Sporting a cool watch with the latest tech at school has been a preserve of children dating back to the 1970s and the advent of the digital watch. Back then, having a calculator on your watch would turn heads at recess, and this soon evolved to featuring scaled-down versions of popular games.
Today, however, practicality is the driving force in wrist tech; call and messaging functionality, GPS and fitness and health tracking are all key drivers in smartwatch selection. So not only do they look the part, a smartwatch designed for the junior members of the family keeps them active, tracks goals, and also gives parents peace of mind.
Five considerations when choosing a smartwatch for the little ones in your life:
- If you want to be able to communicate directly with your child you need to look at a smartwatch that features two-way talk.
- Children are not known for preserving what they own, so choose a model that is waterproof and rugged enough to withstand the inevitable knocks it will take.
- Battery life is important, so opt for the longest you can find in your price range.
- And talking of price, have a budget in mind before you go shopping for a smartwatch – and stick to it.
- A GPS tracker in a smartwatch will keep a constant check on your child’s location.
The very latest from the Spacetalk range is the complete package that not only looks good, but also provides a compelling suite of features for the 5-12 year old. Alongside full 4G call and text capabilities, it comes with a heart rate monitor and a 5mp camera. It’s waterproof for up to one metre for 30 mins and can be paired to a smartphone through the Spacetalk app for full tracking via GPS. Plus, there’s a handy School Mode that can be set to function as a traditional watch during school hours.
Fitbit Versa 3
A solid option for older children keen to track their fitness, the Versa 3 is great for outdoor workouts. Features include built-in GPS, Google Assistant, Alexa, 24-hour heart and blood oxygen monitoring, sleep tracking, and over 20 exercises with progress recorded. Throw in a six-day battery life, stored music for your workouts and the ability to take calls from your wrist when your phone is nearby, and you have the perfect all round fitness tracker.
Garmin Vivofit Jr 3
This one is aimed at the active child and is the perfect way to get kids excited about fitness. The Vivofit Jr 3 comes in different colours and themes – including Disney Princess, Iron Man and Black Panther – and offers challenges attached to said themes in a game-like scenario designed for kids to achieve targets and goals. There is step and activity tracking and also sleep monitoring; the data can be accessed through a smartphone, allowing parents to track the progress.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
The beauty of the Galaxy Watch 3 is that it has all the features you’d want from a smartwatch, albeit wrapped up in the elegant aesthetic of a classic watch. It’s available in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm, has an AMOLED touchscreen and a selection of health and fitness options that belies belief, including heartbeat and stress monitoring, blood oxygen levels and sleep performance. For runners, real-time advanced data provides analysis on foot contact time, asymmetry, flight time, and helps reduce injury. Choose the LTE version and you can also make calls and stream music while you’re literally on the run, without having your phone in your pocket.
Moochies 4G Smartwatch
Another smartwatch covering all the bases, the touchscreen Moochies also has a Class Mode to avoid any unwanted disturbances during the school day. Armed with a camera, along with calls and photo/text messaging, it’s also possible to video call. The Moochies app allows parents to track their children’s location, and an emergency button will send a message to a pre-determined number. The Smartwatch is waterproof for up to 30 minutes at one metre.