Image Credits: Walmart, Verizon
This boy knows what kids want in a smartwatch, and his mom knows what parents need.
As a mom, I like the idea of being able to get in touch with my kids in case of emergency and knowing if they stray from where they’re supposed to be. So I can understand why parents have begun to buy smartwatches for their children, especially those who are too young for cell phones. But since the market is flooded with at least 8,000 different kinds (not a real statistic), it’s hard to decide which smartwatch is the best for your own child. To keep you from being overwhelmed with gadget choices, my 9-year-old son and I decided to take one for the team and do some testing.
The Best Smartwatches for Kids
Best GPS Kids Watch: Xplora X5 Play
Best Fitness Tracker for Kids: Fitbit Ace 2 Activity Tracker
Best Smartwatch for Younger Kids: VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3
Best Kids Smartwatch for Verizon Users: Gizmowatch Disney Edition
Most Durable Smartwatch for Kids: TickTalk 4
Best Kids Smartwatch With Long Battery Life: Garmin Vívofit Jr. 3
Best All-Around Smartwatch for Kids: Apple Watch SE
How to Choose a Smartwatch for Your Kid
Many smartwatches for kids offer similar features like texting, calling, and GPS functionality, but there’s really quite a lot of variation between watches, based on different needs. Do you want to manage every aspect of your kid’s watch usage? Do you need automatic answering so you can get in touch with your child even when they can’t pick up? Do you need notifications when your kid leaves a certain area? Or do you want them to be able to place calls and dictate texts almost as if they were using a phone?
It all boils down to what will work best for your family and your specific situation. And of course, your budget. Some of the watches we tested are fairly pricey, and others are pretty affordable. Finding the best combination of features and cost means you’ll hit the sweet spot and get exactly what you need for a price you can afford. Also, many smartwatches will need to be added to your existing cellular plan, so don’t forget to add in the cost of an extra line.
How We Tested These Smartwatches
My son and I had seven different watches from seven different companies to test. We went through setup and activation of each watch, figured out different interfaces, added contacts and emergency info, and set GPS boundaries. We texted, we called, we photographed, we played games, and basically we put each of these watches through their paces for about four days each, for a total of about 340 hours.
Below are the smartwatches for kids we tested, and my son’s and my verdict on each.
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