Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    the Island of Sodor
    Posts
    11,395

    Default smart watch recommendations for 11yo?

    So I really want to get DS (5th grader) a smartwatch with the following capabilities

    - pedometer
    - can send/receive texts (could be to small/restricted set of numbers)
    - can call out or receive calls (could be to small /restricted set of numbers)
    -has GPS so i could track him if needed

    I mainly want it for when we go on bike rides and he goes up ahead (DD is much slower on her bike and i need to stay with her) and he does a few extra loops around the park, so i can keep track of him. So for safety reasons...in case he falls of his bike, gets hurt, or whatever. Also, i have been binging way too much Crime Junkie podcasts...lol.

    We are an Apple family (have iPhones, iPads, apple watches etc). i thought about giving DS my Apple Watch (which i think is 1.5 years old? has GPS etc) but it needs to be tied to a phone. Should i just get an (old) iphone for him that just stays at home all the time?

    we have Verizon as our provider...i looked into the Verizon Gizmo watch, and it has crappy reviews. i see a lot of cheap $20-$30 options on amazon, but look like a lot of very cheap items that don't get great reviews.

    DS is pretty responsible and mature for his age, and EXTREMELY tech savvy, so i have zero concern for him losing it or trashing it, or not wearing it, or not knowing how to use it that kind of thing. he can totally manage keeping it charged and the like.

    The tricky thing is, we are planning to get him a phone (some sort of older iphone) once he starts middle school (which is in August, eek). i suppose we could give him a phone now, but don't want to give him yet another screen he can play around on. We are in virtual schooling so there's already lot of screen time as it is.


    any recommendations/suggestions appreciated!

  2. #2
    MSWR0319 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,882

    Default

    We looked at this a year and a half ago and unless you want to get him a phone I don't think there were any good options. Sounds like he needs an apple watch and a phone. With DS we ended up getting him a Garmin that he can receive texts on but can't reply to, and there is no calling capability. There may have been more expensive options that did that but I don't remember. He got an old iphone that is restricted so he can only call or text and have any approved aps. He puts his phone in his cinch sack with his epipens and I can track him through that. Plus he can call me when needed or his friends can use the emergency call option if needed.

  3. #3
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    15,671

    Default

    We are an Apple family too. All our phones and laptops are Apple. For the past 2 years our kids have had Apple watches. Before that, they had Gizmos. We hated the Gismos. We are mostly on Verizon plans but they were totally unreliable for us. We then got our oldest 2 kids Apple watches and linked them to old iPhones we had. For quite a while we were successful in keeping the phones in a kitchen drawer so the kids wouldnít play with them. Once their friends got phones and Snapchat accounts however, that was all over. But until the friends got phones, the Apple watches worked well.

    In order for the watches to work independently of the iPhones, you need the generation starting with the red dot in the center of the crown. I think the next generation with that capability has a red ring around the watch crown. Those are the first Apple watches that phone calls and texts can be made from without having a phone nearby. (The Apple watches without the red dot and ring require the phone to be within range to text or place a call). The Apple watches are great for tracking the kids and Dh. I use that feature all the time. If Iím starting dinner and want to see how far from home they are, or if I want them to pick up something at the store for me, I go to use the Findmyiphone app to see where they are. Itís pretty accurate and it finds them quickly. The kids at first only used the preset texting features but they got comfortable pretty quickly voicing and even writing texts from their watch (still not sure how they can write their texts without the dictation feature). Once you give your son a phone, though, he wouldnít really need the watch although my kids still use theirs, especially when doing sports where carrying a phone is a pain. Dd takes several dance classes each day and is allowed to wear a watch in class but rarely has easy access to her phone. All the dancers keep them in their lockers so they arenít a distraction. The watch makes it much easier to contact her about rides. When the kids ski they say itís easier to access their watch than to try to dig their phone out of their pockets to contact me. Essentially once your son gets a phone, the watch is a nice but kind of redundant convenience. Hth!

    eta- totally forgot to mention, that if your son is very active, you may want to get some sort of protection for the face. I saw some watch face guards at Target (and sadly thought they werenít necessary). DS2 is not really that reckless but heís managed to smash 2 watches. The first time he fell off his bike and the second time was falling off his skateboard. Now that he has a phone we havenít replaced his watch and he said he doesnít miss it. 🤷*♀️
    Last edited by gatorsmom; 01-18-2021 at 01:25 PM.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  4. #4
    babyonway is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,948

    Default

    I got DD (10 yo, 5th grade) a Gizmo 2 years ago and I have no compliants and I abosoutely love it. I literally got 4 of those cheapies off of Amazon and NONE of them got a consistent signal (I think they were all 2G or something crazy). The independence the watch provides is AMAZING as my DD rides her bike all over town etc. And the tracking I have found is amazing. One time she fell off her bike and was super upset (though not critically injured), she called and I easily got to her exact location.

    I am holding out on getting her a smart phone for as long as I can

    DD doesn't use the pedometer feature. She did for a while and using that feature used up battery and the watch would have to be charged every night. Without using the pedemeter feature she charges it about every 2-3 days.

    The only complaint I have is when it gets to a 20% charge it is more like a 5% charge and quickly drains to dead within an hour or so, even with no use. (I can't recall if this has always been the case for the watch or not but it has been like that for at least a year) Otherwise the charge doesn't drain quickly. We just make sure it has at least a 40% charge at the beginning of the day.
    Mama to my sweet lil girl (Summer 2010)

  5. #5
    NCGrandma is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3,226

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gatorsmom View Post
    We are an Apple family too. All our phones and laptops are Apple. For the past 2 years our kids have had Apple watches. Before that, they had Gizmos. We hated the Gismos. We are mostly on Verizon plans but they were totally unreliable for us. We then got our oldest 2 kids Apple watches and linked them to old iPhones we had. For quite a while we were successful in keeping the phones in a kitchen drawer so the kids wouldnít play with them. Once their friends got phones and Snapchat accounts however, that was all over. But until the friends got phones, the Apple watches worked well.

