Kids love gadgets as much as adults (maybe even more), so it’s no surprise the idea of having their own smartwatch gets them excited. Finding the best kids smartwatch to get for your child can be daunting with so many choices on the market.
Aside from wading through all the options, it’s also important to consider privacy, durability, and cost when searching for the best kids smartwatch. One watch that does a great job of these core features is the TickTalk 4. Sure, you may think that any cheap Android smartwatches would work, and it might, but kids smartwatches have a lot of safety features that can make them a better option. There are many choices out there, so let us help you find the best kids smartwatch for your child.
These are the best kids Android smartwatches
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When the TickTalk 3 was on this list, it was a good watch but missing some essential features — with the TickTalk 4, many were resolved. The newest version of the kids smartwatch fixed one of the most significant issues I had from the TickTalk 3: poor battery life. In the design overhaul, more space was made for a larger battery, additional cellular antennas, and software changes helped extend the battery life to a full day without issue.
The TickTalk 4 also adds another camera, so your child can take photos of things much more accessible than only being able to use the selfie camera. You’ll also find dedicated GPS paired with Wi-Fi and cellular data for better location monitoring.
Step tracking has been included to make being active more fun, along with free iHeartRadio Family, which was a favorite feature during the TickTalk 4 review, because kids can stream family-friendly music while playing. The watch works with GSM cellular carriers — so it won’t work on Verizon — and the company has partnered with the prepaid carrier Red Pocket Mobile for service if you choose.
All of this is kept secure in a very well-designed and easy-to-use parental companion app. The watch can only communicate with contacts that you add. This includes messaging, calling, SOS contacts, and video chats. The watch design is a bit on the bulky side, but it is very durable and customized with what the company calls “Chums”. These are rubber icons like rainbows, guitars, skateboards, and more that tack onto the watch strap.
The only missing feature that I would like to see on the TickTalk 4 is geofencing but, despite missing that one big feature, this is the best android smartwatch for kids.
My son has been using the Garmin Bounce watch for a few months now and he absolutely loves the thing. Setup couldn’t be any easier: just download the Garmin Jr. app and pair the watch with a Garmin parents account. Everything can be managed through the Garmin Jr. app, including contact management, alarms and timers, geofencing, real-time location tracking, and both text and voice messaging.
Garmin’s app also includes cool activities and games for kids to play alongside parents, including plenty of educational games that encourage kids to get outside and play. The watch has a built-in step tracker and can also track sleep, so you’ll only need to take it off to charge — or if it gets uncomfortable after wearing it for a while.
Garmin Bounce is weatherproof and is even swim-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about your child breaking it under even normal kid conditions.
The watch itself is a great size that even fits an 8-year-old’s wrist and is light enough to be comfortable all day. The 2-3-day battery life is impressive and I’ve found that we only have to charge the watch twice a week or so with normal use. It’s got both W-Fi and LTE connectivity so it can save battery when you’re at home or another familiar place, all of which are configurable through the Garmin Jr. app.
Garmin manages its own LTE network connectivity through the Garmin Kids Smartwatch subscription plan which runs $10 per month. This one can’t be combined with your phone bill and doesn’t need to be managed at all, so a simple subscription is all it takes to ensure that your child can be connected no matter where they are. Garmin has an LTE coverage map (opens in new tab) to help you ensure this service is right for you.
For me, my favorite thing about this watch is just how darn easy it is to use. There’s nothing complicated about setup or management and the Garmin Jr. app is very well-designed. Settings aren’t hidden and the watch itself is packed with fun games and activities that are enough to keep kids interested during light downtime but not enough to distract them from school or other important activities.
Plus, it’s even got a school mode, do not disturb mode, and other similar ways to configure the watch so it’s a helpful tool and not a burden. There’s nothing like seeing them go off and do their chores every day at the right time because the watch lets them know it’s time.
Samsung might not make a “proper” kids’ watch but the Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm) is going to be your best bet if you’re looking to get something more full-featured for your kids. Since it runs the latest version of Wear OS 3, it has a metric ton of apps and other features that dwarf all other watches offered here.
