
10. LG GizmoPal 2 – Best Kids Smartwatch with GPS
Last but certainly not least is the LG GizmoPal 2: a great smartwatch if you want to emphasize GPS connectivity and simplicity above other features.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice the unique design of the watch face, which doesn’t come with an LED or other type of screen but instead has a simple phone call button and a microphone/speaker directly above. It’s basically a kids wrist phone instead of a smartwatch.
The lack of a screen is certainly a big selling point for parents who don’t want their kids to constantly stare at another screen on their wrist when they already have access to computers and tablets.
The simplicity of the watch’s design is another big plus if you plan to give this to a younger kid who might have trouble using more complex devices. The GizmoPal can be paired to a single phone (such as the parent’s), or two caregivers or up to four phone numbers can be programmed into the watch in total. Additionally, the GizmoPal will automatically answer any incoming call after 10 seconds so that kids can always be in contact with their parents, even in noisy environments.
More importantly, all of this is handled through the proprietary app that a parent can install on their smartphone. It’s through the app that they can also use the GPS real-time location tracking feature. This gives you regular alerts of your child’s location, or you can set the app to ping you with their location at certain time intervals. It provides even more detailed information as well, like tags and name places superimposed over a map so you know exactly where they’ve gone and where they’re going.
The GizmoPal only comes in blue and is water-resistant, and the wristband is easy to secure and fit over a kid’s wrist. The battery life hovers around five days on average if you call your kid regularly, but it goes down if you use some of the other features, like LED battery level notifications and regular time alerts.
But all in all, the GizmoPal is the best child GPS watch I saw, and a perfect parent-friendly smartwatch for kids for those caregivers that want to constantly keep an eye on their little ones. The simplicity of the watch means that you’ll likely have to switch it out for a more advanced watch once they get a little older, but it’s a fantastic pick for its focus and purpose. Some devices are better off being more specialized!
- Doesn’t have an LED screen – instead, it has a single button and speaker so your kid can’t be confused by the watch
- Very easy to use and program multiple numbers into the watch
- Can be used with a proprietary app that lets you track your kid’s location and that provides lots of location-relevant information
- Has a decent battery life overall
- Will automatically answer incoming calls in case your kid forgets to answer instead
- Very limited functionality and will likely only be useful for a couple of years
There were tons of good options that I found during my research. But even though the Kurio 2.0 is only compatible with Android devices, I still found it to be my favorite kids’ smartwatch out of the bunch. Granted, I don’t have kids. But if I did, I’d certainly consider picking this up for them due to the sheer variety of its features. This watch does it all: makes calls, sends messages, and includes games for kids’ entertainment.
But remember – my opinion is just that. The GizmoWatch 2 is probably a better overall smartwatch for kids for most parents, and in particular those who want extra parental controls and monitoring capabilities. Regardless, be sure to go over each review again and remember what I talk about in the buying guide. That’s the best way to make sure you get the ideal kids’ smartwatch for your child, specifically. What’s this? A guide on the best kids smartwatches written by a grown man? How can I know what I’m talking about?
Full disclosure: I don’t have kids. But I do know tons of people who do have kids of their own, and since I wanted to round out my collection of guides to top-tier smartwatches for different needs or kinds of people with a kids’ smartwatch review, I got out my notebook and started interrogating.
Well, it wasn’t that intense. But I did ask a ton of in-depth questions about what parents looked for in kids’ smartwatches, what their experiences were with the smartwatches described above, and so on. I even had several people bring me some of their kiddos’ to the office so I could check out their watches and evaluate them in person.
In the end, I gathered enough information that I felt I could make concrete judgments on the watches above. I bolstered my own experience and the reviews I got in person with plenty of extra reviews from folks online as well. Ultimately, I’m confident that each watch review has enough actual information to be helpful for most folks.
How can you tell which smartwatch is the perfect pick for your kid and your needs as a parent? There are multiple factors to consider – this buying guide will break down what those are.
Smartwatch Focus and Features
I’d first recommend that you focus on smartwatch features and the emphasis that the device has. For instance, some smartwatches will emphasize games and entertainment, making them good choices if you want your kid to mostly use the smartwatch while they are in the car or waiting for a dentist appointment or something similar.
Other smartwatches might be designed for phone call connectivity and text messaging. These are great picks for parents who want to constantly stay in contact with their kids and always be able to reach them through phone call or text message.
The features usually point pretty clearly to the focus of the smartwatch. For instance, the GizmoWatch 2 includes lots of GPS and location tracking features that help to show parents what the watch is about and what its primary purpose is meant to be.
I’d recommend taking a deep look at the full features of any given smartwatch. Don’t assume that every smartwatch can make phone calls, like the vast majority of adult smartwatches on the market. Some kids smartwatches are even more focused or specialized than their adult counterparts.
Does It Have a Camera?
I’d specifically recommend checking to see if your favorite is a kids’ smart watch with a camera. This feature has a pretty big impact on a watch’s battery life and focus — especially watches with a dual camera — and cameras are really only appropriate for certain kids with the right maturity to use the feature correctly. Keep in mind that many cameras need SIM cards to be inserted for the pictures to be saved.
