We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
While smart watches can be helpful to adults for so many reasons, they’re also great accessories for kids.
If you’re thinking about buying a smart watch for a special child in your life, you may want to consider one that has been specially designed for children.
If you’re struggling to figure out where to begin your search, we invite you to check out the BestReviews matrix above that features five select smart watches for kids.
No products were donated or given to the company during the review process. This is our policy in order to avoid bias and create the most trustworthy documentation possible.
If you’d like to learn more about smart watches, please read on for our helpful buying guide.
We’ve come to think of smart watches as an “adult” thing, but let’s face it: some kids want in on the high-tech fun.
Here are some of the pros and cons of giving a child a smart watch.
If the smart watch has GPS, you may have an easier time locating your child. This could be particularly helpful in the event of an emergency.
If the smart watch syncs with your phone (and many do), you can contact your child via phone as needed.
Smartphones made specifically for kids are designed with kids in mind. They are typically quite durable and able to withstand some rugged wear and/or abuse.
A smart watch is yet another device to which your child would be connected. For people trying to minimize their dependence on technology, a smart watch could feel like a burden.
The child may dislike the fact that he’s being “tracked” via GPS. Furthermore, the GPS on kid’s smart watches is not always reliable. In general, these are less-costly watches with features that are less sophisticated.
The watch could be stolen at school or in another area where the child is unsupervised.
Check to see that the smart watch you choose has decent security and encryption. You would not want your child’s personal information to fall into the wrong hands.
The features on kids’ smart watches can be broken down into two categories: those that are found on a regular adult smart watch and those that are specific to smart watches for kids.
You can find the following features on adult smart watches as well as some (but not all) smart watches for kids.
Bluetooth: This feature allows the watch wearer to connect with other Bluetooth devices.
Texting: A child with a text-enabled smart watch can receive texts from Mom and Dad.
Camera: Some smart watches have forward-facing cameras, meaning kids will have fun taking selfies as well as videos.
Fitness/Activity Tracker: A child wearing a smart watch with fitness-tracking abilities may be able to tell you how many steps he took at school today.
Media Player: A smart watch with a media player delivers the entertainment goods. Music, TV, and movies are all within reach on some smart watches. Notably, this could be a distraction for a child in school.
Calendar: Using a built-in smart watch calendar, a child can track sports practices, homework due dates, and more. Of course, she might still need some reminders from Mom and Dad.
GPS: The benefit of having GPS around your child’s wrist is a good one, indeed. But as mentioned above, this feature is not always 100% reliable.
Emergency Information: You can load emergency information onto a smart watch. This allows the wearer to be identified in case of an emergency.
Before buying a kids’ smart watch, investigate the way it attaches to your child’s wrist. Will he be able to easily put it on and take it off?
Not all kids’ smart watches will have the following features, but they are certainly nice to have.
Fun, Educational Games: Some watches feature games that help entertain the wearer during down time.
Connection to Parents’ Phones: Lots of kids’ smart watches today can be connected to a parent smartphone. Parents appreciate the ability to easily contact the child at any time.
Durability: This is an important one for all wearers of smart watches, but for kids in particular. The most durable kids’ smart watches are scratch-resistant and splashproof.
Fun Designs: Smart watches for kids are made with kids in mind. Many can be customized in various ways. For example, you might be able to swap out bands or personalize the screen.
Q. Can kids just wear an adult smart watch?
A. A child could certainly slip an adult smart watch, but this brings about a few questions. First of all, will it fit? Many of today’s more adult smart watches are too big for kids. Second, do you as a parent or guardian want to send your child into the world wearing a highly expensive piece of technology on her wrist? Many parents don’t. A smart watch made just for kids is a low-risk, viable alternative for kids who really want this technology.
Lastly, a smart watch for adults may not have the same apps or games that a smart watch for kids does. Check the specs before investing in any type of smart watch to make sure it has what you want.
Q. Are smart watches allowed in schools?
A. Some schools allow kids to have smart watches in class and some don’t. The same is true for smartphones. Some adults worry that in addition to interfering with classroom activities, a smart watch in the classroom could allow a student to cheat on a test.
Q. How often do smart watches need to be charged?
A. It all depends on the individual smart watch and how it’s being used, but keep in mind that the more features a watch has and the more often it’s used, the shorter the battery life will likely be. In general, you can expect a smart watch charge to last from a few hours to a few days.
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At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.