review

Ojoy A1 Kids Smartwatch Review: Freedom for Kids and Peace of mind for the Parents

As kids grow up and start going out by themselves, it’s normal for parents to be constantly worried about their wellbeing. I have a ten-year-old son, and he goes around the apartment, to the park, and to his friend’s house all the time. While he makes sure, he is back on time and tells us if he wants to go somewhere, but after all, he is still a kid. Many a time, as parents, we thought of giving him a feature phone, but then he might lose it. We had been looking for some solution, and that’s where the Ojoy Smartwatch for Kids came into the picture.

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Ojoy A1 Watch Review

Ojoy is an Indian startup based out of Chennai. They have built two smartwatches for kids – Ojoy A1 and Ojoy B1. Not only are they designed for kids, but they have also built keeping parents in mind. After using it for over two weeks, I can say once you give this to your kid, the convenience can spoil you. It’s a good thing though. I can find out where my son is, can call him anytime I want, and he can do that as well. Let’s deep dive into the features:

Ojoy A1 Watch Features

The smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset with 512MB RAM + 4GB storage. Kids can make HD call thanks to its support for 4G LTE. Corning’s Gorilla Glass protects the 1.4-inch retina display (320X320px). The watch tags along IP68 certification. This makes sure your kid doesn’t have to take it off anywhere.

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The build quality of the watch is good, and it does look premium. The design on the strap goes well for kids. The straps can stretch which is suitable again for “Kids” usage.

The watch also houses a G-sensor, WiFi, GLONASS, GPS, and LBS Positioning. You have a microphone, a front-facing 2MP camera. Lastly, you get 800 mAh battery.

Feature for Parents

Before I talk about this feature, I am going to talk about my experience first. To start with, the watch is reliable. I haven’t faced a single ‘out of coverage area’ or ‘network not found’ issue whenever I made a call. Even when using the Monitor (tracking) feature, it worked flawlessly. I could see the location anytime I want, anybody in the contact can use the app and track him.

As parents, we both felt a bit relaxed because he was in our reach. While he was calling us and telling us he is going somewhere else could be a bit of luxury, but knowing that we both can contact each other was the best experience. Option to send a message is another great feature for less intrusive moments.

Simply put, the watch works! And it’s reliable!

Now let’s talk about everything else.

The watch can be paired with “Ojoy app” using the QR code. Once done, go through some of the basic setups, and then insert a SIM (4G LTE). To make sure the SIM works, you should enable HD calling feature available in the phone’s settings. If it is turned off, you cannot make a call to that number, nor your kid will be able to do it. Now that you are sure about the calls, let’s have a look at what the app offers:

1. Location tracking:

Every time you open the app, it will show you the live location of the watch. The interface looks similar to Google Maps and they might be using the Maps API for this. The address is displayed with a quick option to dial, monitor or navigate. If you feel the location is stale, tap on the refresh or real-time buttons. The screen also offers battery status and network coverage.

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On the top left, there’s a Track History option. It can give you an idea where your kid has been around. However, it’s not precise. It shows the cell tower location. So it is only for a general idea where your kid has been to, and if he gets out of surrounding place, you will know.

That said, it also features geofencing feature, but because it mostly pickups up cell tower location, I did receive a lot of warnings. I had to turn it off finally. One of the very few downsides of this watch.

2. Monitor

If you want to quietly listen to what your kid is up to, tap on the monitor button. It will initiate the call from your kids watch to your number. You can then listen to all the conversation around him. It makes sure he or she is not aware of it by using the active voice cancellation feature. Even if you try to speak, the voice will not go through.

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It might sound like invading the privacy of your kid, but it’s up to you to use this feature or not. It’s not there to eavesdrop all the time, but only when it is necessary. If your kid is not picking up your call, it comes in very handy to figure out what’s going on. I wish a feature to record calls was there for emergency purposes.

3. Functions

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It’s a set of feature list which you can access, and also configure the clock remotely. Here you can:

  • Manage address book.
  • Check SMS that appears on the watch.
  • Enable White list so only those in the address book can call the kid. You also have blocked call list.
  • Add calendar entries, create geo-fence, and if you have WiFi at home, you can add the credentials.
  • Remotely initiate software update on the watch.
  • Battery Power mode can be set either to Precision, Intelligent or Power Mode.

The watch easily lasted for 24 hours with Precision settings. You can remotely switch to Power mode to save the watch’s battery when you get the notification about it. The smartwatch takes around 1-2 hours to charge using the pogo pin custom charger in the rear.

