The smartwatches watches connectivity and children are a product category enjoying some success among parents of children from an early age. This type of advanced clocks include integrated GPS and connectivity to know at all times where a child is and to communicate with him.
Although the different models that exist in the market seem similar, we have been testing four watches / mobile for children to know their differences and know which models are the most recommended.
Here is our guide-comparison with the best watches with GPS for children.
Recommended: Alcatel Move Time
From the moment we put our hands on the Alcatel model, the feeling of quality and good finishing was evident. The watch is comfortable but of considerable size, striking and its resistant and well-identified buttons. The learning curve for the child is considerable, so it requires that we dedicate some time to tell you how the control buttons work, how to get out of the menus and how to activate options because they are not intuitive at all.
It is the most expensive ( 55 euros, depends on specific offers) but includes details such as the nanoSIM slot for simple but secure access. The sound quality from the built-in loudspeaker as well as the sound from the loudspeaker is the biggest of them but it’s not something to brag about. We should have the volume rather low because it is very easy to distort.
The security and communication functions included are the essential ones and are well implemented. We have emergency calls (to phone numbers or 112 if confirmed before), selected contacts, voice messages, GPS tracking with different degrees of accuracy and location on a map, as well as safe areas.
It also has a pedometer function, indicating the steps achieved continuously on the device screen.
The screen of the Alcatel Move Time is OLED, of correct size and with the best outdoor viewing of all, although it is not especially remarkable. It has an accompanying application that is exclusive to Alcatel.
Something you must keep in mind is that, although its configuration does not present any difficulty, the instruction manual comes only in English from the box, but it is not complicated to find the other language versions on the Internet.
Alternative: Ksix Kidsafe Watch
The Ksix KidSafe Watch, with a price of 40 euros, is a valid alternative as a watch for children.
With a very attractive design for the little ones, it has a good finish, the exact functions for the main use of communication and location that we want to give to these watches, and the autonomy is the most outstanding, being the only one of the comparison that with the location In operation, it gives us more than one day of use. The SIM card has direct access via the side slot.
In the physical controls there is an emergency button and two others to make direct calls to two contacts. We also like that the management of users who have access to information and contact with the child is simple but at the same time very configurable, with two levels of security / privacy, for example to give the possibility of communicating with the child to monitors on trips or camps without knowing the location of the child.
How to choose a watch / mobile for children
When choosing a smartwatch-locator for children, we must bear in mind that this is not a smartwatch to use whose main function is the installation of applications or notification management.
The watches we have tested are security devices for occasional use if you need or want to know the location of a child or communicate with them in a basic way, for example on trips or excursions.
If you have decided to buy a watch-locator for children, these are the key aspects and characteristics to keep in mind in order to be able to make the right choice.
Dimensions and screen
Being a device that will be used by young children, the watch should not be too large. If it is uncomfortable or heavy, it would lose part of its usefulness as it has more difficulty in placing it. The appearance of children’s watches is usually striking, with rather childish and colorful designs.
As for the screen, it is not necessary either to have a very large diagonal nor to have a panel with high resolution because the interaction will be done basically with the physical buttons, to facilitate the tasks and not rely on intricate interfaces for the smallest . Therefore, it is not necessary to be a touch type panel. The physical buttons should be easy to activate and their functionality is clear even in the design.
One feature that is essential on the screen is the brightness and contrast. If in both cases we are facing a screen with high values, we will gain visibility outdoors, something highly recommended because it will be the main environment in which we want children to use the smartwatch.
Materials and water resistance
In a children’s watch, the use of resistant materials is recommended. Keep in mind that the straps, better if they are silicone, usually have only one size. If the closure is simple but safe, it is preferable to the buckle closure in case we want them to be the ones that manage the placement of the watch. If we prefer security, there are models that detect when the children remove the clock and send notice to the application that we are using to manage the child’s clock.
Although in some cases we are not talking about models with a very high price, being focused on children, it is advisable that in addition to good quality materials and robust, the watch has resistance to water or at least to splashes, so that wash your hands or a bath / shower does not end with the watch unusable.
GPS and connectivity
The basic element of children’s watches is connectivity. If the main function is to enable communication in case of emergency or demand, as well as knowing the child’s location at all times, it is essential that the smartwatch have at least 2G connectivity and of course GPS.
