If you’re looking for a smartwatch and fitness tracker that’s designed to get your kids up and moving, the Fitbit Ace could really fit the bill. Made to motivate and inspire children to get active in an interactive way, this stylish watch is certainly child-friendly but doesn’t come cheap.
Fitbit devices were originally designed with the aim of encouraging more people to get moving, get active and get fit – hence their name. The Ace takes this motivation and brings it to a younger audience with a smartwatch and fitness tracker aimed squarely at kids. The Ace is very similar to the Alta which is, essentially, the same thing for adults. However, with its costly price tag, is it worth the investment for your little couch potatoes?
When it comes to setting up the Fitbit Ace, you may find yourself quite confused. Firstly, you have to have a Fitbit account so if you’re an existing user that won’t be an issue, but if you don’t have a tracker yourself you’re going to struggle. You need to use the Fitbit App to establish a family account. You can then add the Ace and assign it to the user. The watch can then be paired either with your own smartphone or with the child’s own smartphone or tablet.
The Ace offers sleep tracking as part of its package, and that means you can check up on your child’s sleep patterns. Be aware, however, that this is a limited function since if your son or daughter takes the watch off, the Fitbit assumes they’re asleep and without any integrated heartrate monitor, there’s no way of knowing whether they’re cheating and staying up all night playing video games!
The Ace’s design is very similar to that of the Fitbit Alta. The strap is, however, smaller since the device is aimed at the child market. The Ace looks just like a regular Fitbit, and with its stylish good looks it’s a good way to encourage kids to track their fitness without being embarrassed about what they’re wearing on their wrist. Also, this similarity in design to the Alta means that you can upgrade to a bigger strap at any time, giving this device a longer shelf life.
Comfortable to wear, the Ace has an ergonomically designed body made from metal and a strap made from rubber which comes in a choice of either purple or blue. The OLED screen has a pixel resolution of 128 x 36 and there are ten watch faces to pick from, although they are all pretty similar in style.
The top design feature of the Ace is its eye-catching animations that reward kids visually when they hit their goal. It’s also very easy to read the screen even in direct sunlight which is a bonus. One thing to be aware of, however, is that the wearer interacts with the screen by tapping it instead of swiping, and that takes a bit of getting used to.
The Fitness Tracking
The fitness tracking functionality of this device is pretty limited. Where it does excel, however, is in setting goals for each day. Parents can also use the Fitbit app to track how well their child is managing to hit their goals since all the badges earned are tracked and parents receive an email as soon as their son or daughter has passed their specific target. There’s no way for kids to add anyone to their Fitbit account so they won’t be approached by any strangers, but family members can interact in challenges, bringing a competitive and fun element to this device.
What Are The Main Advantages?
- Designed specifically for kids
- Integrated sleep tracking
- Stylish child-friendly design
- Helps parents to keep tabs on their kids’ activity levels
- Upgradeable straps
- Gamifies exercise to keep kids motivated
What Are The Main Disadvantages?
- No integrated heartrate monitor
- Quite expensive compared to some of its rivals
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Fitbit Ace, you might want to consider the Xiaomi Mi Band 3. This is a much cheaper device and while it isn’t aimed specifically at kids, it’s got pretty much the same functionality without the gamification aspects as a reward. Perhaps the Moov Now would be another alternative.
This cheap yet accurate fitness tracking device is perfect for newcomers such as children and it’s robust enough to cope with anything your kids can throw at it. The Garmin Vivofit 4, while not specifically aimed at kids, is cheaper than the Ace too and offers a similar feature set while the Huawei Band 2 Pro offers even better features but at a price which is well below that of the Ace.
How We Test Smartwatches
We know that it isn’t always easy to work out which is the right smartwatch choice for you, hence why we’re dedicated to rigorously testing all of the various options on the market so we can give you the advice you need to make an informed purchasing choice.
The first thing we consider is the watch’s overall design. Is it comfortable to wear or does it irritate your wrist or get in the way? Is it stylish enough to wear with any outfit or does it just look wrong with your formal suit?
It goes without saying that we also check out the fitness tracking capabilities that the watch offers. We check out the sensors, the GPS tracking, step count and heartrate monitor not only to see how well they cope with everyday use but also to see just what effect they have on processing power, memory and battery life.
We install third party apps whenever possible and test them out to see how well the device can cope, and if LTE is incorporated into the device, we’ll try that too.
After we’ve carried out our thorough assessment, we collate the data that we’ve gathered and give you the information you need to determine whether the watch is the right one for you.
If you want a smartwatch designed with the needs of children specifically in mind, it’s hard to beat the Fitbit Ace. Its gamification reward elements make getting active fun and can certainly encourage and motivate kids to get off the sofa and away from their video games. On the other hand, it’s pretty costly, so if fitness tracking is something you want for your kids you might want to compromise with a device that isn’t designed specifically for kids.