Smartwatches for Kids - Buyers' Guide

By Eric Awwy, 04 Jul 2021

Smartwatches are making a bold statement in the technological world today. Many cyclists, skaters, and regular techies are loving these gadgets. Furthermore, with good reason too; these devices are the small yet equally functional versions of smartphones.

If you want to get one for your enthusiastic child but do not know where to start, then you have come to the right place for help.  

With many great choices in the tech market, only an effective guideline of what to look out for in a smartwatch will help you narrow down your options.

This article entails comprehensive criteria that will come in handy in selecting the best smartwatch for your child.

Let us jump straight into it;

Factors to consider when buying Smart Watch for Kids

As parents, the greatest worry when purchasing a smartwatch, especially for a kid, is what smartwatch you should get for your kid. While this might sound like a challenging task, especially given that there are many options in the market, our guide digests the top factors to consider so that you will not spend too much time either worrying or being deeply confused. F

Design

The smartwatch design may not be as important to you as the actual features that the watch has to offer, but it really matters to the child.

You want to get your child to ACTUALLY wear the watch, so if there’s any befitting motivator, it’s definitely good looks.

Get something that matches your child’s personality. For instance, kids like bright colors that make them stand out and induce that fun aspect to the watch. The bolder the aesthetics of the watch, the more appealing it is to youngsters.

Teens, on the other hand, like something that makes them feel grown-up. So they are more likely to be drawn to unisex colors such as black, gold, grey, and green.

You can also consider a custom-made watch if your child wants a unique look that will match their bikes, cycling attire, and other cycling gear such as helmets and protective pads.

Display

The second thing you want to consider is the display option of the what.

When it comes to the display of a smartwatch, the options are either a touch screen, a liquid crystal screen with control button(s), or a combination of both of these features.

The control button option usually has a black and white display. However, most people are drawn towards a touch screen in this digital age, although this usually also means an increase in the price of the watch.

Another difference between the two display options is the ease of use. Most users also generally prefer the touch screen as it is easier to navigate in comparison to the button option.

SIM card compatibility

Communication is one of the most essential features that a good smartwatch can offer. Consider the following questions; does the watch require a SIM card to work? Is it only compatible with certain cell phones?

Some smartwatches allow communication via call, text, or voice note, while others allow communication between users of the same brand of the smartwatch.

The great thing about a SIM card-compatible smartwatch is that it is an efficient way to ask for help in times of trouble.  By this, we mean that some smartwatches feature an SOS option that allows the child to alert their parent(s) in case of an emergency.

Security

If your biggest concern is your child's safety, opt for a smartphone with location services such as GPS, LBS scanning, or Wi-Fi function.

Location tracking allows you to pinpoint the location of your child at all times.

The least functional of the three options is LBD, as it usually gives a record of the nearest tower. As for GPS, you can tell the geo-location of the watch as it sends you coordinates via satellite.

For watches that work with Wi-Fi, the signal range is an important thing to consider. There is always a limit to the range covered by the signal, and you need to be aware of it before your child goes outside with the device.

Another important thing you want to ensure with a GPS smartwatch is accurately interpreting location. Generally, GPS offers 5-30m of location with accuracy; Wi-Fi gives 5 – 50m accurately while LBS covers 50m – 1km; although this estimation is dependent on the presence of a tower.

However, not all GPS features are 100% reliable. So before purchasing, do your research or test it outside to ensure that the smartwatch you are interested in can tell the exact location of your child.

Waterproof

Let us agree that there is never a moment when kids will stay away from running around in the rain, playing through puddles, or even forgetting to take the watch off before a shower. However, what you can stop is the actual damage to the watch.

You want to check to what degree the watch is protected from water.

Smartwatches with a waterproof rating of IP67 or IP68 allow such activities while hindering damage to the watch.

Note that some watches state that they are waterproof, but you will find that it’s only in 3 feet and usually for just half an hour, so find out the details before closing the sale.

Other than being waterproof, there are also dustproof options that will protect against dirt and sand.

Fun features

If you want to win your child over with a smartwatch, consider the fun features that it has.

Smartwatches can have anything from an integrated camera for fun selfies and photos to games that they can play through the small screen.

Productivity features

Smartwatches are also a great learning and motivational tools. It’s an outstanding balance between fun and productivity.

 You will find some manufacturers include health tracking in some smartwatches. This can include monitoring the steps taken, or calories burnt, or even sleep monitoring and heart rate sensor for the more expensive options.

All these features encourage an active lifestyle.  

Battery life

A smartwatch could have all the above helpful features, but it is also important to consider how long the battery will last.

If the battery cannot hold up for up to 24 hours on a single charge, then it’s not really effective as that is the standard for most smartwatches. There are even exceptions that last up to several days on a single charge!

Generally, most people prefer a longer battery life as it means less time spent charging and more convenience in case of using the watch where regular charging may not be an option.

The time between most charges is usually anything between one to three days: the lengthier the battery life, the more reliable the smartwatch.

Durability

Let’s be honest; you can expect the watch to be bumped around by your child.

If your child is an avid cyclist or skater, then the chances are that the watch is highly susceptible to damage from a hard landing. So it would help if you considered how well protected it is from rough handling.

A shockproof smartwatch will usually feature a safety glass over the screen that will protect it from scratches.

Ease of use

Along with all these features, you want to consider how easy to use the smartwatch is. Is it simple for the little fingers to answer a call to the smartwatch? Is it comfortable to wear? Some come with clasps, while others have a band method of wearing. Opt for your child’s most comfortable choice.

Price

Last but definitely not least, you also want to check the price. If you have established a minimized list of potential smartwatches for your child but do not know how to break the tie, check the price as the final deal-breaker, and you will be good to go.

Bottom Line

We have found that establishing your needs and that of your child who will be the actual smartwatch user and then comparing them against the features offered by different smartwatches is the best method to find the ideal smartwatch. 

Our aforementioned tips are a sure way to get the best choice. Go for it!

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