This last point seems trivial but some models announce registration of the location but do not make it with an integrated GPS chip but they resort to the LBS system, which is based on the triangulation of telephony antennas and which is insufficient to accurately track the child’s movements. If you detect an offer below 30 euros, most likely it is a version of the watch that does not include GPS positioning, so be careful.
Specific security functions
Child locator clocks include as standard the functions of calling numbers in your calendar, which is usually limited, as well as sending the location to a map of the application installed on the smartphone of the minor’s parents / legal guardians.
Other interesting functions and available according to the model are:
- Call Silent. One of the functions most demanded by parents but that implies a considerable loss of privacy. It consists in making a call to the clock in a silent way, allowing to listen through the phone with the app what the child’s clock is recording.
- SOS button. Available in almost all models of the market, pressing it a few seconds makes a call to the predetermined numbers in the application or an audio message with the location.
- Security zone. In the map of the application you can configure a safe area. The clock activates the notifications and alarms in case the minor leaves the shower zone delimited by the parents.
- Shooting. Some models include a camera of very low quality that is capable of taking pictures remotely if necessary.
- Specific notices. These are notifications that we can configure for special cases such as when the clock is turned off due to lack of battery or voluntarily, as well as if it is removed from the wrist.
Whether it’s specific security functions, if the watch includes step meter mode, we can give secondary and useful use to the smartwatch, which, with flagship modes or achievements, can be an extra motivation for the child to wear it.
What our tests are based on
The recommendations of our purchase guides with proof are based on our experience analyzing all types of technological devices and use for a time in various situations.
To choose the best watch-locator for children we have chosen four of the most popular models and sold, both those of proven quality and especially successful for its low price.
For two weeks we have used them in real scenarios and situations with children, testing all their security functions, calls and location both in the city and in remote areas. We have also collected impressions and details about the operation, configuration and overall quality of the terminal both from the minors themselves and from the parents who have tested them.
Design, finish and resistance
If we want a child to wear one of the smartwatches on trips or excursions, visual appeal is key. Here manufacturers are aware of this and the proposals are generally striking for their color.
Once the four clocks to be analyzed were placed on the table, the blue and orange of the Alcatel model was the clear winner. Its design is the most similar of all to a toy. Almost as attractive was the Ksix model, with a design based on drawings and characters that occupy almost the entire front of the watch. The other two, except for the color and materials, do not stand out too much.
The SZBXD model is the one that has most disappointed at the level of finishing, materials and focus on children beyond its interface, which is very childish. Outwardly it looks more classic and of finishes of low quality, while the model Q50 (Hangang) is too basic both in appearance and in finishes.
An essential element in a watch of this type is connectivity. The access to the slot for the SIM card should not be easy for the child. In the case of the Ksix Kidsafe Watch, the slot is accessible by simply lifting a rubber tab on the side, next to the access to the microUSB port for charging.
The other models require a screwdriver to place the SIM. In the beginning it may bother but in the long term it is a safer solution. The SZBXD model is again the worst of all in this section to require leverage to remove the housing , action is performed by brute force and without instructions of any kind in this regard.
The best-thought system is the one we find on Alcatel. The placement of the nanoSIM card must be done with the help of a small screwdriver that comes in the package (also with the good idea of two replacement screws). The opening is the simplest of all, and you do not have to remove any internal elements such as batteries. Simply unscrew, place the SIM and close again.
As in the other clocks, it is necessary to deactivate the SIM PIN request on a mobile phone prior to placing the card in the smartwatch.
In terms of resistance to water and dust, of the models analyzed, only Alcatel and Ksix have splash protection . The Alcatel offers IP65 resistance. In neither case are clocks that can be submerged.
Call functions and SOS
The appearance of a smartwatch for children is of little use if it does not work as it should. In our test we have analyzed the quality of the calls, coverage, sound and accuracy of the location function of the four telephones for children.
With the call functions, the results are quite similar. No smartwatch of the tested is designed to be used for a long time as a telephone. The battery is reduced considerably and by the use of loudspeakers there is no privacy in communications. In addition, the sound has a low volume and can not be used in very noisy environments neither for recording audio nor for listening.
