There’s now a bustling rabble of kids smartwatches out there, offering children fun from the wrist while adding peace of mind for parents.
But trying to find the the right watch for your child can be a tricky task. As with any evolving space in tech, plenty of devices over the past few years have gone bust or failed to launch at all. And that’s why we’re here, to break down the best kids smartwatches you can buy right now, as well as a few tipped to release soon.
Read next: The top child safety trackers for 2019
Some of them also handle activity tracking or instead prioritise location tracking, but all of them provide something a little different to keep everyone happy. Read on…
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VTech Kidizoom DX
At the budget end, we have the Kidizoom DX. The aim is to get kids active, attempting to do so with a selection of motion-based activities. However, there are also extra features, such as maths challenges with a digital owl. Available in a range of colors, the main appeal here is that the smartwatch features a built-in camera, with fun photo effects, frames and filters to choose from. This one is aimed at those aged 4 â 9.
For those in the US, there’s also the Kidizoom DX2, which features cameras, customisable watch faces and a range of games.
Â£44.99, Amazon | vtechkids.com
The self-proclaimed ‘most advanced kids smartwatch’ was a Kickstarter success, and now comes in variations to help it work in territories across the world.
And though the price is a little on the lofty side, this is one of the true all-rounders in the space. Features include GPS for location tracking and an SOS alarm, while 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth support and the built-in camera help provide text, voice and video calling wherever your child is. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription for the data the watch will use, though Doki itself offers a bundle that includes 12 months of coverage from Tata Communications.
Fitness first: The best kids fitness trackers
There’s also fun for the wearer, too, with a Tamagotchi-style activity game through DokiPet. It’s IP65 water resistant, available in yellow, pink, blue and dark grey, with cute DokiWatch charms available to customise it and plenty of watch wallpapers included. This kids smartwatch is suitable for kids aged 6 â 12.
$179, Amazon | doki.com
Norwegian startup Xplora was one of the first companies to launch a smartwatch built specifically for kids, and now it’s back with a feature-packed follow-up to its Xplora 1.
With the 3S, there’s now a waterproof design and a camera on board for shooting stills, though child safety remains very much at the heart of the device. Features like voice calling, real-time location tracking and the ability for parents to set up safety zones are all still a part of the experience, and the watch managed to perform nicely in our full review, despite the odd hiccup.
Extensive read: Xplora 3S review
Like the majority of the options on this list, bear in mind that the upfront cost also comes with the rolling price of the SIM card support. For now, it’s also only available in Europe through the company’s own site.
Â£135.99 | myxplora.co.uk
Omate x Nanoblock
Wearable maker Omate’s latest kids smartwatch is a collaboration with Japanese toymaker Diablock, with Tata Communications behind the data coverage.
The watch has 3G connectivity, provided through Tata’s built-in SIM card, tracking the wearer’s location through GPS, Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular networks. Importantly, none of this data can be compromised, Omate and Tata say, thanks to end-to-end encryption.
First look: Hands-on with the Omate x Nanoblock
The Omate x Nanoblock smartwatch is available now (though frequently out of stock) from $149, offering security features such as SOS alerts, two-way voice and video chatting and location tracking, as well as a three-day battery life, an alarm, pedometer, stopwatch and front-facing camera. The watch is aimed for kids aged 5-10 and is currently only compatible with iOS devices.
$149 | omate.com
This colorful kids smartwatch is one puts safety first, but the hereO V2 is also small and light at just 40g, so your kid shouldn’t mind wearing it.
Plus, thanks to an e-paper screen, the battery lasts for up to 60 hours â much longer than color touchscreen models – with GPS location tracking and a panic feature also in tow. Like with all previous hereO watches, children are able to send messages to family members with just the push of a button, and this is one for anybody aged 3 and above.
Again, as this is a device using both tracking and Wi-Fi, a monthly subscription is also required if you’re looking to get the most out of this device.
$199, Amazon | hereofamily.com
LG GizmoPal 2
A redesign of the smaller predecessor, LG’s GizmoPal 2 offers built-in GPS tracking and geofencing capabilities when worn.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is the watch’s ability to work as a phone, with wearers able to dial up to four pre-set phone numbers. As far as the fun for kids goes, the watch offers a voice clock and brings one of the more sophisticated designs in this area, despite being recommended for anybody aged 4 and above.
Production of the device has now unfortunately been discontinued, though it’s still offered through retailers such as Amazon. Providing you can get your mitts on this elusive kids smartwatch – initially offered exclusively through US carrier Verizon – be sure to watch out for the $5 monthly subscription that comes with the data usage and location tracking.
$79, Amazon | lg.com
Naver Labs’ Aki
Powered by Samsung’s Exynos 720 dual processor, the AKI from Naver Labs is essentially a Gear S3 for kids. But what smart features are on board to specifically target a younger crowd?
Well, there’s an LTE modem that enables VoLTE calls, a personal assistant named CLOVA, and Papago, a service that helps kids learn second languages. It can even translate speech in English, Korean, Japanese and Chinese.
That’s all packed inside a 1.2-inch OLED display, with a variety of strap colors able to pair with the pink or gold casing. It’s also IP68 water resistant, so you won’t need to worry about your kids taking it off around the pool or sea.
Frustratingly, nearly a year after first being announced, there’s still no word on when and where the AKI will be available, or how much it’ll cost. But stay tuned, as we imagine more details will drop as 2019 progresses.
Back again after its first generation effort, Lineable is back with a completely new watch form factor and more advanced tracking features.
You’ll get up to a week on a single charge, while the likes of SOS alerts, location tracking and geofencing are also available for parents. If the watch is removed from the child’s wrist, alerts are also available. For kids themselves, fitness tracking is available in real time, with the time and general smartwatch features are also on board.
There’s no word yet on pricing and it’s missed its summer 2018 launch date, so it’s not clear whether it’ll land any time soon. The fact it’s taking advantage of Long Range Network – the IoT standard led by LoRa – and has fencing features means it will also come with a monthly subscription. Stay tuned.
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