Kids today seem to be born with an innate ability to just figure technology out. It’s one of the things that sets their generation apart. From a young age, they are introduced to screens and all the ways their little fingers can work to manipulate those screens. The result? Most parents are willing to admit their children can manage their smartphones and watches even better than they can.
Naturally, it was just a matter of time before companies realized this and started making smartwatches specifically for kids.
Today you can find countless smartwatch options for little ones. Some provide simple distractions and games, while others are equipped with communication and tracking options—ways to keep tabs on your child even when they’re away from home. Most of these watches come equipped with apps meant to increase physical activity, and nearly all are designed in fun, bright colors any kid would love to accessorize with.
We looked into the most popular smartwatches for kids and did some testing of our own to find the best watch currently on the market. We wanted to find a watch that was fun, simple to navigate, and packed with features both parents and kids could appreciate. In the end, there was no contest: The GizmoWatch 2(available at Verizon) blew the others out of the water with its features, design and durability.
If you don’t need quite as many features, we also liked the VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch (available on Amazon), finding it to be the best value of all the watches we tested.
Here are the best kids smartwatches we tested ranked, in order:
GizmoWatch2 by Verizon
Vtech KidiZoom Smartwatch
Little Tikes Tobi™ Robot Smartwatch
Turnmeon Waterproof Kids Smart Watch
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Verizon GizmoWatch 2
VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2
How We Tested
What To Think About When Buying a Smartwatch for Kids
The second iteration of the Verizon GizmoWatch has a lot going for it: a fun design kids will be proud to wear, lots of exciting games to play with, and best of all, parent options and controls that really make this watch stand out above the rest.
Through the GizmoWatch parental control app (which is synced with the watch easily via a smartphone) parents can set privacy and security options, including who their child is allowed to contact and receive contacts from while using the watch. The watch itself is also GPS enabled, with the wearer’s location being tracked on the home screen of the parental control app—making this watch not only a fun entertainment provider, but also a safety device that can help parents locate their children in a variety of circumstances.
The GizmoWatch2 comes with a sleek and well-calibrated screen that is easy to use, even for adult fingers. It can be comfortably worn all day, is simple to set up, and comes with some fun activity apps to help get kids moving outdoors.
The one downfall some parents may find with the GizmoWatch2 is that service for the GPS and communication options can only be established through Verizon. If you aren’t already a Verizon customer, this may mean setting up an account specifically for the watch, with GizmoWatch2 plans running around $10 a month.
If you’re simply looking for a watch to help keep your kids entertained and on time, and you’re not necessarily concerned about GPS tracking or being able to contact your child through the watch, the VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch may be for you. This well-designed watch was a hit with our kid tester, since it was equipped with a wide variety of games that could keep any child busy for hours. It is easy to set up, has some fun activity apps, and provides a lot of customization options kids love to play with. It’s also reasonably priced.
The biggest downfall for the Vtech KidiZoom is that it doesn’t come with any communication or tracking options. But so long as those aren’t options you or your child care about, this watch provides a lot of fun for a great value.
I’m Leah Campbell and I’ve been working as a freelance journalist in the health and tech fields for nearly eight years now. I’ve been a contributor to Reviewed for the last two years, am a Forbes contributor reporting on the intersection of Health and Parenting, and have additional bylines with Huffington Post, Glamour, Healthline, and countless other outlets. I’m also Mom to a 7-year-old daughter who served as my testing partner in trialing kid smartwatches for this review.
My daughter and I spent about a week with each of the watches we tested. She wore them daily, playing the games and giving me her general opinion on how fun or engaging the watches were from her point of view. Each night we took the watch off and charged it for the next day. We analyzed the watches for durability, battery life, and overall comfort. I further tested the watches that came with parental control apps, communication options and GPS tracking to determine how accurate, accessible, and easy to use each of those features were.
What To Think About When Buying a Smartwatch for Kids
How Will It Be Used?
The biggest thing to consider when choosing a smartwatch for your child is what your overall goals are.
Does your child just want a smartwatch like yours to play with? Are you hoping to help them be more responsible with a watch they can tell time with and set reminders through? Or are you looking for a safety device that will allow you to communicate directly with your child throughout the day, and pinpoint their location when necessary?
There are child smartwatch options to fulfill each of those goals, it’s just a matter of knowing what it is you are hoping to achieve with this particular purchase.
If you want your child to wear this watch throughout the day, it needs to be comfortable on their wrist. Most smartwatches designed for kids come with smooth rubber bands that fit quite comfortably (much like the wristbands you would get if you visited Disneyland or World), but pay attention to those made from different materials.
Considering the fact that your child will have this watch on for hours every day, and that children are often playing in puddles, jumping from rocks, and engaging in other activities that could cause harm to a piece of technology, look for a watch that is built to stand up to a child’s way of living. Does it have a waterproof rating? Is the screen crack-proof? What type of guarantee does the manufacturer make about how long the watch will last? All of these things should impact your overall decision.
A smartwatch for your child won’t do much good if your child never wants to use it. Make sure the watch you choose is one that comes with plenty of fun apps and customization options to keep you child engaged and interested beyond just the first day the package is opened.
Other Smartwatches for Kids We Tested
Kurio C16500 Watch
If you’ve got an Android device, the Kurio watch could be a great match for your child. It has a lot of fun games and activity apps, and can communicate with Android devices. The biggest downfall of this particular watch is that it does allow communication with other Android devices, but it doesn’t come with a parental app to help monitor and restrict that communication for the child’s protection. There is also no GPS monitoring available through this watch.
Much like the GizmoWatch2, the TickTalk 3 comes with all the bells and whistles: games, activity apps, parental control app, communication with approved contacts, and GPS tracking that can be monitored through the parent’s app. You also don’t have to set up (or already have) a Verizon account for service—service for this watch can be established through a few different providers.
Unfortunately, the band on the TickTalk3 is one of the least comfortable we tested, and the screen sensitivity also tested very low, with parent and child alike having to click several times to navigate through the various screens and select the options they wanted.
This watch is super fun and interactive. Of all the watches tested, it probably had the most engaging games and activity apps to play with. That’s about where the wins for the Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch ended, though. Like the TickTalk3, it had a less than comfortable band and also seemed poorly constructed, with a watch face that wasn’t actually attached to the band and could instead be easily popped in and out. This made for a cheap design feel and a watch that seems as though it could be easily lost or damaged.
While it came with plenty of fun special features, it was the least aesthetically pleasing watch that was tested, and didn’t seem like it would last very long after purchase.
The Turnmeon Waterproof Kids Smartwatch arrived looking more like a knockoff than anything authentic. Nothing on the box or the instructions indicated the brand name, and the instructions were identical to other poorly made watches we received but ultimately didn’t review. Since testing took place, the main page for this watch has changed several times, with the original pages becoming unavailable as bad reviews have poured in and new pages have popped up.
From our testing, we can confirm the bad reviews are accurate: this is a cheaply made watch that doesn’t function very well and doesn’t offer much in terms of engaging apps for kids to play with.
Leah Campbell is a writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. As a single mother by choice through adoption, she is passionate about any tech that makes her life easier to manage. Find more from Leah on her website.
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