- Kids smartwatches have become the latest trend in keeping your child safe while also providing them with a way to contact parents.
- WatchOut has created a kids smartwatch with safety and connectivity at its helm.
- WatchOut Next-Gen Kids smartwatch includes impressive features like 4G video call, music, games, anti-theft, and parental controls.
As children grow up, parents are always looking for ways to keep them safe. Kids smartwatches have become the latest trend in keeping your child safe while also providing interactive features that will help them get through an afternoon of boredom or be able to contact you when they need something!
WatchOut has created a kids smartwatch with safety and connectivity at its helm. On paper, WatchOut Next-Gen Kids Smartwatch includes impressive features like 4G video call, music, games, anti-theft, and parental controls, but how well does that actually work in practice? Here’s our WatchOut Wearables Next-Gen Kids Smartwatch review.
Design & Display
It’s quite a challenge to design an ideal kids smartwatch. While you want the watch to be sturdy enough to handle some wear and tear, it also has to be stylish and light enough that kids will want to wear it. WatchOut Next-Gen is primarily made of plastic but sturdy enough to handle some light drops and bangs.
While we got the Black color variant which is rather subtle and looks like most smartwatches made for adults, WatchOut has Next-Gen watches in eye-popping colors like Purple and Blue, which kids might find more attractive.
The plastic straps used are of decent quality and replaceable, so you can change them if your child gets bored of the current color. While the display is circular, the case around is extended slightly on the right side to accommodate a camera and charging point. There are three kids-friendly buttons provided. More on them later.
Kids smartwatches typically have small screens, that aren’t really suitable for kids’ eyes. However, at 33mm (1.5-inch) in size, the WatchOut Kids Smartwatch screen is large enough to not strain children’s eyes and can be read easily even from a distance. The TFT display is touch-sensitive, which is perfect for kids who like to fiddle with things. The screen is bright and vibrant, but the resolution is paltry 240×240 pixels which is sort of a norm in this space but could have been better.
The casing that holds the display is quite thick, making the watch rather bulky despite weighing just above 50 grams. In addition to the display, the casing holds a 580mAh battery, a microphone, a speaker, a 2MP camera, a handful of sensors, a slot for 4G nano-SIM, storage, and others. Considering that, WatchOut has done a commendable job to keep the weight so low, but the watch will still look (and feel) bulky on the small wrists.
Coming back to the buttons, there are two of them on the left and a single big one on the right. The top-left button is the power button, while the bottom-left one is the back button. The single large one on the right is the SOS button which gets activated on holding it for 3 seconds.
WatchOut has clearly put in a lot of thought while putting together this smartwatch. It’s not often we see a camera on a smartwatch but considering it’s a smartwatch made for kids, it’s a great addition. The 2MP camera is barely enough for video calls, so don’t expect to take great selfies with it.
WatchOut Next-Gen smartwatch comes with 4GB of onboard storage, which is enough to store hundreds of your kids’ favorite songs. The speakers are loud and clear enough for them to show off to their friends.
Interestingly, WatchOut has also included four games, including Tetris and a flappy bird rip-off which aren’t really easy to play on such a small screen. As a parent who’s already worried about my daughter’s screen time, it wasn’t a feature I was looking forward to. Thankfully, there is no way to install additional games since the watch doesn’t come with any in-built app store.
Watch UI and App Features
WatchOut Next-Gen has a pretty simple Watch UI, easy enough for kids to navigate around.
- Scrolling up from the homescreen takes you to the notification panel.
- Scrolling right brings up pre-configured Contacts from where the child can easily call the parent or the guardian using the 4G SIM. Next up is the Messages menu, which has multiple options like emoji, photo, and voice options to be sent as a push notification on the parent’s app. Then there are menu options for camera, alarm, music, games, and settings.
- Scrolling left on the home screen takes you to the fitness stats screen, which shows the number of steps taken and calories burnt. The step counter is super-sensitive in our test and drastically overcounts the steps.
The watch comes bundled with ELARISafeFamily app which is probably made by the ODM manufacturing the smartwatch for WatchOut Wearables. The app is simple in terms of design but has most things you’d ask for a kids smartwatch companion app.
From the app homescreen, you can make a quick voice call or video call. There is also an option to request a call from the watch which lets the parent/guardian to secretly hear what the child is up to. While this seems useful for a parent worried about child’s safety, it’s very invasive and should be handled carefully.
You can add multiple watches and kids profile in a single app and do a personalized set up for each. For example:
- Safe Zones: you can set up safe zones for each watch/kid which geo-fences the location and sends you an alert if the child goes outside of the safe zone.
- History: Location history searchable by date.
- Class Mode: The kid won’t be able to operate the watch when this is turned on.
- Care Time: Activating this mode will upload the location every few minutes (configurable).
- Shutdown Forbidden
- Call Limit: Activating this mode ensures no one other than the safe contacts can call the SIM on the smartwatch.
- Video call forbidden
WatchOut Next-Gen Kids Smartwatch Review: Verdict
So should you buy the WatchOut Next-Gen Kids smartwatch at Rs 9,999? Well, that depends on how worried are you about your kid’s safety. If you are just looking for a fitness band, there are better ones at much lower cost. If your child already has access to a smartphone, this watch will be redundant. But this is meant for those who is worried about their child’s safety but doesn’t want them to carry a phone along.
For many parents, adding yet another gadget which can add to the screen time of the kid can be a tough decision to make. But WatchOut Next-Gen delivers on the promises it makes while selling the smartwatch. Be it the geo-fencing feature or SOS button, the smartwatch works pretty well.
While I wish the setup was simpler, the battery lasted more than a day, and I didn’t have to worry about basic things like the correct orientation of the nano-SIM, if at all I was in the market for a safety-oriented kids smartwatch, I’d definitely consider the WatchOut Next-Gen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gadgets (including smartwatches) are like a double-edged sword. While, as a parent, you want to reduce the kid's screentime as much as you can, it's also important to ensure they are safe once they go out of the home. Children under the age of 5 should not have a smartwatch yet. Kids under 7 years, who mostly spend time within safe environments like home and school, are also better off without a smartwatch.
Smartwatches are a better option for smartphones considering there is very little for kids to mess around, thanks to smaller screens and lesser features. So smartwatches are suited for kids above 5 years as they are old enough to take care of the watch and use features like the SOS button if required.
It really depends on what exactly you are looking for when you ask about the best smartwatch for students. For kids over 10 years, a fitness smartwatch like Fitbit Ace or Garmin Vivofit Jr can be a good option, especially if they are into sports. But something like the WatchOut Next-Gen is a great option if you are worried about the safety and security of the kid.
Smartwatches are allowed in schools, but only if they are used for educational purposes. In order to be allowed in schools, smartwatches must have a secure lock, be compatible with the school's network and provide the school with data about the student's health.
Some schools may allow them, others may not. It is best to check with your school's administration to find out if they are allowed and what the specific policy is.
- 2-way Video and Voice calls
- 4G connectivity
- Geo-fencing facility
- Emergency SOS button
- Bulky design
- Single day battery life
- Cost on the higher side
- Inaccurate pedometer
|Build & Design||
|Features & App||
WatchOut Next-Gen is a smartwatch for kids. It helps parents keep track of their children’s activities, and it also keeps kids safe by allowing them to contact parents without the need for having a phone.