The only clock that has call functions as such is the SZBXD. In your case there is even keyboard to mark, as well as games or camera applications, something that we have not recommended that has a clock for emergencies and location.
The rest of smartwatches communicate in two ways with the telephone of the parents or tutors. On the one hand we have the SOS button , which by keeping it pressed makes a direct call to the numbers associated with the application or even to the default 112 if we configure it. This is the case of the Alcatel model, although before calling that 112 the smartwatch requires confirmation by the minor.
The Alcatel model allows you to manage an agenda for which there is a call button (the upper left). The sound is only correct for a short call, do not think you can use it as a telephone for long or frequent communication.
The other mode of voice communication is different according to each clock. The Q50 records voice messages while you keep pressing the shortcut button to the associated numbers. The parent receives that voice message in the application, jumping on the smartphone notifications if we have determined this. The same goes for the Alcatel model, which we liked the way it points out the messages that are not answered. Also in Alcatel’s it is more intuitive for the child to listen to those messages.
The model Ksix Kidsafe Watch has an extra in the management of permissions to make calls to the child’s clock . The numbers added to the family list can make calls to the clock as well as knowing its location if we have given it permission in the Wherecom application. The list of alternative numbers can only make calls but not know the location.
One of the most controversial functions is the silent call or spy function. The only clock that includes it in theory is the Q50, because in our case it was not present in the associated application. That function is especially intrusive with the privacy of both the child and especially those who are being listened to when we use it, as they have no record of what is happening at any time.
The applications for mobile
In the experience with a smartwatch for children, the associated application is very important. With it you will set the clock and it will be used to manage locations, phone numbers in the calendar and extra options.
The only watch of the comparison that has its own application is Alcatel. The application, available for both iOS and Android, is called Move time, is free and does not include advertising. Among its options are the essentials such as the geolocation of the clock on a map, warnings if you leave a security zone that we mark on a map, or emergency calls to selected contacts.
To use it, it is necessary to register with an Alcatel account, which will send a confirmation message to the email with which we register. Once inside, to use the application it is necessary to have an Alcatel smartwatch, of which we must indicate the IMEI.
The other three smartwatches analyzed do not have a defined application specific to the manufacturer. They use third-party solutions such as SeTracker (Q50 and SZBXD) or Wherecom (Ksix). In these two cases the configuration is not very fast, it requires pre-registration, entering mail and telephones and the management of options is not as intuitive as in the Alcatel model, the most similar to a common phone app.
In all cases, it is convenient that the SIM card has been activated before it is displayed on the watch . To do this, simply insert it into a phone and make a call / browse on the Internet.
It is the star function of smartwatches for children and the most useful. Its operation is quite similar in all watches, and since they all have GPS, the accuracy and reliability of their data is similar.
The Q50 model was the fastest receiving information from the satellites, and although close to buildings or when the child is inside, makes many errors of location, its accuracy is very reliable outdoors. Simply touch the map button so that, at any time, we can place the child’s clock on the map with a precision of a few meters.
If we choose the tracking mode we can trace a route followed by the child with the precision that we have determined. In a park or closed site we would need the maximum, which depletes the battery by just 4-5 hours.
This Hangang Q50 watch allows you to set a safety zone outside of which you will be notified by message that the child has left the area. It works exactly but the warning is a simple message in the application. It would be preferable a call or alarm to warn us in case of being clueless and not within the application and looking at it continuously.
The Alcatel model and the Ksix model work similarly. Both have a location on the map, tracking the child creating a subsequent route that can be selected by date and even time, as well as secure areas. The Ksix model offered us an accuracy similar to that of the Q50, with an error of more than 50 meters in some cases.
The best when we are indoors is the Alcatel. It does not get to hit completely but its margin of error is the smallest of all , of the order of about 10-20 meters with respect to the building in which the child is.
As for the SZBXD model, the location is not its strong point, and as with the calls, they are aspects that have been left out or are poorly implemented while efforts have been focused, few, to place a camera, a game that does not It works well and other extras that are not very useful for the safety of a child. Not recommended.
In a watch that we want to use at all times to maintain contact with the child and to have the location activated, autonomy is a critical factor and we have paid special attention to it in our field tests. The results have disappointed us a lot and are far from the figures given by manufacturers, which are never achieved.
