Smartphones have changed the way we keep an eye on and connect with our kids. Problem is, some kids just aren’t old enough for a smartphone but we still would love to use tech to know where they are. Enter the child smartwatch! One company is working to sell a kids smartwatch without the commitment of a cell phone carrier. I took the Tick Talk 2 for a test.
On the outside, the Tick Talk 2 looks like many other children's smartwatches. It comes in pink, yellow black or blue. The watch has a rubber strap that seems like it would hold up to the rigors of a child. The watch itself is a little bulky. Similar to other kid's smartwatches. It's still pretty tough to cram all of the tech into a watch without adding some bulk. I will say that my kids didn't seem to be bothered by the size or weight.
Inside that watch you'll find a ton of tech. It has a cell phone chip for making calls and sending messages. It also has wi-fi and gps, both used for location. On the front is a nice color touchscreen. There is a small hole for the microphone and slots on the side for the speaker so your kid can cell you from the phone.
Using the Tick Talk 2
Using the watch is simple. In fact the interface on the watch itself is pretty simple. There are colorful icons for calling mom and dad and sending messages. Your kids can also see chores that you assign to them. They can use the watch as a stop watch, set alarms and see a calendar. That's about it. It's limited for a reason. There are no games or additional apps on the Tick Talk 2.
The magic of the Tick Talk 2 is in the app that mom or dad installs on their smartphone. This allows you to setup the watch, add contacts to the watch or send messages to the watch. The watch can only call or receive messages from contacts added by mom and dad.
While parents can send text messages to the watch, kids can not send texts back. It would be nice if they could using voice to text. None the less, kids and parents can send recorded voice messages in both directions. This is a decent alternative to texts.
Of course, one of the most important features, is for parents to find the location of the child. This is easily done in the app. The watch initially finds the location using Wi-Fi and LBS to save battery. One tap in the app will power up the GPS chip to find a more precise location. You can also see location history to track your child's steps.
One of the really cool features is called "super hearing." Mom or Dad can hop into the app, press the call button and select super hearing. This tells the watch to then call a parent's phone without the watch making a noise. Then, mom and dad can listen in to your child's surroundings. I would check local laws before spying on your child's friends or teachers but this could be a cool tool if you need some more intel about what your child is dealing with.
I love the idea of a smartwatch for kids. I'm not ready to hand my kids smartphones but I do like the idea of knowing where they are and giving them the power to contact us when they want to. What I don't like are cell phone contracts. Thankfully, the Tick Talk 2 allows you to skip those contracts and commitments! $130 for the Tick Talk 2 watch and only $5 month for a SIM card to connect the watch. That gives you 250 minutes of talk time and 250MB of data which should be plenty for most parents.
I've tested a few kid's smartwatches and the Tick Talk 2 is just as good as the others. It love the affordable price and the ability to buy it without any contracts or commitments. It could be the perfect tool for any parent looking to keep their young child connected.
The Tick Talk 2 can be ordered directly from the company's website.