Can It Play Games?
You’ll also want to double-check and see whether a smartwatch allows kids to play games. Many parents are understandably concerned about how much time the kids spend staring at screens. Games can be educational and even inspire physical activity, but some games can also be somewhat addictive. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to get your kid a smartwatch with tons of entertaining games or if you want the watch to be more simplistic or focused on fitness.
Can the Smartwatch Make Calls?
Perhaps the most important feature of all is whether or not the smartwatch can make phone calls to you. Since some parents are more focused on finding a wrist phone for their kids, I also decided to make it a focus during my research.
That’s because call functionality holds more stakes for children than it does for adults. More kids’ cell phone watches have limitations placed on who the kid can call and who can call them, and they may also include features like automatic call acceptance. This is good for smartwatches paired to parent phones – this way, parents can always get in contact with their kids even if the child in question doesn’t remember how to accept the call manually.
But this can also be a little dangerous if your kid doesn’t know good call etiquette or protocol. Many parents will want to stay away from child cell phone watches that give their little ones the ability to make calls, and potentially receive them from intrusive adults, for their own safety. Bottom line: check to see whether call functionality is included before making a purchase so you know exactly what comes with the device.
Colors and Aesthetics
It’s also a good idea to consider the colors and aesthetics of a given child smartwatch. Kids can be pretty picky about the devices and accessories they play with, so it may be worthwhile to see the colors of watch faces and wristbands available before going through with the purchase.
The good news is that many smartwatches for kids have interchangeable wristbands to allow for limited exterior customization. You might be able to find a smartwatch with your kid’s favorite color with a little research or hunting.
Most kids’ smartwatches are also designed for durability, however, so the watch faces and wristbands are almost universally made of silicone instead of metal or other materials. Furthermore, most of their digital faces can’t be customized to the same extent as an adult smartwatch.
What Age Is the Smartwatch Best For?
One last thing to consider is the age range that a given smartwatch is appropriate for. This is more important than you might initially think – kids are really sensitive to devices or accessories that make them seem younger than they actually are. They might outright refuse to use a smartwatch that seems too “kiddie” for them.
I’ve included age ranges above for the ages I think each smartwatch is appropriate for. For instance, smartwatches for 4-year-old kids to 6-year-old kids or so will be blockier, more colorful, and have more simplistic buttons or interfaces. They may also have the fewest features among all kid smartwatches.
Smartwatches for 6-year- old kids to 10-year-old kids or so will be a little more advanced and may even have more color options. These are the first smartwatches to have games and more complex features, like cameras and other functions. Smartwatches for these ages and above usually come with an SOS feature, often an SOS button, where the wearer can reach emergency contacts easily if they find themselves in need of help.
Meanwhile, there are some smartwatches for 12 year old kids to 15 year old kids or so. These are more teenager oriented, so they’re likely to seem more mature in terms of aesthetics and may even have more staple or standard smartwatch features that you’d expect to see with a regular device, like fitness tracking and sleep monitor.
Q: What makes a smartwatch good for kids?
A: In truth, there isn’t a whole lot different between regular smartwatches and smartwatches designed for children. The biggest change lies in the focus – adult smartwatches emphasize fitness tracking and connectivity to other mobile devices for app notifications and the like. Kids’ smartwatches are more focused on connectivity to parents and games.
In truth, a good smartwatch for your kid should emphasize those features they find most interesting or useful, or a smartwatch that can give you the parental controls and monitoring capabilities yoo deem to be most important.
Q: Do kids’ smartwatches work with any device type?
A: No. Some smartwatches for kids are designed only for use with Android devices, while others can be used with Android or iOS phones or tablets. Be sure to check which devices a given smartwatch is compatible with before making a purchase so you don’t accidentally waste your money.
Keep in mind that most smartwatches can only work with relatively up-to-date software for both OS types, as well.
Q: How do you know when your kid is ready for a smartwatch?
A: In my opinion, touch screen watches for kids are never necessary. Instead, smartwatches should be used as solutions for specific issues. Say that your kid has to go to school some ways away from home and you want to be able to track them at the end of every school day. A smartwatch is a great way to keep tabs on your son or daughter without constantly calling them during the workday.
In most cases, kids’ smartwatches are designed to be relatively simple and easy to use. A few, like the GizmoPal, are specifically designed with as few buttons as possible to prevent any mishaps or confusion.
All in all, kids are really only ready for smartwatches when you can trust them to use the devices appropriately. This is different for every kid, of course.
Q: Are adult smartwatches too hard for kids to use?
A: I don’t know, honestly. Kids pick up new technology a lot faster than many adults. But there’s no denying that regular smartwatches are pretty complex and are full of features that kids don’t care about and won’t make use of.
Of course, many children are capable of using a more advanced watch but may lack the responsibility to take care of such a device, this is something to consider.
I’d say that, if you’re set on getting your kid a smartwatch, you’ll be better off with a kid-focused device instead of giving them an old smartwatch meant to be used by adults.
Top Rated Smartwatches for Kids
Last update on 2023-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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