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The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market. Despite its high price tag, the wrist-worn device is a firm favorite thanks to its seamless integration with its other hardware.
It makes sense, after all, to buy an Apple Watch if you already own an iPhone or MacBook. This popularity has led to some parents investing in an Apple Watch for their children, too. However, there are many factors to consider.
So, let’s take a look at whether the Apple Watch is suitable for kids and a few alternative smartwatches.
What Is the Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch is a wrist-worn smartwatch produced by the technology company, Apple. It is one of many smartwatches currently available but is among the most popular and easy to use. The Apple Watch is currently only compatible with iPhones.
You could choose to wear the device as a standard digital wrist-watch. However, many of the features wouldn’t function. The main reason to wear the Apple Watch is because of its integration with your iPhone. You can send messages, interact with notifications, and view turn-by-turn navigation.
It is also a viable alternative to a wrist-worn fitness tracker. Again, it is the integration with Apple’s software that makes it so compelling. Health data captured by the Apple Watch is synced to your iPhone and can be viewed using the Health app.
The Benefits of an Apple Watch for Kids
The primary benefit of the Apple Watch is the promotion of healthy living. The watch encourages you to achieve three health goals each day; standing for one minute per hour at least 12 times a day, exercising for 30 minutes, and burning a personalized amount of calories.
The watchOS software makes these goals achievable for kids by turning them into a game. You can compete with others in exercise challenges, which adds a fun, competitive edge to the program.
The combined use of an iPhone and Apple Watch means that your child’s devices can be connected to Apple’s Find My Friends feature. If your child’s Apple account is listed as part of your Apple Family Sharing account, you’ll be able to locate them remotely. However, as with all tracking devices, you should discuss this with your child before enabling it.
Beginning with watchOS 5, Apple introduced a walkie-talkie feature on Apple Watch. This makes it easier to communicate with your child, assuming they have their iPhone nearby. With the walkie-talkie feature, contacting your kids is as simple as pushing a button on your watch.
You can also buy a cellular model of the Apple Watch, where the device has its own mobile internet connection. Although the initial investment is higher for a cellular model, it means you can use some of the watch’s features without always having your iPhone nearby. This improves the usefulness of features like the Walkie-Talkie app.
Is the Apple Watch Suitable for Kids?
Despite these perks, you may still be uncertain whether to buy an Apple Watch for your kids. Notably, to get the benefits of the watch, your child will also need an iPhone. Depending on their age, you may not feel comfortable introducing them to a personal mobile device just yet.
The combined price of the iPhone and Apple Watch could be around $1000—a substantial amount of money. This is a high initial outlay, but it could also be an issue should the devices be damaged, lost, or stolen. Although you can locate and format them remotely, it’s all too easy for young ones to misplace or damage their expensive gadgets.
It’s also worth considering the policies of your child’s school. Many educational establishments limit the use of technology. Whether that’s to promote focus or to minimize the risk of internet-based test cheating, there may be specific rules that limit products like the Apple Watch.
Finally, the Apple Watch will need to be recharged from time to time. The device offers one of the best performing batteries, lasting around 18 hours with typical use. However, that does mean it’ll need recharging every day, which could quickly turn the watch from a novelty to an inconvenience.
Apple Watch Alternatives for Kids
Apple’s wearable device has become the market leader for a reason; long battery life, attractive design, and ease of use make it ideal for most users. That said, it isn’t your only option. There are other smartwatches suitable for kids that you may want to consider, too.
VTech is one of the most prominent children’s technology brands. The company makes devices for children of all ages, providing an affordable way to get your kids started with wearable gadgets. The VTech Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch is the best budget alternative to the Apple Watch, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t feature-packed.
Unlike the Apple Watch, which is a gadget suitable for children, this watch is designed specifically for them. The durable splash-proof design makes it ideal for young children’s adventures while still offering a touch screen interface. The watch includes 256MB of internal memory, two selfie cameras, and built-in exercise challenges and games.
While it lacks many of the communication and personal safety features of the Apple Watch, it is an ideal introduction to the world of smartwatches and wearable tech. Should something happen to the Kidizoom DX2, the low-price makes it less of a financial concern.
The Vowor 4G Kids Smartwatch costs more than the Kidizoom DX2, but there’s a reason for the increased price; this smartwatch is compatible with 4G networks. Place a SIM card into the Vowor watch, and it’ll connect to a 4G cell network.
One of the primary reasons parents invest in phones and smartwatches for their children is to stay in touch. This cell connection enables features like voice and video calling, GPS location tracking, and an SOS alert mode.
For additional safety, there is a geofencing feature. Once you’ve set the desired area, you’ll get a notification if your child steps outside the boundary. The strap is made of silicone, so it is comfortable to wear. The company will even replace broken straps or cables for free during the one-year warranty period.
Fitbit’s fitness tracking devices are responsible for motivating people worldwide to achieve their 10,000 steps per day. The Fitbit Versa 2 is one of the company’s best offerings, combining the top features of a fitness tracker with smartwatch technology.
The Versa 2 runs Fitbit OS and supports both Android and iOS devices. This makes it an ideal alternative to the Apple Watch if you aren’t already invested in Apple’s ecosystem. The smartwatch can track your steps, record fitness activities, set challenges, and motivate you towards your health goals.
Using the watch, you can view notifications on your wrist and monitor your heart rate. The Versa 2 also comes with six-day battery life, so you won’t have to charge it every day. There’s even integration with Alexa to top it off, giving you access to Amazon’s digital assistant wherever you are.
The Right Smartwatch for Your Kids
There’s a lot to consider before investing in a smartwatch for your child. The Apple Watch is undoubtedly a popular device, but its high price and reliance on other Apple hardware make it a challenging choice.
That said, as with all Apple products, the ease of use, family-friendly design, and integration with the company’s software make it straightforward for adults and young children alike.
Although we’ve listed some great Apple Watch alternatives for kids, there’s a vast range of wearable devices out there. If you’re after more options before investing, consider one of the best phone watches for kids.
Read the full article: Is the Apple Watch for Kids? The Best Kids Smart Watches