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Lastly, here is a bit about the School mode. I am not in favor of letting my son carry this watch to school. There are two reasons. One, he might be up for a show off with his classmates, and second, it can be a distraction for him.

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Kids Feature & Experience

While I had a look at it, I also took my son’s feedback on this, what he liked, and didn’t like about the watch.

Wearing Experience: 

It’s heavy, and if your kid is not used to wearing watches, it will take some time for the kid. Unlike regular wrist watches, it can fall if not handled properly. There is no problem after wearing it. It felt a bit heavy for my son, but it was about getting used to it. The strap comes with enough adjustment slots to make sure it fits on every wrist.

Display & Touch:

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My son liked that he was able to use it even when outside, though it was only for making calls, and send voice messages. He had no issues in swiping, though he said that a faster swipe would have been better. Even when I tried, at times, I wished it was smoother.

Call Experience:

Expect your kid to use these two features most of the time – calling and messaging. There is no dialer available on the watch, and they can only call pre-assigned numbers on speed dials. He needs to swipe 2-3 times before making a call. Talking about audio quality, he was ok with it as well. Though if it’s too crowded, don’t expect too much from the speaker. He usually found a quiet spot, and then took calls. As a parent, his voice was crystal clear no matter what. I used a Reliance Jio SIM.

Kid OS

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The watch runs on what they call as Kid OS. It’s simple, full of cute icons, colors, and big text. It makes it easy for kids to read things. Press the right top button to light up the screen. On the home screen, you can see the time, network coverage, 4G status, and battery status. Swipe down, and you have access to total step count, weather and notifications. The SOS button on right bottom sends a quiet emergency message to your phone. A single press on the top right button takes you to the home screen, while the SOS button also acts as a back button.

On the screen, swipe left to access the Gallery, Magic Scool, Weather, and Toolbox. Swipe right to access Contacts, Step count, and settings.

1. Gallery is where the 2MP camera comes into the picture. Kids can use it to make short videos or take a selfie. My son wished he could fit more of his friends, but right now, he can accommodate two people. It also includes stickers which one can apply later. He can also share these images and videos with the family group.

2. Magic School is an excellent option to keep the kid busy when he is getting bored. Well, maybe for a few minutes! Right now, it has Maths which talks about geometry, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

3. Weather might not become one of the most used features, but good if he is interested.

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4. Toolbox is where your kids will be intrigued. It offers a Magic voice to create some funny audio clip,  see a list of tasks he gets assigned by his parents, calendar, alarm, and stopwatch.  The later is what he liked over others. He used it for racing with his friends to find the exact time.

5. Contacts is the list of a phone number which is added by the parents. There is no dialer option though. He will have access to My Family, My Friend, followed by a list of contacts in his phone. Kids can use this to send a short message or make a call. The conversation includes text, video, and images. He can also send a message in Family group which will help him reach all of the people.

Add a friend is an exciting feature where kids with Ojoy Watch can add to each other. They need to keep the watch together and press ‘add friend’. While I could not test it, I believe it will allow them to send a message and also call each other.

6. Step Count is another feature which my son liked, and it’s mostly because I always talk about step counts. It also helps to keep him motivated. The OS seems to be ranking all the kids using the watch. A general message like “Today 9899 steps, with ‘x’ rank and more than 88% of kids” is displayed on the screen.

7. Settings allows your kid to adjust volume, brightness, ringtones for calls, set themes, set home screen image, enable HD voice, connect to WiFi and so on.

Here is a bit about HD voice. When using a 4G LTE, you need to enable HD voice. Also when it’s turned off, the calls stop working. That’s the case with Reliance Jio at least. My son eventually figured it out and sometimes turned it off when he was busy watching a match. When asked, he was like “it is my Do Not Disturb time”. Well! So if your kid gets to know about it, try to help the kid understand that it’s important NOT to turn it off!

Conclusion & Price

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The Ojoy A1 will cost you Rs 9,999. It is a hefty price because it is easy to get a smartphone at 50% of the price. That is what I got to hear from a few parents, and well, they are not wrong. However, a smartwatch is a different category. You cannot expect a kid to keep a tab on his phone all the time when he is out playing. Even grown-ups have a problem finding their phone every now and then.

My point is if you are looking for a worry-free solution which helps you call your kid anytime, and also keeps him away from smartphone addiction, Ojoy is a way to ahead. All you need to make sure that they don’t take it off the wrist, I am sure they won’t, if they get the point. The cute little features built into the watch will help your kid to engage with you more often, you can find him anytime you want, add tasks, and so on.

Disclaimer: I haven’t used any kids watch before, and I am not in a position to compare with any other watch.