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Smartwatches and fitness trackers can be a great way to get kids up and moving, turning daily exercise into a real-life video game with stats and rewards. Parents can even set what their physical goals are, from fitness and meditation to chores, and input emergency contact information (as well as tracking) if their child gets lost or separated.
What Are the Best Smartwatches for Kids and Teens?
Here’s the breakdown of what to look for when picking out the best smartwatch for kids and teens.
Capabilities: The best smartwatches for kids vary pretty widely in terms of what they can do within fitness tracking, and range in extra features too, with everything from built-in cameras, step counters, Google Maps/GPS and flashlights, to games, speaker, music storage, FM radio, as well as texting and calling.
Battery Life: Depending on usage, these kids smartwatches generally can last a while on a single charge, ranging from about 7-10 days. The battery itself is also in it for the long haul, and is usually designed to last at least a year or more.
Durability: Waterproof or water-resistant IPX-rated watches can keep liquid damage at bay, and some are sealed to keep out sand and dirt too. A scratch-resistant coating can defend against face damage, so go for something that can stand up to the rough treatment it’ll get.
Band: Though it doesn’t have any direct control with what the watch can do, kids can be picky about colors and comfort if they’re wearing it every day. Most brands offer a wide array of straps and bands to choose from, so you can ensure it’s their favorite hue and pattern. An adjustable but snug wrist strap is also important since kids’ wrist sizes are going to change as they get older, so make sure it’s got room to grow.
Age Range: Teens are going to want different features than kids, like contactless payments, calendars, yoga and workout guidance, sleep and hydration tracking, skin temperature (for meditation and exercise), calorie counter, and storage for photos. If you’ll be buying this as a gift for a teen or tween, go for something that’s got an interface and abilities that’s going to fit their lifestyle.
And since the watch is attached to them, no more lost cell phones – as the “Find My Phone” feature is always a huge help.
1. SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung’s awesome waterproof smart-watch is excellent for fitness-focused teens, and automatically tracks seven different exercise styles, along with coaching and monitoring of heart rate and even oxygen levels.
But it’s not just for workouts, as this tracks rest and leisure time too. The sleep monitor shows you how long and deep your night’s slumber was, along with guiding you through meditation and breathing programs.
This can even instantly call an emergency contact if you fall and injure yourself during a run, alerting them to your exact location.
2. VTech KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2
The third gen of the KidiZoom smartwatch has a 1.44-inch touchscreen that’s big, bight, and clear, with colorful graphics and 256MB of built-in memory.
Two cameras (a selfie-cam and a side-cam) are packed in here, and transferring photos and videos to a computer is easy with the micro-USB port. Kids can also quickly make their photos into the watch’s main clock-face, or choose from over 50, 3D built-in options. For those still learning to tell time, this makes it simple, and can announce the current time out loud too.
There’s a calendar and alarm, games with the option to download many more, voice recorder, and a motion-sensor for AR activities like Monster Detector – a Pokémon Go-style adventure played in real-life surroundings.
3. XPLORA X5 Play
This colorful smartwatch can make and receive calls, texts, images, voice messages, and is enabled for easy connection to WiFi and major mobile carriers.
It’s IPX65 waterproof up to 1.5 meters, and the 1.4-inch TFT touchscreen can stand up to scratches, smears, and light damage. There’s also a 2MP camera for things like selfies with friends, and 4GB of storage space too.
The X5 has an SOS button always available for kids to press in an emergency, which automatically contacts parents and sends out a location. Through the app, parents can even set up designated GeoFence “safety zones” using GPS around locations like school or friends houses, and “School-Mode” ensures the watch can’t be used during class time.
There’s no SIM card or charging cable to worry about either, as this features magnetic charging, and the battery lasts around five days on one charge.
4. Fitbit Ace 2 Activity Tracker
Fitbit’s Ace 2 is a great way to get kids off the couch, making movement and exercise into a game complete with badges, awards, and on-screen celebration animations. Kids can also compete with friends, along with exchanging messages and tracking their sleep habits.
The watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters, and has a kid-friendly interface with a single button and touchscreen capability. The band is super comfortable (and colorful), though less durable than others. On-screen, the clock-face is interchangeable too, allowing kids to customize their watch to fit their individual styles, as well as tiny wrists.