Like other Wear OS watches, the Galaxy Watch 4 supports full watch face customization, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE connection as well as GPS location and full messaging and phone calling features. You can even have them pair their earbuds with the watch and listen to music on your favorite music service. It’s also simple to add to your existing phone plan since it supports all major networks and has an eSIM built right in, so long as you opt for the more expensive LTE model, of course.
The Galaxy Watch 4 has full weatherproofing and can be taken swimming, used for sleep tracking, and just about anything else you can possibly think of. Fitness tracking with it is wonderful and it’s got all the important health-related features that you could want including heart rate tracking and many different health sensors on the underside.
Being a “proper” smartwatch also means that it looks like an actual watch and not a kid-friendly device. The obvious downside here is that this watch isn’t built for kids. In short, that means your kids are going to have to treat it like a nice, expensive electronic device. If you’ve got kids who are wild or generally careless, expect it to get broken pretty quickly.
If nothing, make sure to add a great Galaxy Watch 4 screen protector (opens in new tab) or case to keep it safe like the Spigen Ultra Hybrid Screen Protector, which wraps around the entire body of the watch and helps keep it safe.
Since this is a standard smartwatch, you won’t find any parental controls that can be downloaded. Sure, you could use the Galaxy Watch app to manage the watch remotely and even track the location with tools that Google and Samsung provide, but things like geofencing or app store restrictions just aren’t available since it’s not designed with this express purpose in mind.
You’ll also have to consider battery life, which isn’t as good as the other kids’ watches on this list. This one is meant to do everything, not last a long time. If you absolutely must get your child a Samsung watch, the smaller 40mm version of the Galaxy Watch 4 is the best bet.
The GizmoWatch 2 from Verizon is a great watch that gets a lot of things right. If your family uses Verizon for coverage reasons, this is probably the best kids smartwatch to get because it uses the same Verizon network as your phones. Just be aware that, since this is a Verizon-branded watch, it only works with Verizon’s network.
As far as the watch itself is concerned, you’ll get to choose from two color options — blue or pink — and has a durable squarish plastic case. There are two buttons on the side to offer a few actions when pressed. One of them is if either button is pressed, the parent-designated emergency contact is called.
The screen on the watch is vibrant and gets bright enough to be visible in most lighting conditions. Your child can select from seven different colorful themes to give their watch a bit of personality. There’s also a fun jumping game and step tracker for the kids to earn rewards from that you can set in the parent’s app.
From the parents’ side, through the GizmoHub, which acts as the companion app, you can control nearly every aspect of your child’s watch. This is also where you get to set up who the watch can call, be called, or message. There’s no camera, but your child can make standard phone calls and send preset messages, emojis, or voice messages.
The Gizmowatch 2 has a built-in GPS, which can locate the watch and set up geofences. Doing so will send you a notification when the watch leaves the designated area. Your child can manually ping you their location from the watch, or you can always check in from the app.
While a lot is going for the watch, during our GizmoWatch 2 review period we did find that it does have its downfalls. Aside from being locked to Verizon, the other main feature lacking from the GizmoWatch 2 is Wi-Fi. The addition of this feature would help in low cellular connectivity.
If you are in an area with good Verizon coverage and don’t mind that you can only use that carrier, the GizmoWatch 2 is a great smartwatch for kids that offers fun features for them and the safety features you want.
The Spacetalk Adventurer is a kids smartwatch that looks nothing like the others on this list. On the surface, the watch has a more mature design, but not so much that younger kids wouldn’t enjoy it. The display is sharp and easy to read, and navigating the watch’s interface is smooth and responsive.
A unique feature of the Adventurer is the inclusion of a heart rate monitor. You’ll be able to check on your child’s activity by seeing how many steps they’re taking and see a history of their heart rate measurements, all from the well-designed Spacetalk companion app. Even with all the heart rate tracking, the Adventurer gets excellent battery life and is able to make it through a typical day of use easily.