    In order for the watches to work independently of the iPhones, you need the generation starting with the red dot in the center of the crown. I think the next generation with that capability has a red ring around the watch crown. Those are the first Apple watches that phone calls and texts can be made from without having a phone nearby. (The Apple watches without the red dot and ring require the phone to be within range to text or place a call). The Apple watches are great for tracking the kids and Dh. I use that feature all the time. If Iím starting dinner and want to see how far from home they are, or if I want them to pick up something at the store for me, I go to use the Findmyiphone app to see where they are. Itís pretty accurate and it finds them quickly. The kids at first only used the preset texting features but they got comfortable pretty quickly voicing and even writing texts from their watch (still not sure how they can write their texts without the dictation feature). Once you give your son a phone, though, he wouldnít really need the watch although my kids still use theirs, especially when doing sports where carrying a phone is a pain. Dd takes several dance classes each day and is allowed to wear a watch in class but rarely has easy access to her phone. All the dancers keep them in their lockers so they arenít a distraction. The watch makes it much easier to contact her about rides. When the kids ski they say itís easier to access their watch than to try to dig their phone out of their pockets to contact me. Essentially once your son gets a phone, the watch is a nice but kind of redundant convenience. Hth!

    eta- totally forgot to mention, that if your son is very active, you may want to get some sort of protection for the face. I saw some watch face guards at Target (and sadly thought they werenít necessary). DS2 is not really that reckless but heís managed to smash 2 watches. The first time he fell off his bike and the second time was falling off his skateboard. Now that he has a phone we havenít replaced his watch and he said he doesnít miss it. 🤷*♀️
    To clarify about Apple watches, for those who are unfamiliar with them: most of the currently available models (ďgenerations") come in 2 different versions. The "GPS + cellular" version can be used to make/receive calls without requiring its paired iPhone to be nearby. The "GPS only" version does not have built-in cellular capability so it requires a nearby iPhone. The choice between these 2 versions is made when you buy the watch ó cellular capability cannot be added later.

    There are 3 models of new Apple watches currently available. The Series 6 and SE come in either GPS/cellular or GPS only. From the Apple site, it looks like the Series 3 only comes in GPS only. The GPS/cellular models are not surprisingly more expensive.

    I have enjoyed my Series 5 watch for over a year. Since I donít need to make phone calls from my watch, I bought the GPS only. (As far as I know, my family is not trying to track me!!)

    One caution if you are considering a used Apple Watch: if the previous owner does not remove their information correctly, the anti-theft Activation Lock will be on and there is NO WAY the purchaser can use the watch. See
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205009. (The Apple Watch boards are full of sad stories of people paying for a watch they cannot use.)


    Sent from my iPad using Baby Bargains

  6. #6
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    the Island of Sodor
    Posts
    11,395

    Default

    thanks all. actually from searching a bit more i found out that very recently (like October), Apple has allowed for multiple Apple Watches to be set up for one iPhone, so that one can keep track of family members. It's targeted for those who want to track kids and elderly (who may not have their own iPhone) with an Apple Watch.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211768

    It requires at least a Series 4 with GPS + cellular, which is exactly what I have (mine is at least 1.5 years old). Mine has the red ring on the side button. So i will give this one to DS, and then get myself a new Series 6.

    this allows me to hold off on giving DS a phone until middle school, which is a-ok with me He is pretty thrilled to be able to get an Apple Watch. I am hoping it will also help motivate him with fitness/exercise (so hard these days with virtual learning!).

  7. #7
    jennilynn is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by [emoji813
    ms.pacman;4388791]thanks all. actually from searching a bit more i found out that very recently (like October), Apple has allowed for multiple Apple Watches to be set up for one iPhone, so that one can keep track of family members. It's targeted for those who want to track kids and elderly (who may not have their own iPhone) with an Apple Watch.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211768

    It requires at least a Series 4 with GPS + cellular, which is exactly what I have (mine is at least 1.5 years old). Mine has the red ring on the side button. So i will give this one to DS, and then get myself a new Series 6.

    this allows me to hold off on giving DS a phone until middle school, which is a-ok with me He is pretty thrilled to be able to get an Apple Watch. I am hoping it will also help motivate him with fitness/exercise (so hard these days with virtual learning!).
    This is really cool! I may do this for my 6th grader. Iíd like to hold off getting him a phone until 8th grade.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Slightly crunchy mama to three awesome monkeys

  8. #8
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    15,671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ♥ms.pacman♥ View Post
    thanks all. actually from searching a bit more i found out that very recently (like October), Apple has allowed for multiple Apple Watches to be set up for one iPhone, so that one can keep track of family members. It's targeted for those who want to track kids and elderly (who may not have their own iPhone) with an Apple Watch.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211768

    It requires at least a Series 4 with GPS + cellular, which is exactly what I have (mine is at least 1.5 years old). Mine has the red ring on the side button. So i will give this one to DS, and then get myself a new Series 6.

    this allows me to hold off on giving DS a phone until middle school, which is a-ok with me He is pretty thrilled to be able to get an Apple Watch. I am hoping it will also help motivate him with fitness/exercise (so hard these days with virtual learning!).
    I didnít know this and itís good news! Iíve been holding off getting Ds3 a watch because he would not be able to just leave the phone in the kitchen drawer. But this news solves that problem.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •