Smartwatches aren’t exactly as ubiquitous as smartphones, but they’re quickly gaining traction on the market – primarily as a notification feed for your phone and as a fitness tracker. But a smartwatch can also serve as a smart gateway for when your kid isn’t quite ready for a smartphone yet. There’s been enough demand to create a whole cottage industry of smartwatches for kids.
But a big market means a lot of knock-offs and a lot of cheap components. But if you know where to look, you can find some really great smartwatches for kids. And fortunately for you, HotRate is exactly where you need to look. We’ve picked out 10 of the best contenders for the best smartwatch for kids and follow that up with some shopping advice.
TL;DR - 10 Best Smartwatches for Kids:
- Amazfit Bip Smartwatch
- Letsfit Smart Watch
- VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch
- Fitbit Ace 2 Activity Smartwatch for Kids
- Garmin vivofit jr 2 Kids Smartwatch
- 3210U Bluetooth Smart Watch
- TickTalk 3 Universal Kids Smart Watch
- Kurio Watch 2.0 Smartwatch Built for Kids
- PROGRACE Kids Smart Watch
- pebble Time Smartwatch Red
1. Amazfit Bip Smartwatch
Straightforward and to the Point
With its AmazFit Bip, Huawei has created a smartwatch that identifies the key components of a smartwatch and strips it down to its most basic. It's an efficient watch that's all muscle, and you can pick it up for under a hundred bucks. The battery can stay powered for an entire month on a single charge, and there are four different sports modes to choose from. If you have an athletic child or a kid who's trying to get in better shape, this smartwatch features fundamentals like distance traveled and heart rate monitoring without any unnecessary distractions or complicated apps.
2. Letsfit Smart Watch
A 24/7 Activity Tracker
The Letsfit isn't a smartwatch for kids explicitly, but the combination of both a great value and some stripped down and easy to use mechanics makes it an obvious best choice for younger kids. In depth fitness monitoring is complemented by some sleep monitoring so your kids can keep track of their health 24/7. There's even a compatible app for kids who already have phones or parents who want to help them with fitness tracking. There are eight different exercises available here, with options varying from high intensity activities like cycling to more low key work like yoga.
3. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch
Teaching Good Habits through Gaming
If the name didn't tip you off, the Kidizoom by VTech is designed explicitly as a watch for kids. With its durable rubber band, bubblegum pink design, and large and vibrant navigation icons, most children can learn the ins and outs pretty quickly. And since it doesn't include Bluetooth, it's secure from potential peeping eyes. What it does feature two cameras for taking either selfies or action footage and a monster hunting game that encourages kids to get out of the house and explore the world around them. There are even a ton of games built around activity tracking.
4. Fitbit Ace 2 Activity Smartwatch for Kids
Able to Survive Just About Anything
The Ace 2 by Fitbit is easily one of the best smartwatches for kids who are more active. As is usually the case with Fitbits, the focus is on exercise tracking here - and it utilizes a simple monitoring and rewards system that encourages children to get active without relying on complex games. Even better, it's waterproof enough to take swimming with you, so you don't need to worry about your kid's smartwatch getting fried at the water park. And you can even get the whole neighborhood involves. The Ace 2 allows kids to compete with one another and share their results easily.
5. Garmin vivofit jr 2 Kids Smartwatch
A Star Wars Watch For the Youngest Kids
Garmin is mostly known for the powerful GPS tracking in their high end luxury smartwatches, but the vivofit jr 2 is proof that they can scale it down. Specifically designed as a kids smart watch, the vivofit jr 2 strips down the size and functionality of the smartwatch to make everything more easily accessible. Star Wars fans in particular will love the Resistance band, and the battery doesn't even need to be recharged. The vivofit jr 2 is a low budget smartwatch that only covers the essentials, but its bare bones approach will be the right choice for a lot of younger children.
6. 3210U Bluetooth Smart Watch
A Practical Choice for Older Children
It makes sense to lend a skeptical eye towards the inconspicuously named 3210U. And while it doesn't come from a major brand name, its no nonsense design is perfectly tailored to the needs of slightly older kids. The camera can link up directly to your phone for transmitting photos, and that same app makes it easy to link up texts and app notifications. It even offers a Bluetooth enabled music player for streaming music from a phone. In addition to a pedometer and sleep monitoring, it even offers reminders for kids who have been sedentary for too long.
7. TickTalk 3 Universal Kids Smart Watch
With the TickTalk 3, you don't always have to be with your kids to know what your kids are up to. Kids will love the additional freedom, and parents will love the fact that it supports live two way video chat over either Wi-Fi or a cellular plan. And while it is internet enabled, this smartwatch limits exactly what your kids have access to. The messaging system even allows you to limit responses to safe presets. As an additional way of checking in on your kids, this smartwatch offers full GPS tracking that can provide playback for your kid's movements at a particular time.
8. Kurio Watch 2.0 Smartwatch Built for Kids
There's perhaps no better way to get kids excited about a new device than adding games to it, and the Kurio Watch 2.0+ makes the smart choice of putting games front and center. These include more traditional arcade games as well as games that make use of the activity tracking features. There's also a front facing camera that's capable of taking selfies and Bluetooth tethering so kids can send messages, make calls, and deliver photos without needing their own phone. With all the games and more functional apps, it could be easy for the interface to get cluttered, but this smartwatch uses a pretty effective grid structure.
9. PROGRACE Kids Smart Watch
Kids might get a new perspective on exercise when they wear the Prograce. Games are a clear and present element of this smartwatch, but many of them surreptitiously train your kid to track their fitness and test their wits. The built in camera can rotate a full 360 degrees, and it includes a variety of different filters and effects for creating fun and playful selfies. There's even an SD card slot for storing photos. By popping a micro SD card into the slot, you can even store music for your kids to listen to.Features include a flashlight and an FM radio.
10. pebble Time Smartwatch Red
If you've got a preteen or teen that isn't quite ready to step up to a smartwatch, the pebble Time features a more modern and adult design scheme along with more grown up features. There's a microphone built in for taking notes and making replies, and there's a huge selection of different apps to choose from. But the showcase here is the Pebble Health - a truly comprehensive package that tracks your well being. It breaks down your activity with daily reports and weekly breakdowns that help make sense of health progress. That includes sleep in addition to fitness tracking.
Smartwatch for Kids Buyer’s Guide
It can be hard to know when’s the right time to introduce new technology, and further reaching boundaries, for your kids, and that’s true when looking for the best smartwatch for kids too. Fortunately, there are a lot of watches for kids of any age, and our list covers everything from toddler oriented smartwatch models to those intended to meet the needs of preteens and teens. We’ll go into a little more detail about the best features and most important specifications below.
The one essential thing that every kid smart watch should include is a pedometer. It’s such a basic fundamental that any kids smartwatch without one deserves some serious scrutiny. But most smartwatch for kids models also come with more advanced features. That most typically includes a variety of different activity tracking modes to choose from, but the best smartwatches for kids also offer some level of heart rate monitoring and sleep monitoring.
GPS Tracker Features
GPS is one of the most commonly included features you’ll find in a smartwatch for kids. Not only can it be used to provide more accurate and in depth fitness tracking, but it can also provide peace of mind to adults. How much insight you have into the GPS tracker is going to vary from model to model, however. Some of the best smartwatches for kids allow a minute to minute GPS tracking of the smartwatch from your phone.
Traditional adult smartwatches can tether to your phone to get access to a wider range of features. You can receive text messages and app notifications, stream music, or even make phone calls with a lot of the best adult smartwatch models. For the peace of mind of parents, the Bluetooth capabilities on kids smartwatch models tend to be a bit more limited.
But if you’re using the fitness tracker as a way to monitor your kid’s growth, more in depth activity tracker features may be something you should pay more attention to. By using Bluetooth over your phone, you can control what your kids have access to, and the typical watch for kids is going to provide a more limited interface for kids. How much freedom you want to give them should be a huge factor when shopping for a kids smartwatch that’s best for you.
Games and Interaction
One of the best ways to encourage children to get more active is to make the process fun. A lot of the best manufacturers will integrate their activity tracker with a number of games built into the watch. These can take the form of Pokemon Go style collection games or competitions that actively encourage to get up and make the most of the fitness tracker. If you’re trying to get your little one motivated, a game driven fitness tracker may be the way to go.
Other manufacturers strive to create a sense of progression with their watch designs. These make the best use of the fitness tracking features by creating tangible rewards for accomplishing achievements. If you want the best chance at getting your kid involved, you can even find models that allow wearers to compare their best times and achievements with their friends and compete against one another.
The inclusion of a camera is second to just an activity tracker in terms of features. Fortunately, security is usually a big consideration when designing a watch for children, so any watch worth your time and money is going to come with local rather than online storage options. Seek out models that come with a sim card slot. With an inexpensive sim card, children will have plenty of room to save photos, and transferring it to another device is as simple as transferring your sim card.
For aspiring photographers, some watch models come with two cameras. One can be used to take selfies, while the other is best suited for capturing the world around you. Some watch models also offer filters and other effects that children can use to leave their own creative imprint on their watch photos.
Fitting in is an important part of being a kid, and most parents understand the frustration of buying their kid a present only to find they had zero interest in it. It’s more important when looking for a watch for children that you take what they’ll like to wear into consideration. Whether your kid likes Star Wars or the Disney princesses, there’s likely to be a model that matches their demands.
We have models on our list that are built specifically with the needs of toddlers in mind and others that would be perfectly suitable for an adult. We’ve tried to note the recommended age ranges when possible, but this is a situation where you’re going to need to look at your kid’s personal needs. Ask what features, games, and activities will most motivated them and offer good value for your purchase?
We can take all day about the features and specs that separate a decent watch for children from the best watch models around. But ultimately it’s going to come down to the maturity of your kid and what you’re looking for. We encourage you to open up a dialogue with your children, consider your finances, and use this guide as a blueprint for tracking down the best of the best.If you liked our article on smartwatches for kids, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.