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All the tech-features for your kids in these great smartwatches

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Coolpad Dyno

Coolpad DynoSource: Android Central

Best
Smartwatch For Kids
Android Central
2020

Kids love gadgets as much as adults, maybe even more, so it's no surprise the idea of having their own smartwatch gets kids excited. Choosing what watch to get for your child can be daunting, with so many choices out there. Aside from wading through all the options, it's also important to consider privacy, durability, and cost when looking at the choices. One watch that does a great job of these core features is the Coolpad Dyno. There are a lot of choices out there, so let us help you find the best option for you and your child.

Best Overall: Coolpad Dyno

Coolpad Dyno Smartwatch

Coolpad Dyno SmartwatchSource: Russell Holly / Android Central

While the brand Coolpad may not be all that familiar to you, its watch should is one that should be considered when looking for an excellent smartwatch for your child. The Dyno from Coolpad is not only a fun looking device, but it also has some great features to help keep you connected with your child and let them have some fun.

The Dyno can connect via Wi-Fi but also has a SIM card so that it can fully function as a phone. Coolpad has a companion app for the parent to add specific contacts that the child can both call and message. Your kid can either send messages by choosing one of the preset options which you can customize in the app, or by using the voice to text feature on the watch. Phone calls work as you would expect and can be made using the SIM card that connects to networks in the US and Canada. Also on the watch included is GPS, in which you can set up geofences so that you can be notified when the watch enters or leaves a predetermined area.

The watch has some fun watch faces that your child can swap between as well as two different colored straps in the box. There are some fitness tracking features as well that helps to incentivize being active. Something else that this watch has is excellent battery life, with nearly three days between charges. You'll also get a notification when the battery is low should your child forget to charge it. While it's not perfect, the Coolpad Dyno is a fun device for kids and a great peace of mind for parents.

Pros:

  • Excellent safety features
  • Great price
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Lacks additional app integrations
  • Limited customization options
  • No keyboard for messaging

Best Overall



Coolpad Dyno

Fun peace of mind

The Coolpad Dyno's two-way contact & geofence tracking helps both the child and parent feel at ease into a fun and durable watch.

Runner-up: GizmoWatch 2

Gizmowatch 2 Lifestyle Hero Contacts

Gizmowatch 2 Lifestyle Hero ContactsSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

The GizmoWatch 2 from Verizon is a great watch that gets a lot of things right. Starting with the style, it comes in two color options — blue or pink — and has a durable squarish plastic case. There are two buttons on the side to offer a few actions when pressed. One of them is if either button is pressed, the parent designated emergency contact is called.

The screen on the watch is vibrant and gets bright enough to be visible in most lighting conditions. Your child can select from seven different colorful themes to give their watch a bit of personality. There's also a fun jumping game and step tracker for the kids to earn rewards from that you can set in the parent's app.

From the parents' side, through the GizmoHub, that acts as the companion app, you can control nearly every aspect of your child's watch. This is also where you get to set up who the watch can either call, be called, or message. There's no camera, but your child can make standard phone calls, send preset messages, emojis, or voice messages.

The Gizmowatch 2 has built-in GPS, which can be used for locating the watch as well as setting up geofences. Doing so will send you a notification when the watch leaves the designated area. Your child can manually ping you their location from the watch, or you can always check-in from the app.

While a lot is going for the watch, it does have its downfalls. For a lot of people, Verizon Wireless has great coverage and will work fine; but if you don't get good Verizon coverage — too bad because you can't use any other carrier. The other main feature lacking from the GizmoWatch 2 is wi-fi. The addition of this feature would help in low cellular connectivity.

If you are in an area that has good Verizon coverage and don't mind that you can only use that carrier, the GizmoWatch 2 is a great smartwatch for kids that offers fun features for them and safety features you want.

Pros:

  • Good call quality
  • Watch software is easy to use
  • Great safety features

Cons:

  • Missing a Do Not Disturb mode
  • Locked to Verizon
  • No Wi-Fi

Runner-up



GizmoWatch 2

See, hear, and text your way to peace of mind

Bulkier and more pricey than the winner, the TickTalk 3 has some features like a camera that may be worth the trade-offs for you.

Best with a camera: TickTalk 3

TickTalk 3 video chat

TickTalk 3 video chatSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

TickTalk 3 is another watch with a ton of features for parents and kids alike. Much like the Coolpad Dyno, this watch comes with a SIM card — operating on T-Mobile or AT&T networks — and Wi-Fi for connectivity. You get the ability to connect to your child with voice, text, emojis, and photos.

This watch has the addition of a fr ont-facing camera so that you and your child can exchange photos and even video chat — with all of the communication happening within the dedicated watch/phone app. There is an option to turn on a full phone dialer for the watch, but you also can set up a firewall in the app so that only certain contacts can make calls and send messages to the watch.

