Today’s world is a scary place for parents raising younger children. Along with helping to steer them away from threats online, moms and dads are always concerned about the general safety and security of their kids.
Many give older children a smartphone so they’ll know exactly where they are at all times and can communicate with them via text message or phone call. But providing an expensive iPhone or Android device to a younger child is problematic for several reasons.
That’s why many parents are turning to smartwatches designed specifically for children. Instead of the usual reasons adults might purchase one, like activity tracking or receiving notifications, these wearables provide GPS tracking and phone call support.
Here are seven great phone watches for kids that provide peace of mind to parents.
Best T-Mobile Phone Watch for Kids
Designed for kids ages 4-12, the TickTalk 2.0 watch runs only on the T-Mobile network. The watch sports a kid-friendly UI with easy-to-navigate screens and large icons to tap.
Using the companion smartphone app, parents can set up to 13 different contacts for kids to call. You can also communicate with the watch with a call or voice message. With the special firewall setting, the watch can only make or receive phone calls from those preset contacts and emergency services. A one-way message system allows parents to send quick texts to the watch.
Parents can view the accurate location of their children both indoors and outside in real time. A historical route feature will show where a child has been by selecting the specific date and time frame. And with the unique Super Hearing feature, parents can hear everything that’s going on around the watch.
There are four different watch colors to select from. Service starts at $5 per month.
Best Kids Phone Watch for AT&T
A kids phone watch for AT&T and Cricket Wireless users only, the DokiWatch S is made for kids ages 6-12. The standout feature of the phone watch is the ability to place and receive video calls.
Children can also make and receive phone calls from a preset list of contacts. With the companion app, parents can track their child’s location using a combination of GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi technology. You can even receive a notification when a child leaves a preset location. In the event of an emergency, kids can activate the SOS mode that will send an alert, an audio recording of what’s happening, and a location status.
During a normal routine, parents can also choose to set the phone watch into classroom mode that will deactivate the device during set times of the day. The battery can last for up to 24 hours on a single charge.
Carrier-Free Kid Tracker Watch
Instead of being tied to a specific carrier, the iGPS Wizard watch is supported by its own service that costs an additional $16 per month with no contract required. Cellular services allow kids to place or receive calls using the phone watch. Parents, using the smartphone app, can create an address book with up to 20 different contacts kids can communicate with.
Parents can track their children’s location, even without a GPS or cellular signal, thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy proximity technology. A location history is also available. Along with receiving notifications if a child leaves a certain area, parents can also create a distance alert that will keep kids in range in certain situations like at the beach or a mall. The watch’s battery can operate on standby mode for up to 72 hours on a charge.
Thanks to a built-in pedometer, parents don’t need to worry about buying their child a kid-friendly activity tracker. There are three different colors available.
Best Verizon Phone Watch for Kids
LG GizmoPal 2
The LG GizmoPal 2 is the best Verizon phone watch for kids. It can last for up to nine days on standby before needing a charge.
While it doesn’t have as many features as other options on this list, the watch is waterproof in as much as three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. So there’s no need to worry about your child taking off the watch before hitting the pool or enjoying other water activities. As a fun touch, kids can press a button on the side of the watch to hear the time and other fun sounds.
The watch supports up to four different contacts to make and receive phone calls. The smartphone app allows easy tracking of your child. Parents can also set notifications when children cross a custom GPS location boundary location.
Kids can select from a version with a pink or blue band. If you’re a Verizon user, service for the device is an additional $5 a month.
Carrier-Free GPS Tracker for Kids
Burst GPS Phone Watch
The Burst GPS Phone Watch features an unlimited service plan for $15 per month (or a discounted $149 annually).
Kids can send and receive phone calls and quick voice messages from up to 16 safe numbers. Parents can view the location of their child that updates every minute and even set specific safe zones. You’ll see a notification when the watch leaves or enter the specific location.
Along with the location history, parents can even use the smartphone app to activate a Find My Watch mode that will automatically cause the device to start beeping. The battery can provide up to 48 hours of use on a single charge. A pink, blue, or black version is available to purchase.
A Phone Watch for Kids Keeps Them Safe and Sound
Instead of hoping that a younger child can keep up with a smartphone, these phone watch options for kids can help parents easily keep track of their young ones and even give them a call. If they can handle the responsibility of a smartwatch, it should make giving them a smartphone even easier. Just make sure they avoid using dangerous apps not safe for kids.
And if you’re the parent of a special needs child, make sure to take a look at our review of the AngelSense. It’s also a wearable device that can make phone calls and uses a GPS tracker, but offers a number of other features to help offer parents peace of mind.