With OLED pats and small size, the main battery expense is not there but in the location function. All phones include energy saving modes that reduce the taking of positioning data, so they are options to know the situation of minors but not valid for a follow-up.
In the case that we want to have a thorough follow-up of a route followed by the minor with precision of a few meters, the battery will barely last half a day. In all the cases we have tried.
The best autonomy has been offered by the Ksix Kidsafe, which is the only one that, with GPS tracking, is capable of holding more than a day of use. All the others lower the load at a speed that does not ensure us to reach the end of the day with the GPS tracking mode at the highest precision. In all cases, the arrival of the battery below 20% causes notifications that come to the application to notify us.
Loading smartwatches for children
An important section is the loading of watches. Most of them have charging system with microUSB port on one side, protected by a rubber tab that is not usually very easy to remove and that in the two most affordable phones (Hangang and SZBXD) seem too weak and candidates for that the children end up tearing them or they end up breaking by the use.
The exception is the Alcatel model, whose charging system does not use a standard microUSB cable but one with fixing pins. This allows it to be resistant to water but we must carry that specific cable in case of travel and if for example the child goes alone, you can not ask an adult for a microUSB in case it is lost. It is the model that takes longer to load, an average of three hours. For the rest two hours are enough, which in any case seems to me a very high figure for the capacity of their batteries.
Best watch / phone for children: candidates
To choose the best smartwatches for children we have opted for models among the most popular in sales and available to buy easily and directly. We have discarded those smartwatches that are associated with a telephone or service contract with a fixed monthly cost, since the use we understand for this type of device is occasional.
The candidates we have chosen are bought free but to use them and get the most out they need a SIM card. That card, to take advantage of all the functions available in each model, has to be unique and not a duplicate of the one we use on the phone.
The associated contract does not need to be very high, because on average this type of device should not need more than 100 or 150 MB of data per month. The rest of the associated expenses such as calls or SMS messages should be taken into account, since it can be an extra expense depending on the type of tariff / contract that we have chosen.
|ALCATEL MOVE TIME||KSIX KIDSAFE||HANGANG Q50||SZBXD S4 WATCH|
|SCREEN||OLED 0.95 inches||OLED 0.64 inches||OLED 0.96 inches||1.44 inches|
|DIMENSIONS||39 x 38 x 15.8 mm // 40 grams||20 x 38 x 13 mm||54 x 34 x 12.5 mm||–|
|RESISTANCE||IP65||Splash||Do not||Do not|
|DRUMS||370 mAh||600 mAh||400 mAh||400 mAh|
|COMPATIBILITY||iOS / Android||iOS / Android||iOS / Android||iOS / Android|
|LOCATION||GPS / LBS||GPS / LBS||GPS / LBS||LBS|
|PRICE||70 euros||49 euros||30 euros||35 euros|
After this comparison we have verified that the ideal smartwatch for children does not exist. The SZBXD model can be the most tempting because of price and appearance, and it is probably the one children would choose. But we do not recommend it at all after having tried it.
More faithful to the use we want to give are the rest of children’s watches. The Hangang Q50 model is the most balanced, although the finish and resistance is far from the two recommended models: the Alcatel Move Time in the first place, followed by the KSix Kidsfe. Its use, in both cases, should be limited to particular situations and occasional because neither battery nor utility are designed to be a daily clock and much less usual use among children.
Alcatel Move Time
|THE BEST||The finish, design and ease of use. Also the most accurate in the location|
|WORST||The battery arrives just a day and requires explaining to children how physical buttons work|
|BUY BY||70 euros|
Ksix KidSafe Watch
|THE BEST||Attractive design for children and the one that offers the best battery of all|
|WORST||Small screen and slot for SIM accessible to children|
|BUY BY||49 euros|
|THE BEST||The most intuitive to handle by the child and the best value for money|
|WORST||The battery does not last more than a day and the finish is poor|
|BUY BY||30 euros|
SZBXD S6 Watch
|THE BEST||Touch screen that facilitates handling by children|
|WORST||Very childish interface and too many functions that have nothing to do with the safety of children|
|BUY BY||35 euros|