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The TickTalk 3 watch also gets route tracking; this allows you to see where your child has been, and their traveled path. There is also a "Do Not Disturb" option to keep all notifications off to save from the child getting distracted. A unique feature for the watch is that there's the ability to set reminders for your child with 60 preset options to help your kid stay on task. The watch comes in a couple of different colors with interchangeable velcro straps to help you customize along with a variety of watch faces.

Pros:

  • Video, text, and voice messaging
  • IP67 Water resistance
  • Reminders and DND mode

Cons:

  • Only about 1-day battery life
  • The software can be a little wonky
  • A bit on the chunky side

Best with a camera



TickTalk 3

See, hear, and text your way to peace of mind

Bulkier and more pricey than the winner, the TickTalk 3 has some features like a camera that may be worth the trade-offs for you.

Best Smart Band: Garmin vívofit jr. 2

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2Source: Garmin

Garmin is a well-known brand in both navigation and smartwatches; here, they created a fun fitness tracker for kids with the vívofit jr. 2. The object of this watch is to inspire activity with daily activity tracking and friendly competition through step challenges by syncing with nearby friends. This feature lets your child connect with friends who have the vívofit jr. 2 and have timed step challenges; these can also be done individually.

The vívofit jr. 2 smart band also lets you set tasks and reminders for your kid within the parent app. You can set them as a one-time event or recurring with little rewards for completing the tasks as well. With in the app, you'll also be able to see their progress in tasks, steps, and even sleep patterns.

The vívofit jr. 2 comes in a variety of character themes from Frozen 2 and Minnie Mouse, to Avengers and Star Wars that have corresponding themed activities and challenges within the app for your child to complete. The vívofit jr. 2 is water-resistant to 5 ATM and has up to a year of battery life. While this device may not have the full gamut of features found in the Coolpad Dyno or TickTalk 3, it is still a fun way for your child to get active and be responsible.

Pros:

  • Doesn't need recharging with 1+ year battery life
  • 5 ATM Water resistance
  • Activity challenges, sleep tracking, and task reminders

Cons:

  • No GPS geofencing
  • No Communication options
  • The stretchy band may not fit all kids well

Best Smart Band



Garmin vívofit jr. 2

The Garmin vívofit jr. 2 coaxes your child to be active with fun games and also learn responsibility with reminders and tasks.

Best Toy Smartwatch: VTech Kidizoom DX2

Vtech KidZoom DX2

Vtech KidZoom DX2Source: VTech

Instead of a tool for connecting to a smartphone, VTech created an experience that is mostly toy but partially useful. Amid all the games and onboard camera tricks, you'll find a functional calendar for appointments, a voice memo app, and several other tools that work well with the smartwatch aesthetic. This is a great way to get kids thinking about using technology for more than entertainment without completely pulling them away from the shiny world of fun things.

Smartwatches are already luxury accessories, and for kids, they become little more than toys. VTech's smartwatch for kids has a few games but also lets them take photos from their wrist and have some fun with the photos. It's a fun way for a kid to emulate their smartwatch-wearing parent without needing to be tethered to a smartphone, and it includes some tools that could be useful. Calendar access, for example, gives you a teaching opportunity. Calculator apps let children explore math on their own. There's plenty of fun to be had here. Still, the need to charge the watch regularly to use it and the availability of actually useful apps could become tools for teaching children how to care for their hardware and use it properly.

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Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Entertaining games and watch faces
  • Includes a pedometer

Cons:

  • No wireless connectivity
  • Getting pictures off of the watch can be tedious
  • Charges over micro USB

Best Toy Smartwatch



VTech Kidizoom DX2

Lets play!

The VTech Kidizoom DX2 doesn't have connectivity, but there's plenty of fun and learning with games, step tracking, and a camera.

Bottom line

If you are looking for a watch your child will enjoy using that will also give you some peace of mind, then you can't go wrong with the Coolpad Dyno. It is a well-built piece of technology that only looks nice but has some wonderful features. Since it has a SIM card in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, you and your child will be able to communicate as needed. You will also have the added benefit of creating GPS geofence areas to alert you when your child enters and exits. While the device isn't cheap, it is a great all-in-one communication device for your child that will be much harder to lose than a phone.

There could be some refinements such as it would be helpful if there was a keyboard on the watch, though tiny, it would be helpful in situations where the canned responses weren't enough, and voice dictation is inappropriate. The software could use some cleaning up, but it gets the basics right. The Coolpad Dyno still gets so much right. So, whether you want to be able to ensure your child is where they should be as well as be able to talk to them, there are options for that. If all you want is to introduce your child to some wearable tech, then there's that too.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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