It is disappointing that at this time, even though there is a front-facing camera, there is no option for video calling. Though not a major issue, messaging on the Spacetalk Adventurer can be a bit confusing because there are two messaging apps. During my review period, I’d carry on the same conversation dispersed across both apps — making it challenging to keep it all straight. Again, not a deal-breaker, but worth noting.
Garmin makes some of the most impressive fitness smartwatches on the market today, and not to leave the kids out of the fun, Garmin has the Vivofit Jr. line of fitness bands. The newest in that family is the Vivofit Jr. 3, and it has some great features for the little ones.
The band can join in with the rest of the family using Garmin fitness products in friendly challenges to encourage kids to be more active. There’s even the ability to sync with nearby friends for a bit of fun competition as well. By getting at least 60 minutes of activity in a day, your child can earn points that translate into turns in a fun game that’s in the companion app on your phone.
The game is themed to match the fitness band itself. When we reviewed the Vivofit Jr 3, my son loved the games for his Marvel’s Black Panther-themed track. But there’s also Iron Man, Disney Princesses, Little Mermaid, and some Garmin designs of Digi Camo, Lilac Floral, The Mandalorian, Baby Grogu, or Blue Stars.
The device’s battery lasts up to a year and is replaceable, so you never have to charge it. You can also set reminders on the Vivofit Jr. 3 for your child to earn digital coins to redeem for rewards that you set within your companion app.
The Vivofit Jr. 3 is water-resistant to 5 ATM, tracks steps, and can track sleep automatically. While this device may not have the full gamut of features found in the TickTalk 4 or the GizmoWatch 2, it is still a fun way for your child to get active and be responsible.
Instead of a tool for connecting to a smartphone, VTech created an experience that is mostly a toy, but partially useful. Amid all the games and onboard camera tricks, you’ll find a functional calendar for appointments, a voice memo app, and several other tools that work well with the smartwatch aesthetic. This is a great way to get kids thinking about using technology for more than entertainment, without completely pulling them away from the shiny world of fun things.
Smartwatches are already luxury accessories, and for kids, they become little more than toys. VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch for kids has a few games and lets them take photos from their wrist and have some fun with the photos. There’s even a flashlight that works as a flash for taking pictures.
It’s a fun way for a kid to emulate their smartwatch-wearing parent without needing to be tethered to a smartphone, and it includes some tools that could be useful. Calculator apps let children explore math on their own. The new DX3 picks up a feature to let it communicate with other DX3 owners with photos or preset messages all without Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity.
There’s plenty of fun to be had here. Still, the need to regularly charge the watch to use it and the availability of actually useful apps could become tools for teaching children how to care for their hardware and use it properly.
Just like the grown ups, but made for kids
If you are looking for a watch your child will enjoy using, that will also give you some peace of mind — you can’t go wrong with the TickTalk 4. It’s a well-built piece of technology with its own style and has some wonderful features. Since it has a SIM card in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, you and your child will be able to communicate as needed. You will also benefit from creating GPS location tracking and location history to monitor your child’s location. While the device isn’t cheap, it is a great all-in-one communication device for your child that will be much harder to lose than a phone.
There could be some refinements, such as it would be helpful if there was a keyboard on the watch. Though tiny, it would be helpful in situations where the canned responses weren’t enough and voice dictation is inappropriate. While it would be nice to see geofencing added in, there are so many other great features like the dual-camera setup and iHeartRadio Family streaming. So, whether you want to ensure your child is where they should be and be able to talk to them, there are options for that. If all you want is to introduce your child to some wearable tech, then there’s that too.
But if you don’t need a super-full-featured smartwatch, the Garmin Bounce is the one to get. It’s simple to setup, easy to manage, and connects to Garmin’s managed LTE network throughout the world with a $10/month subscription. But don’t think that simple means it’s got nothing going on; this one packs in real-time GPS location and geofencing, great games to keep kids educated and entertained, alarms and timers, activity and sleep tracking, and so much more.